Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 19th, 2014 Last Updated: September 8, 2014
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Introduction

Fabled for its rainforests and wildlife, Sumatra remains a destination most travellers resign to their “someday” list. Someday is now. One of the largest islands in the world, this lush Indonesian gem is ideal for adventurers looking for something beyond the ordinary. Beginning in Medan, this 8-day trip will bring you face-to-face with orangutans, the impressive supervolcano at Lake Toba, coffee plantations, village life in Berastagi (famed for its delicious passion fruit) and much more. What, exactly? You’ve gotta get here to find out!

  • Explore Bohorok National Park and meet the orangutans
  • Watch the sunrise from the top of a volcano
  • Relax on an island resort
  • Learn where famous Sumatra coffee comes from
  • Soak in the natural hot springs
Duration: 8 days
Start/Finish City: Medan to Medan
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Best of Sumatra (AESM)

Day 1 Medan

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Bohorok (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a city tour of Medan including a visit to Maimoon Palace. Continue to Bohorok, one of the largest national parks in the world, famous for its orangutan rehabilitation centre. View the semi-wild orangutans on a forest trek with local guides and rangers. Watch as they swing freely through the jungle.

Approximate distance: 87km
Estimated travel time: 4 hrs (including stops)

Days 3-4 Berastagi (2B)

Early visit to the orangutan centre in Bohorok to watch a feeding. Continue to Berastagi, a picturesque hill town. Originally developed around 1920 as a Dutch hill base in the Karo highlands, the cooler weather and surrounding smoking volcanoes make this destination ideal for weekending Medan residents and travellers alike. Berastagi is also known for their myriad flowers, fruits and vegetables piled high at the local markets. Explore further afield and check out examples of traditional Karo Batak architecture.

On Day 4, opt to hike up Sibayak volcano for sunrise and take in the stunning view of the valley. Free afternoon with the option to visit the local hot springs.

Approximate distance: 163 km
Estimated travel time: 7 hrs (including stops)

Days 5-6 Lake Toba (2B)

Depart for the island of Samosir. En route, stop for an included visit to a coffee plantation. Situated in the centre of Lake Toba, Samosir has all the features of a resort area but still retains a rustic charm and relaxed atmosphere. Day 6 is a free day with options to relax or explore the area. Venture out for an excursion to see traditional batak houses and the tombs in Tomok.

Approximate distance: 188 km
Estimated travel time: 8 hrs (including stops)

Day 7 Lake Toba/Medan (1B)

Free morning, then drive back to Medan for the final night in Sumatra.

Approximate distance: 188 km
Estimated travel time: 5 hrs (including stops)

Day 8 Medan (1B)

Depart at any time.

What's Included

Medan city tour. Orangutan rehabilitation centre visit (Bohorok). Coffee plantation tour. Samosir Island stay. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Explore Bohorok National Park and meet the orangutans, watch the sunrise from the top of a volcano, relax on an island resort, learn where famous Sumatra coffee comes from, soak in the natural hot springs

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

2. Please be aware that this itinerary is a brand new trip for us in 2014. While we have thoroughly planned and researched this new itinerary on the ground, the nature of travel is that even the best laid plans can sometimes come across the unexpected! If you like being a trail blazer and are not afraid for a small hiccup or two along the trail, this trip is exactly right for you. If any of the above concerns you, we suggest you wait a year until we have this trip running to our normal perfection.

3. Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 28 and July 27, 2014. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan in Muslim areas, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, Avg 10

Meals Included

7 breakfasts, 1 dinner.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice may be limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Indonesian cooking contains fermented shrimp paste (terasi) as a basic ingredient. Although there are many vegetarian options available, please be specific when ordering food, as often a little chicken is included with most dishes.

Meal Budget

Allow USD170-200 for meals not included.

Transport

Walking, boat, private van

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotels/guesthouses (7 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

We will be travelling through areas where cold water showers are the accepted norm. Hot water facilities are often unreliable even when they are available. In keeping with our authentic tours, many of our hotels will not have hot water showers.

