The drive from Padang to the Kerinci valley is long, but the views can be spectacular.
You’ll be picked up in Padang in the morning, straight from your accommodations. Enjoy the scenery as you drive roughly nine hours through the Sumatran countryside, passing small villages, rice paddies, and into the rainforest.
After crossing parts of the Bukit Barisan mountain range you’ll reach the Kerinci valley, making your way south to the small community of Lempur on the forest-edge. Spend the night in a simple guesthouse there.
Rainforest near Lempur village. There’s a reason it’s called the “rain” forest.
After breakfast at your guesthouse in Lempur, take a short ride to the trailhead to begin the Sumatra jungle trek. The first part of the trek takes you through a hutan adat, a traditionally managed forest buffer zone where forest products like cinnamon, bamboo, ratan, fruits, and more are sustainably harvested by the village. Eventually, you’ll reach the boundaries of the Kerinci Seblat National Park, crossing over the shallow Manjuto river into primary rainforest.
If you started the trek late, make camp there, or continue up Bukit Lintang to the hill campsite. Bukit Lintang is known for having very healthy wildlife populations, so be on the lookout for wildlife as diverse as wild boar to Malayan tapir, sambar deer to Sumatran tigers.
A lovely little waterfall and swimming hole by Sungai Riang, on the Sumatran Tiger Trek multi-day hike.
Pack up and continue your journey through the Sumatran wilderness, across Bukit Lintang and through some of the most beautiful rainforest imaginable. Head down the other side of the hill, listening and watching for siamang gibbons and hornbills, who each begin their enchanting calls in the morning. Keep eyes on the path for any signs of tiger pugmarks, tapir tracks, or other wildlife signs.
After roughly five hours of trekking, arrive at the unnamed waterfall on Sungai Riang, where you’ll make camp. Enjoy swimming in the refreshingly chilly mountain water, ride the natural rock slide beside the waterfall into the pool below if the water is high enough, or continue exploring the surrounding rainforest. Turn in for the night.
Taking a dip in Lake Kaco. There’s nothing like the refreshing cool of a clear, spring-fed jungle pool after a hard day of trekking.
Enjoy a peaceful breakfast surrounded by birds singing their morning songs against the backdrop of the bubbling waterfall. Break camp and continue trekking through the primary rainforest of the Kerinci Seblat National Park, returning to the Bukit Lintang ridge trail before descending back to lower elevations. Continue hiking through lush, untouched forests until you eventually arrive at Lake Kaco, the brilliantly blue swimming hole and natural aquarium deep in the forest, arriving in the afternoon. Follow in the footsteps of Bear Grylls and jump off the tree hanging over the crystal clear waters, and swim around with the abundant fish and brilliantly-colored fresh-water crabs that make the lake their home. The cool, underground spring-fed natural pool makes for a rejuvenating break after so many days of trekking.
Set up camp in the forest surrounding the lake. Before bed, take a night-walk for chances of spotting nocturnal creatures like civets, colugo, slow-loris, flying squirrels, and a variety of tree-frogs and insects.
The peaceful Seluang Bersisik Emas Waterfall, on the way back from Lake Kaco on the Sumatran Tiger Trek.
Wake up next to Lake Kaco and enjoy a leisurely morning, swimming and relaxing in the lake. Eventually, pull yourself away and continue roughly three hours along forest trails looking for birds, wildlife and signs of other animals as you make your way out of the forest.
Take a break at the Siluang Bersisik Emas waterfall before you exit the forest and continue your walk through idyllic rice paddies on your way back to Lempur village.
You’ll arrive back in Lempur generally by mid- to late-afternoon. Spend the night back in the Lempur guesthouse.
Your home away from home at the family-owned Cinnamon Guest House
After breakfast in the morning, begin the long drive back to Padang, arriving sometime in the late afternoon or early evening.