Uncover the tropical treasures of Sulawesi and Sumatra with this private Indonesia tour. From enigmatic Hong Kong, make your way to the lush jungles in Sumatra where a host of endangered primates await you. In Sulawesi, spend time learning the ways of indigenous tribes and hiking and trekking in verdant hills and valleys.
Hong Kong is a fascinating fusion of the East and the West, combining the mystery of the Orient with the avant-garde vibe of the West.
Evening Street Food Jaunt Explore the sumptuous street food delights of Hong Kong on an exciting walking tour. Sample some of the city’s finest foods on the go and stop by to taste a variety of delicious dishes. Catch up with local vendors and exchange notes with fellow foodies at food stalls as you dig into local signature street foods. Wander the streets of Island East and visit food stalls which offer local delicacies such as egg tart, suimai, fish ball noodles, milk tea and egg puffs. As a part of your itinerary, visit an open ‘wet market’ (market which sells fresh meat and produce) for a better understanding of the indigenous food culture of Hong Kong. (Half Day; Evening Activity; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 30 mins; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Moderate, as there is some walking involved. Please wear comfortable shoes. Please note that this tour is unavailable between 24 Dec to 1 Jan, and that it depends on the weather conditions.)
For travelers, Medan functions more as a transit hub to the island of Sumatra than as the busy trading center established by the Dutch. There is not much to see in this multicultural melting pot in terms of the natural beauty of many of Indonesia’s other holiday destinations.
Touring the Grand Monuments of Medan Discover the grand mansions, mosques, and palaces of Medan on this leisurely day tour of the city. Prepare to be awed by one of the most iconic landmarks of the city, the impressive Tjong A Fie Mansion built in the late 19th century. Admire the exquisite hand-painted ceilings, lovely dark wood furniture, exotic art pieces, grand ballroom and Taoist temple within the premises. The mansion was home to renowned Chinese merchant Tjong A Fie, considered to be the city’s founder, who is credited with building various public structures, mosques, temples, orphanages and a hospital for the city. Drop by the magnificent Maimoon Palace built by the Sultan of Deli. Part of the historic palace continues to be occupied by the Sultan’s family, but the rest of the grounds are open to the public. Stroll by the family’s signature collection of traditional artifacts, weapons, antique Dutch furniture, and family photographs displayed in the many rooms of this sprawling palace. End your delightful city tour with a visit to the Grand Mosque of Medan, which was originally part of the royal Maimoon estate. Note the rich amalgamation of Middle Eastern, Indian and Spanish design elements in the building. (Half Day; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)
Bukit Lawang is a charming tropical village by the banks of a swiftly flowing river. Standing by the striking Bohorok River and the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Gunung Leuser National Park, this rural spot is a popular Sumatran tourist destination.
Rural Recipes from Bukit Lawang Embark on a traditional ‘Becak’ or single-seat Tuktuk as you set off to uncover the well-kept culinary secrets of the Bukit Lawang region. Enjoy your ride through the surrounding plantations as you are greeted by friendly local children along the way. Drop by the village rice flour mill, visit a palm plantation and watch how fresh palm sugar is churned out. Learn all about the region’s food processing cottage industries and stop by local family homes for a tasting of delicious, freshly-made tofu. Accept the gracious hospitality of your local host as she invites you into her kitchen, joined here by your local guide. Make the most of your day, as your expert home cook shows you how to cook the island’s favorite dish, Beef Rendang, now popular across the globe. Relish a sumptuous luncheon of the rich Rendang curry before heading back to your hotel. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 3-4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Meals included: Lunch: Note: Please indicate dietary preferences before the trip).
2h – River Tubing in Bukit Lawang You will experience the Bohorok river by floating down the river in an inflated truck inner tube. Suitable for all, this tour is more of a gentle, leisurely rafting experience allowing you time to lie back and enjoy the stunning scenery around you. Starting from Bukit Lawang, you will float approximately 12 km downstream with a few gentle rapids thrown in for good excitement and afterward return back to your hotel by car.
Trailing Orangutans in the Wild Set off on an early morning wildlife trek through the lush rainforest covered hills of the Gunung Leuser National Park in search of wild orangutans. The national park is one of the precious few natural habitats of these magnificent primates left on the planet today. Hike through the forested and rugged park in the company of a local forest guide as you take in the fantastic landscape all around. Spot a variety of exotic birds, butterflies, gibbons, monkeys, and if you are lucky, the endangered orangutan, as you make your way through the forest. Learn about the flora and fauna of the jungle as your guide enlightens you about the medicinal value of the plants found in the region and the purpose of the old Bohorok Orangutan Center, which was originally set up to help conserve and rehabilitate the fast dwindling population of the great apes. Although the center is no longer operational with all the orangutans released into the wild, forest rangers continue their watch over the fragile population. Be on a lookout for popular Orangutan, ‘Ucok’ or ‘Mina’, as well as Thomas Leaf Monkeys and the Sumatran Striped Rabbit. Return to your hotel for lunch after the jungle safari. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Note: Please carry bug spray. Comfortable hiking shoes and appropriate clothing is recommended)
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.
