Gateway to the Mentawai islands and cradle of the Minangkabau matriarchal culture, West Sumatra is a fertile land that offers magnificent landscapes over volcanic slopes and beautiful coffee and cinnamon plantations. Diverse wildlife populates the national parks and the scenery varies from canyons to thick rainforests, pristine lakes and deserted islands. You can spend your days practicing a range of outdoor activities or immersing yourself in rich and ancient traditional culture, discovering handicrafts and tribal rituals. Padang cuisine is known all over the country for its variety of delicious dishes and eating at a local restaurant is an experience the whole family will enjoy.
Bukittinggi is the perfect base to explore the hilly surroundings, but also the town itself offers interesting activities such as the colourful market and historical tunnels. Out of town, you’ll find less traffic and more opportunities to unleash your inner explorer. Cross fertile lands carpeted with mango, papaya and avocado trees and neatly tended rice and cassava fields. Treks will bring you through the jungle or around Mount Merapi (depending on the volcano’s safety situation!); you will visit traditional villages and discover the songket textile tradition and fine silverware. Towards Harau Valley to the east, the scenery changes to welcome a narrow valley enclosed by high cliffs and inhabited by friendly villagers. Here, trekking, climbing and waterfall hunting are the main activities, together with laughing with children and counting the many shades of green.
West of Bukittingi is Lake Maninjau, a volcanic lake known for its beauty and whose area offers a variety of activities. You can simply enjoy a swim or a canoe ride, or else explore the surroundings and discover traditional villages, waterfalls and nature trails. Here you will be accompanied by birds’ songs and abundant flora and fauna.