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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.
Day 2: Drive to Bukit Lawang
Our morning city tour includes Sultan Deli Palace, the Great Mosque, Chinese Temple and Kesawan Area, and 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.
Day 3: Orangutan Rehabilitation Reserve, Tangkaha
After breakfast, we hike up the hill behind the lodge for about 1 – 2 hours to find the orangutans in their natural habitat. Orangutans are indigenous only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
Day 4: Jungle Hike, to Brastagi
After breakfast this morning, 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. Depending on volcanic activity, we may have the opportunity to hike to the rim of one of the volcanoes.
Day 5: Brastagi, Samosir Island
Today, we have an early morning drive to Sibayak Mountain where, if the weather permits, we will hike up the crater for a wonderful photo experience.
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.
Day 7: Lake Toba
Today we have the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon walk to visit some ancient Batak tombs, followed by spending some time with a local Batak family in their home. You can also choose to enjoy 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. We will also visit Pacu Jawi, where if we are lucky, we can see the locals enjoy a 400-year-old tradition in the area of bull racing.
Day 12: Sianok Canyon, the Great Wall, Japanese Tunnels
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.
Day 13: To Padang, Dance Performance
This morning we will have our last morning in the Sumatran highlands as we descend to the hotter climate until we the administrative capital of Padang.
Day 14: 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.
Day 15: 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.
Day 16: 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.
Day 17: Jeep Safari, School Visit, Cooking Class, Evening Village Performance
We enjoy a driving safari in search of wildlife but with a focus on the Sumatran elephants, monkeys, birds and other wildlife of Way Kambas.
Day 18: Jeep Safari, Return to Lampung
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 return to Lampung.
Day 19: To Jakarta
Enjoy a relaxing morning, where you can go for a swim, a workout or visit the spa.
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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