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.


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


Great Mosque of Medan. zolmuhd / Creative Commons


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

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 Malay Peninsula, from Center to South
tour packages

Tour traces a vital trade and tourism route down Southeast Asia's Malay Peninsula, from Malaysia's capital Kuala Lump...

VIEW DETAILS
Highlights of Laos & Viet Nam
tour packages

Program to see Laos and Viet Nam's top spots: a study in contrasts that works well together nonetheless!

VIEW DETAILS
Brunei & Sarawak, City to City
tour packages

Jaunt between borders covering two neighboring cities: Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei; Miri in Sarawak, Malaysia; and everythi...

VIEW DETAILS

MASTERCARD'S PRICELESS EXPERIENCES

View All
Feast on local fare and enjoy a private Balinese dance performance
tour packages

Traditional Balinese Feast in a Private Villa. Indulge in a roasted suckling pig or fresh seafood barbeque prepared on the gr...

VIEW DETAILS
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
tour packages

A Unique Dining Landmark in Singapore Historic Waterfront Setting.

VIEW DETAILS
Luang Say Residence
tour packages

The city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 because of its religious and colonial significance. The city ...

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

Explore more of Asia on wheels with our Hertz Asia Driving Guide. Download your free copy for our driving tips, popular self-...

VIEW DETAILS

HOTEL DEALS

View All
Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh
tour packages

Rate is per room per night inclusive of breakfast and internet but subject to 10% VAT, 2% Accommodation and 10% Service charg...

VIEW DETAILS
Wyndham Legend Halong
tour packages

Hotel location: Halong Bay, Viet Nam  

VIEW DETAILS
Hard Rock Hotel Penang
tour packages

All Room Type - (FROM 450++) 2days/1night accommodation Daily buffet breakfast for 2 persons Welcome drinks upon ...

VIEW DETAILS