Lake Toba Health and Safety Guide

Lake Toba health and safety is crucial since Lake Toba does not yet meet international standards in terms of health (hygiene, cleanliness, etc.) and safety. For example, water from the tab is not suitable for drinking. Street food is not clean enough, so you must avoid it. Safety is lacking due to inadequate procedures or weak law enforcement. You need to know some details so that you can plan your trip accordingly.


COVID-19 full vaccination (2 doses) is mandatory for local and international visitors. Indonesia recognizes Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, Johnson & Johnson, and other WHO-approved jabs. Further, we recommend that you consult a certified physician regarding vaccination before traveling to Lake Toba. Because vaccines need a few days or even weeks to work inside your body, you need to get them 4-8 weeks before arrival.


All overseas arrivals are subject to a five-day quarantine in designated facilities (hotels and villas) near the first port of entry into the country. This requirement may change from to time.

Health Centers

Community health centers (puskesmas) provide emergency assistance for all travelers experiencing injuries. But for serious health problems, hospitals are available in Parapat (east side of Lake Toba), Samosir (inside), and Balige (west side). Here are some useful numbers in case of emergency:

General Hospital (Parapat)
Dr. Hadrianus Hospital (Samosir)
HKBP Hospital (Balige)
Address: Jl. Op. Ranjo Sinaga, Parapat, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Address: Jl. Dr Hadrianus, Samosir, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Address: Jl. Gereja No.17, Balige II, Balige, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Phone: +62 625 41332
Phone: +62 626 20106
Phone: +62 632 21043

Group Traveling

If you travel to Lake Toba for the first time, we suggest that you travel in group of at least 2 people for your safety. But if you cannot have any of your friends and family members join the trip, then consider booking guided tours. All guided tours will involve local guides who know other local people and safe places so you won’t have to worry. The main risk is robbery, especially against those going out at night.

Ferry Crossings

Ferry crossings to Samosir and cruise tours are also a risk as live vests are not immediately reachable or available if unexpected situations occur. As soon as you get onto the deck, look for yellow tire-shaped vests usually hung on the ceilings. The operator will not announce any safety procedures while you are on board. But, the lake is calm. So, on balance, the overal cruising risk is relatively low.

Emergency Assistance

Call 112 from any device for emergency support. You can connect to police, fire fighters and ambulance from that line. It is equivalent to 911 in the United States.

See also Traveling with Kids to Lake Toba.