9 Unusual & Hidden North Sumatra Places to Visit

North Sumatra is filled with all kinds of natural wonders! From the magnificent volcanoes to beautiful lakes, you’ll definitely be in awe at the natural wonders you can find here. Besides the popular Lake Toba, Samosir Island, Sibayak & Sinabung Volcanoes, you should really consider these unsual & hidden North Sumatra places to visit:

1. Bohorok Orang Utan Centre, Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang is home to the Orang Utans, one of the most endangered animals in the world. At Bohorok Orang Utan Centre, these gentle creatures are being taken care of in hopes to preserve the species and protect them from poachers. Visiting the Orang Utan Centre not only allows tourists to have a close and memorable encounter with these beautiful creatures, it can also be an educational experience.


hidden north Sumatra places to visit Orang utan bukit lawang

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The Orang Utan centre is an hour’s drive from the city of Tanjung Lungkat, making it a rather accessible area for tourists!

Address: Jalan Orang Utan Center, Gang Gereja, Bukit Lawang 20774, Indonesia

Phone: +62 813-6410-8007



2. Ketambe Jungle

Ketambe Jungle s a great place to visit for ‘outdoorsy‘ folks! Visitors can choose to make a day trip and take part in an easy trek, or sign up for overnight camping and trekking tours. Various camp sites around and lots of trekking packages to choose from, making trekking at Ketambe Jungle suitable for all.


hidden north Sumatra places to visit ketambe

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Ketambe is located in an area that is quite out of reach from the city. Several bus companies such as Adi Guna Taksi, and Anugrah travels can pick you up at Medan to Kutacane. From Kutacane, tourists can then take a direct bus to Ketambe.

The journey takes up to 8 hours, so be sure to book a place to stay at the Ketambe area if you’re thinking of going on an adventurous jungle exploration there!



3. Tangkahan

Get up close and personal with elephants when you visit Tangkahan. Not only will you get a chance to have an elephant ride, you’ll have a chance to give these majestic creatures a bath! The surroundings of Tangkahan is also filled with beautiful greenery, which makes it perfect for nature enthusiasts.


hidden north Sumatra places to visit tangkahan elephant

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The journey to Tangkahan can be rather long and dreary due to windy roads. It is a 3 hour drive from Medan city so you might want to consider booking a one-night stay in the area, instead of making a day trip there.

Address: Green Lodge area, TangkahanMedan 20133, Indonesia

Phone: +62 852-7560-5865


4. Soda Hot Spring, Tarutung

Nothing is more relaxing that taking a dip in a hot spring! At Soda Hot Spring, you can enjoy the warm waters amidst the tranquil natural environment. Vast paddy fields and mountains surround the hot springs, creating a very picturesque environment. Anything more exotic than this, you will probably have to travel to Bhutan or Tibet instead. 


hidden north Sumatra places to visit soda hot spring tarutung

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What’s great about the hot springs is that it’s located just 15 minutes from Tarutung city and 30 minutes away from Silangit airport, making it a really accessible destination!

Address: Tarutung, North Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra


5. White Crater Dolok Tinggi Raja

You’ll definitely feel a sense of awe when you lay your eyes on White Crater (Kawah Putih) Tinggi Raja! This white crater lake’s otherworldly appearance is caused by the constant flow of hot water in the area and the pale landforms and misty atmosphere creates a fairytale-like feel.


hidden north Sumatra places to visit kawah putih Dolok Tinggi Raja

image mimzee24.blogspot


Although you can’t swim in the hot waters flowing through the crater lake, you can still take a dip in the second access point in the area! Cool waters from a waterfall flow into Dolok Tinggi Raja as well, making the water at that area suitable for recreational activities.

Dolok Tinggi Raja is a 2 to 3-hour drive from Tebing Tinggi City. You can hire a driver to fetch you there and back if you’re thinking of heading there for a day trip.

Address: Dolok Marawa, Silau Kahean, Simalungun Regency



6. Pantai Salju

Rapid currents flowering over these jagged rocks at Pantai Salju makes it seem as though the area is covered in snow! Since the waters flow from the mountains, they seem to be translucent and clear, creating almost a fantasy-like appearance. Visitors can sit atop some of the rocks and to have a great picture-taking moment!


hidden north Sumatra places to visit Pantai Salju

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Although the journey to Pantai Salju is about 3 to 4 hours from Medan by car, the breathtaking view is definitely worth the trip!

Address: Mabar, Bangun Purba, Deli Serdang Regency


7. Mount Gundaling Berastagi

At Bukit Gundaling, you can enjoy the fresh mountain air and appreciate the peaceful natural surroundings. From the alleviated grounds of Bukit Gundaling, you’ll be able to catch a stunning view of the famous Sibayak and Sinabung volcanoes! What’s more, you’ll also get a chance to try horse-back riding if you feel like doing something more fun and exciting.


hidden north Sumatra places to visit Bukit Gundaling

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Located just 3km from Berastagi city, Bukit Gundaling is definitely accessible and easy to get to!

Address: Jalan Jamin Ginting, Gundaling I, Berastagi


8. Lake Linting

Be prepared to marvel at the beauty of this emerald green Lake (Danau) Linting! It’s great to pack lunch and have a picnic at this amazing lake as you enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. The clear waters are safe for swimming, however, there isn’t any indication of the depth of the waters so it’s better to be cautious if you’re thinking go taking a dip.


hidden north Sumatra places to visit lake Linting

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It takes around 2 to 3 hours to get there by car from Medan.


9. Sibolangit Waterfall

The two-toned waters at Sibolangit Waterfall is definitely a sight to behold! The unique colour of the waters is caused by sulphuric waters flowing down from Mount Sibayak. Situated amidst peaceful surroundings, this hidden gem should definitely be on your itinerary!


hidden north Sumatra places to visit Sibolangit waterfall

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This beautiful waterfall is just an hour’s drive away from Medan, and you can easily hire a driver to send you there!

Address: Bandar Baru, Sibolangit, Deli Serdang Regency




North Sumatra is filled with amazing natural landscapes perfect for nature-lovers! Take a trip to some of these under-the-radar destinations to have a more unique experience. With fewer crowds, you might find yourself being more immersed in North Sumatra’s natural world!


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