Project Location Toba


Attraction or Tourist Attraction (DTW) is a basic element in 5A which is supported by other components. DTW based on Law Number 10 Year 2009 concerning Tourism is defined as everything that has a uniqueness, beauty, and value in the form of diversity of natural wealth, culture, and man-made products that are targeted or the purpose of tourist visits.

Lake Toba is a unique and rare DTW as a caldera region formed by the eruption of the Super Volcano about 74,000 years ago, the largest lake in Southeast Asia, and a tectonic volcano with a length of 100 km, width of 30 km, depth of 505 meters, and is located at an altitude of 904 meters above sea level (Master Plan and Detailed Plan of the Lake Toba National Tourism Strategic Area and surroundings, 2012). The Lake Toba region is the largest Quartery Caldera in the world and makes it an important world heritage with a variety of geological, biological and cultural diversity, which is also supported by man-made attractions.

The identification results show that DTW in 31 Districts of Danau Toba Region amounted to approximately 123 DTW plus 4 DTW in Pakpak Bharat District. The number is likely to continue to grow, along with the identification of new places that were popularized as DTW, as well as those created as artificial attractions during the planning period. Potential as in lake-based destinations in other countries, such as Lake Taupo in New Zealand and Lake Tahoe in America are also found in Lake Toba. For example hot springs, nature trekking, water tourism, historical heritage, tours around the lake, adventure tours, waterfalls, and so on.

Illustration Image of Lake Toba Geosites Diversity

Source: Primer Survey, 2018

 The Toba Caldera Area as a UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG) was submitted twice in 2013 and 2016. In 2019 the Toba Caldera was designated as UGG at the 6th Asia Pacific Geoprak Network (APGN). In 2020 the Toba Caldera is expected to become a member of the UNESCO Global Geopark. Although geosite has a high significance, but there are no specific rules and policies for its protection. The development of the Toba Caldera Geopark has been harmonized in the Lake Toba RIPT, because UGG criteria are in line with the goal of developing tourism on Lake Toba.

One of the main attractions in Lake Toba is its nature that stretches from East to West, from South to North, with a variety of stretches in the form of lakes, rivers, hills, mountains, waterfalls, forests, etc. This extraordinary view can be seen from various sides of the lake, namely from a certain point as Panoramic View all the way in the form of Scenic Road.

Picture Viewscapes Illustration in Lake Toba: A. Sipiso-piso to Lake Toba; B. Sipiso-piso to Sipiso-piso Mountain; C. Sipiso-piso Waterfall; D. Scenic Road of Bakkara Hill

Source: Primer Survey, 2019

Some points to enjoy Panoramic View and the Scenic Road track are already known as DTW, so there are already facilities for tourists. However, most of these facilities have not been properly built / placed so that they disturb the view and reduce their attractiveness, such as kiosks, signage, accommodation, etc.

Picture Facilities that interfere with Viewscapes: A. Signage; B. Ribbon Development (row of stalls on the edge of a cliff); C. Private toilet construction; D. Graves of local residents

Source: Primer Survey, 2018-2019

This activity includes a selection of tour activities offered for tourists at DTW. These activities focus on tourism products produced to answer the interests of tourists. In general, tourist typologies can be identified based on their interests in traveling, namely:

a.  Allocentric, tourists as wanderers, who generally seek new experiences and adventures in various activities. This group of tourists prefers to explore new and unusual areas before others discover the area, and likes to meet various people from different cultures. Alocentric tourists generally do not look for hotels that are too good and tend to look for accommodation facilities that use local identity.

b. Psychocentric, tourists who are generally repeaters and not too adventurous. This group of tourists prefers to return to a tourist destination that is well known beforehand, where they can relax more and already know what kind of food and activities to do. Psychocentric types of tourists prefer to drive to the destination, stay in accommodation and culinary tours in family type restaurants.

c.  Midcentric, tourists with a tendency between the two previous types.

Overall DTW can serve all types of tourists, both allocentric, midsentris, and psychocentric. Based on the primary survey, some activities that can be carried out by each type of tourist are as follows.


1)    Residing in Traditional Village

This activity is carried out by tourists who want to experience the values of life in a traditional village, and tend to live in a homestay. This activity can be found in Meat Village, Jangga Dolok Village, Sibandang Village, Silimalombu Village, and other villages.

