Kayaking Sumatra : Villages, islands and orangutans

Looking for adventure and to get off the beaten track? This tour combines visits, kayaking, deserted islands and campsites to discover North Sumatra in an alternative way. You will discover the Batak culture of Lake Toba, enjoy the turquoise water of the Banyak Islands, to end up in the Ketambe jungle and observe the orangutans.


  • Day 1 Welcome to Indonesia - Arrival in Medan (D)

    Welcome to Sumatra. Welcome at Medan airport by your English-speaking guide and check-in at the hotel. You have a briefing to introduce your trip and can then rest from your journey.

    - Night : hotel

  • Day 2 Medan - Samosir (B-L-D)

    Medan - Samosir (B-L-D) This morning, you leave for Samosir Island and Lake Toba. On the road, you can see oil palm and rubber plantations. Arrival in the early afternoon. You settle into your accommodation and go familiarize yourself with your kayaking equipment that will be yours for the next few days. First test on the water to check your level and facilitate the logistics of the next few days.

    - Night : hotel
    - Transport : 6h
    - Kayak : 1h

  • Days 3 to 4 Kayaking Lake Toba (B-L-D)

    Kayaking  Lake Toba (B-L-D) You have 2 days of kayaking on Lake Toba. Depending on the weather and your physical condition, you will visit the traditional villages of Samosir Island ( Samanindo), admire the Situmurun waterfall which flows directly into the lake. You will also enjoy the camp life by the lake.

    - Night : tent
    - Kayak : 3 to 5 h

  • Day 5 Toba Lake - Singkil (B-L-D)

    Toba Lake - Singkil (B-L-D) Last day of kayaking on the lake. Tonight, you take a night bus to Singkil, the starting point for boats to the Banyak Islands!

    - Night : in the bus
    - Transport : 8h
    - Kayak : 3 to 5h

  • Day 6 Singkil - Palambak island (B-L-D)

    Singkil - Palambak island (B-L-D) After that night on the road, you then cross by boat to reach the island of Palambak. Coconut trees, white sand, turquoise water, coral reefs, that's why you came this way! You settle in traditional bungalows by the sea and take advantage of this first day in the archipelago to discover snorkeling right in front of your hotel!

    - Night : hotel
    - Transport (boat) : 3 h

  • Days 7 to 9 Kayaking Banyak islands (B-L-D)

    Kayaking  Banyak islands (B-L-D) You have 3 full days to explore part of the archipelago. You alternate kayaking, snorkeling and visiting the islands.

    - Night : tent or guesthouse
    - Kayak : 3 to 5h

  • Day 10 Palambak island - Singkil (B-L-D)

    Palambak island - Singkil (B-L-D) Last day of kayaking. One last splash in the crystal clear water before taking a boat back to the mainland. (late morning or afternoon depending on the weather). After diner, we take the road by night to Ketembe.

    - Night : in the bus
    - Kayak : 3 to 5 h
    - Transport (boat) : 3h
    - Transport : 8h

  • Day 11 Ketambe (B-L-D)

    Ketambe (B-L-D) Early morning, arrival in Ketambe where we check in our accomodation. We then enter the Gunung Leuser National Park where you can admire wild fauna and flora in their natural environment. You can stroll around by yourself during the afternoon or just take some rest.

    - Night : guesthouse
    - Hike : 3h

  • Day 12 Ketambe - Brastagi (B-L-D)

    Ketambe - Brastagi (B-L-D) You leave at dawn for the jungle to observe the local fauna and flora. If you are lucky, you may meet OrangUtans After a lunch in the middle of nature, you return to Ketambe and take the road to Brastagi after diner and overnight in the bus..

    - Night : in the bus
    - Hike : 5 to 6h
    - Transport : 5 h

  • Day 13 Brastagi - Sibayak Volcano - Medan (B-L)

    Brastagi - Sibayak Volcano - Medan (B-L) Early morning arrival at the bottom of Sibayak Volcano Trail. Accompanied by a local guide, you start the hike to the top of this active volcano, you will arrive at the top of Sibayak and enjoy the surrounding views. You go down another path for lunch and then go to Lau Debuk-Debuk, a hot spring where you can relax. In the middle of the afternoon, you finally get back on the road to Medan and settle in for your last night.

    - Night : Hotel
    - Hike : 4 to 5h
    - 500m+/500m-
    - Transport : 3h

  • Day 14 Medan -Airport (B)

    Medan -Airport (B) You have one last morning to visit the high places of Medan: the Sultan's Palace, the Great Mosque and the Tjong a Fie's mansion. Then, according to your flight schedule, transport to the airport. You say goodbye to your guide. End of our services.

