The hills in the centre of Samosir tower 700m above the lake, and at the heart of the island is a large plateau and Danau Sidihoni, a body of water about the size of a large village pond. It’s a ten-hour walk from one side of the island to the other, but a stopover in one of the villages on the plateau is usually necessary. Most begin in Ambarita on the eastern shore, on the uphill path, from where it’s two to three hours’ climb to the tiny hilltop village of Partukongan – aka Dolok or “summit” – the highest point on Samosir. There are two homestays here, John’s and Jenny’s, and Peter’s losmen in the next village on the trail, Ronggurnihuta. The villagers can be a bit vague when giving directions, so take care and check frequently with passers-by that you’re on the right trail. Ronggurnihuta is a three- or four-hour walk away, with Pangururan three to fours hours further on at the end of a tortuously long downhill track (18km) that passes Danau Sidihoni on the way. Arrive in Pangururan before 5pm and you should be in time to catch the last bus back to the eastern shore; otherwise, stay at the Wisata Samosir by the bus stop.

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