Sumatra, a part of the Sunda Islands, is Indonesia’s largest completely controlled island. Sumatra has wide ranging plant and animal species; some critically endangered animals including the Sumatran: ground-cuckoo, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, and orangutan. Most unique plant species include: the Sumatran Pine, the corpse flower (Rafflesia arnoldii) - world's largest individual flower, and the Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanium) - world's largest unbranched flower, known to reach 6 meter heights. Few tropical islands lure the mind with adventurous enticement and ferocity, quite like Sumatra. This island’s extraordinary beauty swells with life and vibrates under power of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and natural upheavals. Observe steaming volcanoes that boil and rage, whilst seemingly safeguarding sleepy lakes that circle the crater edges. Trek down jungles occupied with orangutan, but also hosting tigers, rhinos and elephants. Then, move to sea level, and turn back time, in one of the many tranquil deserted beaches, being constantly bombarded by clear waves of surf.
The island includes more than 10 national parks, including 3, listed as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) Gunung Leuser National Park, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, and Kerinci Seblat National Park. There are even “Wetlands of International Importance”, ready for your exploratory desire. Prepare yourself for the lively, bustling City of Padang on the Indian Ocean, gateway and provincial capital, or flock like the tourists to Bukittinggi, the scenic second biggest city, once known as Fort de Kock. Surfers and trekkers congregate to the perfect breaks and tribal stations of the Mentawai Islands, while nature lovers explore Sumatra’s largest national park, where Gunung Kerinci, one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes (it last erupted in 2009) and Indonesia’s highest non-Papuan peak can be trekked. This place is world renown to naturalists, botanists and bird watchers for its rare flora and fauna. One will see squirrels, geckos, long-tailed macaques and yellow handed mitered langurs along the lower forest, perhaps even a paw print or droppings from the rare and elusive Sumatran tiger. For the archaeological minded, visit the Pagaralam Megalithic Heritage Sites in South Sumatra; where some of the megalithic relics are estimated to be more than 1,000 years old. These megaliths or sculptures, now part of the local landscape, surround hamlets and coffee plantations, an unbelievable must see. History has left behind even paintings made of slate, as high as about 10 meters and 13 meters wide, and stones and sculptures of 5 meter diameters, still showing recognizable forms. That said, Sumatra is your island for providing adventure, elusive experiences and capturing fond memories that you will cherish for years.
Komodo Travel offers custom guided tours in Sumatra