From Airport to Lake Toba, Here is Your Guide

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Before we talk about ‘How to visit Lake Toba, Indonesia’, let us briefly discuss what Lake Toba is about. The huge and enchanting Lake Toba holds beautiful views in its encompassing distances. Visitors worldwide come to Medan to capture a glimpse of Lake Toba and its primary jewel sitting directly in its heart, Samosir Island. The lake has enjoyed a long history since its creation because of a violent prehistoric volcano. Its size is about 60 kilometers long, 18 miles wide, and almost 1600 feet deep, making Lake Toba the most fabulous volcanic lake in the world.

How to Get There

  1. Silangit International Airport

If you want to spend fewer hours traveling from Medan to Parapat, at this point, you have the option to fly into Silangit International Airport in Siborong-Borong. Despite its name, it’s largely still a national airport. To get here from the other international airport, you would have to fly into Medan (Kualanamu International Airport) or Jakarta (Soekarno–Hatta International Airport). Subsequently, you would have to choose Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, Citilink, Sriwijaya Air, or even Wings Air. Once you arrive at Silangit Airport, you could take a cab to Parapat. The trip should take you around 1.5 hours and the cab fare would be IDR 350,000.

  1. Kualanamu International Airport

And if you’re arriving directly from Malaysia or Singapore, you will first fly into Medan’s Kualanamu International airport.

  • Bus

In the airport, have a cab to Amplas Bus Terminal in Medan city. Take one of the following public buses: Sentosa, both ALS and Sejatera, to Parapat city. 1-way bus ticket into Parapat costs an affordable IDR 30,000 (~S$3, USD 2) into IDR 50,000 (~S$5, USD 3). Public transportation may require you between 6-8 hours, depending on the traffic.

  • Taxi

You might take a taxi all the way from the airport to Parapat however it will cost you a long time. The journey may take you everywhere between 4-5 hours per day.

  • Local Travel Agency

Visit Medan town, find a nearby travel agency and organize a transportation/tour.

  • Rental car with driver

The convenient and cost-effective arrangement is to prepare in advance before you leave your own home state. The first option would be to book a personal vehicle rental with a driver from Kuala Namu International Airport or Medan to Lake Toba.

  • Private tour with guide & driver

The ultimate and most complete option would be to reserve a personal tour covering Lake Toba, Samosir Island, Medan, Parapat, and Berastagi. It can be a 3-Day Medan Lake Toba Tour, 4-Day Medan Lake Toba Tour, or 5-Day Medan Lake Toba Tour.

The Ideal Time to Visit

There are two good times to visit Lake Toba. The first is between September and November when the Lake Toba Festival is held. This festival includes dragon boat racing, sporting events, music, art shows featuring local artists, and many more. If you would rather avoid the crowds, then the other best time to select between May and September. These months are part of the dry season at which you’ll be able to capture the best images of Samosir Coast and Lake Toba.

Activities You Can Do

The number one reason people flock to Lake Toba is for its rare, vast, and magnificent views. At the same time that you will be in awe of what nature has to offer, you will feel so insignificant in the face of imperial Lake Toba.

Another component that brings people to Lake Toba is the Batak people and their civilization. Known for their cuisine and friendliness, the Batak people consistently welcome guests with open arms. You might choose to hurry as the special Batak food is changing because of dietary restrictions in Indonesia.

The main highlight of a visit to Lake Toba must be a 1-hour ferry trip to Samosir Island that sits at the center of this lake. On this island, you may go to Batak cities (Tomok), Batak traditional houses, as well as the tombs of past Batak championships (Sidabutar).

Before you plan a trip to Lake Toba, be sure to read more about Lake Toba and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.