Joining Hotel

Garuda Plaza
Jl. Sisingamangaraja No. 18
Medan, North Sumatra
20213
Indonesia
Tel : +62 61 736 1111

Joining Instructions

When arriving at Medan Airport, the easiest way to travel to the joining hotel is to take a taxi. The recommended company is Blue Bird Taxi. The cost from the airport is approximately 15 USD (150,000 IDR).

Arrival Transfer:

If you have paid for an arrival transfer thorugh G Adventures, please proceed to the Airport exits. There will be driver waiting in arrival hall. Please look for a G Adventures sign with your name on it. If you do not meet with the driver, please call emergency phone for transfer service : *+62) 811 380 3820.

Arrival Complications :

If for any reason you are unable to join the group as scheduled, please call the emergency contact number : +62 811 3803820

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your CEO, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

Indonesia 24 hours:
+62 (0) 811 380 3820
+62 (0) 811 380 3821
+62 (0) 813 376 18480

G Adventures Local Office – Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok Office Tel: +66 2 381 5574 (9am-5pm Local Time)

After hours emergency number: +66(0)870496074 (Bangkok, Thailand)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, we have a toll-free line for North America, which will connect you directly with our Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of our Operations department at the mobile number below.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 800 465 5600 .
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit with you in buses or on trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.

Checklist

Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets and vouchers
Health requirements arranged
Cash/credit card
Money pouch
First aid kit including blister treatment
Day pack (30-35 liters/8-9 gallons) for over night stays
Alarm clock
Torch/flashlight (a head-torch is the best to leave hands free)
Mosquito repellent
Ear plugs
Sun cream/hat
Durable walking shoes/boots with ankle support and good grip - they will get wet!
Small towel
A fleece jacket (or similar) for cooler weather on Mt Batur
Windproof jacket/raincoat during the rainy season
Heavy duty plastic bags for waterproofing gear and valuables - ziplock plastic food-bags work well in the rain-forest for cameras etc
A sarong or long skirt/trousers for temple visits (available for purchase in Bali)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

The visa situation in Indonesia is frequently changing. Please check on-line or at your local travel agent for the latest information. As of August 2014 visa on arrival was available for most nationalities for a fee of approximately $35 US.

Detailed Trip Notes

Indonesia has long been a great tourist destination and is an intriguing and rewarding destination to visit. English is widely spoken, transportation and infrastructure is good, but maybe not at the same level as you would expect in developed countries. If you are able to bring with you a lot of patience, a great sense of humour and a willingness to try and interact with the local people, your travel experience wil be greatly enhanced.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

During this tour the local currency you will use is the Indonesian Rupiah. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Departure Tax in Indonesia is not included in the cost of your flight ticket. Departure taxes are per person per departure and payable only in cash at the time of departure. Departure tax is paid for by G Adventure for any included internal flights. Taxes will need to be paid for any non-included flights you may be taking, including international air from the destination. Below are updated tax prices, which change frequently with little notice. Please check with your CEO for updated rates.

Denpasar Airport (DPS): Domestic flights: 75.000 IDR (from 1st August), International flights: 200.000 IDR (from 1st April).
Juanda International Airport near Surabaya (SUB): Domestic flights: 75.000 IDR, International flights: 200.000 IDR (both from 1st April).
Sultan Aji Muhamad Sulaiman International Airport in Balikpapan (BPN): Domestic flights: 75.000 IDR, International flights: 200.000 IDR (both from 1st April).
Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG): Domestic flights: 50.000 IDR, International flights: 150.000 IDR (both from 1st April).
Lombok International Airport (LOP): Domestic flights: 45.000 IDR, International flights: 150.000 IDR (both from 1st April).

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Berastagi :
Gunung Sibayak Climb/Walk - Includes local guide and transfer. USD24 per person (Needs a minimum of 2 people)

Samosir
- Bicylcle Rental $5 USD

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information about before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Shorts should be knee-length. Singlets and tank tops are not acceptable. One piece bathing suits are recommended and topless sun bathing is unacceptable.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.