Lake Toba (Danau Toba) tour visit is the world’s largest volcanic lake, located in Sumatra, Indonesia.
It is one of North Sumatra’s year-round favorite spots as this place has many interesting places to explore. Being one of Indonesia’s 5 super-priority destinations, its popularity soars as it gets revamped to become one of the new exotic places to visit in Indonesia.
Frequently asked questions about Lake Toba Tour
1. Why is Lake Toba famous? It has plenty of historic geological sites, beautiful landscapes, and amazing views. For example, Samosir island in the middle of the lake hosts many Batak cultural sites that you cannot find elsewhere. Lake Toba has been one of the most attractive destinations in Asia. It is also one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) global geoparks recognized for their significance to the world.
2. What to see in Lake Toba? See the blue lake and its surrounding landscapes, Samosir island, local people and culture, and more.
3. What to do in Lake Toba? You can enjoy many interesting activities during the day and the serenity at night. For example, spending time with your lovely family to play on the water. Water sports such as jet skiing and banana boats are available at affordable prices. Also do not forget to try local food.
4. Is Lake Toba still active? Like any other super volcano, Mount Toba is still active in the sense that it continues to heat up underground. This is how hot springs in the area get their fuel, but there is no imminent threat that the mount will erupt in the near future. Geologists from Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics have estimated that it may take thousands of years before another blast is likely to occur. The last eruption took place 74,000 years ago.
5. How to get to Lake Toba? Kualanamu International Airport (airport code: KNO) in Medan is the most popular gateway to Lake Toba. The ground transportation from KNO to Lake Toba takes about 5 hours. Medan is a busy metropolitan so it attracts many travelers to stop by the city on their way to Lake Toba.
Alternatively, you can book a flight to Sisingamangaraja XII International Airport – which used to be Silangit Airport (airport code: DTB) at Siborongborong, North Tapanuli. Siborongborong is a small town just 1.5 hours away from the lake’s shore. DTB has become an international airport since October 28, 2017. But, international flights at this airport are currently suspended due to the lack of traffic.
Hereby are some recommendations to your Lake Toba itinerary have a ripping time at these tourist spots around Lake Toba.
1. Explore TukTuk Siadong Village
The verdant landscape, the Batak architecture, the variety of accommodations, and the plethora of recreation opportunities make TukTuk Siadong a favorite tourism spot near Lake Toba.
Head out on a biking adventure around the village, visit a wood-carving workshop, and try some local food. Enjoy water sports like canoeing, jet-skiing, boating, fishing, and swimming.
2. Take A Bath at Sipoholon Hot Springs
Submerge yourself in Sipoholon Hot Springs for the ultimate relaxing and healing soak that will give your skin a radiant glow. The blue sulfureous water against the backdrop of orange, yellow, and green of the limestone hills will evoke the photographer in you.
3. Admire the Ancient Court Ruins in Ambarita
Enjoy the blend of history and culture in Ambarita where elegant Batak houses provide a beautiful setting for the megalithic stone table and chairs of the historical court of justice.
4. Learn about The Batak Culture at The Batak Museum
The 3-storied Batak Museum at the TB Silalahi Center displays various historical Batak, items including scripts, artifacts, currency, statues, miniature traditional houses, and traditional clothing.
5. Sipiso-Piso Waterfall
This waterfall is within Tongging hills at an altitude of about 800M above sea level. Pine forests also surround it. With its height of about 120 meters (400 ft), Sipiso-Piso Waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in Indonesia. Because of this waterfall, Karo Regency has become one of the most popular tourist destinations on Lake Toba.
6. Holbung Hill
Holbung hill is undoubtedly unique since it offers a different view. For example, Mount Pusuk Buhit looks beautifully majestic from this spot. There is also a cracking hill that reveals its high artistic value. Trekking uphill makes the trip even more exciting since it offers a view of green grass along the way. You will find the sky to look like a green abstract painting bluish if you get there when the weather is clear. Get there, breeze fresh air, and enjoy one of the best panoramic views of Lake Toba.
7. Bakkara Valley
Bakkara Valley sits between two rows of hills and offers an open view of Lake Toba. The two natural fortresses have been keeping the lives of their people for hundreds of years. It was where Batak kings settled, too. The tombs and palaces of the kings are located here and are now 400 years old. They are next to one of the rivers, a rice field, and neatly arranged rocks that used to be the wall surrounding the settlement that had protected the kingdom from enemies until King Sisingamangaraja XII died in 1907.
8. Shop Ulos Cloth at Lumban Suhi-Suhi
The Lumban Suhi-Suhi village is known for producing beautiful Ulos that are the pride of the Batak people. This traditional naturally-dyed and hand-woven cloth has various motifs, and different kinds of Ulos have different ceremonial significance.
Lake Toba Travel Tips
Domestic flights to and from DTB are available via Medan, Gunung Sitoli (Nias island), and Jakarta only. For example, if you wish to travel from Bali to Lake Toba via DTB, then your flight will transit in either Medan or Jakarta. Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. The domestic flights are currently available on Citilink, Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Susi Air, and Wings Air. Garuda is the favorite airliner but also the most expensive.
Money and Currency
Some hotels on Lake Toba accept the exchange of foreign currencies such as US Dollars, Australian Dollars, and Euros, but the rates are not competitive. Exchange your money in Jakarta or other big cities in Indonesia before your departure to Lake Toba.
Rupiah is the official currency on Lake Toba. Prominent merchants such as hotels and resorts also accept US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Singapore Dollars, and Euros but they only convert your money at unfavorable rates. They also take Visa and MasterCard and charge you in the local currency. Smaller merchants such as local shops and homestays do not accept foreign money or credit cards.
Weather & Seasons
Lake Toba has a tropical rainforest climate with a dry season from April to October and raining season from November to March. The heaviest rainfall takes place between December and March. The local temperature ranges from 17° to 29° Celsius (63° to 84° Fahrenheit), and the average humidity rate is around 85%. Parapat is the biggest town on the lake.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Lake Toba is between May and September which is during the dry season and when the weather is mostly clear.
Lake Toba is a remote area in Indonesia. It is mostly surrounded by hills and mountains, averaging 700 to 1,250 meters (2,300 to 4,100 ft) above sea level. Road conditions are fair in residential areas, but less than so in rural locations. Minivans should handle the rides to most destinations. A 4-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle or motorbike may be required to access particular points of interest.
Lake Toba is a rural area. As such, you will need to deal with commuting carefully. Unlike in other places where you can call a cab or hop on the bus upon arrival, you don’t have such luxury there.
Prepare for a harsh ride when transferring from KNO to your destinations or getting around the lake because some parts of the road are not smooth (most areas are in fair conditions). A new toll road from Medan to Tebingtinggi (covering a third of the path between Medan and Parapat on Lake Toba) is still under construction. In contrast, the ride from DTB to Lake Toba is short and fun.
If you get lost while your GPS does not work, the easiest way to get help is to write down on your phone pad (or a piece of paper) your hotel name and give it to local people. Storekeepers or hotel staff near you are helpful strangers to approach.
Security and Safety
Traveling with family to Lake Toba is safe. Beware of pickpockets in crowded areas such as souvenir markets. Airports and hotels have dedicated guards, but other places do not. Avoid traveling alone if possible.
Contact us to learn more about Lake Toba tour in North Sumarta.