Lake Maninjau is in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Lake Maninjau is a large crater lake with several villages bordering it. It is a great place to relax, experience local rural lifestyle and watch the sunsets. The lake also supports swimming, canning and fishing. The villages themselves are small and great for escaping the hectic pace of Indonesia.
If you took the bus then there is not much to see when you arrive in front of the lake. If you have a motorbike, then you can go around the lake and enjoy the landscapes, it takes 2-3 hours. There are some possibilities for trekking and there's a waterfall by the mosque to the north of town Maninjau.
- The view from the top of the road winding town to town Maninjau.
- A blood red sunset from a beach side restaurant.
- The surroundings of the lake where badly hit by the September 2009 Padang earthquake. Many landslides all around the lake destroyed some houses. There's still the occasional landslide damaging buildings and roads, which may make traveling around the lake troublesome.
- Rent a motorbike and go around the lake.
- Take a bus up the mountain road and walk down a path through the forest.
- On the way too or from Bukittinggi, stop at one of the dozens of roadside stalls in the village of Matur for a bag of roasted peanuts in the shell.
- Bagoes Cafe, Near the lake intersection, to the north. Serves good basic western and Indonesian food. Friendly owners. Has computers and wifi for Rp7000 per hour. Can arrange treks around Maninjau and Bukittinggi, and tickets for bus and plane. Mains Rp 10,000-30,000.
- Cafe 44, By the lake, north of town Maninjau. Serves OK basic western and Indonesian food. Also has rooms for Rp75,000.
Budget under Rp130,000
There are lots of budget accommodations near the lake.
- Cafe 44 (turn right at the T junction, 500 metres down the road on the slight down hill). Check-out: 12:00. 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. The restaurant offers a good selection of delicious and reasonably priced food. Rp75,000 double room.
- Muaro Beach Bungalows - now called EKA'S Bungalow (August 2018) (about a 5-minute walk from Maninjau town through a kampung (village) path). In a lush rustic setting near the lake. Has own restaurant by the edge of the lake. The bungalows are basic but OK, with an asian toilet and cold water shower. Friendly staff. There are ducklings to amuse kids. Compared to the other budget places which look run down, Muaro looks new. Rents out motorbikes (semi Rp60,000, auto Rp75,000 per day). Canoe hire are free for guests, and the beach is good for swimming. EKA's has Wifi. Bungalows from Rp80,000 (June 17).
- Riak Danau, a bit further than Muaro, access is via a narrow path through a paddy field.. No bungalows, only rooms (Rp75,000, 2017) but they are a spitting distance from the lake.
- Beach Guest House, Jl Raya Maninjau, ☏ . Dorm/single/double has hot showers. dorm bed Rp 45,000, room from Rp75,000.
- Arlen's Beach Paradise (Nova Paradise), Sungei Rangeh Bayur, Lake Maninjau 26471 (follow the footpath through the rice paddy for about 300 m from the sign on the main 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 making it appealing enough to swim in. There is a small beach in front of the guesthouse. Mosquito nets and attached toilet and cold shower in each bungalow. Small restaurant with good and healthy food. The food is reasonably price and is worth the money (August 2018) Very friendly and welcoming staff. The only drawback is that it's a very long walk to the nearest town at Bayur.
This guesthouse is a quiet place, especially in the mornings regarding the early morning call to prayer.
The downside to this guesthouse is no wifi.
Arlens Beach Paradise is five kilometers from Lake Maninjau. From Lake Maninjau, one can take a "minibus" for Rp5000 (August 2018) to the Arlens Beach Paradise sign post. During daylight hours, the minibuses are frequent, probably one at least every 10 minutes or so. Rp 175,000 (Aug 2018).
- Maninjau Indah Hotel (a 3-min walk from town). One of the few upmarket hotels Economy rooms start at Rp200,000 (2009).
- Tan Dirih Hotel (a 15 minutes walk from the town centre). Another upmarket hotel but it's further away than the Indah. 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.The owner is voluble, and is proud to be known as Mr Porcupine (ask him why). Economy rooms are Rp175,000 (2009).