This post was last updated on May 23rd, 2020 at 10:37 am
North Sumatra is one of the leading tourist destinations in Indonesia. In this province, you can find an area that offers plenty of natural charm; Berastagi. This city, flanked by Mount Sinabung and Mount Sibayak, is known to have a cool atmosphere with beautiful natural scenery.
The better-known Mount Sinabung probably rings a bell in your ears, doesn’t it? However, not many people know about the existence of Mount Sibayak. In fact, Mount Sibayak holds a variety of charms that should not be missed. Some people also consider this volcano very easy to climb. So, no need to worry about the difficulty to see its charm.
Before visiting, let’s check out some interesting facts about Mount Sibayak!
The mountain, with a peak of 2,212 meters above sea level, is located in the Karo highlands, Karo Regency. Meanwhile, Mount Sibayak stretches out into the Bukit Barisan Forest Park.
From the center of Medan, you need to travel around 60 kilometers to reach the Mount Sibayak area. First, you can go to Berastagi via Jalan Jamin Ginting or Jalan Raya Sidikalang – Medan. Arriving in the center of Berastagi, you need to travel another 3 kilometers to reach the Mount Sibayak area.
Mount Sibayak Hiking Trails
Upon arrival in Berastagi City, you can choose between 3 different trails to climb Mount Sibayak. The three paths are:
Desa Semangat Gunung
Desa Semangat Gunung or Desa Raja Berneh is located around 15 kilometers from Berastagi City or 7 kilometers from Jalan Raya Medan – Berastagi. This trail has great road conditions so that cars can pass with ease. Therefore, the trail from this village is often chosen by many climbers, especially beginners.
Arriving in the village, you will find the registration post via Desa Semangat Gunung. Before starting the climb, you need to pay a fee of 4,000 IDR (around US$0.30) per person. Furthermore, you can go to Pintu Rimba which can be done in about 20 minutes by motorcycle from the registration post. There, you can stall your motorcycle for a deposit of 10,000 IDR (around US$0.70) and tent rental is available.
Desa Jarang Uda
Jarang Uda Village is 3 kilometers from Berastagi City. This village is located in Simpang Empat District, near Berastagi Fruit Market. This trail has a longer track than Desa Semangat Gunung. Typically, climbing via Jarang Uda Village will take approximately 2.5 hours.
Although it’s quite long, the condition of this trail is great with asphalt to a distance of 1 kilometer before the peak. The panoramas you can take are beautiful, you can see tropical forests filled with tall trees. This trail is more popular among foreign tourists.
Of the three trails, Jalur 54 is considered the most difficult and challenging route. For this reason, this path is more suitable for experienced climbers. Road conditions are quite steep and dangerous so that climbing can take up to 4-6 hours.
The name “54” is used because the location of this path is right in front of the marker stone a distance of 54 kilometers from the center of Medan. You can find this trail in the village of Doulu II in the Penatapan area which is quite famous. In this area they roast corn on the edge of the highway.
Actually, there are still some other climbing routes that can take you to the top of Mount Sibayak. However, we don’t recommend following these routes because they’re not official, and security is not guaranteed.
To access Mount Sibayak, you can use private vehicles such as cars or motorbikes. You can leave the vehicle at the first post (for cars) or in the area near the helipad (for motorcycles). You will be charged a fee of around 20,000 – 30,000 IDR (around US$1.40 to US$2.10) per car and 15,000 – 20,000 IDR (around US$1.05 to US$1.40) per motorcycle.
There are also several choices of public vehicles that can be used, such as Sinabung Jaya Bus, Borneo Bus, Murni Bus, and Sutra Bus (Sumatra Transport) which can be found in the Simpang Pos Medan area, Jalan Jamin Ginting. By spending 10,000 IDR, you can reach Berastagi City. Furthermore, you can continue the journey by public transportation and get off near the Mount Sibayak hiking trail.
Hiking to the top of Mount Sibayak
Highlights of Mount Sibayak
Besides having lots of climbing trails, Mount Sibayak also offers a variety of other attractions that will complete your trip. Some of its main attractions are:
Local people call the highest peak of Mount Sibayak by the name “Takal Kuda” which means “Horse Head”. The view from this peak shows the beauty of Mount Sinabung and Berastagi City from afar. Even so, you still have to be careful because the peak is dominated by rocks.
To reach the top, you don’t have to climb a lot. It is a long walk of about 3 hours via the paved road and stairs and then you’ll arrive at the peak (2,212 meters above sea level).
