Preceded by the 44 hairpin turns that wind down to the lake from 400m above, Danau Maninjau (Lake Maninjau) is perfect for rest and relaxation on the way to or from Danau Toba. Though only 15km due west of Bukittinggi, the journey by public transport is actually 37km (1hr 30min). Located at an altitude of 500m, the lake is 17km long and 8km wide, with jungle-covered walls creeping up the ancient volcanic crater. Below the sheer walls are the rice paddies and palm-covered fields on the edges of the lake. The area of interest for tourists stretches out from the village of Maninjau, where the road from Bukittinggi reaches the lakeside, and the village of Bayur 4km to the north.
There’s not that much to do here apart from relax and swim in the lake, though you may like to try to track down a rafflesia in the jungle-clad hills behind the village, or visit the nearby waterfall.