Tangkahan Elephant Hot Spring Adventure


  • Take the less-travelled path and travel down little-used unsurfaced roads. We pass through less developed areas of the region, and from our car we will catch glimpses of everyday life in rural villages.
  • Get up close and personal with Sumatra's largest animal, the Sumatran elephant.
  • Experience the beautiful scenery of the riverscape on the edge of the jungle.
  • Swim in the crystal-clear cool river with multi-layered waterfall at Gelugur, and then enjoy an evening dip with fireflies in the natural river-mixed hot spring.
Cost: £80.00
Duration: Full day trip
Start Time: 08:00
End Time: 20:00
Suitable for children: Yes
Suitable with mobility issues: No

The Tangkahan elephant day trip starts from Bukit Lawang in the morning, you will travel around 2.5 hours on unsurfaced roads. The other traffic is the occasional motorbike. We will pass through undeveloped villages and past large palm oil plantations, a distance of around 40km in total to reach Tangkahan. Our back route saves you a seven hour journey backtracking via Medan.

Upon arrival we will visit and bathe the elephants.

You will then have some time to explore the beautiful surroundings of Tangkahan. You can visit the butterfly beach and explore the two rivers (Batang and Buluh), which meet at Tangkahan.

Lunch is included in your trip price and will be taken in a riverside guesthouse.

After lunch we will head to Gelugur, which is around 15 minutes drive away. Here, at the edge of the jungle, there is a multi-layered waterfall in the crystal-clear cool mountain river. You can enjoy the cool waters of this river in the afternoon before, as the sun goes down, bathing in the hot spring, which feeds directly into the river here, hence you can control the heat by sitting closer to or further from the source. You can bring some eggs, and boil them here!

In the evening there may be fireflies, creating a romantic atmosphere at the river. You will eat dinner, prepared here, before heading back to Bukit Lawang. Arrival time in Bukit Lawang will be around 10pm.
(Times subject to alteration)

6am - depart Bukit Lawang

8:30am - arrive Tangkahan, bathe the elephants

9:30am - a little time for orientation around Tangkahan, you could visit the small hot spring, or walk up the river

12:30pm - lunch

2:00pm - we drive to Gelugur

2:30pm - explore the multi-level waterfall at Gelugur, and swim in the cool waters.

4:30pm - enjoy a natural hot spring bath in the river at Gelugur

6:30pm - dinner time by the river

7:00pm - depart from Gelugur

9:30pm - return to Bukit Lawang

What to bring

Elephant bathing 8:30-9:30

No elephants on Fridays - they are on jungle patrol.

You don't need to bring anything special for your day - just your camera, a swimsuit or change of clothes for the river. You might want to bring snacks or water for the car journey, there won't be too many opportunities to stop along the way.


Basic fitness/mobility required. Children permitted.


We can arrange onward travel from Tangkahan to Medan or Berastagi (you can select either option when you book). Pickup from a Medan hotel/guesthouse is also an option (proceeding the same day to Bukit Lawang), but will require an earlier start.


Inclusive of: lunch, dinner, water, return off-road transport, elephant bathing


Accommodation, breakfast