Mount Kerinci


Mount Kerinci is the highest volcano in Indonesia and the highest Indonesian peak outside Papua (Irian Jaya). Much of the Kerinci Seblat National Park is located in the province of Jambi but the mountain itself is on the border with West Sumatra. At 3805 meters tall, it is the highest active volcano in Southeast Asia, and even rises above the iconic Mt. Fuji in Japan. Trekking up its forested slopes, protected in the Kerinci Seblat National Park, is extremely challenging as there are no switchbacks, for it is 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.

It is 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 is also possible to begin from Sungai Penuh.

Although it is possible to get to the top and back in a very, very long day (minimum 12 hours hiking there and back), it is recommended that you spend a night on the mountain at Shelter 2 (3,040m) or even the more exposed Shelter 3 (3,306m). The summit is usually cloudy after mid-morning so if you want to admire the views it is best to plan on reaching the top for dawn the second day before making the descent back to Kersik Tua. The water sources are not reliable so make sure you take ample supplies.

Before exploring Kerinci Mountain, we need to obtain a National Park permit, available from one of the homestays in Kersik Tua, which currently costs a reasonable Rp 20,000. It is also a good idea to take a photocopy of your passport with you (for foreigner).

How to get there
There are regular flights to Padang’s International airport from Indonesia and neighbouring countries. It is then a long 6-8 hours drive to the starting point. There is public transport and ‘travel cars’ for which you share a car with others but it will take you most of a day.


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