Most beautiful panoramic road around Lake Toba: Sipiso Piso waterfall to the lake shore at Paropo

Let’s be honest, Lake Toba has tons of stunning places to offer. But hands down, if I had to choose just one place to visit at Lake Toba, this is the place I’d go to!

 Click here to see the detailed route on Google Maps. 

Driving down the narrow, winding road from Sipiso Piso Waterfall to Tongging and further along the lake to Paropo is absolutely mind-blowing. The views over the calm lake lying below the dramatic, steep, and verdant hills is stunning. It’s like you felt asleep and suddenly woke up somewhere in New Zealand. I still remember the feeling of joy, gratefulness, and freedom I felt when I rode this route for the first time a few years ago while touring on a scooter around Lake Toba. Being back here, I was excited to share it with Danu and he was just as amazed by it as I was.   

Tongging has a few guesthouses and along this side of the lake you can also find several simple campgrounds. It’s a great area to relax, enjoy the beauty of nature and take a few dips in the lake. There are few simple warungs, but if you crave for some fresh fish from the lake, check out Café Morina Silalahi. They sell fresh, delicious fish for a great price right by the lake. Danu ended up ordering 1kg of Nila just for the two of us. But, I can’t complain, we finished it all…

One of the many campsites by the lake shore. 

Shortly after Café Morina Silakahi the road leads back up into the hills. It’s a fun mountain road through thick rainforest. It was raining and extremely misty higher up which transformed the forest into a spooky and almost surreal looking place.


Where to go from here?

Once you reach the main road (see map above), there are a few options of how to continue your trip.

Berastagi and Medan: head towards Sidikalang and take a right turn towards Berastagi (popular weekend getaway in the hills for city folks from Medan and base to explore the surrounding vulcanos). From there it’s an easy ride down to Medan.

Climbing Sibayak vulcano a fews ago with Octa from Berastagi

Pulau Samosir: taking the opposite direction on the main road brings you to the beautiful viewpoint Menara Pandang Tele from where you can ride back down to the shore of Lake Toba and either cross over to Pulau Samosir on its only connecting bridge or explore some other beautiful spots along the shore like Bukit Holbung and Bukit Sibea-Bea. You can find out more about these places, as well as about camping on Pulau Samosir in one of my upcoming blogs as we spent time in this area on our way back from Aceh.

View from Tele 

Aceh - Leuser National Park and Takengon Lake: you can continue your road trip towards Aceh via Sidikalang and Kutacane. This is a great alternative road for anyone who prefers mountain roads over congested highways. Most parts of it are in great condition and a lot of road work was going on in places which needed improvement. In my next blog I will describe this route in detail, including the stunning places we discovered and one of my favourite camp sites of the whole trip.

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