Project Description

Towering over the Sumatran landscape, Mt. Kerinci demands respect. At 3805 meters tall, it’s the highest active volcano in Southeast Asia, and even rises above the iconic Mt. Fuji in Japan. Trekking up its forested slopes, protected within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, is extremely challenging as there are no switchbacks – it’s just straight up to the top along a ridge trail. But the views at the top are truly unbeatable, making the struggle and sweat worth it.
Leave your lodging in the morning to begin your climb. On the way to the trail head, don’t forget to turn around and see the incredible view of the beautiful Kayu Aro tea plantation, rice fields, the Rawa Bento wetlands, and Mt. Tujuh off in the distance.
Once in the forest, be on the lookout for Yellow-handed Mitered Langurs (our endemic, orange leaf monkeys), lizards, and birds. You’ll hear the enchanting song of Siamang gibbons, and if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a family of them. Make camp after about 8 hours of hiking, and prepare yourself for a chilly night and early morning.
Before dawn, scramble an additional two hours up the scree and rubble until you reach the crater. Bask in the view above the clouds as the sun rises, flooding the valley below with light. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see lava bubbling far below in the bottom of the crater, and on a clear day you can see all the way to the Indian ocean to your west. 
Congratulations, you’re now the tallest person on Sumatra!
Eventually, make your way back down the mountain, emerging from the jungle after about six hours, in the mid- to late afternoon.
To savor the hike (and make it a little easier), spend an extra night on the slopes of the volcano either going up or coming down.
Slow and steady wins the race (and usually results in more wildlife spotting).
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Difficulty: It’s a tough, strenuous climb – even those in great shape are wiped out by the end. Make sure you’re prepared.

Activities: Hiking, Camping, Bird Watching, Wildlife

Terrain: Jungle, Mountains

Months of Operation: Year Round, but it’s usually somewhat drier from May – September

  • A quality pair of hiking shoes – preferably waterproof – are essential.
  • Comfortable trekking socks are also highly recommended – possibly the most important item.
  • Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Preferably made from quick-dry material.
  • A headlamp, as you’ll be scrambling up the mountain in the dark for the final ascent.
  • A waterproof jacket in case it rains, and for the almost-freezing temperatures at the top.

It’s close to freezing at the top, so make sure you dress in layers and bring a warm beanie and gloves if you can. Best to avoid times of extended rain, but, as it sits within a tropical rainforest, be prepared for it. Most treks up the mountain start after an overnight in the village of Kersik Tuo, but it’s also possible to begin from Sungai Penuh.

As an active volcano, caution needs to be taken, and you climb at your own risk. When on the mountain, guides will judge whether they feel it’s safe to try to reach the summit, depending on weather and current volcanic activity levels, with guests expected to follow their lead.

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.

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.

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, 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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