Fly daily, nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Singapore on Singapore Airlines. From there, hop one of Silk Air’s one-hour flights from Singapore to Polonia Airport in Medan on the northeast coast of Sumatra. singaporeair.com; silkair.com
Stay in Silintong Hotel outside Medan. The 67-room hotel overlooks Danau Toba, so ask for a room with a balcony and a view of the lake or the garden. Arrange with the concierge to explore by boat, motorbike or bicycle. Rates start at $29. 62-625-451-242 When you reach Kerinci-Seblat National Park, make Mahkota Hotel your outpost. Tucked between rice fields on the outskirts of Sungai Penuh, the new property has a swimming pool and a tennis court, a touch of luxury in between jungle treks. Deluxe suites are available for $27. 62-748-21640.
Eat a traditional Indonesian breakfast at the thatch-roofed Carolina Restaurant with sparkling Danau Toba as your backdrop. Try Turret Cafe on Jalan Yani in Bukittinggi for a global assortment of tacos, spaghetti and milk shakes tempered w/ local flavors like nasi gorent (fried rice) & spicy beef rendang. turretnetcafe.890m.com. For Kerinci’s best dining (according to Debbie Martyr), follow Jalan Muradi to the heart of Sungai Penuh and find Restoran Lamanda. Once there, feast on island favorites: fu yung hai (shrimp omelet), kangkung (a leafy spinachlike vegetable), local lake fish and ayam goreng (fried chicken), among others.
See Kerinci-Seblat National Park, Danau Toba, the Minang Highlands and all of Sumatra that lies in between with Pacto Travel. The Medan-based tour operator offers daylong city- focused treks through Padang and Medan, and expedition-style treks ranging from three to 11 days focusing on the Aceh, North and West parts of the island. On the six-day Kerinci Trekking tour, make your way from Padang into Kerinci-Seblat National Park. Hike to the summit of Mount Kerinci on one day, and on another visit Danau Gunung Tujuh, the highest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, near the peak of Mount Tujuh. Along the way, spy Sumatra’s wildlife and mingle with islanders on working tea plantations. Rates start at $1,620. pactoltd.com
Go Eco by donating to Fauna & Flora International, a British-based environmental group with projects around the globe, including Debbie Martyr’s Tiger Protection & Conservation Unit. Funds help form NGOs on Sumatra to protect the island’s tigers and their habitats. Visit fauna-flora.org to learn more. For a taste of Sumatra, purchase kopi luwak. The unique coffee blend may be the ultimate form of recycling (beans reclaimed from civet cat scat), and the estate also preserves virgin rainforests populated by orangutans and caffeinated civet cats. mandailingestate.com.au