How to go to Lake Toba
Lake Toba is located in Parapat, about 4-hours drive from the city (Medan). You can check with your hotel whether they provide a tour to Lake Toba or Samosir Island. If they don’t, try to rent a car with driver. You can, however, drive yourself up to Parapat, but for a first-timer I suggest you to have a driver who will also serves as a tour guide. A 2D1N rate is about IDR 1,3 million (Avanza/Xenia, driver, and fuel).
There are many possible routes to go to Lake Toba. It really depends on your preferences. If you’re on a tight schedule, you can go by the shortest route: Medan – Tebing Tinggi – Pematang Siantar – Parapat. And if you’re not in tight schedule, you may want to go to Brastagi first, Sipiso-piso Waterfall, and then Parapat.
What to do in Lake Toba
Enjoy the view! Lake Toba is the largest lake in the world. It is surrounded by mountain, hills, and other greeneries. The water is blue in the afternoon. It has such fresh air up there! Stop by a coffee stall and enjoy the view from there. Be aware of monkeys.
Other than that, you can actually go to Samosir Island, an island located just in the center of the lake. Most people who visits Lake Toba will go to Samosir Island to stay there.
How to go to Samosir Island
Easy! First of all, you need to know where you’re going or where you’re staying in the island. Most villa and resorts are located in Tuktuk. For example during my stay there, I stayed at Samosir Villa Resort and it was in Tuktuk.
So the next thing to do is to go to harbor. If you’re going to Tuktuk, you can catch a boat from Tiga Raja Harbor (Pelabuhan Tiga Raja). Going inside the harbor area, you will need to pay IDR 20,000 per car. Once inside the harbor, bring your luggage and take a boat ride to Tuktuk. It only costs IDR 10,000 per person one way. From Prapat to Tuktuk is approximately 45 minutes.
Note: You can also bring the car to Samosir Island using a ferry ride. Remember that ferry only has 2 schedule per day, morning and afternoon ride.
Another note: It’s okay to let the driver stay in Parapat, they will find a way to stay overnight. Just leave them money for dinner and breakfast 🙂
What to do in Samosir Island
Hmm.. Let’s see.. You can rent a bicycle for IDR 10,000 per hour, jog in the morning, go canoeing, all about enjoying the village. Please note that some restaurants may have dog on their menu. Yes, dog. Be aware of sign “B1” for pig and “B2” for dog.
Where to stay in Samosir Island
There are plenty of villa and resorts overlooking Lake Toba. My choice last time was Samosir Villa Resort because it has family room. It was a pleasant stay at the resort, and their location was good too. However, it will be best if you find a room that has view of where the sun rises / sets.
Enjoy North Sumatera, enjoy Lake Toba!
Photo by Bintang Mahacakrie