Danau Gunung (Mt.) Tujuh
This mountain is just across from Mt. Kerinci, but is a much easier (3-4 hour) hike. At about 2,000 meters you will find a large, pristine crater lake surrounded by virgin rainforest and seven mountain peaks that rise for another 800 meters or so. It’s the highest volcanic crater lake in SE Asia. At the top, if your guide has arranged for it ahead of time, you can rent some of the local fisherman’s dugout canoes and paddle across the lake to set up camp.
Gunung Tujuh is a massive, extinct volcano whose eruption in ancient times blew apart the top of the mountain, eventually forming a large, 4.5 km long lake in the crater left behind. Being completely within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, the surrounding peaks (of which there are 7 – hence the name “Tujuh” in Indonesian), are covered in primary rainforest, and home to a wide variety of birds and wildlife. Supposedly, the lake, at around 2000 meters, is the highest in Southeast Asia. Being up there, with the clouds clinging to the primeval forests all around, it truly feels like you’ve stepped into a prehistoric lost world.