Adopting eco-conscious travel habits is a promising step towards a sustainable environment as it can have long-term impacts. And an ideal ecotourism spot to start your eco-conscious journey is North Sumatra, home to the world’s largest volcanic lake and the endangered orangutan.
Here are 6 reasons why you should put North Sumatra on your bucket list of ecotourism destinations:
1 | Help the Endangered Species in Mount Leuser National Park
Did you know that North Sumatra is the only habitat where rhinos, elephants, and orangutans live together? They all live in Mount Leuser National Park, home to almost 750 exotic animals and approximately 10,000 plant species! It is one of the five places in the world where you can see the endangered orangutans. The ecotourism tours offered here give people a chance to discover the lush montane rainforest without disrespecting the wildlife and their habitat. By exploring the biodiversity of this park, you will be supporting the local communities and conservation organizations that are working to protect hundreds of flora and fauna species.
2 | Trek Responsibly To the Crater of Mount Sibayak
Well-known for its steamy sulfurous fumes and golden sunrise, Mount Sibayak, a North-Sumatran volcano, is an ideal site to trek responsibly. Thrill-seekers can begin their trekking adventure at two points: northwest of Berastagi or the base of the volcano. From there, you can explore the Air Terjun panorama and then trek to the exotic jungle at its base. Once you reach the top, you can see the clouds coming out of the steam vents as they emit sulfurous fumes. If you’re lucky enough to trek in clear weather, you can spot Mount Sinabung from afar.
Be sure to pack your ecotourism essentials like reusable water bottles, eating utensils, food, drinks, and warm clothing. Tour guides are also recommended since it’s quite easy to get lost, especially due to abrupt weather changes.
3 | Support the Local Coffee in Berastagi
The rich fertile soil and warm tropical weather of North Sumatra help produce the world’s best coffee beans. Coffee production in the Berastagi area, near Lake Toba, began in 1884 and flourished rapidly. Popular for its rich flavor, Sumatran coffee can also be found in the most-treasured blends of Starbucks. Coffee lovers can take coffee tours near Lake Toba to enjoy a cup of the world’s finest coffee, and learn about the harvesting and production process.
4 | Discover the Gigantic Rafflesia in Bukit Lawang
Can you imagine discovering a meter-long flower on a nature walk? You might have seen it in science-fiction movies, but you can actually observe it up close in North Sumatra. Rafflesia Arnoldi is the world’s biggest flower and you can find it in Bukit Lawang, a sprawling tourism village on the edge of Mount Leuser National Park. It’s quite rare to find these flowers as they bloom unexpectedly. However, if you’re lucky, you can spot this stunning flower on an ecotourism trek around the area.
5 | Explore the Enchanting Lake Toba
An ecotourism trip to North Sumatra is incomplete without a visit to Lake Toba. A surface area of 1,145 km2 and a depth of around 450 meters make Lake Toba the world’s biggest crater lake. More than just a tourist destination, it offers an unforgettable cultural experience and a magical getaway with stunning greenery and mountain views. Tourists can enjoy the spectacular view while relaxing in the Sipoholon Hot Springs. They can also learn about the region’s ancient culture in Samosir Island, located at the center of the lake. It’s no wonder this area has been ranked top ecotourism destination by the Indonesian President himself! Lake Toba is not only ranked 5th largest lake in the world, its striking beauty will also leave you breathless.
Though the pandemic has changed the way we travel, we need to adopt more eco-friendly practices to create a sustainable future. One important thing we can do is be an eco-conscious traveler. We must protect and respect the wildlife and their environment, and support the local community. From rich culture to stunning mountain views and delicious cuisines, North Sumatra has everything that makes it an ideal ecotourism spot for those who love the wonders of nature.
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