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Day 1: Arrival in Medan

Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel. Our adventure begins in Medan, with its Dutch architecture and Asian culture. Tonight we meet as a group for dinner and orientation.

Overnight in Medan.


Day 2: Drive to Bukit Lawang

Our morning city tour includes Sultan Deli Palace, the Great Mosque, Chinese Temple and Kesawan Area, the old center of Medan city. In the afternoon we leave Medan and depart for the 97 km drive to Bukit Lawang, an orangutan rehabilitation reserve. On the way, watch the transformation from urban life to the jungle. Visit rubber and oil-palm plantations before arriving at our hotel for a relaxing evening in Bukit Lawang.

Overnight in Bukit Lawang.


Day 3: Orangutan Rehabilitation Reserve

We start out with a short walk along the bank of the Bohorok River to the canoe station where we cross over the river to the Reserve. The orangutan viewing station site occassionally changes but typically is about one hour uphill hike. This is where we will observe the the orangutans in an intimate and natural setting in Gunung Leuser National Park.

Overnight in Bukit Lawang.


Day 4: Jungle Hike, to Brastagi

This morning we have our last chance to explore the majestic jungle surrounding Bukit Lawang. Enjoy a morning swim or just relax before lunch.

After lunch, we will depart for the half-day drive to the mountain town of Brastagi. Enjoy the evening in Brastagi, a town which is nestled between two volcanoes.

Overnight in Brastagi.


Day 5: Lake Toba - Samosir Island

We have an early morning departure from Brastagi to beautiful Lake Toba, the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Formed by a prehistoric volcanic eruption, Lake Toba is one of the highest (900m) and deepest (450m) lakes in the world. Along the way we visit Sipiso-piso waterfall and Rumah Bolon, the Batak Palace where the last king reigned until 1949. Upon arrival at Lake Toba, we will transfer to a ferry boat for the short crossing to Samosir Island, where we will spend the next few nights.

Overnight on Samosir Island.


Day 6: Lake Toba Boat Excursion

Today we have a boat excursion around Samosir Island, the original home of the Batak people. In the morning, we embark on a journey to visit the Batak Toba traditional village at Tomok and see the old tomb of Sidabutar kings. We will continue by boat visiting Ambarita, an old Batak village, where we learn about the ancient Batak judicial system. See the stone chair and table where executions took place for the ancient tribal chieftains. In the evening, experience a Batak Toba traditional dance.

Overnight on Samosir Island.


Day 7: Lake Toba

A free day to walk or bike around the dramatic scenery of Samosir Island, or just relax and enjoy the view looking out upon this magical crater lake. For those interested, there will be an opportunity to enjoy an afternoon walk to spend some time with a local Batak family in their home.

Overnight on Samosir Island.


Day 8: Minangkabau Highlands - Padang Sidenpuan

We have an early morning departure from Samosir Island by ferry boat to travel south through the Minangkabau Highlands to the town of Padang Sidenpuan. Enroute, we will discover the vast array of agricultural crops grown in this fertile land and visit a traditional market at Balige. Arriving in town in the evening, we will take local transport to our restaurant for dinner.

Overnight in Padang Sidenpuan.


Day 9: Cross the Equator, to Bukittinggi

We continue driving south, across the equator at Bonjol Village, to the town of Bukittinggi. Although this is a long drive the scenery on the way is absolutely spectacular, providing numerous vistas of rivers winding their way through beautifully terraced mountains. Pass through the tropical forest of Rimba Panti where we will stop to learn about the world's most exclusive coffee. We arrive in the early evening to the town of Bukittinggi. The town is nestled between 3 volcanoes, 3,000 ft. above sea level, and is widely known as the cultural and craft center of the Minangkabau people.

Overnight in Bukittinggi.


Day 10: Cultural West Sumatra and the Singgalang Walk

Experience the rural beauty during our hike, known as the Singgalang Walk. The 10 km walk takes us from one village to the next as we travel through the beautiful countryside between the smoldering Merapi and Singgalang volcanoes.

Daily life, especially during harvest time, is full of activity. Observe farmers planting rice, chili peppers and sugar cane or just working the fields or plowing with water buffalo. This is a great day to simply take in the beauty of this culture.

Overnight in Bukittinggi.


Day 11: Bukittinggi and the Minangkabau Culture

We travel into the Minangkabau countryside and visit a Minangkabau cultural village in nearby Padang Panjang in order to gain insight into this interesting - and ancient - matrilineal society.

Overnight in Bukittinggi.


Day 12: Sianok Canyon, the Great Wall, Japanese Tunnels, to Padang

Today we hike in beautiful Sianok Canyon, which is very close to Bukittinggi. We follow the "Great Wall" through the canyon and make several stops, including at the Japanese Tunnels (built by the Japanese during the 2nd World War), and Kota Gadang, a small village where they make silver jewelery. We can meet locals along the way at their homes or working in the rice fields. We may even see the occasional macaque monkey.

We depart the cool climate of the highlands and descend through beautiful scenery to the seaside capital of Padang.

Overnight in Padang.


Day 13: Fly to Jakarta, Drive to Anyer

From here we fly to Jakarta, Java as we temporarily leave Sumatra, returning the next day. We drive to the coast on the Sunda Strait, which separates Java from Sumatra, and overnight in our seaside hotel in Anyer.

Overnight in Anyer.


