Sumatra is the wild west of Indonesia, and a fascinating place to visit. Steamy rainforest, swamping plains and active volcanoes make up this island, which is the 6th largest in the world and the largest in Indonesia. You are guaranteed an adventure here, with hiking, surfing, climbing, wildlife experiences, and jungle treks on offer. Ten national parks boast an impressive array of endemic species, including the Sumatran tiger, orangutan, rhino and elephant. Sumatra is the only place in the world where these endangered animals coexist. You’ll find the people are just as diverse as the wildlife and land, with Muslims, Batak Christians and up to 52 ethnic minority groups living on the island, each with unique and fascinating traditions, clothing and lifestyles. Hilltop and jungle enclosed villages are dotted across the island, where you can gain a fascinating insight into the inhabitants and their lives on this wild land.
The area most visited is the north where landscapes are diverse, tribal encounters are aplenty and you’ll find many national parks; it’s an essential stop for any Sumatran holiday. Head to the Way Kambas, Kerinci Seblat and Gunung Leuser national parks that brim with wildlife and are rich in biodiversity. The area of Banda Aceh was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, and is an important transit hub, though home to incredible diving spots. For magnificent landscapes, cinnamon and coffee plantations sitting on fertile lands, trekking and traditional villages, head west.