Climb Mt. Kunyit – A Rarely Visited Active Volcano 2017-11-06T06:17:43+00:00

Project Description

A hiker walking through the cloud forest of Mt. Kunyit, Kerinci, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia
This active volcano, gets its name “Kunyit” (Turmeric in English) from the abundant yellow sulfur that can be found on the mountain. During the six hour trek to the summit, you pass through enchanted cloud forests and encounter steaming fumarole vents, making for an interesting climb. Within the crater is the mystical “Taman Dewa” or “Garden of the Gods” where the local hero Depati Parbo meditated during the conflict with the Dutch, legendarily gaining invulnerability to their bullets as a result. On the return, you’ll visit a large of hot springs, a small waterfall, and a wetlands area filled with many different kinds of Nepenthes pitcher plants. 
In the morning, head to the village of Talang Kemuning. You’ll pass through rice paddies and ample amounts of Rainforest Alliance certified cinnamon forest as you head into the hills. Once on the mountain, you’ll hike up and down ridge trails, eventually heading into cloud forest close to the top. Be on the lookout for rattan vines and pitcher plants, and listen for the call of Siamang gibbons.
After about 5-6 hours of trekking, make camp near a little stream not far from a steaming sulfur vent, about an hour from the summit.
Mountain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus on Mt. Kunyit, Kerinci, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia
Wake in the morning and climb up to the summit. On the way, be on the lookout for the recently discovered flower, Impatiens kunyitensis. If the weather is clear, to the east you can see as far as the Indian ocean.
After you’re done enjoying the view, climb down into the crater using ropes as support in a few of the steeper spots, and explore the mystical “Taman Dewa.”
When you’re ready to return, climb back out of the crater and head down the volcano. Make camp in the cinnamon forest.
A trekker walking through rainforest palms and Rattan on Mt. Kunyit, Kerinci, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia
Hike to the hot springs in the morning, freshening up in one of the warm little natural pools in the river on the way. Swing by the waterfall on your way to the wetland area, seeing how many different varieties of pitcher plants you can find along the way.
Finally arrive in the village of Lempur, where you can either stay with a local family in a homestay, or head back to Sungai Penuh for a night in a small hotel.
Hot Springs at the foot of Mt. Kunyit volcano, near the village of Talang Kemuning, Kerinci, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia
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Difficulty: Moderately Difficult. There are some lengthy sections of trekking up hill (you are climbing a volcano after all). The descent and ascent into the crater is especially tough, as parts of it are almost vertical, and require a rope at a few key points. 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, Relaxing in Hot Springs, Bird Watching, Wildlife

Elevation: 1100m-2100m

Terrain: Mountains, Wetlands, Jungle, Hot Springs, Sulfur Vents, Highland farms and Agroforest

Nearest Villages: Talang Kemuning and Lempur, Gunung Raya 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 pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Preferably made from quick-dry material.
  • 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.
  • Sunscreen. Being so close to the equator, it’s easy to burn quickly-especially when the air is so deceptively cool.

No comfy accommodations here! You’ll be sleeping rough in tents under the forest canopy for two nights.

Also, as it is 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.

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.

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 best place to base yourself before and after the trek is in the small village of Lempur, in the southern region of Kerinci, staying with your guide’s family. It’s also possible to stay in a small hotel in the main town of Sungai Penuh, about an hour north of Lempur.

Many travelers come overland via the city of Padang in West Sumatra to the town of Sungai Penuh. Expect the drive to Sungai Penuh to take around nine 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 Sungai Penuh, roughly a ten hour drive. From Sungai Penuh, you’ll be met and driven on to Lempur.

The city of Jambi is also a possible launching point, taking roughly nine hours to reach Lempur, without having to go to Sungai Penuh first. 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 are proud that 5% of the total cost of this trip goes directly to 21st Century Tiger in support of forest rangers and wild tiger conservation projects in the Kerinci Seblat National Park and other areas of Sumatra. Price also includes donations to Pencagura (Nature Lovers of Gunung Raya Sub-district) to support their forest and wildlife protection activities in the area,

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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