Trekking in the North of Sumatra.

trekking in the north of sumatra

Highlights: Orangutan watching and Mount Leuser National Park.

Trekking in Gunung Leuser Park.

If trekking in the jungle stuffed with orangutans, reptiles, snakes, frogs, tropical blossom and other wildlife during and hot humid days, is the type of experience you are looking for. Then incorporate Northern Sumatra for your bucket travel list.It is not for everyone, but you will be stunned with what can jungle give you! Once I go trekking with guests or meet fellow travellers, they all are impressed by the scene, terrain and animals met on the trek through the Gunung Leuser National Park.

Park entrance Gunung Leuser Park
Park Entrance

Go with guide.

Jungle is wild, it has paths and trails. Some are long and difficult, some are shorter and easier. Each traveler can access the park by organised tour with a local tour guides(You can count on us – write if you would like us to take you on a trekking tour). It is strongly advised to explore jungle with local person who know the path, do not risk to go on your own, as it is easy to get lost in no time! Guide will be there to help you , we know where are the mystical flowers and where to spot wild orangutans without disturbing them.


Single or Multi day Trekking.

Travellers are welcome to choose from single day treks or multi day treks. It depends upon the sort of experience you’re after. And of course your experience. We suggest to do a 2-3 day trek, which is an excellent taste of Gunung Leuser National Park and can fit for most levels of experiences.

How is the day one trekking in Gunung Leuser National Park.

Trekking commonly starts in the Bukit Lawang town, get to know place where you will start from your guide. As the trekking start in the morning, make sure to have some before breakfast before. Plenty of option available in city from local warung, or food stalls: fruit, eggs and Nasi Goreng(fried rice ). Note that also locally sustainable and harvested coffee can be found in pretty much any corner( Sumatra is famous for its coffee).

The road takes us through Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis) plantations, across a river and into the entry of the park. Don,t get surprised about heat! Have plenty of water with you! We have had guests that never sweated so much through a trek in their life! Along the way there will be chance to sip on jungle whiskey (cups of java) to keep cool and have delicious fresh fruit for energy.

The jungle is lush and the humidity becomes more intense as we get deeper in the rainforest. During day we will walk around and carefully observe flora and fauna. Guides will tell you about plants and their usage . A very high chance to see orang-utans on our way, they hide in trees and makes truly spectacular experience to see and hear them. Most of them had been released back into the wild after rehabilitation.Besides orang-utans, on the track we can spot a range of Thomas Leaf Monkeys (who’re incredibly glowing ), White Handed Gibbons and a huge variety of butterflies. Ears will hear the singing from the cicadas along with the swaying of the trees by the end.

jungle lunch

After you leave a busy city with all the motorbike and car noises, the transition into listening to nature rather is really mesmerising. One should truly emerge being outside and also with nature on a normal basis. Have a moment of silence, turn the camera off, turn the phone off and just listen to the rainforest! We hope it lets you to reconnect with nature.

Reaching Camp

It will take about seven hours of hiking, till we make it to our camp. Campsite has been established at the edge of a river. It is a common place for hikers to meet, if you are going with organised tour there might already be set up tents and warm food cooking. Explore the close surrounding and river banks or share your experiences with fellow travellers. Food served and cooked is local, authentic and organic.

camp in sumatra
Camp. Image by: Adventure in you

Second day

It can to be a tough day of trekking as with a very steep incline. Trek will get quite narrow and if you are afraid of heights, then this may not be the trek for you. Consult your guide for the the best route, forehand. If you decide to go, it will definitely be a highlight of the trip. Arriving at the peak of this ridge, a fresh prepared lunch will be best reward with scenic views. Food after hiking always tastes exceptionally fresh, hearty and flavourful, guides will prepared food on the way. And commonly dishes are traditional Indonesian cuisine and mostly vegetarian, with fruit and nuts.

Challenges on the way

This could be trekking you have not experienced yet, and more reasons we advise to have a local guide with you. Parts of the trek includes holding on to branches around your knees and hands as a means to safety. You will feel like Tarzan in some parts. The local guides are very supportive, by guiding the hikers to which branches grab on and where to put feet. Guides will teach the team about the ideal hiking techniques for such a compact jungle track. The most crucial considerations are hidden in small actions and making sure we were you are constantly holding on to a tree root or branch, especially when hiking down the steep ridge. If there has been rain, track can get muddy and quite slippery, make sure to have pair of gloves and good hiking boots with you. Next Campsite is by the river, it is smaller than first and host less people, you will appreciate tranquility of jungle after long days hike.

steep paths in sumatr

Day tree

Continue hiking trough the jungle with a goal to reach river and head back to city. Trek is getting slightly easier but, everyone still should keep close track with actions. Trek is completed by the river. there will be lunch in the jungle. Commonly tour ends up with a rafting( tubing) our way back to the town. For people who haven’t encounter river rafting( tubing), it will really be a fun experience and a relaxing way to go trough the jungle, especially after three days of intense hiking and all the pain in the legs. There can be up to four persons per tube, with a single tour guide leading down the stream. There are several parts of this river, with twists and turns. We saw birds and monkeys along the way and passed little cities and glimpsed another method of life.

river rafting


  • Lush rainforest
  • Orangutans and other monkey species
  • Adventurous hike
  • Staying in the middle of the jungle
  • Flora and fauna, mostly endemic to Sumatra
  • Local and delicious cuisine
  • Meals prepared on the site
  • Guides can help you to carry bags
  • River rafting – tubing
  • Scenic views
  • Jungle trails


  • The humidity is challenging if You aren’t used to it
  • The trek is tough, even for experienced trekkers
  • If you get ill or in accident, it can take time to seek medical help
  • You wont have access to flushable toilets
  • Chances of rain and flooding
  • Trip from Medan. Depending on your tour operator, they could meet you at Medan or else you may need to make your own way to Bukit Lawang.
  • Have good shoes and physical condition
  • Fear oh heights
  • Sleeping in tent, or on thin mattress
  • Entrance fee for the Park ( The fee is Rp 150,000 ( 11 USD) for foreigner and Rp 5.000, for local/Indonesian. Fee is Per person – Season 2019 and 2020

Have you did the trip ? tell us about it in a message or comment bellow. We would love to hear your experience!

We would love to be part of your trip and show you the best from North Sumatra! Get in touch and let’s see how can we have trip together.

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