Lake Toba from above


  1. Hey, thanks for sharing this report! I am planning a similar trip to Northern Sumatra and wondering about the logistics of the “Shared Taxi” service. Did the same car and driver stay with you the entire time? If so, what is the cost like? Is it daily + gas? I am looking to spend four or five days around Ketambe, so I’m not sure how feasible private transport is. Shoot me an e-mail reply if you get a chance.

    1. Hi Brad – the shared cabs are just your ride there. They don’t stay and wait. During our time there, we had different drivers every time. Your accommodation coordinates it for you and you just pay your accommodation. That was our experience at least.

      In addition, from our experience, and at the time we were there, a shared taxi was the only direct way to get to Ketambe. We did read about a potential bus option but it 1) didn’t sound reliable and 2) no one could really give us more information on it.

      We can’t recall exact numbers of what we paid but we know it wasn’t major fees. We were on a pretty tight budget so we definitely wouldn’t have paid a lot for the ride.

  2. Hi, do you know how much the sunrise your of the volcano/ hot springs in Betastagi costs. We’ve heard so many different prices from 400 to 800. It seems no blogs have any prices. Makes it hard to know if you’re being ripped off a little or a lot

    1. Hi Dave!

      We paid $15USD for the sunrise hike to Gunung Sibayak / hot springs. We booked and went with the family we stayed with while we were in Berastagi – Nachelle’s Homestay.

      Thanks and good luck!
      – Lauren & Jesse

  3. Hey, this was all really helpful. I am planning my trip to Northern Sumatra for next summer. Did you book anything in advance or do it all on arrival?

    1. Hey Laura!

      Happy to hear it’s helpful! Thanks for reading 🙂

      The only things we booked in advance were our accommodations. And when we say advanced, we mean a few days a head of our arrival.

      All transportation we booked with our accommodations once we arrived and had no issues securing rides.

      Have a blast in Sumatra!
      Lauren & Jesse

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