Lake Toba has always been a fascinating spot for travelers from all over the world. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world in Sumatra, Indonesia. Located in a town called Parapat, this ancient lake is 176 kilometers away from Medan, the capital city of Sumatra. The lake covers more than 1145 square kilometers and the depth reaches more than 400 meters down below, making it the largest lake in Southeast Asia and one of the deepest lakes in the world!
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The name Toba came from Mount Toba, an ancient mountain where the lake was formed. Lake Toba has formed from a gigantic volcanic eruption of Mount Toba around 70,000 years ago and resulted in the biggest caldera on Earth, that is Lake Toba and an island in the center of the lake called Samosir Island. Some studies also said that the eruption might be the cause of previous ice age. The eruption and the ice age caused disaster for humanity at that time when only a few thousands survived, genetic estimation said.
Nowadays, Lake Toba has become the main attraction in Sumatra as this lake is more like an ocean. Adore this beautiful picturesque landscape of clear water surrounded by mountains at the altitude of 900 meters above sea level. Enjoy the cool climate and take a break from the bustling city of Medan. Recharge yourself after endless days of paperwork in the office, chill out in front of this magical ancient of natural wonders. Prepare yourself for endless attractions in Samosir Island, the biggest lake island in the world which spans 44 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide. Numbers of waterfalls, museums, and historical attractions are blended with the breathtaking scenery of the lush island and laid-back ambiance.
Getting to Lake Toba from Medan
You can take a direct flight to Medan from many places. Once you get there, you can need to get to Parapat, a town by Lake Toba then catch a ferry to Samosir Island. Find your accommodations either hotels or guest houses here to ease your travels and to get yourself great deals!
Things to Do in Lake Toba
1. Chill Around the Lake
Chilling is a must when you visit Lake Toba. Feel the breeze, clear water, and natural beauty surrounding you. Prepare yourself with the most breathtaking scenery of mountains and share it with your loved ones. After that, you can do a picnic by the lake and if available, you may ask the locals to fish on the fisherman’s boat. Kayaking is also an alternative to enjoy the serene lake of Toba.
2. Visit Tuk-Tuk at Samosir Island
Tuk-Tuk is a lakeside town of Lake Toba and is a well-known destination in Samosir Island. Tuk-Tuk seems to be the heart of tourists in Lake Toba where budget accommodations, restaurants, cottages, guesthouse are all available. Enjoy a couple of days in a peaceful town facing the vast ocean-like lake and engage with locals to learn about the Batak culture
3. Amazed at the museum and ancient sites
Ancient sites and minor museums can be found on Samosir. Among them are Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo and Batak Museum in Tomok where you can also see traditional dances being performed. Don’t miss out on the chance to visit the Ancient Court in Ambarita. The said court is famous for 300 years old “stone chair courtyard” which is believed to be the place where elders and rulers decided the fate of convicted.
4. Enjoy Epic Waterfalls
Samosir is home the wonderful waterfalls, and among them is the famous Sipiso-Piso waterfall that has gushing water down from 120 meters of height. Look up the surrounding landscape after your hike on the waterfall. If you wish to swim on the base of the waterfall, visit Binanglom where the water cascades down into the lake.
5. Climb Pusuk Buhit
Pusuk Buhit is located on the west of Samosir Island and standing over 1900 meter where Batak people believed as the place for the creation of myths. Around the mountains, you will be greeted with historical sites of Batak people mixed with the outstanding natural landscape of Pusuk Buhit. Enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Toba from the summit of Pusuk Buhit. The average track takes about 3 hours to the top.
6. Taste the Local Delicacies of Batak People
Local dishes are the best way to learn and understand the culture. One of the best dishes is Batak Grilled pork. Since Batak people are mainly Christian, they are allowed to eat pork and other diets.
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