Berastagi is a fertile ‘rice bowl’ that links the city of Medan to the highlands of Northern Sumatra. Established by colonial Dutch traders, the town also acts as a stopover between Medan and the beautiful Lake Toba. Fringed by the Barisan Mountains, the temperate climate of the highland village is conducive to growing a variety of fresh produce, including passion fruit. One could spend a day here, taking in the two active volcanoes of Mount Sinabung and Mount Sibayak, and visiting the hot springs. Travelers also use Berastagi as a base for exploring the Karo Highlands and surrounding villages known for their spectacular local ethnic homesteads.