11 Amazing Spots on the Western Side of Lake Toba

Lake Toba is a huge natural lake located in the steep-walled caldera of a supervolcano. Its pristine scenery and rich culture make it a truly unique place to visit and the perfect place to explore.  A lot of people head straight to Pulau Samosir, an island almost the size of Singapore set in the middle of the lake. While Pulau Samosir is well worth a visit, to me, the true beauty of Lake Toba can be found in the area surrounding the lake. Take a few days to head off-the beaten track and explore the hills around Lake Toba. I have done this on a solo trip by scooter and by car with my husband. Both vehicles have their pros and cons, so choose whatever suits you better.

Menara Pandang Tele

At this viewpoint you can climb up a three-story tower which gives you stunning panoramic views over Lake Toba, Samosir island, and the surrounding area. You can also stop for a drink with view at one of the nearby coffeeshops. Entrance fee: 7.000 Rp

Location: Click here 

Mountain road from Menara Padang Tele to the shore of Lake Toba

For my first visit to Lake Toba, I headed straight to Tuk Tuk, the tourist hotspot on Pulau Samosir. There I rented a scooter and somehow made it all the way to Menara Padang Tele. When riding this mountain road back down to Lake Toba, a feeling of joy and gratefulness overcame me. This stunning  landscape is what inspired me to stay longer and find a way to ride around all of Lake Toba. Enjoy the ride!  

Route on Google map

Batu Anduhur

This beautiful viewpoint overlooks the rolling hills and colourful rice fields in the valley below. They look like a giant quilt in different shades of green and brown. The access road is quite challenging, but if you make it, you also have the option to camp there.

Location: Click here.  

Efrata waterfall

This waterfall is around 26 meters high and one of the famous tourist spots in the area. It is easy to reach through a short walk from the parking area. You can get to Efrata waterfall via the main road connecting Menara Padang Tele to Bukit Sibea-Bea or you can take a smaller backroad by turning right shortly before reaching Menara Padang Tele.  

Location: Click here.  

Credit: Travellink Indonesia

Bukit Sibea-Bea

This is a new tourist destination built on a small hill. It’s famous for its winding road connecting a giant cross located on top of the hill to the shore of the lake. I read that there are plans to build the world’s tallest Jesus statue on this hill. It was extremely crowded when we were there and to be honest, to me, it seemed like a totally overrated spot, famous because of all the people who want to take the same pictures for their Instagram accounts. If you want to check it out anyway, be ready to pay the steep entrance fee of 50.000Rp/car.

Location: Click here


Bukit Holbung

It takes around 15 minutes of alternately walking steep uphill and downhill to reach this hill’s highest point. The stunning views over the rolling hills, lush grassland, and dark blue Lake Toba make the effort and sweat well worth it. Bukit Holbung is stunning all throughout the day, but it turns into a magical spot when the sky changes colours in the evening. If you can’t get enough of this beautiful place, it is also possible to spend the night there in your tent.  

Location: Click here.


Aek Rangat, Hotspring

Feeling tired from all the exploring? Soak your body in these hot sulphur springs and reenergize for your next adventure. This place is open 24 hours and it’s especially nice to visit at night-time when it’s cold and you can watch the stars while floating in the hot pool.

The pools are managed by the connected restaurants, so the quality and cleanliness vary. Access is free if you purchase a drink o some food. Otherwise, you can pay 10.000Rp. to enter the pools. As it is common in Indonesia, men and women use different pools. Woman should go to the “Wanita” area and man to the ”Pria” area.

Location: Click here.

Credit: @Laketoba.travel

Bukit Burung

This is another great spot to enjoy the scenic views at Lake Toba. It is just a 15-minute ride from Aek Rangat hot springs. Watch out for the small gravel road turning off the main road. It’s also possible to set up camp in this area. 

Location: Click here.

Puncak Huta Ginjang

Being one of the highest viewpoints around Lake Toba, it really helps to comprehend the vastness of this picturesque place. The area gets a lot of fog, however, there is a good chance that the strong winds on this hill will clear the sky and reveal its stunning panorama. So, a bit of patience might pay off. There are many local warungs (small restaurants) in the parking area where you can have a hot drink or some delicious local food while waiting. We also found this cute coffeeshop, MPT CafĂ© & Resto with huge windows overlooking the hills and lake nearby. Try their delicious pisang goreng (fried bananas).  

Location: Click here.

Pantai Meat

This is a great place to go for a swim or set up camp right on the shore of Lake Toba. It’s located at its southern tip, a half-hour drive from Balige.  

Location: Click here.

Credit: @Jendeladunia16

Air Panas Sipoholon

This hot spring, with its natural sulphuric lakes, small streams, and waterfalls shining in all different colours made me feel like I’m on a different planet. All of the restaurants along the main road have pools where you can take a dip into the hot sulfuric water. You can also walk up onto the hill behind the restaurants for some views over the hot springs.

Location: Click here.

Can’t get enough of Lake Toba? Have a look at my other blogs about the area.

Must -see places on the eastern side of the lake.

My favourite road at Lake Toba.

Camping at the tallest waterfall in Indonesia.



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