When I was ready to leave Berastagi to Samosir Island I didn’t exactly know how to do it.
Luckily I had a very helpful hostel owner that knew what I needed to do.
The first option was to take the Tourist Bus.
The downside to that was the bus wouldn’t arrive in Berastagi until 2-3 pm.
Which meant I wouldn’t get to Samosir until 6-7 pm.
The other option was to take the Public Transportation.
But then he told me it would transfer 3 times.
I thought for sure it would be a huge hassle if I had to do that.
But he assured me it would be easy.
He also told me the prices I should expect to make sure no one ripped me off.
I was in an adventurous mood so I decided I’d go for it.
Berastagi to Samosir(and all the stops between).
Since it was still early in the morning and I saw all Berastagi had to offer I was ready to leave.
Arriving at Samosir before sunset sounded like the best option.
BERASTAGI TO KABANJAHE:
The Berastagi Bus Station is on Jalan Veteran, the main street in downtown Berastagi.
It is not marked on Google Maps, but it’s on Maps Me as “Bus Station”.
It is on the east side of the road in the same area as the market(Pasar Berastagi).
You’ll notice a parking lot full of minivans.
Once you’re there just ask around for minivans to Parapat.
Like I said earlier, there’s 3 transfers, so none of them will go directly from Berastagi to Parapat.
But they will take you to your next location; Kabanjahe.
Time: 30 minutes.
Cost: 5,000 Rupiah.
Paid driver at drop-off.
Kilometers: 10 km.
KABANJAHE TO PEMATANG SIANTAR:
Once I arrived at the Kabanjahe Bus Terminal my transfer was as simple as saying “Parapat”.
And I was ushered onto a bus with purple pimped-out interior.
As we approached Pemantang Siantar the bus driver stopped on the side of the road.
Motioned to me that this is where I get off.
And pointed across the street to where I’d wait for the next bus……..
Time: 2.5 hours.
Cost: 25,000 Rupiah.
Paid during the ride.
Kilometers: 95 km.
PEMANTANG SIANTAR TO PARAPAT:
Once I was where he pointed I looked around for a bus station but didn’t see any.
I saw a couple of minivans dropping people off but it looked local.
I was hoping for one of them to have a sign in the window that said Parapat.
I stood around a little longer and some kids approached me.
One of them spoke decent English and asked where I was going.
Once I told him he talked to a few people, came back and told me to wait.
Once the correct van driver arrived he’d let me know.
On Google Maps the Bus Stop is named Cv. Parapat Indah Taxi.
On Maps Me it’s named “Alfamart and Bus to Parapat”.
This van ride was rather simple.
We arrived in Parapat and I followed the locals to the Tiga Raja Harbor.
Once I saw a sign for Tuktuk I just waited until a boat arrived.
Time: 1.5 hours.
Cost: 20,000 Rupiah.
Paid driver before leaving.
Kilometers: 44 km.
PARAPAT TO SAMOSIR(Tuktuk):
The passenger ferry from Tiga Raja Harbor to Tuktuk leaves every hour from 8 am – 6 pm.
Once you’re aboard the ferry the driver will ask the name of your accommodation.
If your accommodation has their own pier he can drop you off right at it.
If it doesn’t, he’ll drop you off at the nearest pier.
Time: 40 minutes.
Cost: 15,000 Rupiah.
Paid during the ride.
It might sound like a long journey but it was surprisingly easy.
I also didn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes between transfers.
Total time: 5 hours 10 minutes.
Total Price: 65,000 Rupiah($4.62).
The Tourist Bus from Berastagi is 150,000 Rupiah($10.66) and it doesn’t arrive in Berastagi until 2-3 pm.
Which means it probably gets to Parapat just in time to catch the last ferry over to Samosir.
My journey from Berstagi to Lake Toba was more about the adventure of local travel.
And I wanted to get there before dark.
As you can see the price is only a $6 difference.
And the tourist bus might be 1-2 hours quicker depending on traffic and weather.
So the choice really only depends on what time of day you want to arrive.
In between Berastagi and Samosir is the Sipiso Piso Waterfall.
It’s closer to Berastagi, but has a better scenic route from Samosir.
If you’re interested in how to get there you can also Read This Post.
Have you used public transportation to get from Berastagi to Samosir Island?
Let me know how it was in the comments below.