Berastagi in 2 days – Sipisopiso and Sibayak

Aaron/ June 3, 2018/ Southeast Asia/ 0 comments

On the way back from Lake Toba to Medan, we made a detour and headed towards Berastagi, the town town in the mountains, to check out 2 amazing attractions nearby-Sipisopiso waterfall and Sibayak volcano. Here’s how you can do it too!


While Lake Toba is breathtaking enough to be worth a visit on its own, the region near Medan in north Sumatra (Indonesia) has many other stunning surprises in store. With the little time we had left, we visited 2 of the more well known ones on the way from Lake Toba back to Medan, spending a night at Berastagi in between.


From Parapat (Lake Toba), it is possible to get to Lake Toba/ Berastagi by public transport. However, as it involved many transfers we opted for the easier option by private car. Cecilia from Smiley’s Homestay helped us arrange the transport from Parapat to Berastagi, with a stop at Lake Toba, for roughly 700,000 IDR by private car. After almost 3 hours driving along Lake Toba with clear blue skies, the road turned inland towards Berastagi. Clouds started to gather and a light drizzle had formed by the time we got off the car.


Sipisopiso Waterfall

I had read a lot about the spectacular 120m drop of Sipisopiso, but seeing it in person was nonetheless a jaw-dropping experience. From the top, it looked as though a peaceful open plain suddenly had been ripped open, exposing the rocks underneath as well as an underground river which now had nowhere else to run. If there ever was a spot for treasure hidden by the gods, the base of the waterfall has to be it.

Sipisopiso waterfall from the top, near the carpark/ entrance/ start of hiking trail.

View of Sipisopiso waterfall near the carpark/ entrance/ start of hiking trail. Fields and villages on the edge of the cliff in the light mist add a mystical air around the falls.


We had one last glance at Lake Toba (after all those days by the lake) from the top of the trail to the waterfall. Sipisopiso waterfall lies near one end of the massive lake.

Lake Toba, from Sipisopiso waterfall.

Lake Toba, from Sipisopiso waterfall.


Hiking to the bottom of Sipisopiso

Slowly but surely, the trail winded down towards the bottom. It’s not a particularly challenging trail but it can get tiring with the stairs. In any case, the waterfall is almost always in view, so any time is a good time to stop, catch your breath, and enjoy the view.

Sipisopiso waterfall disappearing behind the trees.

Sipisopiso waterfall disappearing behind the trees near the middle of the trail to the bottom.


Near the bottom, the trail follows the outlet of Sipisopiso, a fast moving river lined by trees straight out of Jurassic Park.