North Sumatra Tourism – The picturesque village in the beautiful Sierra Berastagi Karo, is 70 kilometers from Medan on the way to Lake Toba. Located at an altitude of 1300m, the city has a cool climate, ranging from 17-20 degrees Celsius, making a refreshing break in the heat of the city. The days are very pleasant while nights can be quite cool.
The town developed in the 1920s as Dutch hill station and now has become a weekend destination for residents of Medan.
The landscape is dominated by the distant views of the mountain smoking volcanoes. Sinabung and Mt.Sibayak. On the western edge of the city, Gunaling hill rises above the surrounding plains to offer spectacular views of the two volcanoes.
Berastagi is famous for its flowers, fruit and vegetable markets and constantly buzzing with activity. The most famous probably produce Marquises or passion fruit. Sweet oranges are another delicious specialties.
A climb of Gunung Sibayak is a must. A guide is definitely needed unless you are an experienced hiker as the road is very slippery, steep and confusing in some areas. Sometimes the branches way out into two paths and an experienced guide will certainly know what is the way leading to the active site. The guidelines also probably know many alternative paths on top depending on the weather and your fitness level or time. Take a bus to the bus terminal in the bottom of the mountain. If you are short of time you could drop you above that the bottom is the way and not so picturesque. Ask your hotel which bus (some go to the flower market). The walk starts rising sharply and really keeps climbing up to the summit of 2000m. It’s a hard walk and water and snacks are a must, but those with a basic level of fitness should be able to complete this with breaks along the way.
Berastagi also produce exported to Singapore and Malaysia are: cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, red pepper and eggplant. The local markets swarm with people doing business and sell their wares. Here you will see scenes from traditional Karo life and everything from jungle miracle cures and second hand shoes on sale.