    - Transport : 1h

Important: this program can be modified by the guide if the mountain conditions, weather or the physical condition of the participants require it and for safety reasons.

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


From 1600 euros per person( based on 4 travelers)

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.


- All car and bus transfers on the program
- Return transfer by boat between Singkil and the Banyak Islands
- A local English-speaking guide from D1 to D14
- Kayak equipment: single or double + paddle + vest + skirt
- Camping equipment: Triple tent for 2 people + Matress 
- Meals from breakfast on D2 to breakfast on D14 (except dinner on D13)
- Entries into the program sites
- The local guide for the ascent of Sibayak volcano and in Gunung Leuser Park
- Safety equipment related to activities

Not included

- International flight (Medan arrival and departure)
- Your personal purchases
- Beverages other than mineral water
- The dinner of the D13
- Tips and gratuities

Terms and conditions


Booking a trip with Altaï Indonesia implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.


Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 30 days before your departure date. Altaï Indonesia reserve the right to cancel your booking, free of charge, if this deadline is not respected.


If for any reason you have to cancel your trip, Altaï Indonesia require written confirmation of your decision. The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:

  • Cancellation received more than 30 days prior to the departure date: a sum of €50 per person will be retained
  • Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: your deposit, 30% of the total trip price will be retained
  • Cancellation received 20 to 14 days before the departure date: 50% of the total trip price will be retained
  • Cancellation received 13 to 7 days before the departure date: 75% of the total trip price will be retained
  • Cancellation received less than 7 days before the departure date: 100% of the total trip price will be retained

Special cases:
Please note that, regardless of the date of cancellation or modification if you have agreed to pay for services such as hotel reservations, flights or additional activities, these services are usually non-refundable so additional fees may apply.
  • Fixed airfares: if your airline ticket was issued in advance, often done to avoid significant surcharges, you will be charged 100% of any non-refundable fees if you wish to change or cancel your flight plan.
  • Fixed in-country costs: early charges for firm bookings will be charged if you cancel or modify your trip.
  • Insurance costs: if you have taken out comprehensive or cancellation insurance, the cost of insurance is due and cannot be refunded.

Please note that fees apply according to the date Altaï Indonesia receive your cancellation or modification request in writing.

If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Modification du contrat

If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact Altaï Indonesia in writing; you will be expected to pay any fee which might arise from this change. In the event of unforeseen external events, Altaï Indonesia may change some aspects of the travel contract. If any changes are necessary you will be informed as quickly as possible.

Prix et révision des prix

The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. We reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.

Cession du contrat

If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person in which case our modification conditions apply. Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.


We strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance for your trip with Altaï Indonesia as soon as your booking is confirmed. We advice you to purchase a travel insurance policy which covers flight cancellations, luggage loss and emergency health care. Please look carefully at which activities are covered by your insurer and do not forget to bring all necessary documents and information with you (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number...)

Practical info


- Local Indonesian english speaking guide
- Local Logistic team


Dinners, lunches and breakfasts are served in local restaurants, hotels, homestays or picnics. Be careful not to drink water from a source you are not sure about. When walking, water must be systematically treated, and in the city, capped water only.

Your guide will provide you with mineral water every day to fill your gourd/bottle morning and evening.

--> We also ask you to bring a filtering bottle/person for this stay.


- In hotels in double/twin rooms (standard equivalent to 2 or 3* French). Private sanitary facilities.

- In Guest house (equivalent to local hostels run by residents), simpler comfort.

- In tents: basic comfort, sleeping arrangements can be shared, sanitary facilities in the countryside to be shared.

*A shower with running water and hot water are not available for every night


You only carry your things for the day, your heavy luggage stays on the bus during the day and your activities.

Budget & exchange

The currency in Indonesia is the Indonisian Rupiah, Rp (IDR)
Visit http://www.xe.com for the latest currency converter and exchange rates. You can withdraw Indonesian Rupiahs from in-country ATMs or exchange money at the airport/local currency exchange offices. ATMs and exchange desks are only found on bigger islands like Bali (Denpasar, Ubud, Sanur). The cost of an average meal in Java is around 3€ to 8€; in Bali it is 4€ to 11€.

When purchasing souvenirs, we ask that our travellers resist the tempatation to buy traditional items which are part of local families/the countries heritage. We also ask our travellers to respect the Species Protection Agreements (CITES) which aims to protect more than 2,500 species of animals and 30,000 species of threatened plants by prohibiting the trade of hides, ivory, scales, corals, shells, and the import of live exotic animals.


