Mountain Scops Owl (Otus spilocephalus) in the Ladeh Panjang forest, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia
The Ladeh Panjang Wetlands, at the western foot of Mt. Kerinci and deep within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, is the highest wetlands in Southeast Asia, at over 2000 meters in elevation. The trail there takes about 6 hours or less of fairly easy hiking, with four of those hours through primary rainforest of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. Two lakes can be found within the 150 hectares of wetlands, Danau Singkarak and Danau Sakti, the latter of which takes a further three hours to reach. The marshlands and the primary forest surrounding it are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including barking deer, tapir, and tigers.

Difficulty: Moderate. While the terrain doesn’t get too steep, six hours is a long hike. Also be prepared to cross a number of streams and cross through the marsh, where it’s easy to get your feet wet.

Activities: Hiking, Camping, Bird Watching, Wildlife

Elevation: From 1500m-2100m

Terrain: Wetlands, Jungle, Mountains, Old Sulfur Vents, Lakes, Highland farms

Nearest Village: Buntu, Kayu Aro Subdistrict, Kerinci regency, Jambi province, Indonesia

  • A quality pair of hiking shoes – preferably waterproof – are essential.
  • Comfortable trekking socks – with the various wetlands and streams you’ll be crossing, your feet will definitely get wet, even with good shoes. Good hiking socks can help prevent blistering.
  • Long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. Preferably made from quick-dry material.
  • Your own water bottle, to cut down on single-use plastics.
  • A headlamp, especially if you want to take any night walks.
  • A waterproof jacket in case it rains, and to keep you warm in the chilly evenings and mornings.
  • A small backpack with a rain cover to carry your personal items, like clothing and toiletries. Extra things you don’t want to bring on the Sumatran jungle trek can be stored at the guesthouse.
  • Sunscreen. Being so close to the equator, it’s easy to burn quickly-especially when the air is so deceptively cool.
  • As it’s a rainforest, expect and prepare for rain at some point during your trek, no matter what season you’re travelling in. Be prepared to cross a number of streams and cross through the marsh, where it’s easy to get your feet wet.
  • Leeches are occasionally abundant here. While the ick factor might be high, they’re actually harmless (and the green arboreal ones are quite pretty, believe it or not).
  • Due to the high elevation (above 2000m) evenings and mornings can be quite chilly, so make sure you have a jacket, and long sleeves and pants.
  • No fancy accommodations here! You’ll be sleeping rough in tents on sometimes uneven/rocky ground, with very thin camping mattresses, plus two nights in a very simple, somewhat dingy guesthouse in the village. If you are looking for typical tourist creature comforts, Kerinci may not be the place for you. That said, there are some wooden cabins available that are a bit of an upgrade from the usual. They don’t come cheap though – per two-person room they would be an additional 450,000 IDR from the listed price. Let us know if you’d prefer that.
  • Food is very traditional local fare. Vegetarian and vegan options are available, if you let us know ahead of time.
  • The guide and porter(s) will carry all camping equipment, like tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, food, and the like. All you need to carry is your own clothing, toiletries, and whatever other personal items you want to bring into the jungle. Extra items can be stored at the guesthouse.
  • You are in a rural, isolated, underprivileged part of Sumatra. Guides and porters are from local communities- many farmers themselves when they’re not guiding. They are all in the process of learning and are not 100% proficient in English or customer service- so don’t expect skills on par with touristic areas like Bali. Thank you for supporting and encouraging them in their improvement process – this is also an aspect of community development and education, and we appreciate you being a part of it as they continue to progress.
  • Like all of our trips, you travel at your own risk. Keep in mind that you are visiting a wild and extremely remote area of rural Sumatra, far from quality medical care. It’s your responsibility to make sure you are covered with valid travel and medical insurance.

There are now daily flights to Kerinci from the city of Jambi! You can read more about them here.

The town of Kersik Tuo is a good place to base yourself before and after the trek, as it has the most accommodation choices. About fifteen minutes closer to the trail-head, however, is the village of Bedeng VIII (Delapan), an old Dutch village near the tea processing factory, and where a guesthouse has recently been opened in one of the old homes. Both Kersik Tuo and Bedeng Delapan are surrounded by the picturesque tea plantation, and provide lovely views of Mt. Kerinci.

Many travelers come overland via the city of Padang in West Sumatra. Expect the drive to Kersik Tuo to take around eight hours, although it can vary by an hour or two depending on the road conditions and the driver, and if you are taking public or private transport. Padang has direct flights to/from the hubs of Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Medan, and Batam. If you are in Bukittinggi, it’s possible to drive directly to Kersik Tuo, roughly a nine hour drive.

The city of Jambi is also a possible launching point, although since Ladeh Panjang is in the northern part of the Kerinci region, the drive from Jambi would take roughly ten or eleven hours. The road from Jambi is less winding than the road from Padang, so a bit more comfortable. As mentioned, Wings Air has daily flights to Kerinci. Susi Air also has thrice-weekly flights directly to the town of Sungai Penuh in central Kerinci, although the flights aren’t as reliable as the Wings Air flights, and are difficult to book.

You can read more about transport to/from Kerinci, and what travel looks like within the valley here.

When booking with us, we’ll be happy to assist you with all accommodation and transport arrangements.

We’re proud that 100% of our proceeds goes directly to local grassroots conservation and community development initiatives here in Kerinci. This also includes donations to Pencagura (Nature Lovers of Gunung Raya Sub-district) to support their forest and wildlife protection activities in the area, and to the local village.

As always, we use only local guides and porters from nearby communities, who are paid a fair, ethical wage above the standard local price.

Come discover Kerinci for yourself! Learn about the region, visit our itineraries page, or view additional points of interest around Kerinci to create your own custom trip. Be sure to check out our travel tips when you’re ready to start planning.

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