Arrival in Medan, Sumatra

**For our guests arriving in Medan, if you are travelling with us we recommend printing this page and keeping it with you.



Please note - if you have booked our transfer package, you will be met at the Medan airport and transported either to your flight on to Sibolga or to your hotel in Medan if you are staying the night. Your boards may need to be sent in advance, so please have any items you might need in Medan separate from your boardbag. In the event of airline delays, our representatives will be able to collect your bags and connect you to domestic travel arrangements. 

For all guests - when you get off the plane, go to the Visa on Arrival counter before going through immigration. Pay for your visa and then continue to the counter on the left to have your passport stamped. Getting through customs in Medan can be slo - plenty of patience and having all your documentation organized will make the experience easier. 

If you are asked to indicate an address in Indonesia, use your hotel name or "The Dream Surf Charter".

After passing customs, collect your bags in the luggage hall. Do not accept offers of assistance from anyone! If you have booked the transfer package, a member of our staff will be waiting for you outside baggage claim in front of the main exit. Our staff will easily recognise you with your boardbag, and will come find you in the airport if you get delayed for any reason. 

If you have any problems, call the skipper at the numbers listed below.

The best way to get local currency is from one of the ATMs at the airport, so be sure to stop and withdraw money before exiting the airport if you need to. (If you have a card that has the Cirrus or PLUS logo, and most do, or have a Visa or Mastercard, you will be able to withdraw.) 1 USD equals about 13,000 rupiah. You won't need much local currency, as there is nowhere to spend it on the boat, but it will certainy be useful for paying the Medan departure tax, enjoying some beers before the boat departs, tipping the boat staff, etc. We recommend withdrawing a couple million (about $200) when you arrive so you have options. Whatever you don't use can be exchanged before you leave Indonesia, but you never know when it may come in handy!



Once you arrive in Sibolga on the Monday of the boat departure, you will be met by one of our representatives and be transferred to a hotel with a swimming pool, bar, and spa while the skipper finalises the paperwork for the trip. Once that is completed, you will be transported to The Dream, which will leave port that Monday evening, to begin your journey. 

Recommended package     Transfer package: 

  • airport pickup/drop-off in Medan

  • transport to hotel + 2 nights accommodation

  • return flights Medan (KNO)-Sibolga (FLZ)

  • airport pickup in Sibolga

  • same service for the return trip to Medan


Organize yourself

  • book Crew Hotel in Medan with free airport shuttle  (10min from airport)

  • book return flights Medan (KNO) to Sibolga (FLZ) - take same schedule day as your boat trip , departure and return, book the 10am flight for both or earlier

  • we’ll pick up your boardbags on international arrival flight  

Boarding The Dream

We will pick you up at the Sibolga airport (FLZ) or hotel and take you to The Dream where you can chill out in your cabin and prepare for the boat's departure. 


In order to make the most of the trip and not lose a single day of surfing, we will depart from Sibolga Harbour in the evening and sail to the Banyak Islands during the night. At dawn, you'll be ready for your first surf in this little secret slice of paradise. At the end of the trip, we will sail through the night back to the harbour. 


During the trip, there are potentially 12 different waves to surf, some named, some secret, depending on conditions. Our surf guide (fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Indonesian) will consult with the captain each day and offer you various options depending on the forecast to help you decide where you'd like to surf. During the trip, there will also be opportunities to participate in other activities, like exploring deserted beaches, snorkelling, and spearfishing. 

Getting to The Dream
The Dream departs from its home port in Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia. The easiest way to get there depends on whether you are coming from overseas or travelling from another part of Indonesia. 

If you are coming from overseas, it is easiest to fly into Meda's Kualanamu airport (KNO) and book our transfer package, so we will meet you in Medan and organize your domestic travel to and from Sibolga Harbour. This way, all your arrangements are organized and you won't have to worry about anything after you arrive in Medan.

Most of our guests travel to Medan via Singapore (Silk Air, Jetstar), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysian, Air Asia), or Jakarta (Garuda). You can add the transfer package to your trip with The Dream at the following rates: 

Transfer from Medan: $300 USD

This package includes return flights from Medan (KNO) to Sibolga (FLZ), meet and greets off all your flights, hotel accomodations, and transfer of your boards/luggage to and from your charter. (please note that within Sumatra, airlines usually cannot take an entire group's surfboards and have restrictions on length/weight). Please see SURFBOARD TRANSPORT below for more information. Essentially with this package, you arrive in Medan and we look after the rest!

If you don't book the transfer package, we can also help arrange accomodation and provide transport to/from your hotel in Medan. However, all costs of Medan transfers must be paid by the guest prior to arrival. So, if you are spending a night in Medan on either end of your trip and wish to be transferred to/from the hotel, this will be an additional expense.

Alternatively, if you are a hardcore independent traveller who's looking to save some $$ you can get yourself from Medan to Sibolga by public or express bus for under $50 in a day or two, but you'll need more than a surf and a Bintang at the end of it. Unless you are fluent in Bahas Indonesia and experienced in the ins and outs of Sumatra, we recommend getting our transfer package option. 

Many our our guests also vist Lagundri or Sorake during their travels, and we can help with accomodation and transport on Nias - just let us know if you are interested. 

***In all cases, please run your itinerary by us before you book just to make sure! 


Please contact us for more information regarding this

Frequently Asked Questions 


1. When do I need to arrive?

You must be at the charter on the Monday afternoon of departure, no exceptions. If you are coming from Medan and have booked our transfer package, you will need to arrive in Medan the day before the departure (Sunday), any time morning to evening.

Arrival in/departure from Medan on the same day as the charter leaved can be organised in some cases by The Dream Surf Trip. Please contact us before booking flights, as domestic flight schedules here have a tendency to change. If you want to arrive in Indonesia the same day as your charter departure, the Silk Air flight from Singapore arriving in Medan at 8:00 or the Batik Air flight from Kuala Lumpur arriving in Medan at 7:35 would work. 

2. When do I book my flight home?


On the return trip, we recommend you stay the night in Medan on Friday and plan to depart on Saturday, as domestic flights from SIbolga to Medan are occasionally delayed due to weather or operational issues. If you really want to depart on the Friday night of the charter's return, we do our best to accommodate flights leaving after 19:00 at the earliest, but you must have fully comprehensive travel insurance, as we do not bear any responsibility for missed connections due to domestic airline delays or cancellations. 

3. Can you organize accommodation in Medan?

Yes - there are a number of hotels we work with and can book accommodations for you. We can book the Danau Toba, or an equivalent hotel, at $50/night twin share room ($60 for 3 people) or the Marriott at $100/night twin share ($120/night for 3 people). The Marriott is an excellent choice and is a great value - it's a five-star hotel priced like a budget accommmodation in Singapore or KL, and has a breakfast spread you have to see to believe!

Travel time between the Kuala Namu airport and the city of Medan is about 90 minutes due to highway construction, but we expect that will go down to about an hour once the roadwork is completed. If you wish to avoid street hassle and taxis, there is a very convenient train from the airport to the city centre. Please contact us with any questions - we are happy to provide advice on any itinerary.