Meet the Minangkabau

6-day Minangkabau Culture at Lake Maninjau - Sumatra

Prices from £548 pp

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Duration6 days / 5 nights (flexible)

LocationSumatra: Samosir Island - Padang Sidempuan - Bukittinggi - Ngarai Sianok Canyon - Lake Maninjau - Padang airport

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Travel from Samosir Island to the rippling Lake Maninjau in the crater of a volcano. On the way, you’ll travel past lush rolling hills, hike through a plunging canyon, and watch workers panning for gold along the riverbed. You’ll explore Bukittinggi, the cultural centre of Minangkabau culture and swim in the cool water of highland volcanic lakes.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast
  • Transport by private air-conditioned car from Parapat (Lake Toba) until Padang airport
  • Guided excursion through canyon
  • Entrance fees

Create your own holiday itinerary 1. Add at least 3 chosen trips to your travel plan 2. Send it our way 3. Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote

Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Arrival in Padang Sidempuan

Today, you’ll travel by private car to Padang Sidempuan, so you can stop off along the way if something interesting catches your eye. In the late afternoon, you’ll arrive at your hotel. There aren’t too many accommodation options here, so we’ve picked a modern hotel for the night. Although it’s rather large, and perhaps a little impersonal, there are plenty of facilities and the restaurant serves tasty Indonesian cuisine.

Arrival in Padang Sidempuan

Padang Sidempuan to Bukittinggi

You’ll leave early this morning for the drive to Bukittinggi. It’s another long journey across hills and valleys, through plantations and small villages. In the late afternoon you’ll arrive in Bukittinggi, surrounded by volcanoes, lakes, canyons and traditional villages. The town sits on the Agam plateau above a deep river valley. You’ll stay in a quiet, simple hotel with a pool.

Padang Sidempuan to Bukittinggi


Today, you’ll have a private car and driver at your disposal, so you can explore the area at your own pace. You can start the day with a walk into town and a trip to the colourful market. Bukittinggi is the home of the Minangkabau culture in which the women play the dominant role. Their wealth is expressed in beautifully woven traditional dress and the adat houses with their distinctive roofs.


Ngarai Sianok Canyon

Today you’ll walk with a local guide down a steep path into the canyon. You’ll find yourself surrounded by steep cliffs covered in tropical vines. Follow the river running through the canyon, wade through the water and make the steep climb to the top. The trip ends in a small silversmith village with several colonial Dutch houses. You can walk back to Bukittinggi through the canyon or take an ankot.

Ngarai Sianok Canyon

Bukittinggi to Lake Maninjau & Departure

This morning, you’ll continue your trip through the countryside to Lake Maninjau. The last stretch follows 44 nerve-wrecking hairpin bends, each offering an amazing view across the crystal blue lake and forests. When you arrive at your hotel, you can go for a swim in the clear waters of the lake. The simple rooms have a balcony with views across the lake. You can rent a bike, explore the area on foot or hire a canoe.

The next day you’ll leave Lake Maninjau for Padang airport, ready for your next adventure.

Bukittinggi to Lake Maninjau & Departure

Speak to our Indonesia specialist, Miles

“From the moment I first stepped off the plane, I was swept away by Indonesia’s charm and beauty- so much so, that I’ve since lost count of how many times I’ve been! It’s got beaches, cultural wonders, wildlife & warm weather. What’s not to love?”

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