Tipping is not an obligation and must be left to everyone's discretion. However, in Indonesia it is common practice to leave one when you are satisfied with the service provided. Its amount depends on the assessment of the latter and must take into account the local economy. Tips that are too high, given the general standard of living of the country visited, destabilize local economic balances.

An amount of 3 to 6 euros per person/day to be divided in two (guide / driver and logistics) is the average.

As a reminder, tips are a supplement and do not replace their remuneration. Indeed, anyone who intervenes on our trips is paid elsewhere.

Vital equipment

We recommend packing:
For your head:
  • A cap or sunhat
  • A good pair of sunglasses (level 3 or 4, glacier)
For your core:
  • 1 or 2 sets of thermals: long-sleeved thermal tops and full-length long johns
  • Long sleeved and short sleeved t-shirts, appropriate for hiking in
  • 1 fleece or equivilent
  • A breathable wind proof, waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex...)
  • A rain cape or protective waterproof bag for your daybag
For your legs:
  • 1 or 2 pairs of long shorts
  • 1 pair of walking trousers
For your feet and hands:
  • Your hiking boots (high-cut, thick soles...)
  • A pair of trainers
  • A pair of sandels for wearing in the sea
  • Thick walking socks
To keep you hydrated:
  • A good filtering water bottle (min. 1.5 l)
For snorkelling:
  • A swimsuit
  • A long-sleeved rash vest to protect you
  • A short or pants to protect you
And do not forget:
  • A good sun-cream (SPF 50+, water resistant, biodegradable...)
  • Insect repellant
  • Towel(s)
  • A wash bag - your personal toiletries... biodegradable soap, shampoo and toothpaste, a toothbrush.

Camping equipment

- Sleeping bag - comfort 10 degrees
- Headlamp + spare batteries

Helpful equipment

For your comfort:
- multi-purpose pocket knife.
- toiletries kit: biodegradable soap and shampoo, toothbrush, biodegradable toothpaste, razor, "no rinse" hand washing gel,...
- micro-fibre towel: intended for travel, it dries very quickly.
- bath towel or sarong
- waterproof "Zip Lock" pockets: to protect your important documents: passport, money or electronic devices: cameras, phones so they are not wet.
- plastic bags / or garbage bags: for waterproofing your belongings or to put your dirty belongings in.
- camera and/or camcorder and spare batteries and/or batteries. (Don't forget the battery charger).
- earplugs.


All your luggage must be divided into 2 bags:

-->A flexible travel bag with side zipper giving easier access to its contents such as a marine bag of about 80 L and a maximum of 15 Kg. Luggage is transported by vehicle/boat

-->A 30-litre backpack to carry your belongings for the day.

--> A 20/30L waterproof bag to carry your personnal belongings in the kayak


To go to Indonesia travelers need a passport which is valid for at least six months after the date of entry. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and proof of onwards travel is required.


Travelers staying in Indonesia for less than 30 days do not need to obtain a visa. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific visa requirements.

Mandatory vaccines

No mandatory vaccinations are required to visit Indonesia. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diptheria, Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Health information & recommendations

It is your responsibility to check that your personal insurance covers everything in this trip. A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip. Malaria prophylaxis is advised if your trip goes to Flores, Komodo, Sumatra, Sulawesi, the Sundra Islands or Kalimatan. Anti-malaria treatments are not necessary in Bali, Java or Lombok. Avoid contact with mosquitoes as much as possible: apply repellents, wear long trousers/sleeves and sleep with a mosquito net. The World Health Organisation can provide further details of the latest health news and medical advice.


Indonesia is positioned on both sides of the equator making it subject to a similar climate year round. As a rule the South is generally drier and less hot. The average temperature ranges between 24°C and 35°C (75°F and 95°F). We cannot guarantee no rain but we can suggest that the best season to visit Indonesia is the dry season, from mid-April to October/November.


Indonesia uses European-style plugs with two round pins. Voltage is normally 220 V 50 Hz except in a few places where it is 110 V.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously.

We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during our trip...
  1. Be prepared
  2. Stick to trails and camp overnight right
  3. Stash your trash and pick up waste
  4. Leave it as you find it
  5. Be careful with fire
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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My local agent

  • Lives in Bali
  • Passion for Hiking
  • Customized Trip
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14 days
From €1,710


- Kayaking on Lake Toba
- Ascent of the Sibayak volcano
- The Banyak Islands Archipelago
- Orangutan observation
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