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Berastagi, usually pronounced Brastagi, with an elevation of 1220m, close to Lake Toba is a small, normal busy Indonesian town. Berastagi is located 70km from Medan. It does not rely on tourism so you’ll get to see the locals getting on with their lives rather than hassling tourists to make a living.
There are some great day trips to be done from Berastagi. The area around is the main fruit, vegetable and flower growing area for North Sumatra.
There is 2 active volcanoes close to Berastagi. Sibayak, closest to town, 2100 meters high and fairly easy to climb and a great place to view the sunrise. And Sinabung, 2400 meters high, quite steep and difficult to climb, often getting on your hands and knees to climb at times.
7th September 2010 – Sinabung Volcano erupted today pumping black smoke 5km into the air, the most violent eruption since it became active again over 1 week ago after laying dormant for over 400 years. The eruption could be felt up to 8 kilometers away. Sinabung Volcano had 24 smaller eruptions the day leading up to this mornings eruption. 30,000 residents around the surrounding villages have been evacuated to camps.
Sinabung Volcano erupted on the 29th August 2010 and again on Monday 30th August 2010 spewing smoke and ash 2 kilometers into the air. This is the first time Sinabung has erupted in over 400 years. The second eruption on Monday was larger than on Sunday with possible increased volcanic activity.
An exclusion zone of 7 kilometers has been setup around the volcano though the smoke has been causing respiratory problems to locals around the Berastagi area. Some flights into Medan airport were delayed or re-routed on Monday though all flights are normal into Medan now. – last updated 31st August 2010.
12kms south of Berastagi is Kabanjahe, from where you can walk 4km to the ancient, traditional village of Lingga where the design of the houses with their horn-shaped roofs has remained unchanged for centuries. Five or six families (or from the Karonese perspective, one extended family) live in each house, but each has its own family stove.
Right next to the centre of Berastagi is Bukit Gundaling which is a hill overlooking Berastagi, Gunung Sibayak and Gunung Sinabung. At the top of the hill are some food and coffee stalls with excellent views over the town. There are also horse riding available up and down the hill.
Day trips out of Berastagi
Tahura National Park is a beautiful spot for exploring the jungle. There is a good waterfall and many clear and easy paths. You will almost certainly see wildlife a short walk into the jungle, gibbons or other primates, and have a good chance of seeing a hornbill or some other exotic birds. The Park also offers rides on Elephants and horses.
Hot springs are located at the base of Mount Sibayak with a variety of places offering pools for therapeutic bathing. Admission is generally 5000Rp.
40 minutes from Berastagi is the Sipiso – piso waterfall (‘like a knife’) on the northern edge of Lake Toba. The waterfall is 120m high and is formed by an underground river which flows out into the Toba caldera.
Sikulikap Waterfall around 30m high is 20 minutes from Berastagi. To get there catch any bus from Berastagi going to Medan and ask to be dropped off at Sikulikap. It should cost about 3000Rp for this trip. On the main road there are a series of basic food stalls with great views out over the gorge where the waterfall is located but you are unable to see the falls from there. At the bottom of the hill near the road bridge, on the right there is a path that leads through the rainforest to the falls. Should take about 15 – 20 minutes to walk to the falls. There is a good chance you will see monkeys within the rainforest.
The Sibolangit Botanical gardens are on the road between Medan and Berastagi, about 20km north of Berstagi. The botanical gardens contain giant ferns and moss covered trees.
How to get to Berastagi
Berastagi is 2 hours by bus from Medan. Local buses costs 7000Rp. Go to the Padang Bulan Bus terminal in Medan are there will be plenty of different buses to catch to Berastagi.
Sunrise View Hotel (2 review) is a great budget hotel with 8 rooms from 60,000 – 100,000Rp per night. Located 5 minutes walk from the town centre. Just up the hill on the way to the top of Gundaling Hill. It over looks Berastagi and as the name suggests has a great vantage point for the sunrise. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Danau Toba International. Rooms from 255,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Mikie Holiday Resort (reviews) a 4 star holday resort hotel with large swimming pool with poolside bar, free in room internet access, WiFi internet in public areas, restaurant and 24 hour room services. Room prices start from US$33 per night (around 315,000Rp). For more photos, online booking and hotel reviews for Mikie Holiday Resort click here.
Berastagi Cottages (1 review) offer very nice clean cottages spread out around a peaceful garden environment. 1.2km from the centre of town. Cottages from 450,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Hotel Sinabung is a fantastic 4 star hotel, one of the best hotels in all of North Sumatra. Located about 1km from the centre of town. Rooms from 700,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Hotel Sibayak International (1 review) is a 4 star hotel, located about 1km from the centre of town. Rooms from 700,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Berastagi 5 star accommodation
Mickey Holiday Hotel
Berastagi 4 star accommodation
Mutiara Brastagi Hotel www.grandmutiarahotel.com
2 star accommodation
Bukit Kubu Hotel
Hotel Rose Garden
Bere Karona Hotel
G.M.Panggabean Int. Hotel
Latersia Cottages Tel (0628) 91027 – Around 20,000Rp per person
Last updated 30th August 2012