Sumatra is a huge island full of places to explore and activities to do. Make your journey to the thick rainforests and discover the world’s largest flower. Get to know the indigenous culture and enjoy the delicious cuisines. Sumatra is tremendously wet! Nonetheless, the island has endless amounts of highlights to offer, making Sumatra an island you need to explore on your journey. The natural richness and wildlife is absolutely incredible!
There’s many rare plant species not to be found anywhere else on earth. Over 200 mammals and almost 600 bird species living on the Island. The endangered Sumatran Tiger is probably the best known, but there are also orangutans, rhinos, leopards, bears and tapirs. Bohorok Orangutan Viewing Centre is located around Bukit Lawang. It has been running for over 30 years helping the amazing animals to adjust back to nature. There’s feeding sessions a couple of times per day, which gives you a perfect chance to observe these beautiful animals close by.
Experience the national parks on Sumatra
Sumatra has over 10 beautiful National Parks. Kerinci Seblat National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park, and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park are probably the top 3 of them all. Gunung Leuser National Park has great hiking trails, ranging from couple of hours to overnight treks. Gunung Leuser National Park has great hiking trails, ranging from couple of hours to overnight treks.
In west Sumatra, you’ll find some thick tropical forest and you might see the world’s largest flower Rafflesia Arnoldii. There’s great National Parks and reserves to be explored in this province. The Barisan mountans chain is also in the west. There, you can find a majestetic active volcano called Mount Kerinci.
The island used to be covered with rainforest, but illegal logging has resulted in deforestation problems. Be a responsible traveller and don’t buy any tropical wood products!
Sumatra’s volcanoes and volcanic lakes
Volcano Gunung Sibayak is a popular day trip destination for trekking. Don't forget to bring your hiking shoes because the trails might get slippery. The walk to the top takes a few hours, but it’s worth the sweat as the view is simply great! When you’re descending from the top, on the way to Berastagi, nice hot springs offer a relaxing break.
The deep Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake on earth. It was created due to an eruption of huge magnitude 75,000 years ago and now native people called Bataks live on the shores. Also the volcanic lake Danau Maninjau is worth a visit; it is placed in the middle of rice fields. The scenery is mesmerizing!
When you need a little less nature…
Head to the island’s urban centres, Palembang and Medan, where you can find all the services, shops good bars and restaurants. Medan is known for its multiculturality shown in streets but also in the cuisines that are really good. You can also pay a visit to Bukittinggi in west Sumatra. It is a centre of culture, music and food and you can find many museums there.
An extra tip for when you are on Sumatra
Want to catch some of the best waves on the planet? The Mentawai islands are located about 150km from the West coast of Sumatra and attracts a lot surfers. Mentawai is good for scuba diving too!