Lake Toba Indonesia is The Largest Natural Tourism Destination in Southeast Asia

Lake Toba Indonesia is the largest in Southeast Asia located in North Sumatra surrounded by pine forests and famous legend stories in Indonesia.

Information from geologists that the crater of Lake Toba was formed because of the eruption of a super volcanic volcano that occurred about 70,000 years ago.

Even the eruption was classified as terrible when compared with other volcanic eruptions, it is believed that the explosion reached thousands of eruptions on normal volcanoes.

The impact is caused by the influence of the climate all over the world.  

Lake Toba

Lake Toba tourism is different from lakes in Indonesia because in the middle there is an island and that is Samosir island. This island is surrounded by lakes and is very beautiful.

9 Things to do in Lake Toba

So, I’ll make you run out of energy and forget all the sad memories for a lot of things to do in Lake Toba.

There are two villages visited by many tourists.

Tomok is a village that has interesting places such as tomb of  The King Sidabutar, Batak Museum and popular Sigale-Gale puppet dance performance.

Tuk-tuk is a village that has a lot of lodging for travelers and interesting things.

Batak people who live here, they say are not only natural tourism that have extraordinary beauty.

They believe that Toba became the goddess of only seven Bataks or commonly called Namborru.

Every time they will do activities around the lake, they will pray and ask permission in advance to get blessings and the event runs smoothly.

1. Explore the Ancient Batak Village

One of the unique attractions of Lake Toba and Samosir Island is the relics of ancient Batak village, which can be found in Ambarita. Here, you can find stone chairs used for meetings by local kings, and both are torture stones and chopped stones that were used for execution.

Ancient Batak Village

Ambarita is located three miles northwest of Tuk-tuk along the main road. You can see or learn about cannibal rituals and Batak culture.

2. Visit the Hot Springs

This hot spring is located on the side of the island opposite Tuk-tuk, outside Panguruan – the largest settlement on Samosir Island. While hot springs are interesting to look at, the smell of sulfur is dangerous and the water is too hot to enjoy.

hot springs of lake toba

Skillful motorcyclists can brave the higher road to the hill to see the hot springs. The view of Lake Toba from above the hot springs is very spectacular, and this is the best place to take photos of the lake.

3. Explore the Batak Museum

Located in Simanindo, about nine miles from Tuk-tuk, the traditional home of the ancient king was restored and converted into the Batak Museum. This museum is small, but a must if you are interested in understanding more about Batak culture.

Batak Museum

Traditional dances are sometimes performed at 10:30 am – assuming that tourists have appeared. The dances performed at the museum are far more authentic than the variations performed at the guesthouse.

4. See the Tomb of Raja Sidabutar

Only three miles southeast of Tuk-tuk, in Tomok village, there are more remains of ancient stones and graves. This site is small but interesting, however, you have to negotiate a maze of souvenir stalls to visit the site.

Find the debris by taking a right from the main road in Tomok through a narrow alley bounded by souvenir stalls.

Most people find the carved man on the front of the largest sarcophagus strangely out of place.

5. Traditional Batak Dance and Music Performance

Bagus Bay and Samosir Cottages, two popular guesthouses, regularly have traditional music and Batak dances on Saturday and Wednesday nights around 8 pm.

batak dance

Performances usually start because everyone is still eating, then develop into fun drinking songs and animated shows by very talented locals who play a mix of modern and ancient instruments.

6. Exploring the Island

Circling the entire island of Samosir may require an early start, however, riding along the lake on a motorbike is a very pleasant way to see the daily village life.

The old churches, the view of the volcano, and everyday life keeping the distance every mile you drive is quite interesting to see what’s on the next corner.

Motorcycle rental includes a full tank that you don’t have to replace. Lower prices can be negotiated if you use a motorcycle for more than one day.

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7. See Lake Inside the Lake

Lake Sidihoni is located in the interior of the island west of Tuk-tuk. Interestingly, there are very few lakes in the lake in the world. Going to Lake Sidihoni was difficult.

You have to be brave on the rough road between Ronggumihuta and Partungkoan by motorcycle, then climb a slightly unclear road.

8. Buy Traditional Textiles

The small village of Buhit is home to traditional Batak cloth weavers used in dances and rituals. The clothes are wrapped around the head so the sun doesn’t come down.

batik batak

Buhit is located north of Tuk-tuk (take right as you exit the main gate) before you arrive at Panguruan and the hot springs. Be prepared to negotiate prices when you buy textiles and souvenirs.

9. Go Fishing

Lake Toba is filled with fish of all sizes who regularly roam around the homestead’s jetty and beach wall. Both nets and poles can be purchased at stores around the Tuk-tuk.