Mount Sibayak is an active volcano with a rocky sulfur crater. The crater has a high solfatara content, so that sulfur vapor is able to eject the heat constantly. The crater is also surrounded by andesite igneous volcano rock which makes its charm more unique and exotic.
When climbing Mount Sibayak, you may often hear thunderous sounds. According to local residents, this sounds is known as the “Sound of Hell”. It is said that there was a magician who lived on Mount Sibayak with his daughter. His daughter died of illness and could not be treated. The roar is what is considered as the cry of both.
Apart from the legend, several researchers from Japan have made observations of these natural events. They also concluded that the wave was a low-frequency wind sound that contained electromagnetism. These waves are also considered to cause stress and hallucinations.
Visit a Hot Spring
The high sulfur content in Mount Sibayak creates a natural hot spring. This hot water emerged from the cracks of the lava flow south of Mount Sibayak. One of the hot springs you can see and enjoy lies at Lau Sidebuk-debuk.
At present, the hot spring has officially become a mainstay tourist attraction managed by the local government. So, be sure to relax here after a long and tiring day of conquering Mount Sibayak. The hot spring is also believed to cure skin diseases, aches, and lumbago (lower back pain).
Fun Activities on Mount Sibayak
There are many exciting activities that you can do while on Mount Sibayak. Besides climbing mountains with various interesting trail options, you can also do one or more of the following:
Hunt for the Rising Sun
Your Mount Sibayak climbing experience is not complete if you do not witness the charm of the sun rising on the Peak of the Takal Kuda. Generally, visitors deliberately make the climb to hunt beautiful sunrise scenery. If you don’t want to stay overnight, you can still see the dawn’s charm by starting the climb at 02:00 a.m. If the air is clear, you can see the beauty of the sunrise complete with a panoramic view of the valley.
Camping in the Crater Area
Climbing Mounting Sibayak does not take all day. However, you can try camping in the crater area to feel a different sensation. This area offers quite challenging natural events with the appearance of smoke and rumbling sounds. Although it’s kind of creepy, there are still many nature lovers who are interested in trying different challenges.
Attend a Ceremony
Like Mount Talang in Padang, Mount Sibayak is also one of the places to celebrate the 17 August ceremony. Interestingly, the anniversary event here is not just a flag ceremony. The celebration here was also enlivened by a climbing competition. Are you interested in a climbing competition for the mountain top? Plan your trip to be at Mount Sibayak on August 17th.
Enjoy Delicious Roasted Corn
Aside from conquering nature, you can also pamper your tongue and stomach while traveling on Mount Sibayak. One dish that you can taste is roasted corn in the Penatapan area which is located at one of the entrances of Mount Sibayak. The Penatapan area itself is well-known as a place for roasted corn in North Sumatra.
The variety of natural charms, legendary stories, and culinary dining are some of the interesting things that Mount Sibayak has to offer. What are you waiting for? Include Mount Sibayak on your travel list! After climbing, you should also take time to stop by and tour the City of Berastagi which is famous for its cuisine.
Book a Mount Sibayak Tour
One of the amazing tours that we did was the Mount Sibayak Sunrise Tour. On this tour you will see the sunrise from the mountain and you will also visit the Sipiso Piso waterfall and a hot spring. Here’s the complete itinerary so you know exactly what to expect from a tour like this:
This tour offers a pickup service for all travelers who stay at a hotel in Medan, Bukit Lawang, Parapat, or Samosir Island.
- Kualanamu International Airport, Jl. Bandara Kuala Namu, Ps. Enam Kuala Namu, Kabupaten Deli Serdang, Sumatera Utara 20553, Indonesia
First Stop – Mount Sibayak
Mount Sibayak, as explained above, is a stratovolcano overlooking Berastagi City in North Sumatra. It hasn’t erupted since 1881, but geothermal activity remains high on and around the volcano. Sulfur gas seepage also causes acid discoloration in the small crater lakes, giving it a unique vibe and view.
Duration: 4 hours
Admission Ticket: Free
Second Stop – Sipiso Piso Waterfall
With a height of 120 meters, the Sipiso Piso waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in Indonesia. It is a gorgeous waterfall, especially since visitors can enjoy the waterfall on the other side of the mountain as well (the view of the waterfall from this vantage point is truly breathtaking).
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket: Included
Third Stop – Berastagi Fruit Market
In the volcanic environment of Berastagi, a lot of fruit and vegetables are grown, because the soil is very fertile. In Berastagi, you will also find a large fruit and vegetable market where locals sell their products. It’s a great way to end the tour because the fresh fruit is a great refreshment.
If you’re interested you can book this amazing tour (or check out any other tours) right here!