With its crystal clear water, you will be amazed by the panorama around Lake Gunung Tujuh. Located in Kerinci Seblat National park, with its surface that reaches 1950 meters above sea level, Lake Gunung Tujuh has mountain chilly air and fresh water you can sense. Lake Gunung Tujuh has 960 hectare in width, 4.5 km long, and 3 km wide. Swimming here is such an exotic experience.
This lake was formed from Mount Tujuh (Gunung Tujuh) eruption hundreds of years ago. Gunung means Mountain and tujuh means Seven. Like its name, this lake is surrounded by seven mountains: Mount Tujuh, Mount Jar Panggang, Mount Madura Besi, Mount Hulu Tebo, Mount Lumut (moss, because this mount is mossy), Mount Hulu Sangir and Mount Selasih. Mount Tujuh is the highest while Mount Selasih is the shortest. If you are trekking to Mount Kerinci, you will also pass Lake Gunung Tujuh. That is why this place is famous among the hikers especially for camping.
Lake Gunung Tujuh is the spring for Batang Sangir River and Telun Berasap Waterfall. The lake shore is sandy as beach and the solemn water will extinguish your exhaustion in an instant. Walking along the shore as waiting for the sunrise or make some campfire at night while looking at the starry graphite sky are some activities you can do. You can also cruise the lake by fishermen’s boats and you can also try to catch fish! If you are lucky, you can bring a fish and bake it as supper.
It is better to visit Lake Gunung Tujuh in weekdays because it is usually crowded in the weekend. You may not enjoy this because there are many children and of course it will be less serene than Lake Gunung Tujuh with lesser visitors.
It is such an effort to get to this very place because Lake Gunung Tujuh is not very famous among tourists. Most visitors are local residents. Precisely, Lake Gunung Tujuh is located in Pelompek Village, Kayu Aro, Kerinci district. From the center of Jambi, it takes about 10 hours by cars (without traffic, and if the weather is friendly) or 500 km from Jambi. It is better to rent some car. But if you want more challenging experience, you may go by bus. If you choose public transportation, simply halt in Sungai Penuh. The journey is not over! After that, head to Pelompek Village which takes about 1.5 hours or 50 km.
After a day on the road, it is better that you take brief rest in Kersik Tuo village. There are several homestays you can choose. It is learning about the tradition which makes homestaying more fun. Tasting the traditional culinary while having some leisure chat with villagers will recharge your energy to continue your journey.
Lake Gunung Tujuh is not accessible for transportation, so you must hike. Hiking up to the lake at dusk or night is okay, because you can see the sunrise in the morning. There are two ways to get to the lake, from Kerinci Seblat National Park security guard and from the path behin Wisma Gunung Tujuh. If you want easier track, choose the first way. It takes three hours from the security guard to the Lake. Otherwise, the later offers more adventurous track but it you only need two hours to reach Lake Gunung Tujuh. Along the way, you will through steep rocky hills and more lush vegetation.
However, both alternatives offer the same Indonesian rainforest authenticity. As conservational park, it is rich with rare asian flora and fauna. At some spots, you may see the gigantic Rafflesia arnoldi and the divine titan arum. You may also meet the rare Sumatran tigers, leopards, marbled and golden cats, even rhinocheros, bears, and malayan tapir. Birds are here and there. If you are lucky enough, you may find Sumatran ground cuckoo. In the daylight, the sun ray break through the thick canopies which makes the forest look dramatic.
If you choose to walk at night, just beware of the big cats like sumatran tigers and leopards since they are nocturnal creature. Watch your step and carefully look at the plants you are touching. There is wild plant named jelatang or latong among the forest shrub. It will make your skin itchy and even blotched. If you happen to get stung by this plant, put some eucalyptus oil or anti-allergic talc to your irritated skin.
That is it. Lake Gunung Tujuh can become your alternative tourist destination in Jambi. Do not forget to take some pictures because the panorama is too awesome not to capture.
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