The second largest lake in West Sumatra (after Lake Batur), measuring 16 kms long, 7 kms wide and 105 metres deep, Lake Maninjau is surrounded by hills. The beauty of this lake can also be seen from the height of Puncak Lawang.
From the summit plateau of Puncak Lawang, the blue Lake Maninjau can be seen. Located in District Matur, Agam, West Sumatra, Puncak Lawang is located 1,210 metres above sea level. Historically used as a resting place for the Dutch nobility, it is now often used for international class paragliding championships.
You can rent a motorbike in Bukittinggi. Alternatively, hop onto an angkot to Terminal Aur Kuning, a bus terminal within Bukittinggi itself. From there, take a yellow minivan called Harmoni to the Lake. This trip costs Rp.25,000 and takes about an hour. However, the van will only leave when it is quite full. It may take upwards of two hours to fill up the van. Trips start from about 7am and leave every two hours. The last van from Lake Maninjau back to Bukittinggi is at about 5-6pm.
Place To Stay.
There are many budget alternatives, most with very basic facilities.
Beach Guest House,
(North of the main crossroad and take a left at the sign advertising Bagoes Café.). checkout: 12 pm. A clean and new guest house on the edge of the lake, with nice views. Newly renovated and opened in 2014. Bagoes Café is in the same location and run by the same family, which serves quality Western and Indonesian food. This is a popular place for backpackers, couples and families, especially for those who want to have a bit of a yarn with the friendly owners.
Cafe 44, (Turn right at the T junction, 500 metres down the road on the slight down hill.). checkout: 12 pm. Family run beach front rooms offering great views and swimming on your doorstep. 5 rooms basic and clean, all had an outdoor covered area for sitting and admiring views. Rooms have lights, no power outlets (outlet was available in restaurant on request). Shared squat bathroom with cold water shower. Bed linen provided.
Muaro Beach Bungalows, (about 5 mins walk from Maninjau town through a kampung (village) path, just follow the signs). In a lush rustic setting near the lake. In a very peaceful and tranquil location with fantastic views over the lake. Has own restaurant by the edge of the lake. The bungalows are basic but ok, with private outside toilet and cold water showers. Friendly staff. There are ducklings to amuse kids as well as cats, dogs and wild monkeys. Rents out motorbikes (semi Rp. 60000, auto 75000 per day). Canoe hire are free for guests, and the beach is good for swimming.
Riak Danau, a bit further than Muaro, access is via a narrow path through a paddy field.
Arlen’s Beach Paradise (Nova Paradise), Sungei Rangeh Bayur, Lake Maninjau 26471 (Follow the footpath through the rice paddy for about 300m from the sign on the road just north of the village of Bayur) . Five simple bungalows on a small lakeside plot surrounded by rice fields. The location is far enough from the village fishing platforms make the appealing enough to swim in. Mosquito nets and attached toilet and shower in each bungalow. Small restaurant with good and healthy food. Very friendly and welcoming staff.
Maninjau Indah Hotel, (Only a 3-min walk from town). Tan Dirih Hotel, (a 15 minutes walk from the town centre). Another upmarket hotel a bit further away than the Indah, yet it situated by the lake and maintains clean environment. Next door is the newish and stylish Water Front Restaurant. Pride of place is their sitting area which juts into the lake – lovely place for a meal or beer.Has a large playground and a small swimming pool for kids.