The largest lake in the world, Lake Toba was formed by a catastrophic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago. The explosion was so large that it changed Earth’s climate, wiping out a large proportion of the human population at the time. Today the volcano lies dormant, while Lake Toba is a place of unparalleled natural beauty.
Things to do in Toba Lake
Lake Toba is the traditional homeland of Indonesia’s Batak people. Their distinctive wooden houses with sharply pitched roofs are built on the lake shore, and some Batak fishermen still use their carved wooden canoes to travel out into the lake. The Batak Museum is at Samosir, where you can see ancestor statues and stone furniture and watch performances of Batak dance.
The perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lake Toba’s water is warm year round and ideal for swimming. You can find naturally occurring hot springs near to Pangururan, though the water is scalding hot, so you won’t be able to sit in the pools very long.
The closest airport to Lake Toba is at Medan. It’s then a four-hour drive to the town of Parapat on the lake shore, or six hours if you travel by public bus.