BERASTAGI’S JOURNEY: UNVEILING SUMATRA’S HIGHLANDS
Berastagi, nestled in North Sumatra, a small town in the main road connecting Medan with Karo highland and Lake Toba – Both destinations offer a captivating insight into Sumatra’s natural wonders and cultural richness.
Sits about 66 miles away from the famed Lake Toba, a picturesque crater lake formed by a supervolcanic eruption thousands of years ago, the town of Berastagi is shaped by its volcanic setting. Located in the Barisan mountains (Bukit Barisan), the longest mountain range in Indonesia extending from Aceh to Lampung across Sumatra Island with Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung in the backdrop. These majestic peaks, veiled in mist and myth, indicate adventurers to unravel their secrets through winding trails that lead to breathtaking journey and the promise of magnificent sunrise on the horizon.
The fertile lands of Berastagi yield a bountiful harvest, showcasing vibrant fruit markets packed with tropical sights. Travellers indulge in the delicious taste of local passion fruits, oranges, and the renowned ‘Marquisa’ passion fruit, unique to this region. The vivid colors and aromas of these markets provide an immersive experience into the region’s agricultural wealth.
Periodic eruptions of Mount Sinabung have altered the topography and agriculture but haven’t deterred the resilient locals who’ve adapted to coexist with these natural outbursts. Berastagi reveals a story of resilience, cultural richness, and a serene connection with nature that entices all travellers seeking an enriching experience in Sumatra’s hidden treasures.
The Landscape and Climate
Perched at an altitude of around 1300 meters above sea level, Berastagi enjoys a temperate climate with an average yearly temperature of approximately 23°C. However, during the rainy season, fog often blankets the surroundings, accompanied by cool winds that might prompt a light jacket or windbreaker for added comfort.
During the Dutch colonial period, Berastagi served as a retreat for the Dutch colonizers due to its cooler climate. The town’s strategic location amidst lush greenery made it a favored destination for the Dutch officials and planters seeking respite from the tropical heat of other regions. With that Dutch Colonial Influence are obvious: Berastagi’s history as a retreat for Dutch colonizers is reflected in certain architectural remnants and sites, appealing to history enthusiasts interested in colonial heritage.
The Warmth of Brastagi’s Hospitality
Stepping into Berastagi is stepping into the cradle of the Karo Batak culture. The town’s skyline is adorned also with traditional houses, each a testament to the Karo people’s craftsmanship, their steeply pitched roofs bearing intricate wood carvings that narrate tales of strengths, spiritual and heritage.
What truly sets Berastagi apart is the warm and welcoming nature of its people. The locals’ hospitality is boundless, with their eagerness to share stories, traditions, and local delicacies with visitors, leaving an indelible mark on every traveller’s heart. They invite people to take part in an immersive experience of cultural unity – Every beat of the Gendang Guro-Guro dance and every note of the Gondang Sabangunan music encapsulates centuries of Karo traditions for a blessing. Both showcasing tales of courage and celebration, inviting visitors to experience the lively spirit of Karo Batak traditions and blessings.
Further, travellers who are seeking tranquillity can find solace in the Lumbini Natural Park, a serene Buddhist temple nestled amid the green landscape. The towering golden statue of Buddha and the peaceful ambiance offer a sanctuary for meditation and introspection, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a moment of spiritual reflection.
Whether it’s hiking trails that lead to the lofty peaks of Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung, immersing in the town’s cultural performances, or unwinding in the soothing hot springs of Lau Debuk-Debuk or being solace in the Buddhist temple – Berastagi is worth for the next bucket list travel plan. Find more about Berastagi in Sumatra and how we can assist you through our network at BBTF 2024 www.bbtf.co.id.