Lake Singkarak, Indonesia

One of West Sumatra’s prettiest lakes is Lake Singkarak. Located at an elevation of nearly 1200 feet in the highlands east of Padang, Lake Singkarak’s shoreline is cool and inviting after experiencing the hot and humid coast. The second-largest lake in West Sumatra after Lake Toba, the lake now provides vitally-needed electrical power to the surrounding area. Much of the outflow has been diverted to the Anai River to feed – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Singkarak! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Singkarak cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Singkarak! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Singkarak cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Singkarak

Lake Locations: Indonesia -

One of West Sumatra’s prettiest lakes is Lake Singkarak. Located at an elevation of nearly 1200 feet in the highlands east of Padang, Lake Singkarak’s shoreline is cool and inviting after experiencing the hot and humid coast. The second-largest lake in West Sumatra after Lake Toba, the lake now provides vitally-needed electrical power to the surrounding area. Much of the outflow has been diverted to the Anai River to feed a new hydro-power plant. Nestled against a backdrop of the lush, green Barisan Mountains, Lake Singkarak has long been a favored fishing lake for locals. The shoreline is dotted with cafes, small hotels and hostels, and the rough road around the lake passes through several small settlements. Some of these areas offer small shops to purchase traditional crafts common to the Minangkabau culture.

Lake Singkarak is a favorite spot to swim or simply enjoy the beautiful view. Several areas along the 32-mile shoreline offer natural sandy beaches. Children delight at the sight of the bilih fish swimming around their feet in the crystal clear water. Boat tours may be arranged in the town of Umbilin, and personal boat rentals are a popular way to enjoy the large lake. At least 19 species of fish are known to live in the lake. The sasau is usually the one most sought-after by leisure anglers. This white-fleshed fish is known to reach about five pounds and is considered a fine table fish.

Many of the local inhabitants have survived here for generations on fishing and small farming. Lake Singkarak is one of only two lakes that hold the endemic bilih fish, which is a type of small carp. There are claims that the bilih will survive nowhere else, including in aquarium environments. The bilih has become famous as the main ingredient in several local dishes and is served at nearly all of the local restaurants, crisply fried with green chilies. Recently, complaints have been raised that the lake isn’t producing as many fish as were previously caught. The blame appears to lie in over-fishing, and efforts are underway to correct the situation. Local fish farming of the bilih in nets has been somewhat successful in meeting the always-growing market for these tasty fish.

Located 45 miles east on the coastal resort city of Padang, visitors can take the train to the lake or risk a ride on the somewhat unreliable local buses. Most people rent a car and drive to enjoy the scenic sights along the way. In recent years, more people have become aware of Lake Singkarak’s charms by the publicity generated over the professional “Tour de Singkarak” bicycle race that takes place each year.

The 900-km international UTI-Asia Tour race takes about a week to complete, beginning in Padang and circling Lake Singkarak before heading inland through several West Sumatra cities. As a result, cycling around the lake has become more common and allows the casual bike rider the opportunity to pause at various vantage points and enjoy the scenery at leisure. Hiking along the shoreline and in the surrounding hills has become increasingly popular with visitors. Such interest has convinced West Sumatra officials to try to encourage more tourism to the area. Currently, the nearest three, four and five-star hotels are located as far away as Padang, although local hotel properties are being encouraged to upgrade their facilities.

Visitors who do not expect world-class accommodations at the lakefront will likely find some type of lodgings suitable for a stay of a day or two. Although there don’t appear to be any organized campgrounds, usually hotels in West Sumatra offer a small area for tent campers as long as they eat a meal or two in their restaurant. Tourist agents familiar with the area can easily direct visitors to the best accommodations and campsites.

Lake Singkarak is an excellent addition to any vacation or holiday in West Sumatra. The area around Padang is noted for excellent diving waters and popular for deep sea fishing and water sports. Several resorts there offer every amenity. Padang is noted for surfing, with surfing tours being operated by several companies in the city. Minibuses regularly transport visitors 18 miles north to Bungus Bay where the surfing is excellent, and the off-shore islands support beautiful coral reefs for snorkeling or diving. Ferry travel to nearby offshore islands is also popular. Due to a large Chinese presence because of Chinese shipping concerns, Padang has a bustling Chinatown with many restaurants and spice shops.

Most visitors plan at least one day to visit the colorful city of Bukittinggi, 22 miles north of Lake Singkarak. Bukittinggi is the cultural home of the Minangkabau and features the typical architecture of distinctive buffalo horn roof peaks superimposed even on old Dutch Colonial buildings. Remnants of Dutch rule are still evident in such edifices as the 1926 Clock Tower. The museum across from the ruins of Fort de Kock is worth a visit to brush up on Sumatran history and antiquities. Of interest in Bukittinggi, the Japanese caves built with slave labor are preserved as a glaring example of Japanese occupation during World War II. Nearby, the Military Museum exhibits weapons and historic artifacts from the war for independence from Holland, an attempted communist coup in 1965, and the fight against Fretilin guerrillas in East Timor. Minangkabau culture is on display every evening at the Culture Center with performances of native song and dance. Surrounding it all are the lush green Highlands with cool lakes, spectacular waterfalls and even a few active volcanoes.

The long-held explanation of Lake Singkarak’s origins has been that it was a flooded volcanic crater. Recent scientific explorations have challenged that explanation. Instead, scientists are now certain that ancient lava flows from other volcanoes dammed water outflow, creating the lake. Recently, interested international groups have worked to find a solution to deforestation occurring around the lake to prevent future degraded water quality. These groups hope that a plan to pay the local residents to protect the hillsides may result in both better water protection and additional investment in tourism facilities. Increased tourism may be the solution to the thorny problem of deforestation from farming. Meanwhile, Lake Singkarak is cool, scenic and delightful. And there are enough bilih fish being produced to guarantee everyone a taste of the local delicacy.

Things to Do at Lake Singkarak

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Snorkeling
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Waterfall
  • Museum
  • Ruins

Fish Species Found at Lake Singkarak

  • Carp

All About Lake Singkarak

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Singkarak

The Lake Singkarak map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Singkarak Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Singkarak Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Singkarak Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Singkarak Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Singkarak lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 26,638 acres

Shoreline Length: 32 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,188 feet

Average Depth: 489 feet

Maximum Depth: 879 feet

Water Volume: 13,052,482 acre-feet

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Singkarak news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Singkarak forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Singkarak photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Lake Singkarak article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Singkarak? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Singkarak forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Singkarak vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Singkarak forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Singkarak photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Singkarak article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Singkarak vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Lake Singkarak forum group? Click Here

New Lake Singkarak photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi