Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world, captivates with its exceptional natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. From the highest peak of Mount Kerinci to the white sandy beaches of Parai Tenggiri, every corner of Sumatra offers a unique charm. Nature lovers can explore the biodiversity riches of Way Kambas National Park, while history enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the unique culture of the Minangkabau in Padang. Not to forget the majestic Lake Toba and the exotic islands of the Mentawai Islands, which are must-visit destinations.
In this article, we will cover ten must-visit activities to do in Sumatra, combining the beauty of nature, culinary richness, and cultural uniqueness. From immersing in the lives of orangutans in Bukit Lawang to feeling the serenity of Lake Maninjau, each activity will offer an unforgettable experience. Get ready to be amazed by the wonders of Sumatra’s nature, savor the delicious local cuisine, and explore the cultural richness rooted in each destination. Let’s start our adventure and appreciate the 10 must-visit activities to do in Sumatra!
10 Must-Visit Activities to Do in Sumatra
1.Climb Mount Sibayak
Mount Sibayak, one of the active volcanoes in North Sumatra, offers a both challenging and captivating climbing experience. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra is a prime destination for hikers who want to admire natural beauty and take on the challenge of climbing a volcano. The spectacular view of the sunrise is the main attraction, creating magical moments as the sky changes color over Mount Sibayak. Moreover, the consistently active crater adds a touch of unique and profound adventure for visitors.
must-visit activities to do in Sumatra also include observing the characteristic mountain flora and fauna around Mount Sibayak. Thanks to this ascent, adventurers have the opportunity to explore the unique biodiversity of the region. Exotic trees and rare plant species are part of the climbing experience, which is not only a physical challenge but also offers ecological uniqueness. Thus, Mount Sibayak is not just a natural tourist attraction but also a place for exploring the rich biodiversity.
In addition to natural beauty and biodiversity, Mount Sibayak offers a climbing experience with historical and cultural value. must-visit activities to do in Sumatra are not limited only to the physical aspect but also invite visitors to understand the local cultural heritage. The ruins and historical artifacts around the volcano provide insight into Mount Sibayak’s long journey in local history. Thus, climbing Mount Sibayak is not only a test of physical capabilities but also an exploration and appreciation of the cultural roots inherent to this volcano, making it a must-visit activity in Sumatra.
2.Explore the Bohorok River and observe orangutans
Gunung Leuser National Park, located in northern Sumatra, is home to a very rare population of orangutans. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra includes exploring the natural beauty and biodiversity through the adventure of the Bohorok River. Following this river is the best way to observe orangutans in their natural habitat, in the heart of the tropical forest.
Navigating the Bohorok River in Gunung Leuser National Park not only provides a unique orangutan viewing experience but also allows adventurers to connect deeply with nature. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra provides an opportunity to understand the precious and vulnerable ecosystem of the rainforest. The Bohorok River traverses a beautiful landscape, presenting visitors with a variety of flora and fauna, including rare species that are an integral part of life in Gunung Leuser National Park.
In addition to being the home of rare orangutans, Gunung Leuser National Park also offers breathtaking natural views throughout the Bohorok River journey. With lush vegetation, rhythmic sounds of the forest, and fascinating biodiversity, this must-visit activities to do in Sumatra not only satisfies the desire for adventure but also creates awareness of the importance of conservation and environmental preservation in the region.
3.Explore the Mentawai Islands
For surfing enthusiasts, the Mentawai Islands are an unforgettable paradise. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra includes exploring spectacular waves, making these islands a top destination for surf enthusiasts. With high and consistent waves throughout the year, the Mentawai Islands offer an unparalleled surfing experience, attracting surfers from around the world to take on the challenge in these captivating waters.
In addition to its impressive waves, the beaches of the Mentawai Islands are also known for their exceptional cleanliness. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra involves enjoying the soft white sand and crystal-clear water, creating a peaceful and refreshing atmosphere for visitors. This stunning natural beauty offers an extraordinary experience for surfers seeking not only the challenge at sea but also the refreshing beauty of the beach.
In addition to being a surfer’s paradise, the Mentawai Islands also introduce a unique local culture. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra is not limited only to the surfing adventure but also provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with the local community. Various cultural activities, such as traditional dances and ritual ceremonies, add a unique dimension to the tourist experience in the Mentawai Islands, making it an unforgettable destination for surf enthusiasts and lovers of natural beauty.
4.Dive into the beauty of Lake Toba
Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world, offers extraordinary natural beauty. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra includes appreciating the spectacular views of the lake, making a visit to Lake Toba a memorable experience for travelers. The vast blue waters, surrounded by majestic mountains, create an amazing natural landscape.
Samosir Island, located in the middle of Lake Toba, is a fascinating destination for visitors wishing to explore the charm of this lake. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra also involves exploring Samosir Island, which offers additional natural beauty and an opportunity to interact with the local population. The island showcases the traditional Batak charm, with traditional villages, historical heritage, and cultural activities that depict the richness of the local heritage.
Not only nature and culture, but this must-visit activities to do in Sumatra also includes exploring the traditional Batak cuisine around Lake Toba. Travelers can taste traditional dishes such as naniura (marinated Batak fish) and saksang (a dish made from pork), while savoring the delicacy of local cuisine. Thus, the journey to Lake Toba not only offers spectacular views but also enriches the traveler’s experience with unique cultural and culinary aspects.
5.Taste Luwak Coffee
Sumatra is renowned for its exclusive luwak coffee, becoming a must-visit activities to do in Sumatra for coffee enthusiasts. This island offers an unparalleled experience for those who want to get closer to the world of coffee. Travelers can explore coffee plantations scattered across different regions of Sumatra, from Aceh to Lampung, and feel the fragrant aroma of coffee beans growing in volcanic soil.
This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra involves a deep understanding of the unique production process of luwak coffee, produced by fermentation inside the stomach of the musang or luwak. Visitors can observe each step, from selecting coffee beans to the fermentation process that gives luwak coffee its unique taste. This firsthand view offers a deeper appreciation for the hard work of coffee growers and the high quality of Sumatra’s luwak coffee.
Of course, after following the production process, the must-visit activities to do in Sumatra for coffee enthusiasts is to taste a cup of high-quality coffee. Traditional cafes or typical Sumatran coffee shops offer freshly brewed luwak coffee, providing an extraordinary sensory experience. Its distinct taste, with fruity notes and balanced acidity, turns each sip into an unforgettable taste journey. Thus, exploring luwak coffee in Sumatra is not just a tourist activity but also a satisfying sensory journey for true coffee lovers.
6.Celebrate Cultural Festivals
Sumatra offers a variety of cultural festivals throughout the year, becoming a must-visit activities to do in Sumatra for culture and arts enthusiasts. These festivals include a series of events showcasing the richness of culture and traditions rooted in the local community. One of the most notable festivals is the Lake Toba Festival, which celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of Lake Toba while introducing the rich Batak art and culture.
This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra also includes participating in the Kerinci Festival, which highlights the distinctive culture of the Minangkabau people. The event includes traditional dances, music performances, and exhibitions of local art that showcase local wisdom and the beauty of traditional art. The Kerinci Festival becomes an important platform to preserve and promote the unique cultural heritage of the Minangkabau tribe.
Additionally, this must-visit activities to do in Sumatra involves participating in various local festivals highlighting various aspects of culture, such as local cuisine, traditional crafts, and ritual ceremonies. These festivals not only celebrate cultural diversity in Sumatra but also offer visitors the opportunity to directly engage with everyday life and well-preserved cultural heritage on the island. By participating in cultural festivals, tourists can gain a deep understanding of daily life and the well-preserved cultural heritage of the island.
7.Visit the Maimun Palace
The Maimun Palace in Medan is a captivating historical relic, becoming one of the must-visit activities to do in Sumatra for history and architectural beauty enthusiasts. This palace is a beautiful blend of Malay, Indian, and European architectural styles, creating a magnificent building that has fascinated visitors since its construction in the 19th century. Engaging in the exploration of the Maimun Palace becomes an unforgettable experience, allowing visitors to feel the historical atmosphere within its walls.
This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra also includes visiting the museum inside the Maimun Palace, which houses various historical artifacts. The museum presents a collection covering the era of the Deli Sultanate, including traditional clothing, jewelry, and daily utensils used by the rulers. Through these artifacts, visitors can delve into the history of the Deli Sultanate and understand the crucial role of the Maimun Palace in the context of Sumatra’s history.
