Indonesia – Berastagi, hiking mt Sibayak

Today we climbed up Sidayak, known to be a relatively easy hike. Even with warnings of getting lost and dying in the junge we decided to take the walk by ourselves. I was looking forward to it as I hadn’t walked much for a while.

To get there from the main street we took a Kara bus for 3000rp each, and it terminates at the entrance of the hike. We then had to pay 4000rp each for park entry, and that was it, we were off!

The first part of the hike is on the main road, if you are feeling lazy you can always drive up here as the road is in ok condition at first although it gets a bit pot holey later on.The first part of the road is uphill, and then it’s down hill for some time, then you come to a cross road and carrying straight on it gets quite steep and eventually you reach all these cafes an toilets. For us it took just over 1 hour to reach here, and if you’re short for time you can simply drive to ths point. All the warung were closed but we managed to find a toilet.

There’s a big sign saying this way to Sidayak, it doesn’t look like a proper path but eventually you’ll see it’s very straighforward and easy to follow. From here it took around 30 mins to finally reach the crater. You’ll know your nearing the crater when you can see, hear and smell the sulphuric gas pouring out the rocks. It’s always an incredible sight to see the gases of a volcano, here the path wasn’t so clear but we just made our way towards the gas and what I assumed would be the crater.

When you finally pass the gas you’ll see the incredible view of the crater, and it’s just so amazing to look at. Locals have put rocks down in the crater spellin out their names and carved names into the rock, but it didn’t ruin the view for me. To the right there’s some peaks of the crater which are easy to climb up, we headed over to the one furthest away as it looked quite easy. At the top there’s some incredible views of the surrounding area and the volcano, in the distance you could see the Sibayung volcano.

To get down the other side of the volcano towards the hot spring, by the peaks there is a path heading down. From the top of the peak it looks like you should continue straight from when you entered and cross straight over the crater and leave the other side. This is wrong, you should head to the right and climb up the side of the crater to then start heading down. Unfortunately there are no more steps and you do have to climb, which is not good for knees.

This path is sometimes unclear, but just keep looking out for the green steps or remnants of and you should finally get down. There is a section where a landslide has washed away the path and we had to slide down on our bums, no joke it’s slippery! To the at the bottom of the landslide the path continues as normal. It was tough but not the worst I’ve done, and I was so happy it hadn’t rained otherwise it would have been so difficult.

Once out there was a pool wth a slide which we originally thought was the hot spring, it was bright green… so disgusting and I hoped there was another hot spring nearby. Luckily just round the corner we saw a huge hot spring sign, had a look inside and there were 10 different pools each with clean water. We paid 6000rp each and jumped straight in, and I covered up a bit so not to feel uncomfortable around the staring locals. The water was amazing and just what we needed after the hike! I highly recommend!

Afterwards we waited only 5 minutes to catch a bus back to Berastagi and it cost us 6000rp each for the 20min journey.

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