Try fishing in the morning; leftover eggs or bread from breakfast makes a good bait. As an alternative, fish are also attracted to flashlights that are aimed at water, which makes it easier to catch at night.

Locals might be willing to take you on a proper fishing trip with a boat with little negotiation.

Oh yeah, there are six waterfalls that you must visit. Fresh water from nature that will enter the nerve cells of your brain to refresh your mind.

How to get to Lake Toba

Many flight schedules are available every day between Medan to all cities in Indonesia and also international flights from Medan to neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Medan Airport is Kualanamu International Airport. There are several flights that provide service routes from other cities in Indonesia to Medan such as Garuda Indonesia, AirAsia, Lion Air, Merpati Air and Sriwijaya Air.

Ticket prices depend on the plane of your choice.

The trip from Jakarta to Medan can be taken from 1.5 hours to 2 hours. From the airport, a tour to Lake Toba can be continued by taxi, bus to Medan Pinang Baris Bus Station.

To make it faster you can use car travel even though the ticket price is expensive. The choice is to rent a car like Toyota and Suzuki APV.

Traveling by rental car is recommended for groups. However, if you are Solo Travel then you should make use public transportation. This is just to save costs.

From Jakarta to Balige you can travel by Airplane from Lion Air to Silangit Airport in Balige. Air transit in Batam city but this service can save time to Balige.

And other from Batam to Balige at Silangit Airport can be reached by Susi Air. The time needed from Batam to Balige is around 1 hour.

Parapat distance from Medan is about 176 kilometers and can be reached by bus in less than 6 hours. There are two bus routes Medan to Parapat or Medan to Berastagi, the trip takes around 4 hours.

To order a bus ticket to Lake Toba, it is served by many travel agents at Polonia airport.

Travel agents in Medan can also provide rental cars with drivers. Buses to Parapat can also be found easily at airport in Medan.

To easily find a bus to Parapat – Toba, you must arrive in Medan in the morning. The bus will take you directly to Toba area. Arrival in Parapat, you can take a ferry to the island. Ferries operate there every hour and a half from 9 am to 5 pm.

You can do Samosir Island in the morning by buying a ticket. While waiting for the ship’s departure, you can take photos around the Lake Toba area.

There are two types of ferry routes serving Samosir Island which are the only ferries that carry passengers and ferries that carry cars.

If you use a car then you have to take the second type of ferry carrying the car. During the crossing, you will see amazing scenery of the lake, bluish sky and cool air.

The weather there can even hypnotize visitors so reluctant to leave.


Lake Toba Accommodations

Many accommodations and facilities are available such as Hotel, Resort, Chalet or Guest House as Batak home, mini golf, lodging in the forest, a gazebo, and many others.

I’m sure everyone will be satisfied to stay in Lake Toba because the hotel prices are quite cheap and offering direct access to the lake.

Toba Village Inn is set amid a natural landscape. It features an outdoor pool with stunning views of the lake and Pusuk Buhit Mountain.

The rooms come fitted with wooden furniture and tiled flooring. Garden views can be enjoyed from the private terrace or balcony. Each private bathroom provides shower facilities, towels and free bath amenities.

Pangaribuan Waterfall can be reached by a 1-hour ferry boat ride. It takes 4 hours by car or 1 hour by ferry boat to go to Polonia International Airport from the property. Airport transfers can be arranged at an extra charge.

Providing free parking spaces on site, Toba Villa Inn offers ironing, laundry and car rental services upon request. Additionally, luggage storage and concierge services are available.

Guests can dine in the comfort of their rooms or at the hotel’s restaurant, which serves Indonesian and international cuisines. Booking now on Agoda!

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Taman Simalem Resort offers modern guestrooms with a flat-screen satellite TV. Set amid natural landscapes, the resort has 4 dining options on site.

Taman Simalem Resort is a 4-hour drive from Kualanamu International Airport. Scheduled shuttle is available upon request.

All rooms have large windows offering garden, jungle, river or lake views. All are equipped with a desk, closet and telephone.

Adventurous guests can go horseback riding or hiking. Jungle trekking and farm tours are also available. Karaoke facilities are also available for those who prefer to stay indoors. Luggage storage services are offered at the 24-hour reception. Airport shuttle and laundry services can be arranged at an extra cost.

Indonesian and international dishes are served at Tea House Cafe and Pangambatan Cafe. Booking now on Agoda!


Hi There,

My name is Candra Setiawan. Indonesia for me is a real paradise with crazy friendly people, you know. I’m so glad born and living in Indonesia, even though we have different ethnicities, religions, and languages. But we’re still one.