What you get
New Guinea: lost islands of Raja Ampat and mountain tribes
During a three-day hike through the jungle, we visit Papuan villages, which keep their regular life unchanged since the Stone Age. We take a relaxing break from civilization enjoying untouched nature and beauty of diverse underwater world of the paradise Raja Ampat Archipelago.
- Stroll along suspension bridges through the wild jungle passing rushing waterfalls.
- Visit villages, which being lost in the jungles still preserve their age-old traditional life.
- Meet local tribes.
- Bath in a lake full of fragile jellyfishes.
- Swim near four-meter mantas and reef sharks.
- Feel yourself Defoe’s Robinson living on desert beaches of uninhabited islands.
We meet at the airport of Jayapura – the capital of Papua province. After the breakfast we fly to Wamena – the main city of the Baliem Valley (1 hour). We check into a hotel, receive permits for our trip, visit a colorful Papuan market and buy essentials for the voyage.
In the morning we take a car and head to a small village on the outskirts of the Baliem valley. By 4x4 cars we ride through the jungle, crossing tropical rivers and swamps via wooden bridges. This difficult path will take from 3 to 5 hours - depending on weather and road conditions.
After a short break, we start hiking. In the evening we stop for the night in a Papuan village.
Day 3 - 5
For three and a half days we walk 28 kilometers along a scenic route through the Baliem valley. We visit several settlements of Dani and Lani tribes and spend three nights in tents. Porters will help us to carry our luggage. For replenishing our food stocks we stop in local villages and buy vegetables and sweet potatoes on markets.
We hike among the green thickets, passing tropical waterfalls, fordings rivers and walking over suspension bridges. We cross wilderness jungles, which have been discovered just eighty years ago.
Morning flight to Jayapura, and then to Sorong - the largest city in the province of West Papua. We take a ferry to the town of Vaisai (2 hours on the way), which will become our base for traveling along the northern part of the Raja Ampat archipelago.
After receiving permits to the national park, we take a small boat on the island of Kri and check into a bungalow on the beach. We will meet the evening on the veranda, admiring the sea and listening to the birds in the nearby forest.
Raja Ampat is located in the heart of the “coral triangle”, which is famous for its incredible natural diversity. We will see sea turtles, giant manta rays, hundreds of species of fish, mollusks and corals.
In the morning we snorkel or dive around the islands of Kri and Mansuar. Residents of some coastal areas do not eat fish due to traditional taboos. Therefore local waters are full of fish shoals numbering thousands of individuals.
We spend the second half of the day in our camp. We can not only swim in the sea and relax on the beach, but also explore the coral reef with sharks, turtles and whacky lionfishes and spadefishes.
In the morning we go to the island of Arborek for snorkeling or diving with mantas – people also call them sea devils. Here s one of very few places where you can meet several dozens of these giants at a time. These fishes feed on plankton, so looking for food they swim close to water within your arm's reach.
After lunch we take a speed boat to the island of Waigeo (2.5 hours) and check into a bungalow located among mangroves.
Early in the morning we sail for Wayag Island (1.5 hours). We will find ourselves in the middle of untouched nature. A park ranger is the only one human being we meet at this desert place. As soon as we arrive to a shore, our boat is immediately surrounded by flocks of small fish and two-meter reef sharks. We moor at a white-sand beach hearing bird singing from a nearby forest. Right on the beach, we snorkel and watch colourful tridacna mollusks and huge parrotfishes – all of them can reach a length of more than a meter.
We climb two hills to admire the islands from a bird's eye view. The path to the first one goes through a perfect untouched beach. But in order to reach the top of the second one, we have to seal to a steep rock and then climb up. But the view worths the efforts – the sea surface is covered with hundreds of small islands, conical rocks, dazzling white beaches and lagoons with water of various shades.
After lunch, we return to Waisai and spend the night in a bungalow among mangroves.
In the morning by two ferries (up to 7 hours total), and then by a motor boat (45 minutes) we move from the North to the South of the Raja Ampat archipelago. Our road will reach its end in twilight so we have an opportunity to admire the sunset. We settle on a small island in rooms with simple conditions.
Here we are completely cut off from civilization. Raja Ampat is the most remote region of Indonesia, and we stay on its most inaccessible part. There are no tourists here, no dwellings except our huts, no Internet, and electricity is supplied only at night by a fuel generator.
Day 11 - 12
For two days we travel around the most remote and desert islands of the archipelago by motorboat. We explore a limestone cave, which is sacred for locals. We sail inside through a huge natural corridor and in lights of torches we watch ancient petroglyphs on cave walls.
We bath in a salt lake where thousands of jellyfish live. It looks creepy, but these animals do not sting and are absolutely safe for humans. And as soon as you jump into the pond, they will swim up, and you find yourself floating in zero gravity. Along the shores of the lake we spot a lot of marine animals with completely unearthly appearance: a variety of sponges, ascidians, worms.
On one of the islands we climb to the top of the cliff to admire the view that opens over the archipelago: hundreds of pyramidal rocks sticking out of from water and islands covered with jungles connected by bridges of sandy spits. Sea water here is so transparent, that even from a height of several dozens of meters you can see how turtles and sharks swim far below.
We visit a secret lagoon nestled in the middle of the island. To reach it we have to walk through narrow cave passages filled with water and then climb over the rocks.
We explore the Cave of the Reflectiive Princess. Here over thousands of years forces of nature shaped an ordinary stalagmite into a female figure, which gave to the cave its name. And near the grotto there is a fantastic absolutely desert white-sand beach.
The next day we continue the journey around the archipelago islands. In local bays we explore coral reefs’ underwater world. Then we climb a hill to observe the Lake of Love - a small heart-shaped lagoon.
We swim in small bays that are famous for their limestone rocks. Due to winds and water these boulders protruding from the sea got odd shapes: thin-legged mushrooms, fingers, pyramids.
Day 13 - 14
In the morning we return to Sorong by ferry. The second half of the day we spend walking around this authentic town. A few years ago Sorong was just a small Papuan village without a single paved road. Now life is in full swing here. On the wide central street you can meet people from all around the country and try exotic dishes of diverse Indonesian cuisines. Right in front of the hotel there are street stalls where we can eat durian, which is called the king of fruits here. Next morning we say goodbye to Papuan land and fly to Jakarta, where we take a plane back home.
Подходит ли вам это путешествие?
Стоимость путешествия включает:
- Domestic flights (Jayapura-Wamena, Wamena-Jayapura, Jayapura-Sorong);
- Accommodation along the route in tents, guesthouses, bungalows and hotels;
- All rides along the route, including buses, boats, ferries, specially rented transport and urban transport of all kinds;
- Full board on the islands of Raja Ampat and during a hike through the valley Baliem;
- Porters and guides during the hike through the valley of Baliem;
- All entrance fees, permits, environmental fees, tips to local guides and guides;
- Rental of tents and equipment for cooking;
- Accompanying the entire route.
What is NOT included:
- Flight to Jayapura and back home from Sorong (we will help you to find the best tickets);
- Insurance (required);
- Diving (from $ 39 per dive);
- Snorkeling ($ 7-10 for renting equipment per day);
- Meals on the route which aren’t mention above (on the first and the last day and transit days).
Persons holding passports issued by 170 countries can visit Indonesia without a visa for 30 days.