Papua Travel Information - Activities

Papua: Activities

The mountains of Papua offer outstanding hiking possibilities, combining exotic flora, fauna and culture with awesome scenery.
Most visitors will only do their hiking around the Baliem Valley, but there are equally (or more) interesting options throughout Papua. There are no marked trails or reliable maps available anywhere, so a guide is usually necessary. And as English-speaking guides can only be found in a very few areas (notably the Baliem), speaking Indonesian will be essential to explore mountains off the beaten track.
Note that to climb Papua's highest mountains such as Puncak Jaya (Carstenz Pyramid) legally you will be required to go on an expensive organized climbing tour.
Diving & Snorkelling

New Guinea offers some of the best diving and snorkelling possibilities in the World.
However in Papua diving facilities are limited to the Raja Ampat islands, Biak and Jayapura. Of these Raja Ampat is the best location by far.
Snorkellers can explore more areas if they bring their own gear.
Wildlife spotting

Papua is home to diverse wildlife, much of which is unique to New Guinea. Unfortunately seeing the rarer ones will be very difficult as they are shy and often nocturanal - you are more likely to see captive specimens of cuscus and tree kangaroo in the villages than their wild counterparts in the forest.
The best place to see varied wildlife relatively easily is Wasur National Park near Merauke in the south-east.

Papua is home to some 650 bird species, of which over 100 are endemic to New Guinea and some 40 endemic to Papua alone.
In general birds are much easier to see than mammals, and the island offers excellent birdwatching possibilities.
Key spots include Batanta in the Raja Ampat islands, around Mokwam in the Arfak Mountains near Manokwari, the Lake Habbema area near Wamena and Wasur National Park.
While birding elsewhere tends to attract a special breed of people, some of Papua's unique and beautiful birds such as cassowaries, crowned pigeons and especially the spectacular and famous birds of paradise would be appreciated by anyone!