Dugout Canoe on Lake Mt. Tujuh Danau Gunung Tujuh, Kerinci, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia
Gunung Tujuh is a massive, extinct volcano whose eruption in ancient times blew apart the top of the mountain, eventually forming a large, 4.5 km long lake, Danau Gunung Tujuh, in the crater left behind. Being completely within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, the surrounding peaks (of which there are 7 – hence the name “Tujuh” in Indonesian), are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The caldera lake, at around 2000 meters, is the highest in Southeast Asia. Being up there, with the clouds clinging to the primeval forests all around, it truly feels like you’ve stepped into a prehistoric lost world. There are even tales of the mountain being home to a mysterious creature: the elusive Orang Pendek.

Difficulty: Moderate. Difficulty significantly increases if you choose to climb one of the peaks surrounding the lake.

Activities: Hiking, Camping, Canoeing, Swimming, Bird Watching, Wildlife Spotting

Elevation: 1500m-2100m

Terrain: Jungle, Mountains, Lake

Nearest Village: Pelompek, Gunung Tujuh subdistrict, Kerinci regency, Jambi province, Indonesia

  • A quality pair of hiking shoes – preferably waterproof – are essential.
  • Comfortable trekking socks are recommended.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sunscreen, especially if you plan on spending much time on the lake. Being so close to the equator, it’s easy to burn quickly-especially when the air is so deceptively cool.
  • The trek up can be a bit challenging if you’re carrying too much or trying to go too quickly – enjoy the journey and take time to observe what’s around you.
  • At the top, the temperature can be quite chilly, especially during the night, so bring a jacket or enough clothing to layer.
  • Best to avoid weekends and public holidays, or at least be willing to cross to the other side of the lake during those times, as local students can crowd the campsite and are prone to being disruptively loud.
  • 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.
  • As it is a rainforest, expect and prepare for rain at some point during your trek, no matter what season you’re travelling in.
  • 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.
  • Keep an eye out for the Orang Pendek – Sumatra’s version of Bigfoot. The most frequent sightings are reported around Mt. Tujuh.
  • 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 village of Pelompek, where there are two guest houses, is closest to the Mt. Tujuh trail-head, making it potentially the more ideal place to stay if you’re solely focused on Mt. Tujuh. The town of Kersik Tuo, which is about 40 minutes south of Pelompek, is also a good place to base yourself, as it has a few more accommodations, and is on the edge of the tea fields at the foot of Mt. Kerinci.

Many travelers come overland via the city of Padang in West Sumatra. Expect the drive to Pelompek to take around seven and a half 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 Kerinci, roughly a nine hour drive.

The city of Jambi is also a possible launching point, although since Mt. Tujuh is in the northern part of Kerinci, 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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