Sumatra itinerary day by day

Sumatra is a great destination for traveling in Indonesia. It’s less visited than some other islands, but still relatively easy to travel around. We spent amazing 22 days on this island. We already wrote about our favourite places in Sumatra and here’s our Sumatra itinerary day by day that might help you organize your trip.

sumatra itinerary

Above is the map of our journey and below is our Sumatra itinerary with the places we have visited.

Day 1: Medan – Tangkahan

Day 2: Tangkahan – Bukit Lawang

Day 3: Bukit Lawang

Day 4: Bukit Lawang – Berastagi

Day 5: Berastagi

Day 6: Berastagi – Singkil – Banyak islands (Palambak Island)

Day 7: Palambak Island

Day 8: Palambak island

Day 9: Palambak island – Taliana Island

Day 10: Taliana island – Pandan Island

Day 11: Pandan Island – Asok Island

Day 12: Asok Island – Singkil

Day 13: Singkil – Padang

Day 14: Padang

Day 15: Padang – Siberut Island

Day 16: Siberut Island

Day 17: Siberut Island

Day 18: Siberut Island – Padang

Day 19: Padang – Rimba Eco Lodge

Day 20: Rimba Eco Lodge

Day 21: Rimba Eco Lodge – Padang

Day 22: Padang – Kuala Lumpur

We visited some great places and experienced amazing things we will never forget. We had also quite a lot of time, but if you are on a shorter holiday you can easily adjust the itinerary to the number of days you have.

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We mostly traveled with rented car with a driver – we found it more convenient than travel by local buses, paying for 3 tickets and wasting a lot of time and energy. Usually we asked for our transport at the place we were currently staying and compared the prices with those that a local tour operator gave us before our departure to Sumatra. For traveling to and between the islands, we took speed boats and local fishermen boats.

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There are quite a few good places to sleep even if you are on a budget. The ones we stayed in you can find here.

If you are looking for a place to chill out for a couple of days, away from the tourist places, then the Banyak archipelago would be just what you need. We didn’t see a place like this till now. Crystal clear water, isolated islands and friendly local people.

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For a trip to Sumatra like ours (without Padang and the visit to Mentawai tribe on Siberut) we would suggest at least ten days. But please don’t hurry, especially if you are traveling with kids.

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  • January 27, 2017 - 9:20 am

    nicoletta - great blog and pictures, we are planning our family trip and it’s really useful !
    thanksReplyCancel

    • January 27, 2017 - 9:36 am

      Ana - Hi Nicoletta! Thanks, I’m so glad you found useful information here. Enjoy in your family trip (Sumatra I guess?) and if you have any questions just let me know! Cheers, AnaReplyCancel

  • June 8, 2017 - 2:53 pm

    michelangelo - Hi Ana, your blog entries about Sumatra are really inspiring. We’re going to be there for 16-17 days next August.
    We’re a family of three (me + my wife + our lil Tito who will be 7 months old by then), and we will be travelling by bycicle!
    We would like to visit Bukit Lawang first and then start cycling in Berastagi, to Lake Toba first and then to the coast to Singkil.
    That will make for about 350km by bike, that I am quite sure we can cover in one week.
    We would really like to go to Banyak Islands too, but I wonder if we have enough time. The plan would be to charter a boat from Singkil to Palambak or Tailana. Then after 3-4 days on the islands and back in Singkil, we’d charter a car to Medan for flying back home. Do you think it makes sense to go to Banyak for only 3-4 days? Did you charter a boat to Palambak or did you take the ‘public’ route via Balai? Is it easy in Singkil to find boats to the islands, and then back to mainland? How long does it take?ReplyCancel

    • June 12, 2017 - 8:13 am

      Ana - Hi!
      Thanks! Yes, we really recommend to go there, because is very special and if you have 3-4 days it’s fine. We chartered a speed boat from Singkil to Palambak that we arranged in advance (we have a contact of the indonesian guy who helped us with arranging transportation in Sumatra if you need it) and the boat was already waiting for us when we came to Singkil. It took us 2,5 hours to get to Palambak island. I’m sure you will have great time, especially traveling by bicycles!ReplyCancel

      • June 13, 2017 - 8:23 am

        michelangelo - Many thanks for the reply. I would really appreciate if you could share the contact for arranging the transportation. Was it expensive? Would you recommend advance reservation for the accomodation in Palambak too?ReplyCancel

        • June 14, 2017 - 7:30 am

          Ana - The local tour operator is mr. Rega (regavia@yahoo.com). The speed boat is expensive if you compare it to the public boat (it was around 100 EUR), but for us it was worth it. Yes, I think is a good idea to make advanced reservations on Palambak. We were there in February and we were alone, but in August can be more people there.ReplyCancel

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