The park is dominated by the Barisan mountains, including Mount Kerinci, at 3805m the highest mountain in Sumatra. The mountain is volcanic with a jungle terrain.
As of 2007, visitors are allowed to climb Mount Kerinci from the village of Kersik Tuo, but are not allowed to go further than 1km from the crater due to black smog seen.
Kerinici is most famous amongst bird-watchers as the best place to see most of Sumatran endemic bird species including the Schneiders Pitta and Sumatran Cochoa, both considered extinct for much of the 20th century.
HOW TO REACH Kerinci Seblat National PARK
Most visitors arrive from Padang's Minangkabau International Airport. You may want to call your hotel or homestay in advance to arrange for personal transport (you can hire a car, van, or bus) for your trip, as it is a 6 hour drive away from the town.
It is also possible to take public transport, although the ride may be uncomfortable as public buses may not have space if you are carrying a bulky backpack or luggage.
You should prepare or bring a photocopy of your passport, which is to be given to the authorities. It is also possible to get a photocopy made at the village of Kersik Tuo. The price for entry as of May, 2008 is 10 to 20,000 Rupiah per person, or about USD 1 or 2.
WHAT TO SEE IN Kerinci Seblat NATIONAL PARK
There are tea plantations, which you may tour after getting permission from the locals. You can go sightseeing around the town, but mainly most people prefer to go trekking to see more of the nature reserve.
The park is also popular for trekkers with a number of routes available. Some highly recommended treks include Lake Gunung Tujuh- a crater lake in Mount Tujuh; and the popular trek up to either Camp 2 or 3 of Mount Kerinci. It is also possible to trek to the summit. A trek to the summit usually takes 2 days and 1 night, including the descent, although the more adventurous claim it can be made in a single day, beginning around 5am.
Another beautiful spot in Kerinci Seblat National Park:
- Telun Berasap Waterfall
WHERE TO STAY IN KERINCI SEBLAT NATIONAL PARK
The best places to stay are the village of Kersik Tuo or the town of Sungai Penuh, both reached by public transport from Padang.
- Homestay Pak Subandi - Tel: (0748)357009. Pak Subandi can arrange for a guide to bring you up the volcano, or for normal trekking. The address is Jalan Raya Muara Labuh, Sungai Penuh, Desa Kersik Tua.
It is more advisable to camp with a guide, as there have been rare cases of people who disappeared while attempting to climb Kerinci alone. You can ask your local accommodation to arrange for a guide for you. A highly recommended guide is Pak Ahmad, with around 30 years of experience bringing people up the volcano. He can be contacted through Homestay Pak Subandi.
The homestays also provide equipment rental, and your guide, or porters if you choose to hire any, will bring his own (basic) equipment and tent.
The basic fee for a guide is about 100,000 Rupiah / day.