Day 14: Speedboat to Krakatoa, Hike to Viewpoint, Drive to Lampung

We set out by speed boat, crossing the Sunda Strait to the remote, but fabled, volcano of Krakatoa and Anak ("child of") Krakatoa. Perhaps the single greatest destructive force in modern history happened in 1883 when Krakatoa exploded, creating massive tsunamis and changing the Earth's climate for several years. Today only a part of the steep rim or wall of the original caldera remains. Close to the original caldera remnants is the volcanic island of Anak Krakatoa. The island first emerged from the ocean in 1927. The lower portion of the island is already lush with tropical plants which supports the wildlife that live there. We hike up the island, where the landscape changes from lush and tropical to a harsh, rocky, volcanic landscape. From our viewpoint we can see what remains of Krakatoa, which looks like a vertical green wall. Turning around we see the top of Anak Krakatoa, still active and often spewing smoke.

Our encounter with Krakatoa is followed by a relaxing visit to a small, nearby island, where we have lunch on the beach. You can lie in the sun, under a palm tree or go for a refreshing swim in the tropical blue ocean.

We continue our boat journey to Kalinda, once again returning to Sumatra.

We drive to Lampung, where we enjoy dinner and overnight.


Day 15: To Way Kambas National Park, Night Walk

After a relaxing morning, we depart for Way Kambas National Park. The night is full of mystery and intrigue. The sounds of the jungle can be overwhelming and captivating. A myriad of birds, insects and animals create a beautiful wild symphony! We are also on the lookout for wildlife and birds as the jungle is very much alive.

Please note: Way Kambas National Park has approximately 40% of the remaining 100 endangered Sumatran rhinos worldwide, yet receives very little in the way of tourism, which may have a detrimental effect on the survival of the Sumatran rhino. The surrounding villages subsist mostly on farming, which generates very little income. The temptation for poaching the rhino for a substantial payoff is very high. Until the local population starts to receive economic benefit from tourism, poaching will continue to be a threat.

ElderTreks would like to shine the spotlight on the plight of the endangered Sumatran rhino, in hopes of raising awareness of the threat to this aninmal. Permits to the sanctuary cannot be purchased in advance, but each group that visits Sumatra and Way Kambas National Park is going to try to obtain these permits so that we may have a spontaneous experience that will be extremely rewarding. We believe the benefits that our tourist dollars can have on the local community, could make a huge difference to the protection and survival of the Sumatran rhino, just as tourist dollars have helped the survival of mountain gorillas in Bwindi, Uganda.

Within the national park is the Rhino Breeding Center, where it is possible to obtain permits to view one or more of the 7 Sumatran rhinos. Obtaining the permits is not guaranteed as this is out of our control but is very likely, especially with our 3 night stay at Way Lambas. No refunds will be issued if we are unsuccessful. We will still enjoy the pristine surrounding jungle with its fascinating and exotic wildlife. The park has Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran rhinos, Siamang monkeys, tapirs and over 400 species of birds. If we are successful in obtaining these permits, ElderTreks will be making a donation to the breeding sanctuary for each group that visits.

Overnight at Ecolodge, Way Kambas.


Day 16: Sumatran Rhinos Breeding Center

This morning, we will have the extremely special experience of seeing a Sumatran rhino up close. Under the supervision of the veterinarian, you can attend the morning feeding at the Rhino Breeding Sanctuary, located within the national park. There are 7 rhinos at the breeding sanctuary, including 2 locally born offspring, Andatu, born at the breeding center in June 2012 and Delilah born in 2016. Way Kampas has about 40% of the world's remaining Sumatran rhinos. It is thought that there are no more than 100 rhinos in the wild. We can enjoy a jungle safari in search of wildlife, Siamang gibbon, long-tail macaques, blue herons, crocodile and much more. Tigers and rhinos live in the park but sightings are rare. The orchestra of jungle sounds can at times be overwhelming in Way Kambas.

This afternoon we enjoy a driving safari in search of wildlife but with a focus on the Sumatran elephants, which are often sighted in certain areas of the park, or visit a local elephant hospital. Please note: the order of activities may change during our stay at Way Kambas.

Overnight at Ecolodge, Way Kambas.


Day 17: Jeep Safari, Village Visit and Cooking Class

Today, enjoy a morning jeep safari in search of wildlife. While tigers and rhinos are only spotted on rare occasion, the elephant, gibbons, macaques and over 400 recorded bird species, including the endemic white winged duck, can be seen along the river from a park boat. We return to our lodge for lunch and to relax during the heat of midday. In the late afternoon, we can enjoy our final safari in search of wildlife. We also enjoy a local cooking class.

Overnight at Ecolodge, Way Kambas.


Day 18: Lampung, Farewell Dinner

This morning we will have our last jungle excursion before returning to our ecolodge for a relaxing morning. You may choose to just relax at the lodge with a myriad of butterflies and birds that can be seen right from your room.

After lunch, we depart for the city of Lampung. We have a free afternoon before enjoying our Farewell Dinner and last night in Sumatra.

Overnight in Lampung.


Day 19: To Jakarta

Enjoy a relaxing morning, where you can go for a swim, a workout or visit the spa.

After lunch, we fly to Jakarta where we will overnight at our airport hotel. Tonight we enjoy our final dinner before departing Java and Indonesia.

Overnight in Jakarta.


Day 20: Departure

Depart Jakarta for our homeward flights or continue your ElderTreks Indonesian Adventure by flying to Yogyakarta to start the Java/Bali/Komodo tour.

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