Four separate volcanic eruptions created the caldera that Lake Toba occupies but the previous one, a super volcanic eruption that occurred around 75,000 decades back, was the mother of eruptions; the largest known explosive eruption on Earth from the past 25 million decades ago According to the Toba catastrophe theory, it turned into a climate-changing event that wiped out nearly all of the human race except for some little population bottleneck in central east Africa and India. The hereditary make-up of those distant ancestors impacts modern people worldwide.
And also, the volcanic forces that generated Toba are still not done. Mount Pusuk Buhit on the south western edge of the caldera and Tandukbenua around the north western border are pretty recent, the latter considered to have formed following an eruption only a couple of hundred years ago. The magma chamber under the lake continues to fill, compelling Samosir Island, the substantial landmass in the middle of the lake and Uluan Peninsular, gradually higher. Unsurprisingly, earthquakes occasionally rock the southern beaches.
It’s hard to reconcile such a violent start with the tranquil atmosphere around Lake Toba nowadays, yet people come from all around to relax in the beautiful natural surroundings, breathe the cool mountain air and revel in the hospitality of the Batak conventional inhabitants.
There are many access points around Lake Toba, but the most important gateway is Parapat, situated roughly mid-point around the northwestern border of the lake. Parapat could be obtained by private or public transport from Medan. The 180km trip takes around 4 hours.
Belige or Muara on the lake’s southern edge is smaller and quieter, with mostly guesthouse style lodging, but their location is slightly more essential for exploring around the lake. SusiAir runs daily flights from Medan to Silangit using a flight time of 30min, handy if you are likely to stay in Belize or Muara but not so convenient if you intend to stay at Parapat that remains a 2 hour transfer by private automobile away. There’s also lodging on the north coast in Merak and Tongging.
A favorite option is to stay on Samosir Island itself, or more exactly in TukTuk, the island’s key town and the only area with lodging, ranging from guesthouses to lakeside villas. At the time of writing, fares for your 1 hour crossing price IDR15,000 plus an additional IDR10,000 for motorbikes.
Instead, Samosir is connected to the lake rim using a man made land bridge at Pangururan, roughly halfway across the western coast. It’s steep and winding and needs to be approached with caution however, it supplies some incredible vistas over Lake Toba and Samosir. Be aware there are no clocks on Samosir which means you’ll have to arrange transportation to go around. There’s little private hire car with driver/guide or scooter lease on the island, but most guesthouses hire bikes. Otherwise, employ a scooter in Parapat and take it on the ferry with you.
Whether your trips take you to a long stroll on beaches, delicious cuisines, relaxing spas and resorts or urban attractions, extra research will give you the best experience for your visit. Get to know more about Lake Toba by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.