In addition to being a historical center, the Maimun Palace is also often used for various cultural events and traditional ceremonies, adding to the sustainability of its history in local life. Thus, visiting the Maimun Palace is not just an exploration of architectural beauty and its rich history but also an experience of the cultural life that continues to develop around it.
8.Explore Kerinci Seblat National Park
Kerinci Seblat National Park, one of the largest conservation areas in Southeast Asia, offers an unforgettable hiking experience and becomes a must-visit activities to do in Sumatra for nature lovers. By exploring this national park, visitors can discover exceptional biodiversity. The national park is home to various species of rare flora and fauna, including the Sumatran tiger, rhinoceros, and orangutan.
This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra not only provides an opportunity for direct interaction with wild nature but also allows visitors to appreciate the preserved natural beauty. With majestic views of mountains, spectacular waterfalls, and dense tropical forests, hiking in Kerinci Seblat National Park becomes an adventure that delights the eyes and soul.
In addition to being a destination for ecotourism, this must-visit activities to do in Sumatra also contributes to environmental preservation and conservation efforts. Kerinci Seblat National Park plays a crucial role in preserving Sumatra’s unique ecosystem and protecting threatened biodiversity. Thus, every step taken while hiking in this national park is a real contribution to supporting nature preservation efforts on the island.
9.Visit Weh Island for Snorkeling and Diving
Weh Island, located at the western tip of Sumatra, is not only a tourist destination but also a paradise for divers and marine life enthusiasts. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra includes exploring the underwater riches of Weh Island, famous for its beautiful coral reefs and diverse marine life. Diving in the waters around this island offers one of the main attractions for visitors.
Weh Island offers an exceptional diving experience, with excellent water visibility and pleasant temperatures throughout the year. The beauty of still-preserved coral reefs and the colorful diversity of marine life create an incredible underwater spectacle. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra provides an unmatched experience for divers, whether they are beginners or experienced.
In addition to underwater beauty, Weh Island also houses renowned dive sites such as Batee Tokong, Gapang Beach, and Pantee Peunateung. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra includes exploring various dive sites offering unique and characteristic views of Weh Island. With the diversity of marine life, from colorful fish to magnificent coral reefs, each dive in Weh becomes an unforgettable adventure for lovers of underwater life.
10.Taste Sumatra’s Culinary Specialties
A trip to Sumatra is not complete without savoring its iconic dishes, becoming a must-visit activities to do in Sumatra for food enthusiasts. Rendang, martabak, mie goreng, and nasi padang are some of the delicious dishes that can be enjoyed throughout the island, offering a satisfying culinary experience for tourists.
Rendang, a dish of beef cooked in coconut milk and characteristic spices, is an iconic dish of Sumatra that must be tasted. This must-visit activities to do in Sumatra includes trying variations of rendang, from beef rendang to chicken rendang, prepared with the characteristic spicy and flavorful taste.
Martabak, especially sweet martabak and martabak telur, is a delicious snack or breakfast that can be enjoyed in Sumatra. Sweet martabak is served with various topping choices, such as cheese, chocolate, and nuts, while martabak telur is a thick dough filled with eggs, minced meat, and spices.
Mie goreng, a dish of fried noodles with typical Sumatran spices and flavors, is a popular specialty in various warungs and restaurants on the island. This must-visit activity in Sumatra also includes tasting different variations of mie goreng, enticing the palate with distinct and delicious flavors.
Nasi padang, a typical dish from Padang, West Sumatra, is a plate of rice served with various delicious side dishes such as rendang, sambal, gulai, and grilled chicken. This must-visit activity in Sumatra is complete by savoring the delicacy of nasi padang, famous for its diverse flavors and characteristic aroma. By trying these dishes, the culinary journey in Sumatra will be a satisfying experience for all palates.
With so many natural and cultural wonders, Sumatra offers an extraordinary experience to every visitor. must-visit activities to do in Sumatra include the adventure of climbing breathtaking mountains, allowing nature lovers to feel the beauty of stunning peaks. Additionally, exploring the typical culinary delights of Sumatra is also a not-to-be-missed activity. From the famous rendang to other traditional dishes, savor unique flavors that can only be found here. So, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the natural beauty and extraordinary cuisine of Sumatra? Plan your trip to Sumatra with Salut Bali and discover unforgettable charm at every step, as the must-visit activities in Sumatra take you on a memorable adventure.