Particularly noteworthy sights and activities include a visit to Bukittingi, home of the matriarchal Minangkabau people; touring coffee plantations and sampling the notoriously expensive kopi luwak; and a wildlife safari in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.
A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.
Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park
Perhaps the best example of the astonishing diversity of plant and wildlife on Sumatra, Bukit Barisan Selatan is home to the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Sumatran Elephant. Nature lovers and photographers will be happy to see that the Tiger, Rhino and Elephants live freely within their natural habitat, and are protected within the bounds of the park - designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Additionally, coffee is also grown in the park –about 450 square kilometers.
Visit Bukittinggi, home of the Minangkabau people, who are excellent craftswomen and live in one of the world's last true matriarchal societies. Once a major destination on the Southeast Asian travel circuit, Bukittingi has slowly fallen from prominence, though there are a number of interesting attractions in the area. Among them are the Lubang Jepang, or Japanese caves, a series of tunnels dug by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, and considered a marvel of military engineering; Lake Maninjau, a large crater lake an hour from Bukittingi; and the Jam Gadang, a cluster of food stalls surrounding a clock tower built by the Dutch.
Sumatra is the largest producer of Indonesian coffee. Tour the coffee plantations and taste some of the choicest blends, including Arabica, which is exported to countries around the world.
Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Sumatra is known for its heavy volcanic activity. One former volcano is Lake Toba, which, 70,000 years ago, erupted in a massive explosion that killed off almost all plant and animal life at the time – including much of the human race. Today, however, the crater is a gentle, picturesque lake ringed by forests and the distinct, angled houses of the Batak minority.
Orangutan Rehabilitation Center
Visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center at Bukit Lawang, located 45 miles, or 72 kilometers, from Medan. You can go rafting on the river nearby and watch the orangutans as they come up to the riverbank. From here, travelers can also make a two day overnight hike into Gunung Leuser National Park.
Sumatra features some of the largest surfing swells in the world, rivaling Hawaii and Australia. Catch massive waves under the brilliant sunshine.
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Indonesia Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
- Frank Beyer
A Great Wall, volcanoes, orangutans, and more in a Sumatra you never knew existed.
- Anna Elisa Sida and Matteo Maimone
Anna Elisa Sida and Matteo Maimone travel to Sumatra for a unique look into the dwindling Mentawai tribe.
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