Berastagi Market Excursion Visit the colorful fruit market – Brastagi has volcanic fruitful soil which is ideal for growing fruits like passionfruit, mangistan, Solanum Betaceum which is locally called Terong Belanda, oranges and a variety of flowers.
Volcano Trek to Sibyak Rise early in the morning to begin your short climb to the Sibayak volcano. With over 120 active volcanoes fuming around Indonesia, Gunung Sibayak at 2,212 meters in Northern Sumatra is one of Indonesia’s best accessible mountains and among the top volcanoes in terms of effort to enjoyment ratio. Situated above the friendly hill town of Brastagi, which is just 2 hours from Medan, the volcano’s crater lies just around 1,5 hours walk from the nearest road and can therefore be explored by anyone in reasonably good shape. The summit of Mt. Sibayak provides excellent views of Berastagi and the surrounding countryside, including the neighboring Mt. Sinabung, which is frequently erupting since 2010 after lying dormant for 400 years. Although Mt. Sibayak has been quiet for the last century, new steam vents and seismic activity indicate that the volcano is merely only taking a break. Geothermal activity is high on and around the volcano and offers a very unique experience for visitors with many fumaroles near the Crater Lake, the sound they make as jets of hot gas and steam shoot out is tremendously eerie and can get as loud as a starting jet plane engine. Take your time to let this bizarre moonscape scenery sink in before you begin your moderate descend back to the car and drive back to your hotel for breakfast, freshen up and checking out.
Samosir is the world’s largest island within an island, created by an ancient volcanic eruption in the midst of Lake Toba. At nearly 2,000 sq. km, the majestic cerulean blue lake of Danau Toba is also Southeast Asia’s largest.
Scenic Road to Samosir Island After a delicious traditional Karo breakfast at Berastagi, head south past numerous farmlands to reach Dokan, a Karo-Batak village. Admire the giant communal longhouses built in vernacular heritage using wood and ijuk palm, featuring colorful motifs. Across the plateau, visit the spectacular Sipiso-Piso waterfall, an underground river plunging from a cliffside cave into a caldera. Get glimpses of Lake Toba’s expanse during your hike, and soak in the green surroundings. Shortly after, visit Rumah Bolon, an open-air museum in Pematang Purba village. Enter through an impressive stone passageway, and past an effigy of a medicine man into the magnificent palace complex. Marvel at the restored longhouses featuring ornate gables, belonging to the Simalungun Batak chiefs. See the main longhouse displaying artifacts of all the kings that ruled the region. Later, drive past scenic spice gardens and coffee plantations along sinuous roads to arrive at the bustling town of Parapat. From here, cross Lake Toba via ferry to Samosir Island. (Private Activity & Transfer)
Village Walk through Samosir Island Explore Samosir island in north Sumatra, the world’s largest island within an island, located on the volcanic Toba lake. Soak in the laidback vibe of the island as you walk past beautiful rice fields taking in the dramatic lakeside views and fresh air of this pristine region. Start from Tuk-Tuk and head towards Ambarita, an ancient Batak village known for its stone chairs and execution blocks used in trials of enemies and criminals. Learn about the culture and cannibalistic rituals of the Batak ethnic group that were practiced in ancient times. Continue onto Simanindo, walking around the traditional village as locals go about their daily life. Stop by the small museum that showcases cultural artifacts of the region and enjoy a traditional Batak Toba dance. Take a detour from the main road and walk through a scenic route crossing paddy fields, vegetable gardens and traditional homes that overlook spectacular views of the mountains and Toba lake to get an insight into the lives of the Toba people. (Full Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Moderate; Dance performance at museum: Once a day at 10:30am, 45 minutes).
Set on the northwest coast of Java, the capital city of Jakarta boasts millennia of history, tracing its roots back to a fourth century Hindu kingdom. Modern day Jakarta is a melting pot of culture and cuisine.
Half Day Tour of Jakarta Soak in the unique cultural identity of Indonesia on this leisurely tour of Jakarta’s national landmarks. Begin the day with a trip to the National Museum, originally established by the Dutch Batavia Association of Arts and Science in the 18th Century. It offers an excellent collection of historical, archeological and religio-cultural artefacts. Stroll up to the National Monument next, symbolising the spirit of modern-day Indonesia. The half-day tour also includes a visit to the National Archives Building, which was the official residence of Reynier de Klerck, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in the late 18th Century. For the rest of the day, give yourself over to the pleasures of retail therapy at the Taman Anggrek Mall. It is one of the biggest shopping centers in South East Asia. (Half Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Moderate; National Museum Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays)
Makassar is an upcoming trading and port city on the Sulawesi Island. Also known as Ujung Padang, it is inhabited by a mixed population of the Makassarese, Bugis and Chinese.
