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Travel Tips and Information

Travel updates on Coronovirus (COVID-19) here

Visitor Information

Before you jet off on your travels, it's handy to know beforehand what to expect. Below is a list of things you need to know and how to prepare for your trip

Things you need to Know

Passport Details

  • Please make sure that the name on your passport is the same as that on when booking. We use this register you at the Indonesia Tourist Office and buy the permit.

  • Make sure your passport has a minimum of six months validity remaining, as this is an entry requirement of many countries.


  • Please let us know your flight details before your arrival date, whether you have a pick-up or not. This is so we know your estimated arrival time in Bukit Lawang.


  • We can help with pre and post accommodation before/after your trek or tour

  • If booking your own acccommodation we recommend booking at least several months before tyour trip especially if its in the high season (June - October).

  • Please confirm with us what accommodation you have booked 


  • Payment for treks and tours are paid in cash the night before your trek. This is to so we can pay for the permits, buy food for the trek and to cover any additonal costs during a tour.


  • Please inform us of any medical conditions

  • All treks need a reasonable level of fitness

  • If you have any allergies, please say during the booking period

Food and Dietary Requirements

  • Whilst traveling with us, you will get to experience an array of traditional Indonesian food. We are also happy to suggest places to eat. During treks, you will eat as a group, but if you have any dietary requirements please let us know.

Indonesian Food

Indonesian food can be spicy, especially as Indonesians eat Sambal (chilli sauce) with most things. Here is a guide to the Must Try Dishes in Indonesia.

Vegetarian and Vegans

Strict vegetarians and vegans should be aware that many Indonesian dishes and snacks have shrimp paste in. Eggs is also a common ingredient. However, milk/cream is rarely used, so most curries or sauces use coconut milk. There are many vegetable dishes especially in the warungs (local cafe/buffet style) but if you are in a restaurant please ensure that when you are ordering you specify that your dietary needs.

You can read our blog about being vegetarian or vegan in Sumatra.

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  • Visa Exemption - As from 2015, citizens from 90 countries can obtain a 30 day free visa from Medan Airport, Kuala Namu. However, you must show onward travel otherwise Immigrations is likely to charge you the standard $35 for a VOA 30 day visa. This visa can not be extended and you have leave on the 30th day. The day you arrive counts as your first day.

  • Visa On Entry - This visa is for anyone wanting to stay longer than 30 days, as it can be extended without leaving Indonesia, hence visitors can stay for 60 days. Citizens from 62 countries can apply for VOA at most Indonesian airports, costing $35. If visitors are wanting to extend then this needs to be done a week for the visa expires at the local immigration office. Here that is Medan. Visa extention now costs IDR 500,000 for another 30 days.

  • Visa Prior to Arrival - A 60 day visa can be obtained prior to travel to Indonesia. Visitors can apply at the local Indonesia Embassy/Consulate in their country, or within Asia, the only place is the Indonesian Consulate in Penang, Malaysia. However, they require that you have a sponsor letter.

  • Covid-19 & Entry Requirements - Due to constantly changing COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, you must monitor your government's foreign travel advice for the most up-to-date border measures and entry requirements as they may change without notice. See our travel alerts  page for up-to-date information of entry requirements and important link to common government pages.

      Entry requirements might include, but not limited to, presentation of Covid-19 vaccination, a negative PCR test, insurance and quarantine in a hotel.​

The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival and have a valid return ticket.

Currency and Money

  • The currency in Indonesia is Rupiah. Banknotes: 1000 rp, 2000 rp, 5000 rp, 10,000 rp, 20,000 rp, 50,000 rp and 100,000 rp     

  • There is no ATM in Bukit Lawang or in the next village, so take money out at the airport.

  • There are several currency exchange offices in Bukit Lawang, but they do not give the best rate.

  • The maximum amount visitors can withdraw at one time is 2,500,000 rp if the note denomination is 100,000 rp. There are two ATMs in Bahorok (about 30 minutes from Bukit Lawang). They do accept Visa cards but there are regular issues with them.

  • In an emergency, money can be taken for a card machine in one of the offices, but they charge 7% on foreign cards                  

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Preparing to travel


  • Consult your doctor about any vaccinations you might need to travel in Sumatra

  • Make sure these are checked and done well before you travel departure.


  • If you are obtaining a visa on arrival, check that you have the necessary requirements and documents.

  • if you have any questions about the visa, don't hesitate to contact us.

What to bring

  • Please look at the what to bring document

  • If you have any questions about what you should bring for a trek or tour, please email us.

Pack for a Purpose

  • We ask our guests to participate in pack for a purpose

  • We support 3 projects in Bukit Lawang

  • Please check what supplies are needed and whether you can help


We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.

Responsible Travel

Our trek and tours are more enjoyable because they do good!

Our impact sustainable plan outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, respecting nature, supporting local communities, cultures and traditions.

Local Dress

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Indonesia. We ask our guests to respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means that when travelling around, it's best that clothing covers your shoulders and knees for all genders. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool. Within Bukit Lawang, it is less conservative so singlets, shorts, knee length skirts are acceptable. When swimming, local women will even wear modest clothing. Again in Bukit Lawang, it is respectful for tourist to wear a swimsuit. We suggest women not to wear Bikinis unless you want the local men to stare. We suggest what to wear in the document 'What to Bring' above.

Weather in Sumatra

Sumatra is placed right next to the Equator, so it is tropical. It is hot and humid, so one minute it can be dry and the next it's raining.


There are two seasons in Sumatra, the dry and the rainy season. Typically the dry season is from April to October and the rainy season from October to March. The wettest months are usually December and Janaury.


However, more recently the weather in Bukit Lawang is very unpredictable with no distinct seasons. Even when it is the dry season, as Bukit Lawang is next to the rainforest, there can be heavy showers in the afternoon or evening. Temperature throughout the year are generally between 26 - 33 degrees celsius. 

 Sumatra Facts

  • Sumatra is largest island in Indonesia and the 6th largest island in the world

  • Sumatra is c.1,110 mi (1,790 km) long and c.270 mi (435 km) wide and is fringed with smaller islands off its western and eastern coasts. 

  • The Bukit Barisan, a volcanic mountain range with more than 30 active volcanoes, traverses its length, reaching 12,467 ft (3,800 m) at Mt. Kerinci.

  • North Sumatra is a province and its capital city is Medan

  • Lake Toba, located in North Sumatra is a large natural lake formed by the caldera of a super volcano. It is largest volcanic lake in the world, some 500m deep. The island within it, Samosir, is the size of Singapore

  • There are many different ethnic groups on the island, speaking over 52 different languages. The common language is Bahasa (language) Indonesian. However, within ethinic groups and locations, they speak their own ethnic language (Malay, Javan, Karonese etc.) and dialect

  • The majority of people in Sumatra are Muslims (87,1%), while 10,7% are Christians, less than 2% are Buddhist and Hindus

  • Sumatra the last place on earth where 5 large mammals still co-exist; Sumatra Orangutan, Elephant, Tiger and Rhino and Sunbears.

  • Sumatra holds some of the richest and diverse forests in the world


  • Sumatra is home to 201 mammal species and 580 bird species

  • Sumatra has the highest loss of natural forest in Indonesia, due to the expansion of paper and pulp agriculture and oil palm agriculture


Why Travel with Us?

Responsible Travel

Don't just come, travel and see, help make a positive changes

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How we Help

By working with the local community we can make small changes

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