24 January 2020
Many of the cool, lush forests are protected as the Kerinci Seblat National Park, one of the last strongholds of the Sumatran tiger. The valley’s many lakes and jungle-shrouded mountains and volcanoes make it a big draw for hikers in search of off-the-beaten-track adventure. To the south is picturesque Danau Kerinci and a patchwork of rich farmland. Tea and cinnamon account for much of the valley’s wealth, with the former ringing the higher villages and the latter forming a buffer between the farmland and rainforest.
Mt. Kerinci demands respect. At 3805 meters tall, Gunung Kerinci is the highest active volcano in Southeast Asia, and even rises above the iconic Mt. Fuji in Japan, and Lombok’s Mt. Rinjani. Trekking up its forested slopes, protected within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, is quite challenging as there are no switchbacks – it’s just straight up to the top along a ridge trail.
At 1996m, the beautiful caldera of Danau Gunung Tujuh is the highest in Southeast Asia. It takes 3½ hours to climb to the lake from the park entrance. Being completely within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, it is surrounding by 7 peaks – hence the name “Tujuh” in Indonesian.