From jungle lessons with locals, to swimming in the rivers and lakes or encouter wild animals, there are many options for families in Sumatra and this island is basically a huge playground for your toddlers and children. Travelling with kids on Sumatra can be a feast of adventures, new experiences and smiling faces. Every island of Indonesia is different. Sumatra has its own beauty, and you can see and feel that in its culture, nature, food and people.
Is Sumatra safe for families with kids?
There is no destination without issues. So it is advisable to keep an open eye when on the road in Sumatra. Flight delays and cancellations due to volcanic eruptions can be a problem, but are rather seldom. In general taking basic precautions will keep your family safe. If you’re taking a taxi in bigger cites, check the driver’s ID and/or vehicle number in case you forget something in the car. Stay close to your child in bigger crowds at touristy places. But in the end Indonesians love children. There will always be a child to play with for your own kids.
Do we need vaccinations for Sumatra? And how to stay healthy?
There are some recommended vaccinations for Sumatra. Children from 18 months up to five years usually get most standard vaccines. Older children and teenagers may require booster shots not shorter than six to eight weeks before your trip. Recommended vaccinations for Sumatra are Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Using mosquito repellant and being careful of what you drink and eat, should prevent serious illnesses. However, we are no doctors and don’t give specific advises. Please consult your doctor for more information.
Is water and food in Sumatra safe to consume?
Tap water is not consumable. Ice at hotels and restaurants is usually safe because they buy it from the shops or wholesale markets. Foodwise is depending. Some local dishes are quiet spicy and if you or your children tend to have stomach problems, it may happen that you get these in Sumatra as well. Therefore we recommend to bring medicine for stomach problems and diarrhea. But there are mostly also western dishes available in touristy places.
Are there pharmacies and hospitals on Sumatra?
There are pharmacies in the main tourist areas and bigger cities. There is no hospital on Sumatra with international standard. In bad cases you need to go to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. So make sure you obtain a travel isurance which covers these costs.
Hospitals on Sumatra:
Columbia Asia Hospital Medan
Jl. Listrik No.2A
Sumatera Utara 20112
West Sumatra Police Hospital
Jl. Jati No. 1
Sumatera Barat 25129
24/4 Emergency Room
Hospital Efarina Etaham Pangkalan Kerinci
Jl. Lintas Sumatra No. 1
How to stay connected with loved ones at home
In the touristy places most guesthouses provide wifi. You can also get a local SIM card at the airport in Medan or other places.
Places to visit as a family on Sumatra
This will be probalbly your entry point onto Sumatra if you want to see orangutans or volcanoes. It is not recommended to stay longer than needed. It is basically a big Indonesian city with crazy traffic and only a few things to see and do. If you arrive late, staying overnight in Medan is recommendable. From here you can also catch flieghts to Pulau Weh in the north or Padang in the South.
Most travelers and famlies come to Sumatra for the wildlife and nature. In particular to see orangutans in Bukit Lawang. This little village is situated on the border of Gunung Leuser Nationalpark. Besides Borneo the only place where you can see orangutans in the wild. The village can be touristy in summer, but it is a great place to experience the rainforest or just relax on the river banks. On a jungle trekking for families you may see orangutans, peacocks, monitor lizards, monkeys or snakes.
The Gunung Leuser Nationalpark is one of the most biodivers ecosystems in the world. If you want to go trekking, you may only do so with a licenced guide. We are happy to arrange a jungle tour for your family.
Read More: Things to do in Bukit Lawang with kids
Berastagi is the starting point for hiking up the volcano of Sibayak. Besides that you can visit the local market and try the different fruits of the region, take a dip in one of the hot springs of the area or visit the traditional Lingga village.
The Sibayak is a semi-active volcano which can be hiked up to. You won’t see any lava up there, but it is super loud and a true adventure on your Sumatra vacation with kids. Steam vents blast out air at the noise levels of fighter jets. The hike is not very steep and managable for kids who’ve done a bit of hiking before. Most part is in the sun, so bring sunscreen and a hat or the like.
Read also: Things to do in Berastagi
The perfect place to unwind and relax. Lake Toba is the biggest crater lake in the world. You can get some excellent grilled fish over here. Besides relaxing you can visit traditional Batak villages, awesome view points or swim in the lake.
Ihr you’re a water rat go to the island of Pulau Weh at the Northern tip of Sumatra. Diving, snorkeling, boat tours can all be done here. Plus it offers some nice beaches to get some beach vibes.
How to get around as a family in Sumatra?
Local transport is rather challenging. Taxis and private drivers are the most popular way for getting around Sumatra. Most accommodations can arrange a taxi or driver for you. If you travel with a baby, better ask for baby car seats and check the rear seat belts in the car as it can occur that they don’t work or are inexistend. Renting a car is not recommended as roads and traffic can be challenging. Contact us for your private driver on Sumatra.
Where to Stay in Sumatra with kids
Waterstone – offers just two rooms with stunning views and shared toilet. It’s perfect for families with older kids. It now offers also a house for 4 in the heart of Bukit Lawang. Contact us for details.
Indra Valley Inn – offers rooms with up to three beds, amazing jungle views, and a restaurant.
Rudang Hotel Berastagi – offers larger Superior Double Rooms with extra beds.
Lekjon Cottage – nicely located on the shore of the lake offers large rooms with extra beds and balcony.
Tabo Cottage – More luxurious accommodation with beautifull rooms and suites to fit families of all sizes. Offers a pool.
All guesthouses mentioned above come with an on-site restaurant where you can hang out during the day. Be aware of the occasional macaque monkeys. Don’t eat on your balconies or store food in the room. They can get aggressive. Don’t feed them!
Tailor Made Family Holidays in Sumatra
If you are nervous about the idea of traveling Sumatra with kids, then we are happy to create a tailor made holiday in Sumatra for your family. It can be as active or relaxing as you want it to be. We will plan your vacation and you will have 24/7 assistance – so you don’t have to worry about anything. Just contact us with your requirements and wishes and we are happy to help.