You should surely visit these best destinations in Eastern Papua and Baliem Valley. The territory within the islands of the Four Kings is definitely huge, covering 9.8 million acres of land and sea. It is also home to 540 types of corals, more than 1,000 types of coral fish and 700 types of mollusks. These Indonesian treasures make it the most diverse living library for the world’s coral reef and underwater biota.
Based on a report developed by The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, approximately 75 percent of the world’s species live here. Most divers arrive here for the first time will feel very excited. Indeed, it’s common to hear people praising God as they grasp the extraordinary scenery. Others prefer to remain silent while taking in the overwhelming sight of so many islands with crystal clear water that softly brushes over the white sandy beaches.
Usually, divers will join a tour and stay in a diving resort during their vacation in Raja Ampat Islands. If you want to access diving spots, please contact and use the professional diving organizers that can easily be found in Sorong. You may also rent a small boat if you wish to stop and make personal discoveries along the line of the beaches. In fact, you can also trek around the islands to find hidden Indonesian treasures like waterfalls and ancient caves.
Best Destinations in Eastern Papua You Must Visit
1. Asmat Region
This special Asmat region encompasses an enormous expanse of mangroves, rivers and lush tropical jungles. Amazingly, this Asmat region remains quite intact by the hand of man. Travelers do need a long time to explore this area appropriately, as well as a great deal amount of money. Agats is the main town within Asmat and is very rural in its appearance, with the Museum Kebudayaan and Kemajuan (Museum of Culture and Progress) being a particular highlight here.
As the capital of Papua and the largest city, Jayapura has a population of just over 200,000 people. Jayapura has typical Indonesian character and enjoys a picturesque background set around Teluk Yos Sudarso, and surrounded by a chain of hills. However, most tourists prefer Sentani to Jayapura as they think that Sentani is more appealing place to stay. In fact, Jayapura does offer a few nearby tourist attractions, such as the Base G Beach (Pantain Base G), several Buddhist temples and the bustling market at Hamadi, that is near to Hamadi Beach (Pantai Hamadi).
Standing as a prosperous and friendly town Merauke is located at the most easterly location in Indonesia. Merauke is very well situated for tourists wishing to explore the Asmat region. Moreover, it has some coastal-related attractions, including regular Sunday motorcycle races along Lampu Satu Beach (Pantai Lampu Satu). You can also enjoy some rather inviting hot springs that are just a few meters away from Asmat Hotel.
Becoming a very tourist friendly small town, Sentani is located somewhat more than 35 km/22 miles to the west of Jayapura. Sentani stands near to the lake shores of the enormous Lake Sentani. Here, the top attraction is Papua Freedom and Human Rights Abuse Memorial Park, that is between a cemetery and memorial.
5. Wasur National Park
Having an easy reach of Merauke, Wasur National Park does offer a host of various recreational activities and some outdoor attractions. You can try trekking on various hiking trails spread around Wasur National Park, particularly near to Yanggandur. Otherwise, you can also ride horses round Rawabiru or observe the rich Indonesian wildlife from Ukra’s observation tower. Yet, you should obtain travel permits to enter the park and they are available at the information center in Merauke.
Best Destinations in Baliem Valley You Must Visit
1. East Baliem Valley
Luckily, public transport is quite good in this area, since the major road (heading north) has been well paved making it very accessible, ongoing up to Agime. Travelers can also try popular short hikes around Pikhe, while village Aikima village is famous for its 300-year-old Werapak Elosak mummy. In the East Baliem Valley, the villages of Dugum, Jiwika, Manda, Suroba and Wolo Valley are also worth visiting. If you are into caves, then you can go to both recommended caves, Gua Kotilola and Wosilimo (Gua Wikuda).
2. Lani Country
Lani Country offers some reachable villages and attractions, such as Ilaga and Magi. Both of them are within reach of Kimbim, Kuyawage and Pyramid.
3. South Baliem Valley
Situated directly to the south of Wamena, South Baliem Valley lies along the winding Sungai Baliem (Baliem River). Tourist attractions in this part of the valley comprise Hitigima, Sogokmo and Yetni. In fact, you can watch Baliem Festival in Yetni that is held annually in the middle of August, drawing huge crowds. Nearby, the village of Kurima becomes a fascinating spot that is popular among hikers.
Standing as the most significant town in the Baliem Valley, Wamena actually offers little to see and do, other than organized treks and visits to remote villages. Wamena is the capital of the Jayawijaya district featuring its own small and very busy airport, since flying still remains the only way to access the valley as such.
5. West Baliem Valley
This part of Baliem Valley is not especially picturesque or interesting for tourists. Nonetheless, the administrative center of Kimbim is quite an enjoyable place to stop off. Near to Kimbim is the missionary village of Pyramid and Araboda, where you can find the Alongga Huby mummy.
6. Yali Country
Located on the east and south side of the Baliem Valley, Yali country is the home of the Yali people. The men of this tribe have been popularly known for wearing penis gourds (koteka), while the women often wear dresses made of rattan hula hoops.
7. Lorentz National Park
This park is very much dominated by the famous mountains known as the Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) measuring at around 4,900 metres/16,075 feet high. The Lorentz National Park does provide the finest way to experience New Guinea’s rich biodiversity, with outstanding bird watching on hand covering more than 9,675 square miles/25,055 square kilometers. Thus, you can do various outdoor attractions available at the park such as trekking, mountain climbing and even seasonal skiing.
Those best destinations in Eastern Papua and Baliem Valley you must visit show the wonderful Indonesian treasures well kept on the eastern part of this country. If the beauty of nature is something you are looking for your holiday, then Papua is ready to welcome you with all its charms. Share your own experience if you have been to Papua or other parts of Indonesia.