Explore Sumatra Island's Highlights

sHARE TO facebook twitter mail
expdetail

Mount Leuser National Park. Jean-Marie Prival / Creative Commons

The rich culture of the Indonesian island of Sumatra flourishes in the midst of amazing natural wonders: the Batak, Minang and Malay ethnic groups enrich the Sumatra travel experience, providing delightful cultural encounters travelers can find at the jungle edges, coasts and lakeshores.

Tours of Sumatra begin at the main air gateway Medan, Indonesia's fourth-largest city and its largest outside of Java. The city center still retains a good deal of historic architecture, with the Mamuin Palace and the Great Mosque occupying pride of place. Culinary enthusiasts should hit up the food scene at Selat Panjang Street.

As you make your way southeast down Sumatra, you'll find endless opportunities to explore the island's natural wonders. An orangutan rehabilitation center at Bukit Lawang lets you meet Southeast Asia's only endemic primate; neighboring Mount Leuser National Park provides hiking trails through dense rainforest; and the majestic Lake Toba will simply amaze you: it's a sea unto itself, 450 metres deep and spanning over 1,145 square kilometres.

Sumatra's culture should also be laid open as you make your way through, from Jangga Village's glimpse into Batak life to the Toba lifestyle practiced on the Lake Toba island of Samosir.

At last you'll enter Padang, West Sumatra's capital and a culinary giant, the source of the masakan Padang restaurants that you'll find all over Indonesia. North of the city you'll find Bukittinggi, the cultural heartland of the Minangkabau ethnic group. Beyond exploring the local culture, go for a little retail therapy at the local markets, Pasar Aur Kuning and Pasar Atas.


Museum of Minangkabau Culture, Bukittinggi. Image courtesy of the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism


Cultural presentation at Samosir Island, Sumatra. Image courtesy of the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism


Great Mosque of Medan. zolmuhd / Creative Commons

Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
If you're interested in mountain treks and welcoming encounters with local tribes, try these other experiences: visiting the scenic Rice Terraces of the Philippines; hiking through Sarawak and Sabah in East Malaysia; visiting Laos' mysterious Plain of Jars; and Brunei's Tutong cultural and ethnic experience.


TOUR packages

View All
The Amazing Mekong Waterway
tour packages

Trip down Southeast Asia's most important river, exploring history and culture in equal measure through Ho Chi Minh City ...

VIEW DETAILS
Cambodia & Viet Nam Cross-Border Adventure
tour packages

Jaunt through Cambodia and Viet Nam's highlights take visitors on a wide-ranging tour through each country's capitals...

VIEW DETAILS
Exploring the Elephant Kingdoms: Thailand and Laos
tour packages

Saga that runs through two ancient Southeast Asian kingdoms – Thailand and Laos – across grand temples and quaint...

VIEW DETAILS

MASTERCARD'S PRICELESS EXPERIENCES

View All
Kembali Kitchen
tour packages

A taste of variety at Kembali Kitchen, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

VIEW DETAILS
Angkor Village Resort, Siem Reap
tour packages

Conveniently located halfway between the town center and Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hotel's restaurant...

VIEW DETAILS
Get fit with the help of a World Champion Body Builder in Bali
tour packages

Fitness assessment with a World Champ. Feel great and leave Bali with a meal and fitness plan from world champion Komang Arna...

VIEW DETAILS

AIR AND CAR BOOKINGS

View All
The Best Way To See Asean
tour packages

Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...

VIEW DETAILS
Hertz Car Rental Deals
tour packages

Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% off

VIEW DETAILS

HOTEL DEALS

View All
Melia Hotel Kuala Lumpur
tour packages

Ideally located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, be one of the first to experience the newly renovated roo...

VIEW DETAILS
Don Chan Palace Hotel & Convention
tour packages

Don Chan Palace Hotel & Convention is a 5 Star Hotel in Laos and stunningly situated along Mekong River. Our Hotel is ...

VIEW DETAILS
Days Hotel & Suites Jakarta Airport
tour packages

Experience the culture, beauty and history of Indonesia's capital city at the new Days Hotel & Suites Jakarta Airport...

VIEW DETAILS