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How to get to Lake Toba

Travelling to Lake Toba, a stunning volcanic lake on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is a fascinating journey through the region’s diverse landscape. Most travellers choose the city of Medan as the starting point for their journey, which is well connected to international airports, from where there are various options for onward travel.

During the journey, you will pass picturesque villages, lush rice fields and tropical forests. On the way, you can also stop at small roadside stalls and sample local specialities. The journey usually takes several hours, depending on the route chosen and the traffic.

Whichever option you choose, travelling to Lake Toba is not just a logistical step, but also a journey through the fascinating culture and nature of Sumatra. Once you arrive at your destination, Lake Toba rewards you with its impressive beauty and the relaxed atmosphere that makes this place an unforgettable holiday destination.

Read here how to get to Lake Toba from various locations:

Tourist Bus

These shared cars and vans travel daily from Berastagi to Lake Toba.

Private driver

We will be happy to organise a private driver for you from your accommodation in Berastagi to Bukit Lawang. Just get in touch with us.

Local bus

This can be a long journey as you have to travel via Medan.

  1. You start at the bus station in Bukit Lawang and take one of the orange local buses to Pinang Baris bus station in Medan (approx. IDR 30,000, 3.5 hours).
    Here you have to change bus stops.

  2. Take a becak to get to the Amplas bus station.

  3. From here you can take the Sejatera bus or one of the minivans. Both only start when the buses are full. This means that you may have to wait 1 hour. They stop several times on the way to pick up or drop off more passengers.

    The Sejatera first stops at the bus station in Parapat, then at Ajibata harbour and finally at Tiga Raja harbour, from where you take the ferry to Tuktuk.

    The minivans stop outside Parapat, from where you can take an angkot (shared minibus) to Tiga Raya harbour.

     

  4. Take the ferry to Tuktuk. Simply mention your accommodation on the ferry and you will be dropped off there.

Tourist Bus

A more comfortable option is to take the tourist bus to Lake Toba. These are shared cars that travel daily from Bukit Lawang to Lake Toba. The price is 270.000/person. Duration: approx. 8 hours. We will be happy to organise this for you.

Private driver

We will be happy to organise a private driver for your transport from Bukit Lawang to Lake Toba. Simply contact us

Medan Kuala Namu Airport is located approx. 30 kilometres outside of Medan. The journey to Lake Toba takes approx. 4-5  hours.

Local bus

After arriving at the airport, leave the building and go straight ahead into the railway station building. Exit the building on the right in front of the Indomaret. All buses depart from there. Large signs indicate the direction of travel. Take the bus to Siantar. The bus usually only starts when it is almost full, so you will have to wait a little.

In Siantar, change to another bus to Parapat. These also only start when the buses are full. This means that you sometimes have to wait 1 hour. On the way, they stop several times to pick up or drop off more passengers.

Depending on the bus, you will either be taken to the harbour or dropped off at the main road. In the latter case, you can take an angkot (shared miniva) or becak to the harbour.

From here, take the ferry to Tuktuk on the island of Samosir. Simply name your accommodation on the ferry and you will be dropped off there.

Tourist Bus

Before Corona, there was a counter for tourist buses (shared cars). This service was no longer available when we last checked. Ask your accommodation at Lake Toba if they can organise this for you. If you land before 12 noon, we can also organise a tourist bus for you. The cost is 270,000IDR/person. Please contact us

Private driver

We will be happy to organise a private driver for you who will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive. The cost is 90 euros/car for up to 4 people. Simply contact us

Local bus

From Medan, take a Grab or taxi to the Amplas bus station.

From here you can take the Sejatera bus or one of the minivans. Both only start when the buses are full. This means that you may have to wait 1 hour. They stop several times on the way to pick up or drop off more passengers.

The Sejatera first stops at the bus station in Parapat, then at Ajibata harbour and finally at Tiga Raja harbour, from where you take the ferry to Tuktuk.

The minibus stops outside Parapat, from where you can take an angkot (shared minibus) or taxi to Tiga Raja harbour.

From here you then take the ferry to Tuktuk on the island of Samosir.

Tourist Bus

Your accommodation can also organise a shared taxi to Lake Toba. These usually depart in the morning. The cost is 170,000IDR/person.

Private driver

We are happy to organise a private driver from your accommodation in Medan to Lake Toba. The cost is 80 euros/car for up to 4 people. Please contact us

Amplas bus station in Medan

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Pinang Baris bus station in Medan

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bookings

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