Papua

Journey to the Wild and Primitive Land

Papua

“In view of its divine natural beauty, it seems that ‘The Paradise of Indonesia’ is the best name to refer to Papua.”

 

 

Papua is the dead end of your exploration in Indonesia. The beautiful and spacious region is the easternmost part of Indonesia which is directly adjacent to neighboring Papua New Guinea. The two areas share the world’s second biggest island New Guinea with Papua occupies three quarters of the island.

 

In view of its divine natural beauty, it seems that “The Paradise of Indonesia” is the best name to refer to Papua. Marine life and underwater beauty of the region are superb and unspoiled that people dub them as the most pristine throughout Indonesia. Its major rain-forest is a big draw for naturalists. The impenetrable jungle is full of endemic animals including the exotic birds of paradise (Cendrawasih), cassowaries and tree kangaroos.

 

Cendrawasih

The Colorful Bird of Paradise by Andy H. Tan

 

A line of mountains with elevation of more than 4000 meters stretches along the northwest to the southeast part, making major area in Papua untouched places. The people live in thatched huts while continuously practicing traditional customs and lifestyle.

 

However, untouched doesn’t necessarily mean primitive, but simply remote. After the widespread of Christianity in Papua, most of the rural people wear modern clothes and have ditched grass-skirts and penis-gourds. A sense of untouched-primitive can be found, though, especially in some areas in southern region.

 

To enjoy the beauty of Papua unfortunately requires a lot of cash and time. Road connecting to each area is scarce due to its dramatic landscape. There are only two difficult options to travel any distance: by pricey airplane or slow water transportation. But those who possess all the points will definitely enjoy a journey of a life time.

 

Here are the highlights of Papua tourism:

West Papua Provincce

“It’s no wonder that Raja Ampat becomes the most complete and pristine living museum of marine biodiversity in Indonesia.”

 

 

Raja Ampat

Coral Reef in Raja Ampat by Michael Rubenstein

 

West Papua province is undoubtedly the center of dive-lovers from around the globe. The region has been known worldwide as it boasts underwater paradise called the islands of Raja Ampat. View of the area is breathtaking with rugged cliffs and pretty rock islets stretching into various directions.

 

The real journey is only started under its water surface. As you dive into the water, you’ll find more than a thousand species of fish and Moluccas. Even greater, the attraction features roughly 75 percent coral species in the whole planet. It’s no wonder that Raja Ampat becomes the most complete and pristine living museum of marine biodiversity.

 

Raja Ampat

Unique Rock Islets Around Raja Ampat

 

As for bird-watchers, we suggest you to visit Manokwari, the capital of West Papua provice. The town is home to the highest number of bird of paradise which is mainly found within the area of Arfak mountain. Noisy cockatoos and colorful parrots are other highlights you’ll encounter during your trip through the mountain.

 

Other areas in West Papua seem not very attractive neither in terms of the tribal life nor the natural beauty. But those who love history may visit ancient rock art sites on the cliffs around Bisari and Triton bay. The galleries display Mesolithic painting resembling those in Australia’s Kakadu. Or you may come to Cendrawasih Bay National Park for more diving experience. Although the underwater view of the park is not as pretty as that of Raja Ampat, you’ll have a plenty chances to see whale sharks and tortoise of any kind in its water area.

Papua Province

“The landscape of Baliem is a perfect blend of forested hills and traditional villages.”

 

 

Jayapura is the most important city in Papua province which also becomes the main gate to Papua tourism. It’s in this town that visitors can get their travel permit to explore Baliem valley, the chief highlight in the province.

 

Baliem

Traditional Village on Baleim Valley by Agne Saterberg

 

Baliem valley is an area located within Jaya Wijaya mountain with its snowy peak as the highest point of Indonesia. The landscape of Baliem is a perfect blend of forested hills and traditional villages. People living around the valley are a rich mixture of tribes which still maintain their ancient ways of life. They live in thatched houses and tend their crops in traditional way. In term of fashion, they are surprisingly pretty civilized. So, you better don’t dream of seeing them dress in their skimpy attire.

 

 

“But if the truly ‘untouched primitive’ is what you are looking for, we advise you to head for lowland of Korowai instead.

 

 

As you climb higher, you’ll find the residential area of Dani tribe. This community, which is one of Papua’s most famous tribes, is considered to be primitive compared to other tribes in Baliem valley. Although most of the people wear modern clothes, the elders keep sporting penis-gourds. Various customs and traditions remain important aspects for them including dreadful finger-cutting tradition at mourning time.

 

But if the truly “untouched primitive” is what you are looking for, we advise you to head for lowland of Korowai instead. The most remote area of the landmass is inhabited by the tribes of Korowai and Kombai who live a semi-nomadic lifestyle. They stay in a treetop houses and wear traditional dress on daily basis. Exploring the region is not one that comes cheap, but the sense of primitiveness and first contact is very strong here.

 

Korowai

The Tree Houses of Korowai Tribe Built in the Jungle

 

Several hours to the east of Korowai, is where the skillful Asmat tribe settles. Tribal art lovers must visit the place as Asmat produce the best tribal crafts in all Papua. These days, the handwork such as wooden statues and artistic shields are available for purchasing.

 

Having satisfied observing the tribal communities in Papua, making a stop in Merauke’s Wasur National Park will be good to end your trip. This reserve is the most preferable place to spot Papuan wildlife as it teems with endemic animal like tree kangaroos, possum-like cuscus and limitless bird species.

 

Papua is undoubtedly the wildest region in Indonesia with a chance of endless expeditions to unbeatable places. Visit Papua now and embark on an unforgettable adventure.

Raja Ampat Islands

Raja Ampat is indeed the top diving paradise in Indonesia. It boasts one of the richest marine life in the world.

What is Raja Ampat Islands

Wasur National Park

You should visit this park to learn the complete native Papua terrestrial animals like tree kangaroos and possum-like cuscus.

What is Wasur National Park

Baliem Valley

Though the area is far away from modern civilization, the grand Baliem valley is suddenly so popular among and crowded with local and foreign tourists, especially in the middle of every year.

What is Baliem Valley

Available Tour Packages

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