Danau Toba is known for

  • Breathtaking Nature
  • Largest Lake in Indonesia & largest volcanic lake in the world
  • UNESCO Global Geoparks
  • Hiking and Panoramic Views
  • Cinamon, Clove, and Coffee Plantations
  • Wood Carvings and Crafts


Danau Toba Guide

The biggest volcanic crater lake in the world is located in Northern Sumatra. The lake, which is larger than Singapore, is often regarded as one of the world’s greatest natural marvels. Lake Toba is one of the deepest lakes in the world, measuring in at a staggering 500 meters deep.

Traveling to Lake Toba from Medan takes some time. The fastest way to go to Danau Toba from Kota Medan is to drive and take the car ferry. This will take around 7 hours.

For decades, travelers have told stories about Danau Toba. Stories about friendly Christian Batak that live near a large, ocean-blue lake high up among Sumatra’s volcanic peaks. There’s a village on the inner island of the volcanic lake called Tuk Tuk, and rumor has it, it’s still one of the best things about Sumatra.

An eruption between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago changed the climate and made Danau Toba, the biggest lake in Southeast Asia and the largest volcanic lake in the world. Pulau Samosir is in the middle of the lake, but a small land bridge connects it to the mainland near the town of Pangururan.

The best times to visit Lake Toba are during the wet and dry seasons. The first occurs between the months of September and November, during the Lake Toba festival. There will be dragon boat races, other sporting events, live music, art exhibitions from local artists, and much more at this festival. It’s a chance to meet fellow tourists and locals while also having a good time.

The months of May through September are the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds. Seasonally, these are the best times to take pictures of Samosir Island and Lake Toba.

Danau Toba Impressions

Good to Know

Getting to Danau Toba & Getting around

It takes 5 hours to fly from Bali to Donau Toba (DTB Silangit Airport). From the Medan airport, it is about a 6-hour drive or bus ride to your destination.

Most people will stay in Medan for a day or two before continuing to Lake Toba.

Taxi & Bus:  Take a cab from the airport to the Amplas Bus Terminal in the heart of Medan. You may reach Parapat Town by using either of the Sentosa, ALS, or Sejatera public buses. Depending on the traffic, using public transit might take anywhere from six to eight hours.

Getting from the airport to Parapat by taxi is possible, but it will cost you a pretty penny. It may take you four or five hours to make the trip.

Find a travel agency in Medan, the city, and have them organize for your transportation and sightseeing.

Private car service from Kuala Namu International Airport or Medan to Lake Toba is the most time- and money-efficient option and should be booked online before leaving your home country. 

Another way to see Lake Toba, Samosir Island, Medan, Parapat, and Berastagi is on a private trip with a guide and driver. 

Ferries go between Parapat and Tuk Tuk every hour between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Samosir is serviced by a network of local buses and minibuses, with the exception of Tuk Tuk.

Motorcycle and bicycle rentals are recommended on the island due to the excellent road conditions.

They’re ideal for short to medium journeys and come at a low price. Senggigi and Mataram are where you’ll get the most usage out of them.

The People

Most of the people who live around Lake Toba are ethnically Bataks. The Bataks are  Austronesian ethnic groups predominantly found in North Sumatra. Linguistic and archaeological evidence suggests that about 2,500 years ago Austronesian speakers first reached Sumatra from Taiwan and the Philippines through Kalimantan or Java, and the Batak most likely descended from these settlers.

Batak Man
Geography & Map

GEO – Lake Toba & Samosir Island

  • about 100 kilometres (62 miles) long
  • 30 kilometres (19 mi) wide
  • up to 505 metres (1,657 ft) deep
  •  Surface elevation 905 m (2,969 ft)
  • site of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred 69,000 to 77,000 years ago with climate changing effects and global consequences
  • the largest-known explosive eruption in the last 25 million years
  • Samosir is the largest island within an island, and the fifth largest lake island in the world.
Map View

Danau Toba Impressions