Experience true Minangkabau culture in surroundings, food and people you meet. Here you’ll find an example of a 9 day tour. You can book this tour or contact us for longer or shorter options.
DAY 01 : AIRPORT/PADANG – BUKITTINGGI
On arrival at the airport of BIM in Ketaping – Padang Pariaman; a coastal city literally means “safe area” serving the Minangkabau settlements in the interior highlands to proceed driving on a highway and travel up the flank of the hill of the lovely town of Solok, which means valley known as the rice city to continue driving on a highway skirts the lake shore leading north via the town of Singkarak at the lake’s southern tip where the roads leads up a steep and winding offering excellent vistas back across the lake to Batusangkar being the center of Minangkabau royalty and a lively scenic town surrounded by a majestic rice terraces and treated to unbroken views of the fertile agricultural land where local countryside is dotted with Rumah Adat; clusters of wooden houses with typical saddle shaped roof marred only by the widespread use of corrugated tin sheeting instead of thatch and used to be the site of an early Dutch fortification; Fort van der Capellen built in 1821, which is now the town’s police station with stop at the village of Lima Kaum, which contains good examples of Minang Architecture known for its mosque built in the early Sumatran Islamic style with a five storied roof supported by 121 huge wooden pillar & a large pool beside and stone objects including three large standing stone, a mortar & an inscription.
A further west is the village of Dusun Tuo to see the pierced stone on an altar-like structure surrounded with stone ancestor seat and then to the Palace of Pagaruyung known as Balai Janggo in Padang Seminyak, Then, continue further on a detour across the plain passing through the charming hilltop village of Balimbing; a traditional place with several rumah gadang, some said to be over 300 years old built without a single nail where the dark wood of house lends them an air of antiquity with inside ceilings have been blackened by countless kitchen fires to proceed the trip to Sungai Tarab with the coffee mills powered by free flowing water, which is still of the traditional style consisting of a large wooden with a number of buckets arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface used for grinding grain into flour.
Afterwards, proceed driving on the main road to Bukit Tinggi; an awesome pleasant recuperating place – clean & delightful hill town with scenic vistas at 930 M above sea level lying less than a degree south of the equator known as the cultural capital of the Minang realm and home to Minangkabau people known far & wide for the canny business sense, ubiquitous, distinctive architecture, spicy hot cuisine, wonderfully friendly people and matriarchal ways, which fully favors women with property & land, where the eyes are soothed by more rice fields dotted with neat little huts and bridges by the river for accommodation.
DAY 02: BUKITTINGGI – MANINJAU (B)
Breakfast at the hotel, Afterwards, driving to a 3,120 ha reserve of Rimba Panti, which is just 10 km north of Bukit Tinggi near the village of Batang Palupuh, is one of the best places to see through good luck, occasionally a glimpse of the world largest flower and unique feature; the Rafflesia (most often in Sept, Oct and Dec).
Upon arrival in Batang Palupuh, it is then preceded by motorbike for a 16 km to the station of reserve’s warden. Then continue walking in for 15 minutes to the site. At the appropriate time, return to the parking lodge to continue driving on the same road back to Bukit Tinggi for having city sightseeing tour featuring Fort de Kock; a fort built by the Dutch erected at the edge of a steep sided ridge functioned as hilltop outpost with stone ruins and few cannons left being an excellent spot to take in a view of Mt. Merapi, which occasionally vents puffs of smoke that is connected by suspension bridge to a museum of Minangkabau culture, which is housed in a traditional rumah gadang complete with thatched roof & flanking granaries.
Afterwards, proceed walking to Jam Gadang; a clock tower being the principal landmark of the city with a miniature of Minang house on top located in the centre of the city close to the main market of Pasar Atas; the lively & colorful central market, which spills out into the street with stalls & open air stands with brightly colored plastic wares run by assertive Minang Ladies selling a wide variety of fresh food and a variety of alternative lifestyle products. Continue driving on the southwestern edge of Bukittinggi to the Lovely Sianok Canyon; part of a tectonic rift valley, which has sheer walls & flat bottom offering a haunting early spectacle as dawn caresses the peak of Mt. Singgalang in the background blankets of mist drift around the canyon’s 100 m cliffs with paths lead down into the Japanese built tunnels.
