Let’s explore the wonders of Lake Toba, Sumatra to reveal the hidden Indonesian treasures very well kept there. Lake Toba, locally known as Danau Toba, is obviously the largest volcanic lake in the world measuring at 1,707 square feet. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, Lake Toba is possibly the worlds biggest caldera.
As a matter of fact, Lake Toba is a product of a super massive volcanic eruption that happened about 77,000 years ago. It was known as the Toba catastrophe theory that is rumored to have killed a lot of the worlds human population. The quiet and serene beauty of Lake Toba is famous for most travelers as a place to just relax the time away, especially after a hardcore extended backpacking or trekking.
Location of Lake Toba
This largest volcanic lake is situated in Sumatra, Indonesia. Meanwhile, Samosir Island (Pulau Samosir) within the lake is actually the island inside of the island of Sumatra.
Reasons to go to Lake Toba
Amidst mountains with the clear lake that can almost reflect anything, Lake Toba is obviously a relaxing place showing the true beauty of nature. As a bonus, the Batak people living here becomes another attraction of the place, being outgoing, they will make sure that your stay is well worth it. Just say “Horas” (the traditional Batak greeting) and you will certainly be impressed with their hospitality and some of their local jungle juice, pipes, and of course music.
Best time to go to Lake Toba
The best time to go Lake Toba is in May when the weather is changing from slightly cool to warm. The heat might go up really high as it continues to stay dry and hot but it is also unpredictable and may have sudden rain. During rainy season, there is a lot of hard rain here.
Furthermore, this place is also particularly popular during the Chinese New Year, generally around January to February of the year. Therefore, you should take note for the hike in prices and cramp in style.
There are actually quite a lot of tourist attractions here for you as it is a fairly popular tourist place. In fact, you may easily find a tour for Lake Toba. However, here are some tourist attractions you can visit in Lake Toba.
You can go to Tuktuk, a very popular place for tourists. Here, you can enjoy the stunning view of great Lake Toba. You can satisfy the craving for your shopping and even buy some books from the second-hand bookshop.
Tomok is actually a quieter place but with better food selections and tasty Indonesian foods. You may also get immersed in its rich culture as there is burial place for the King Sidabutur, which is noteworthy to the local people.
- Traditional Dance
There are some traditional dances around, one is performed at Batak Museum and another in Restaurant Bagus Bay. You can go to one of them to watch the beautiful traditional dance.
Located just above Tuktuk, you may reach this beautiful waterfall just by walking and take a nice swim in it.
- Hot Spring
Situated about 40 km from Tuktuk, you can enjoy the hot spring where the water is really hot. Therefore, you might not be able to swim in it, but you may enjoy a light dip.
As have been mentioned that it is such a wonderful place to relax so that there are not many things to do. So, just kick back and relax, chill by the lakeside. If you want to do something, you can swim in the Lake Toba volcanic lake, or take a boat out the lake either in the day or in an overnight party, with Lake Toba volcano as the backdrop. Book lovers can have some reading up here with where there is a second hand bookshop for you to choose from.
Amazingly, there will be no shortage of local Indonesian food here from restaurants at Tuktuk (the main road) varying in both prices and quality respectively. Here to add on to the atmosphere, magic mushrooms and various happy spicy pizzas can be found as well. There are also various drinks available here, with several bars dotted around, but it is better to just get it from your guesthouse.
There are a lot of hotels, guesthouses, and resorts along Lake Toba in Tuktuk. You can even find some further away in smaller towns. Needless to worry about choices of stay here in exception to Chinese New Year where it might be full of tourists thus increase in prices and probably lack in space.
Just fly in to Medan and then continue your journey on land to Parapat, a town by Lake Toba. It will need 4 hours from Medan by bus. Otherwise, you can take a taxi or schedule a car from Medan airport to Parapat.
Else you can fly from Medan Polonia airport to Silangit by Susi Air daily, for just 30 minutes. It is much safer than the road trip, but the flight costs would be around US $ 38 one way.
You can get on local public transport that is the boat at the lake to travel around. Public Boats from Parapat and surrounding areas like Tuktuk or Tomok at Samosir Island will cost around IDR 7,000 per trip.
Instead, you can also rent a motorcycle if you prefer to have some flexibility and control, though roads can be bumpy. Nearby, you can rent a bicycle as well to save up the budget.
You can go for Orangutan Trekking to catch a glimpse of the rare Sumatran Orangutan at Bukit Lawang, just 90 km northwest of Medan.
Or, head off for a great dive at beautiful Pulau Weh (Island) just off the coast of Sumatra.
You should bring a raincoat or an umbrella as rain is prevalent here and can be random. Don’t forget to bring mosquitoes repellent.
Thus, let’s explore the wonders of Lake Toba, Sumatra on your holiday to experience the natures true beauty. Make your time for your holiday and prepare anything you need very well. Share if you do have experiences in Lake Toba.