Discovering Makassar’s Dutch Colonial Quarters Discover this Sulawesi port city’s charming colonial quarters on this leisurely day tour. Makassar boasts of delightful 17th century Dutch area around Fort Rotterdam with a museum and several colonial structures. Explore the Fort area with its wonderfully preserved Dutch military architecture, before walking over to the original site of an old Gowanese fort. The latter had been built by the local population to resist the Dutch East India Company. Visit the Museum Negeri La Galigo housed inside the Fort area to admire traditional Tana Toraja artefacts, musical instruments, Polynesian and Buddhist exhibits, as well as Palaeolithic artefacts. After a long afternoon or evening spent sightseeing, refresh yourself with a delicious luncheon or dinner spread, before returning to your hotel. (Half Day; Duration: 3-4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Lunch / Dinner; Please bring comfortable walking shoes and don’t forget your camera).
Tana Toraja is an impossibly bright splash of color in the lap of a forested landscape strewn with verdant hills. These tropical highlands of Central Sulawesi boast the vividly painted traditional homesteads of the Toraja with their boat-shaped houses (Tongkonans) built on stilts.
Explore the Villages of Tana Toraja After breakfast, head to Palawa in the Sesean district where the village street is flanked by two rows of old Tongkonan (traditional houses) amid forest surroundings. Marvel at the ornate rising facades adorned with numerous buffalo horns. See the rice barns and granaries called ‘Alang’. Here, try local food including eel meat and several dishes cooked inside soft bamboo. Back in Rantepao, admire the sacred designs and colorful motifs of traditional Toraja textiles at Sa’dang Weaving Center. Later, at a local restaurant, savor a home-cooked lunch complemented by cold beverages. Shortly after, set out for Marante on scenic hill roads. The main attraction here is a limestone hill with a traditional tombstone and many Tau-Tau statues spread across the grassland. Chat with the village folks and learn about their age-old customs. (Full Day; Private Activity & Transfers; Lunch included)
Highlights of Toraja Explore Tana Toraja with your local guide, getting an insight into the Torajans’ complex rituals and traditions celebrating death. Just after sunrise, and breakfast, visit the famous burial site at Lemo where coffins are placed in niches of vertical rock faces. Observe the display of Tau-Tau – carved and adorned, wooden life-size effigies of the deceased, embedded alongside cave entrances. Later, head to the hushed village of Sangalla featuring rows of old Tongkonan (traditional Toraja houses), and engage with the friendly residents. Nearby, witness baby graves set in the midst of large bamboo groves, where dead infants are entombed within the trunk of big jackfruit trees. Break for lunch at Rantepao and taste the region’s delicacies. Spend your afternoon touring the natural burial caves of Londa, a sacred site scattered with skeletons, contrasting the scenic surroundings. End your day at the ancient Ke’te Kesu’ village, a living museum with well-preserved megaliths amid lush paddy, decorative hanging graves, and intricate wood crafts. (Private Activity & Transfers)
Makassar is an upcoming trading and port city on the Sulawesi Island. Also known as Ujung Padang, it is inhabited by a mixed population of the Makassarese, Bugis and Chinese.
Countryside Tour of Rammang Rammang & Leang Leang Experience the idyllic countryside near Makassar on this day trip to the charming little village of Rammang Rammang and the Leang Leang caves. Spend a leisurely day soaking in the lovely rural ambiance of the village that sits by a beautiful river and is famous for its spectacular limestone cliffs. Take a canoe ride along the river, lined with tall Nipa palms followed by long walks down the beautiful valley crisscrossed by a patchwork quilt of emerald green paddy fields and limestone hillocks of varying heights. Visit mysterious limestone grottos and trek through lush rainforests. Watch local farming and fishing communities as they go about their daily lives. Visit a village homestead for a delicious local lunch in the company of your gracious hosts, surrounded by a breath-taking countryside landscape. Stop by the limestone caves of Leang Lenang, famous for the prehistoric etchings along their walls before returning to your hotel (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Meals included: Local lunch; Note: Please carry sun hat, shades, and sunscreen).
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation in one double room for 16 days / 15 nights
Meals as indicated
Flights mentioned below on Economy Class unless otherwise specified:
Flight from Hong Kong to Medan
Silangit – Jakarta
Jakarta – Makassar (Flight)
Makassar – Palopo (Flight)
Palopo – Makassar (Flight)
All activities as listed :
Hong Kong: Evening Street Food Jaunt
Sumatra, Medan: Touring the Grand Monuments of Medan
Sumatra, Bukit Lawang: Rural Recipes from Bukit Lawang
Sumatra, Bukit Lawang: 2h – River Tubing in Bukit Lawang
Sumatra, Bukit Lawang: Trailing Orangutans in the Wild
Sumatra, Berastagi: Market tour of Berastagi
Sumatra, Berastagi: Early morning trek to Sibyak volcano
Sumatra, Samosir: Scenic Road to Samosir Island
Sumatra, Samosir: Village walk through Samosir Island