Do you know how they say that flowers can grow out of cracks? Well, isn’t it just a euphemism for saying that no matter what, nature always finds a way of jutting beauty everywhere? Such is the case with Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. This crater lake or volcanic lake as many call it, other than being one of Indonesia’s tourist hot spots is also a natural wonder that amazes every onlooker at the very first glance. But what is so special about this lake? By Shubhanjana Das
Well, for starters, Lake Toba is the largest lake in Southeast Asia, the largest volcanic lake in the world, and one of the deepest lakes in the world. Perched at a height of 900 metres above sea level, it is always a little cooler, calmer, and definitely more serene up here. The rich azure of the lake set against the vivid greenery of the surrounding mountains is one mighty sight to behold!
How old is this 1707 sq ft lake? About 77,000 years ago, according to the Toba catastrophe theory, which killed many, Lake Toba was born. It was the result of a supervolcanic activity, which gave birth to what is now one of the biggest calderas in the world. The lake also shelters an island inside the island of Sumatra itself, called the Samosir Island, almost the size of Singapore!
As for the people of the region, the Batak population is jovial, welcoming, and definitely know a lot about hospitality. Explore the ruins of the ancient Batak village with the help of a Batak guide who will be the most genuine source to learn about cannibalism and the Batak culture in general. The best time to visit Toba is in spring when the weather transitions from cool to pleasantly warm.
You can also visit Tuk-Tuk, which offers great views of Lake Toba and is perfect as a base point to explore the surrounding areas. For example, you can visit the natural hot springs on the island opposite to Tuk-Tuk. Although, the sulphuric smell and the hot water of the springs are not exactly we term as enjoyable, the views of Lake Toba from above is worth braving the hilly roads for. However, make sure you have a local guiding you through it.
Lake Toba is a place where people lie low and take it easy away from the urban madness. It is ideal for book lovers and people who are fans of staycations. However, if you do feel like indulging in some activity, you can always hire a boat and take a closer at the volcanic mountains. Another great activity that we suggest is to hire a motorbike and explore Samosir Island by yourself. If you’re a water baby, you’ll also appreciate kayaking on the lake.