Travel from Banda Aceh to Ketambe
To go from Banda Aceh to Ketambe you have few options: flight, combination of flight and minibus, direct minibus or 2 parts in different minibuses, direct couch bus. Depending which option you chose and which one is available on the day you want to travel, it can take between few hours and 2 full days to reach Ketambe from Banda Aceh.
- Direct flight from Banda Aceh to Kutacane and public or private transport to Ketambe - 3:30 hour
- Flight from Banda Aceh to Medan and onward on the road to Ketambe - 12 hour
- Direct minibus from Banda Aceh along the east coast road via Medan and Kutacane - 22 hours
- Minibuses along the inland road via Takengon and Belangkejeren to Ketambe - at least 18 hours
- Comfortable Coach Bus along the inland road - 16 hours
1. Flight from Banda Aceh to Kutacane
Airplane Cessna from Susi Air
The flight service depends on anual contracts between air carriers and the airports.
In 2023 there are two flight per week between Banda Aceh and Kutacane on Tuesday and Friday. You can check the up to date schedule and prices here. SusiAir is a reliable and safe airline. They use modern, but small aircrafts. Pilots are from western countries. They always fly with one pilot and one co-pilot.
For the route between Banda Aceh and Kutacane a Cessna C208b is used. The plane can carry a maximum of 12 passengers only. SusiAir allows 6 kg of cabin baggage and 10 kg of hold baggage. For overweight there is an extra charge. The flight time between Banda Aceh and Kutacane is about 90 minutes.
Ticket booking in advance is difficult, try phone or email: Hotline: +62811211-3080 or 3090; Email: email@example.com; Website: www.susiair.com. There is a SusiAir counter at Banda Aceh airport open on the days a flight is scheduled.
The airfield Kutacane, official name is "Alas Leuser Airport", is about 20 km outside Kutacane city. From the airfield to the main road (Simpang Semadam) its a 15 minutes ride by becak. If a plane arrives, there is not always public transport with a Labi Labi available. On the mainroad in the village of Semadam wait for a minibus to Kutacane city. Expect to pay about 30,000 IDR for becak and minibus. If you have direct connection in Semadam it takes about 45 minutes to reach the city of Kutacane. To reach Ketambe from Kutacane city take a Labi Labi. If you like to have more comfort, we offer a shuttle service by car from the airfield Kutacane direct to Ketambe. The ride takes about 80 minutes. Please ask for availibility and price.
Ahmad (the owner of Friendship Guesthouse) has a friend, who works at the airport Kutacane and gives him always the latest information about the timetable and prices. He can help making bookings for flights departing from Kutacane only.
2. Flight to Medan and onward on the road to Ketambe
If there is no direct flight to Kutacane you can go by air from Banda Aceh to Medan Kuala Namu Airport first. Currently there are 10 flights per day. Most flights are operated by Lion Air. Other airlines are Garuda Indonesia and Interlink Airlines. The first flight departs at 6:00 AM, the last at 6:00 PM. The flight time to Medan is 1:15 hour. From Medan Airport to Ketambe go by public transport as described on our separate page, click here.
3. Minibus on the east coast road via Medan and Kutacane
From the bus station in the city centre of Banda Aceh you can catch one of the few direct minibuses to Kutacane via Medan. This tiring journey will take between 20 and 22 hours. The minibus terminates in Kutacane city. If you cannot catch the direct minibus to Kutacane, it is also possible to go to Medan by big bus or minibus first. Until Medan it takes about 10 to 12 hours. Change over there and continue to Kutacane as described on a separate page, click here.
4. Minibuses on the inland road via Takengon and Belangkejeren to Ketambe
The most adventurous way to come from Banda Aceh to Ketambe is to use the only inland road. Parts go through the Leuser National Park. The road is small and is not suitable for large busses.
With the MINIBUS there is one direct service with destinaton Kutacane which takes about 18 hours. Another option is to do this ride in steps with a stopover in Takengon (beside the Lake Tawar). To Takengon it takes about 8 to 9 hours. Its convinient to stay overnight in Takengon and continue next morning. The 2nd part is from Takengon with destination Kutacane. It goes via Belangkejeren and sometimes you need to change over there again. You don't need to go to the final destination Kutacane, but you have to stop and jump off 45 minutes before - in Ketambe. Please ask the driver to drop you off in Ketambe. Travel time from Takengon to Ketambe is 8 hours again. If you have a stopover in Belangkjeren it can take even longer.
Takengon - Lake Tawar
Minibus from BTN
5. Coach bus (midi bus) on the inland road direct to Ketambe
A more comfortable option is to go with the COACH BUS from Simpati Star (see picture right side or below). It is equipped with large reclining seats and has air condition. The ride goes overnight and takes about 16 hours. The ticket price is about 400,000 IDR.
The bus leaves from the L300 bus station Lungbata. Their office is at the bus station at Jalan T. Imun (or Teuku Imuem) Lungbata. To book tickets in advance you can call: +62 821 61029544. If they don’t understand English, people from your hotel/guesthouse might help you.
The coach bus has the final destination Kutacane, but if you ask the driver he can drop you off in Ketambe (about 45 minutes before Kutacane). Normally the drivers know also Friendship Guesthouse.
If you plan to travel from Ketambe to Banda Aceh I can arrange tickets when you are here. The coach bus starts from Kutacane at 9 PM and pass/stop in Ketambe at about 10 PM. The journey takes about 16 hours.
Comfortable coach bus from Simpati Star