Sumatra, the largest island in the Indonesian archipelago, lies to the southwest of the Malay Peninsula and the Strait of Malacca. The island remains one of Indonesia’s ‘wilder’ frontiers, blessed with abundant rainforest cover, fertile farmlands and a wealth of flora and fauna.
If Bali is Indonesia’s dream island getaway destination, and Java land of the pioneers, Sumatra is more a rugged heartland with particular appeals to nature explorers and adventurous backpackers. Dense jungles, lakes and volcanoes underscore its landscape, with only a handful of urban developments centering at Medan, Palembang, Padang and Bandar Lampung.
It is also home to more than 10 national parks, over 700 mammal and bird species, among them the critically endangered Sumatran tigers, Sumatran orangutans and Sumatran rhinos.