Afterwards, proceed driving west on the road, which skirts the foot of Bukit Kapasan crosses a lush valley up to Embun Pagi to view the fascinating landscape overlooking the entire Lake Maninjau; a caldera lake of 17 KM long & 8 KM across snuggling inside an ancient, steep walled crater formed after a large volcanic burst 52,000 years ago seen today as pyroclastic flow uplands and low relief hills, which snuggles inside an ancient, steep walled crater with stop en-route at Koto Gadang; a village of silversmiths, which is well known for its delicate silver filigree including pin in the form of ornate flowers, tiny earrings in the shape of Minang House & a plethora of exquisite miniature objects such as model sailing ship, traditional Minang House & the clock tower and Embun Pagi, where the view is breathtaking (if it is not clouded) with stalls selling brightly colored straw handicrafts. Then, proceed driving down on narrow breathtaking road winds down through 44 hairpins locally known as KELOK 44 with lush rice fields on the crater rim, which turns sharply on the narrow road to Maninjau village (470 m) at the edge of the lake for accommodation.
It is such an experience to actually see the Rafflesia in bloom, but again, there is no guarantee to see them and one surely requires good luck.
WHAT TO BRING FOR VISITING RAFFLESIA:
• Camera and binoculars.
• Light clothes (including long trousers & long sleeved shirt), sun hat or visor with a chin strap, secure head straps for sunglasses or eyeglasses (if worn), comfortable sturdy walking shoes, leach socks and rain poncho.
• Any personal medication which are taking regularly, such as chloroquin, prescription drugs, etc.
• Sun block cream to be used on exposed skin and insect repellent for those who are particularly sensitive to bug bites.
• An unbreakable water bottle, Climate is always very humid and a pack of drinking water is strongly recommended.
• A photocopy of your passport including the visa page.
– LAKE MANINJAU: OPTION 2: DRIVING DOWN TO THE LAKE SHORE
Afterwards, proceed driving down on the road winds down through 44 hairpins locally known as KELOK 44 with lush rice fields on the crater rim, which turns sharply on the narrow road to Maninjau village (470 m) at the edge of the lake.
– Beside small vehicle, driving down to & up from Maninjau lake would only allow a medium size coach (max. 20 seat) due to the windy narrow road
– The lake shimmers on windless days and its transparent waters teem with fish, which may swim to the surface at the drop of a crumb. This is one of good places to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature. Besides doing water activities (swimming, canoeing and even boating or water skiing), another activity is walking through picturesque villages.
Lake Maninjau has currently been contaminated with fish food coming from thousands of fish cages around the lake, which has tainted the water and occasionally caused unpleasant aroma to the surrounding. Therefore, any water activity is strongly not recommended. Accommodation is at the hotel on Nuansa Maninjau Resort.
DAY 03 : MANINJAU – PADANG – CUBADAK ISLAND (BD)
Breakfast at the Hotel. At the appropriate time, driving back on the same road up to Embun Pagi to head northwardly at the northern tip of Agam Valley in the saddle between Mts. Merapi (2.831 M) and Singgalang (2.877 M) to turn off the main road to the right to follow a small side road to Pandai Sikat; a small village famous for hand weaving the traditional gold & silk songket on large shuttle loams & embroidery and woodcarving of decorative murals & furniture with the exquisitely carved & painted village meeting house where marriage is held, the Koran is read & community business is discussed.
Afterwards, proceed driving through deep ravines and dense forest across steep fern covered slopes that afford fantastic views of the lush tropical vegetation of Anai Valley viewing its 40 meters waterfall & rapids cascade and magnificent rack-pinion railway with its arch-shaped truss bridge alongside the highway built to span physical obstacles over valley, which was constructed early this century to Padang; the provincial capital of west Sumatra and the principal gateway to Minang Highland where the government buildings are constructed in neo traditional Minang Style with saddle back roofs sweeping outward to form symmetrical peaks known formerly as colonial port and its waterfront signed with the turn of the century houses line the streets and the century old warehouses saw wharf’s glory days in the 19th century. On arrival in Padang, transfer to the meeting point of transfer to Cubadak Island, After greeting, continue driving southwardly along the scenic way treated to unbroken views of fertile agriculture land & traditional houses to Curocok village; a pier to ferry to Cubadak Island. Upon arrival at Curocok village, ferrying to Cubadak Island. Acommodation and dinner at Paradiso Village in Cubadak Island.
