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 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.

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 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.
  • 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.
  • Insect repellent and 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 on sometimes uneven/rocky ground, with very thin camping mattresses, under the forest canopy for two to three nights, depending on your trek length. Plus two nights in a very simple family-run guesthouse in the village. But you’ll be having an experience of a lifetime.
  • 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.
  • This is also not a zoo – the animals here are very wild and extremely wary of people, and the lush environment itself makes visibility difficult. While seeing tracks and other fresh signs of a variety of wildlife is very common, and there is abundant life everywhere you look, actually spotting large mammals is rare.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 trousers.
  • Food is very traditional local fare. Vegetarian and vegan options are available, if you let us know ahead of time.
  • 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’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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