Picture Village of Tuktuk

 2)   Camping

This activity is carried out in natural open spaces, including in the Garden of Eden, Lake Sidihoni, Bukit Holbung, and several other open spaces.


3)    Water-based sports: canoeing and rafting

This activity can be found on recreational beaches such as Bulbul Balige Beach, Parbaba Samosir Beach, Parapat Free Beach, Tigaras Beach, and so on. Equipment for this activity has generally been provided by local companies for rent. However, not all areas in the lake are suitable for water sports, while some others are more suitable for rafting, or various other activities that can be carried out by adventurers and millennials.

Picture Rafting in Parapat

 4)    Paragliding

These extreme sports activities only attract special interest tourists and are generally carried out when there are related events and competitions. Lake Toba areas that are suitable for this activity include Huta Ginjang in Muara and Pakpak Bharat Government Office Area which is located on a hill.

Picture Paragliding in Pulau Samosir

5)    Geology Tour

     Lake Toba as a UNESCO Global Geopark has several geosites that can be explored by tourists who are interested in nature, and academic groups.


6)    Hard hiking dan trekking

Hard hiking and trekking is usually done by tourists in natural parks with quite challenging and varied terrain, such as the Garden of Eden, Pusuk Buhit, Mount Sipiso-piso, and so on. These areas have a lot of potential for further development through the provision of supporting infrastructure.

Picture Village of Silimalombu and Camping in Lake Sidihoni


1)  Sightseeing and relax

This activity can be found in almost every DTW, and is usually done with family and relatives to enjoy the beauty and coolness of nature.


2)  Shopping

Almost all tourists are interested in shopping, especially for souvenirs and local food. Crafts and local products can be found in tourism centers, such as Parapat, Tomok, Parbaba Beach, and Balige. In this case, more innovation is needed to produce more attractive products and souvenirs.


3)  Culinary

Food is generally one of the attractions of each destination, where the unique taste makes culinary tourism very popular for almost all segments of tourists.

Picture Beautiful Scenery in Pusuk Buhit and Souvenir Centre in  the Tomb of Raja Sidabutar



1)  Cycling

This activity is usually carried out by tourists to enjoy nature around the central tourism area, such as Tuktuk. Sometimes some tourists cycle on a tour around Samosir Island.

Picture Cycling in Samosir Island

 2) Hiking (short haul)

In lighter terrain than before, some tourists are also interested in doing this activity, for example in Bukit Holbung, or Lake Aek Natonang. Provision of guides on Samosir Island can also support the development of such light hiking activities.

Picture Hiking in Samosir Island

 3) Visiting DTW Culture

     This activity is quite interesting for tourists who are curious about the beauty of cultural and historical heritage, where taking photos or selfies is a popular   activity for personal documentation and social media. In this case, the availability of interpretations is very important in supporting activities in DTW culture. Community participation in activities can also improve the quality of tourist experiences.

Picture Attending a Cultural Show in Samosir Island

 4) Boat cruising

Samosir Island has one boat that is available and can be rented for cruises and other activities in the waters of the lake. In addition, there are also a number of boat owners who rent out their boats for this activity with a charter system throughout the day. Most hotels in Tuk-tuk Samosir Island have boats for rent to tourists.

Gambar Boat Cruising

 5) Water based Recreation: waterpark, banana boat, and others

In the waterfront area, there are a number of challenging activities that can be enjoyed by tourists, such as Water Fun Nine and banana boats in several locations such as Bulbul Beach and Parbaba Beach.

Picture Huta Siallagan and Activities at Situmurun Waterfall

In addition to the above tourist activities, various festivals, carnivals and so on have become part of cultural and sports activities on Lake Toba. Cultural events offer a variety of cultural products, ranging from music, dance, to agricultural products; whereas sporting events focus on cycling, running, and so on. Both types of events are held at the local, regional, national or international level, or a combination of the four. In 2016 - 2019, five annual international cultural events held include Samosir International Music Festival, Toba Caldera World Music Festival, International Tobatak Festival, 1st and 2nd North Sumatra International Choir Competition, Grand Fondo New York (GFNY) Asian Championship, and International Toba Kayak Marathon. Based on the Lake Toba Calendar of Events trends in the 2016 - 2019 period, it can be concluded that the Lake Toba event tends to be held during peak season, namely June - August which is the school holiday season, and the end of the year. Conversely, the number of events in low season is still limited.

Picture The Toba Lake Carnival Charm, 2018

Source: Primer Survey, 2018

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