NOTE: – CUBADAK ISLAND:
• West Sumatra’s Cubadak Island is of volcanic origin, has an area of 40 square km, is uninhabited except for a few isolated fishermen’s houses, and is completely covered by rainforest. Many kinds of birds and bigger animals live in this forest: monkeys, monitor lizards, dears, wild pigs and many others. Excursions, walks and climbing of Cubadak hill through the forest provide fascinating experiences. It is completely surrounded by the coral reef so that in the sea live innumerable varieties of colored reef fishes. As the distance between the island and Sumatera is only a few miles, the sea in front of the Village is sheltered and completely free from waves so to facilitate the practice of water sports.
• Cubadak Island’s Paradiso Village is for those who like to spend days on beach. It is a cozy resort hotel ambushed between jungle and lagoon clear waters. Quietness and relaxation above all with a special attention brought to the quality of cuisine and to the personal services extended to the guests. It offers an unexpected haven of tranquility and peacefulness, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. The wooden cottages stretched along white sandy beaches are set to welcome guests with all necessary comfort.
• Paradiso Village constitutes of 13 cottages and situated in Cubadak, 24 miles or 57 km south of Padang and 3 miles or a few minutes off the fishing harbor of Corocok Village. The island can be reached by using Paradiso Village’s own boat, which takes 2 hours drive by car from BIM’s airport to Corocok village and from there by boat to Cubadak for 10 min cruise or the journey all together will take a little less than 2 hours from the airport to Paradiso Village’s waters. The presence of such a remarkably beautiful sea allows the practice of water sports. In addition, the forest with its inhabitants constitutes a significant realm of recreational possibilities offered to the guests.
Activities are the following:
1. Snorkeling (equipment FOC)
2. Scuba Diving
3. Sailing – boats for every kind of experience
5. Boat excursions to the islands in the vicinity with picnic, at least twice a week
6. Trekking in the forest with or without climbing, every day
Day 04 – Day 8 : CUBADAK ISLAND (BLD)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation are provided at the hotel.
Free at own leisure or join the activities complimentarily provided by hotel at no cost as below:
• Snorkeling with equipments being freely at disposal.
FYI: The beach is bordered by a coral reef where most tropical reef fishes of the Indo-pacific region may be seen in abundance with exception to large species such as sharks or manta rays, not prevalent in this area.
• Fun sailing with a dingy
• Walking through the jungle
• Picnic to neighboring island, which is organized once or twice per week depending on weather condition.
Day 09 : CUBADAK ISLAND – COROCOK VILLAGE – BIM / AIRPORT (B)
Breakfast at the Resort, At the appropriate time, cruising on the sea back to Corocok Village, which then transfer back to the airport of BIM in Ketaping – Padang Pariaman to catch the flight of onward destination. Tour Ends.
– Nightly accommodation is based on twin sharing at designated category of room with daily breakfast
– Transfer and sightseeing tour by ac–private vehicle with French speaking guide (if available), otherwise “best available English speaking guide”, except for return transfer of Padang – Cubadak Island – Padang.
Note: Transfer to/from Cubadak Island is organized by the Management of Cubadak Paradiso Village, which is based on SIC by AC minivan. No exact time of transfer provided, though the Management would usually fit it with pax’s schedule of flight for both arrival and departure.
– Assistance & luggage handling at the airport
– Any available admission/entrance fees to sites of interest stated
– Refreshment during sightseeing (2 bottles (medium size) of mineral water per person)
– And others as disclosed in the tour program.
– Flight tickets & airport taxes
– Lunch and Dinner, except during staying on Cubadak Island
– Personal expenses.
– And others not mentioned above.