We spent one whole month in Sumatra and we absolutely loved it!
It´s one of the “off the beaten track” destination and it can be pretty hard to gather some information about it.
But these locations are the ones we love the most, so we collected our experiences for you and created The complete 3 weeks itinerary for travelling Sumatra!
The Ultimate 3 weeks itinerary for travelling Sumatra
- Arriving in Medan International Airport
- Getting to the accommodation in Bukit Lawang (4 nights)
- Sumatra Jungle Trek
- Getting to Berastagi
- 4 nights at Berastagi
- Getting to the Singkil harbour
- Banyak islands 10 nights
- Getting back to the Medan
- Pulau Weh 6 nights
Arriving in Medan International Airport, Sumatra
We booked our jungle trek beforehand arriving in Sumatra. You can find a lot of companies on the internet and they all will arrange for you the transfer from Medan to Bukit Lawang if you ask them.
We went with Sumatra Orangutan Explore and we can only recommend them!
After you arrive in Medan International airport, there will be a car waiting for you at the airport. Bukit Lawang is a small village with a river running through the middle dividing it in half. From the airport in Medan it takes around 3 hours by car, depending on the traffic. It’s not even that far away from Medan (90 km) but the roads are really bad and full of holes.
When you get to Bukit Lawang you will probably appreciate some rest and good food after all the journey of getting here!
Depending what time you will get there here, you can, either way, start you trek the next morning or have one more day for getting familiar with Bukit Lawang and Sumatran nature:)
Sumatran Orangutan Jungle trek
You can choose the length of Jungle trekking according to your time budget and fitness levels. We think that 2 -3 nights is the perfect amount of time to explore Sumatran Rainforest, get connected with nature and disconnected with the online world and learn so much about Indonesian wildlife.
After returning from Jungle trek we will recommend you to spend one more night in Bukit Lawang to get some rest and get ready for the next adventure!
Getting to Berastagi, Sumatra
Berastagi is a mountain town in altitude of 1300m above sea level with panoramic views all around North Sumatra, Indonesia.
And unlike other parts of Sumatra, the air here is fresh, chilly and refreshing!
Go on booking.com like we did and find yourself the best accommodation which suits your budget and needs!
We stayed at Grand Mutiara Hotel and Serdika Pavilion.
The company we did jungle trek with managed for us the next transfer from Bukit Lawang to Berastagi.
We paid each 150k IDR (15 AUD) and shared a car with other people going to Berastagi.
What to do ＆ see in Berastagi
We spent in Berastagi 4 nights as there are so many things to do! Climbing active volcanos, hiking waterfalls or tasting fresh oranges right from the orange farms.
If you are leaving Bukit Lawang in the morning, the shared car goes around 9 am. You should arrive in Berastagi around lunchtime which is a great time to get some food, get used to this colder air and ask around for renting a bike or booking a private car for the next day.
1 Day in Berastagi – Go to chase some waterfalls
Read more about Sipiso Piso Waterfall
2 Day in Berastagi – Climb Volcano Sibayak
Read more about hiking Sibayak Volcano
3 Day in Berastagi – Village Dokan, Oranges Farms, Sunset at Gundaling Hill
Read more about What to do ＆ see in Berastagi
Leaving to Singkil harbour, Sumatra
From Berastagi you can take a bus, shared car or private car to Singkil Harbor. The drive takes around 6 hours and the best option according to us is to leave at midnight from Berastagi so you are at the Singkil harbour at around 6 am.
From the harbour, you can get a fishing boat or ferry, depending on what day of the week you will arrive.
Banyak Islands, Sumatra
Pulau Banyak – in translation “Many Islands” is a group of Islands in the Indian Ocean, 29 km off the West Sumatra Coast, Indonesia.
Locals say its 99 separate Islands. Some of them as tiny as 5 metres long and 90% of Banyak Islands are uninhabited.
For us, it is the ultimate paradise! Every Island is full of palm trees, crystal clear water, beautiful marine life, white sandy beaches and mostly no phone signal.
The best place for a honeymoon, to clear your mind and rest your body as well as surfing or trying to live for a few days (or weeks) like Robinson Crusoe.
1-5 days in Pulau Banyak
Our first stop was Tailana Island.
Tailana Island is a tiny little Island, which you can walk around in 15 minutes. There is only one accommodation with 13 bungalows and the internet connection is almost none.
It’s the only Island without mosquitoes and no sand flies, which will make your life so much easier!:)
5-10 days in Pulau Banyak
The next 5 days we spent in Sikandang Island.
Sikandang Island is a little bit bigger Island. They say it takes around 3 hours to walk around, although we haven’t tried it.
There is two accommodation next to each other, Nina’s bungalows and Coral Bungalows. Together there are around 16 bungalows.
Getting back to Medan, Sumatra
In Pulau Banyak, we asked the owner of our last accommodation – Nina’s Bungalow to help us with the transfer from Singkil harbour to the Medan. So when we arrived in harbour back from the Paradise Banyak Islands, there was a car waiting for us.
We have ordered a shared car again to save costs. It takes around 7 hours back to Medan and costs around 300k IDR per person.
From Medan, we took a domestic 50 minutes long flight to Banda Aceh, and then taxi to the Uleh-leh Harbor. From the harbour, you will take a slow or fast ferry and you are at Weh Island!
Weh Island, Sumatra
Pulau Weh also known as “Weh Island” or Sabang, is an Island on the Northwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Consider the size of Pulau Weh, there is surprisingly a lot to do!
1 Day in Pulau Weh
– Waterfall Pria Laot Weh Island, Volcano Jaboi, watch the sunset on the beach
2 Day in Pulau Weh
– explore white sandy beaches – Pasir Putih, Long beach, Secret beach and Sumur Tiga beach, eat Sate squid in peanut sauce for dinner called Sate Gurita.
3 Day in Pulau Weh
Swimming with dolphins
4 Day in Pulau Weh
– rent a scooter or TukTuk and go swimming in the caves – Gua Sarang, see Kilometer Zero and have dinner in the Warung Rubiah View
5 Day in Pulau Weh
– chill the whole day in the hammock in your accommodation on the water!
Getting back from Weh Island to the Banda Aceh Airport
Where to stay in Sumatra
Check all the possibilities and prices here