Swimming in Volcanic Hot Springs in Berastagi, Sumatra

After hiking the volcano Sibayak we were taken to an authentic Sumatran volcanic, hot springs to soak away our troubles.

Read on if you want to know where we went and how much it cost.

Hot springs

Natural hot springs outside the pools

Volcanic Activity

Indonesia and its 17,504 islands are a hot bed of seismic activity! Sumatra, one of Indonesia’s islands, sits on the world’s most active seismic area, the Pacific Ring of Fire and the world’s second most active volcanic region, the Alpide belt.

Sitting within such seismic activity has meant the islands have experienced some of the strongest earthquakes and most powerful volcanic eruptions known on Earth including one that resulted in a seven YEAR black-out! That was a about seventy-thousand years ago though.

Hot springs

Outside the hot springs pools that we visited

Loads of Hot Springs

Due to having TWO activie volcanoes within the area of Berastagi, there are many natural hot spring pools (air panas in Sumatran) about 20-30 minutes from its town centre.

In the little area that we visited there were at least five different pools alone.

Hot springs

The kids swimming in the Hot springs

Which one to visit?

We visited Hot Spring Pesona Sibayak View however I have since been informed by locals that the best pool is Alam Sibayak which also has a variety of clean and modern pools at different temperatures, all with views over the volcano.

The price is around 5000Rp for a one hour bath.

Hot springs

An area with two pools

How to get there

The roads in Sumatra are poorly maintained and the road to this section of hot springs is no different. You can drive yourself but you’ll need something sturdy.

30 minutes from Berastagi the hot springs are located near Raja Bemeh village, located at the base of Sibayak Volcano.

Visiting Hot Spring Pesona Sibayak

Although visiting the Pesona pools was an authentic experience, I do not recommend that you visit. The changing rooms were so disgusting the kids chose to get changed by the side of the pools. Some of them were flooded with black water and infested with insects, for others the doors didn’t close or there was no light. You get the gist! Pretty grimy.

Hot Springs

The volcano sits atop of the pools

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Jumping in

How do the pools work?

The water is firstly cleaned with a filter before running into the first pool. This is the hottest pool and roughly about 70*c. It is so hot that you are only recommended to spend a few minutes at a time in it. I like hot baths but that was HOT HOT HOT. This pool was only moderately filled and that’s all it needed to be!

The water then runs into a series of other pools (approximately eight in total) and as it does so, the water is cooled down. A bit like playing giant tipsies.

From memory the water isn’t cooled a significant amount however as the coolest pool was still about 35*c. Very nice and relaxing after a sweaty climb up the volcano.

Hot springs

Sitting in the hottest pool

Hot springs


A very short video from outside the hot spring pools where you can see the water bubbling away.

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How we went to a volcanic hot springs in Berastagi, SUmatra.

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As a small child my favourite book was 'People of the World' which featured Inuits from Alaska, children from China and farmers from Peru. It was a glimpse into another world that would inspire me to wander the globe in search of something special.


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