Visit Lake Toba

waterfall lake toba

Horas ! If you are a fan of the lord of the ring or the hobbit, then you should visit Lake Toba.

Imagine entering the kingdom of the Batak, exploring the mystery of the wild island of north Sumatra. Stuffing your eyes with stunning hills and mountains. When I saw for the first time the lake Toba shape. I could easily see the hills, large bodies of water. The horizon is dark blue, smoothly turning to black. I felt the ancient kingdom, imagining the explosion of the volcano.  

It is the biggest volcanic lake in the world. The island of Samosir situated in the middle of the lake is as big as Singapore. Situated in the heart of Sumatra Island, Lake Toba holds the distinction of being the largest volcanic lake in the world. Created by a colossal volcanic eruption around 75,000 years ago, this awe-inspiring natural wonder stretches over 1,707 square kilometers (660 square miles) and is surrounded by lush greenery and towering mountains. Its crystal-clear waters shimmer under the tropical sun, providing a mesmerizing backdrop for an unforgettable getaway.

Welcome to North Sumatra, lake Toba !

visit lake toba
Visiting lake of toba, listening to batakness traditional music

Best Time to Visit Lake Toba

Like anywhere in Indonesia, it is best to avoid busy period (Chinese New Year, idul fitr, Christmas and new years). The lake of Toba sits 900 meters above sea level; the climate here is cooler, make sure to bring warm clothes. For more details about the weather in Indonesia, and Sumatra, check out the best time to visit Indonesia.

How To Get There

By Air

Two option by flight routes available to get to Lake of toba. The first option is from Kualanamu Internation Airport, Medan. The second option is from Silangit International Airport located in Siborong-borong.

By bus

From the airport, take the Damri Bus to Amplas Bus Terminal, in Medan. It will cost you around IDR 15,000 (1-2hour driving). Then, from Amplas terminal to Parapat, get on another it will cost you around IDR 45,000 (4 hours driving).

How To Get Around Lake Toba

The best way to travel in Indonesia is by renting a motorbike to explore the surrounding. You can also rent a car to get around if you are not comfortable riding a scooter.

10 Best things to do at Lake Toba

Lake Toba is a place to sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery of this natural wonder. 

1. Stop by Kopi Piltik

It is the best way to take the temperature when you will visit Lake Toba by sipping some local coffee. The place is very cozy, they even provide a nice homestay for backpacker or families. It is located 5km away from Silangit International Airport.

2. Visit Holbung Hill

Known as Teletubbies Hill, the holbung trek is highly recommended. Bukit Holbung is one of the best places to view the whole Lake Toba. Packed with features rolling hills and mountains, lush of grass, trees, and green bushes, it is definitely a spot for nature lovers. You can also camp, enjoy the milky way by night. And wake up early on the morning to catch a grandiose and exceedingly beautiful sunrise.

3. Take a trip to Samosir Island

As big as Singapore, the majority of the residents of the Island are Bataknese. On this island you will be immersed and amazed by the glorious indigenous tribe of Batak and its cultural heritage. Samosir Island is a destination that promises an immersive experience amidst breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a tranquil ambiance that will leave you in awe. To get to Samosir Island, you need to cross the lake by taking a ferry from Parapat. The cruise will take you 45min.

4. Tomok Village

For a unique cultural experience, you need to stop by Tomok Village. This small village offers beautiful Batak houses and many historical sites. In this village laid the ancient tomb of King Sidabutar. The first man who set his foot on Samosir Island. You will find also the stone statues, the sigale-gale dance performance, and plenty of small stores selling typical Batak souvenirs. Sigale-gale is a traditional dance by a moving statue.

5. Met the Batak people 

The Batak people are an indigenous ethnic group who lives on North Sumatra, Indonesia. They are known for their rich cultural heritage, distinct traditions, and unique way of life. The Batak community is composed of several subgroups, including the Toba, Karo, Simalungun, Pakpak, and Mandailing Batak.

6. Stone Chair of King Siallagan

Located in Huta Siallagan Village, the Stone Chair of King Siallagan. According to the guide the stone chair was a place where kings, commanders, and advisors discuss to determine punishment practices.

7. Sipiso-Piso Waterfall

When you come to visit Lake Toba you have to stop by Sipiso-piso waterfall. It is one of the sixth highest waterfall in Indonesia. In Batak language the name Sipiso-piso mean ‘like a knife’. Standing up to 120m high the stunning waterfall is located in Tonggiang village. You can hike up the waterfall to for an amazing view to check out the surrounding landscape. Definitely one of the best tourism attraction of lake Toba.

8. Souvenirs from Lake Toba

Now, before you go back home, hunt for some great souvenirs. You will find bunch of street vendors by the side of Lake. Get yourself or for your loved ones a souvenir. It is always nice to have a piece of memory of Lake toba and you can support the local economy as well.

Hope this article gave you some great insights to visit lake Toba, Indonesia. Do not hesitate to drop a comment or send me message if you have any questions regarding your visit of lake Toba.