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.
From the village of Lempur, drive through rice paddies and cinnamon plantations up into the mountains until you reach the trailhead. Trek to a large hot springs, and then begin the climb up the volcano.
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.
Camp by a small stream with nearby fumarole vents.
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.” Make camp there.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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 WildCats Conservation Alliance 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.