Round trip 16 days Advanturous Papua - Baliem valley and diving Raja Ampat
The Baliem valley is like stepping in a time machine, bringing you hundreds of years back in time. You will visit the traditional villages of the Dani and Yali tribes and you can make beautiful trekkings through the valley.
Leaving the Baliem, you will fly and sail to Raja Ampat for a week incredible diving. You will stay in a local guesthouse on the Arborek island. Raja Ampat is known as one of the top-3 world diving spots.
€ 3,835 p.p. in low season excluding diving
Supplement high season (July & August, 15-25 December): approx. € 300
•Overnight stays with breakfast, lunch and dinner
. domestic flights Jayapura-Wamena and vice versa
•English speaking guide in Baliem valley
-If you opted for diving arrangement: 4 dives per day
•transfers from / to resort in Raja Ampat (€ 180 p.p.)
•Entrance fee Raja Ampat (approx € 70 p.p.)
. optional excursions
. tips and personal expenses
. travel and cancellation insurance.
. booking costs and contribution Calamity fund (€ 30 per booking)
Day 1 flight Amsterdam-Jayapura
Day 2 Day stay in FM7 resort
Dagverblijf in Bandara International hotel
Day 3 Arrival Jayapura, airport service for transit to Wamena: The time machine
Day 4 Nature around Sogokomo
Day 5 Traditional villages and salt mining
Day 6 Jiwika Pig feast and dance
Day 7 Back to Jayapura and Lake Sentani
Day 8 Van Jayapura naar Raja Ampat
Day 9 to 14 (included) Diving at Raja Ampat
Day 15 Back to Sorong
flight Sorong-Amsterdam via Jakarta
Day 16 Arrival Amsterdam
FM7 Resort - Jakarta
The luxury FM7 resort is a perfect hotel to stay in between two flights. It’s at a short 30 minute-ride from Jakarta airport. All spacious comfortable rooms are equipped with AC, telephone, TV, bathroom, hair-drier, slippers, coffee and tea-facilities, minibar and safe. Number of rooms: 246 Facilities: Restaurant, swimming-pool, 24-hour reception, safe, room service, gift shop, laundry service, sport-facilities, spa, karaokebar, free shuttle bus from and to the airport. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires
Bandara International hotel - Jakarta airport
Het Bandara International hotel - managed by Accor ligt op slechts 5 minuten rijden van Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport. De gratis shuttlebus rijdt ieder half uur van en naar de airport terminals. Het hotel telt 208 kamers, verdeeld over meerdere vleugels. Centraal liggen het grote zwembad en het restaurant. Alle kamers beschikken over een kluisje, TV, minibar, föhn, gratis badkamer artikelen, thee- en koffie faciliteiten. Tegen meerprijs zijn ook Deluxe kamers met balkon verkrijgbaar. Het hotel beschikt over meerdere restaurants, bar, lounge, zwembad met kinderbad, uitgebreide spa, gym en een business centrum. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires
Pilamo is a simple hotel and centrally situated in the small town Wamena. The rooms are clean and the hotel is reasonably maintained. Best choice is one of the Deluxe rooms, with a small terrace in the courtyard garden. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires
Swissbell Jayapura is the first international 4* hotel, situated in the centre of the capital city of Papua. It has a Business centre, 4 meeting rooms, a ballroom, swimming pool, fitness centre, ‘Cartenz Swiss Café and a restaurant. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires
Papua Paradise Eco resort
Throughout the year, the Papua Paradise eco resort is a wonderful place to stay for diving in the most beautiful marine gardens in the world. The cottages are spacious, clean and built above the sea. New are the Deluxe over-water bungalows. Somewhat larger and more luxurious than the superior bungalows. Extra cost per person per week is € 360. The resort is mainly for divers, but also non-divers can enjoy sun, sea and nature. We offer Papua Paradise exclusively as <A HREF="https://www.merapi.nl/reis_optie/bouwsteen-7-dagen-duiken-papua-explorers"> 4- of 7-daags arrangement.</A> meer info more info Informations supplémentaires
JayapuraJayapura is the capital of the Papua province. Because of its location between mountains, the city is divided into different "pieces". You have the city itself with the old Kloofkamp district, and further in the area the "districts" Hamadi, Enterop, Kota Raja, Abepura, Dok2 to Dok9, APO (American Post Office).
Jayapura Airport is 25 kilometers away at Sentani Er. There are several flights a day, including to Jakarta, Makassar and Denpasar and to many small destinations in Papua, including the Baliem Valley.
HistoryThe city was founded as Hollandia after having determined the border between England and the Netherlands,that runs midway across the island New Guinea. The Dutch founded Merauke close to the border in the south and, as said, Hollandia in the north.This to restrain possible expansionism of the English.
Later, after that Dutch Nieuw Guinea was incorporated into Indonesia, the city was shortly named Soekarnopoera, and then renamed Jayapura.
During the Second World War the city was the headquarter of The American Army and several things remind of this. The district APO for example, which stands for American Post Office. Here was once the post office of the American army. The beach north of the city is called Base G. And on the hills you can still find aircraft wrecks.
Things to seeOn the way to Jayapura airport is Museum Negeri. In the museum you can learn a lot about the different tribes in Papua. There are beautiful objects on display.
Gedung Loka Budaya Museum is located on the grounds of Cendrawasih University in Abepura, a kind of suburb of Jayapura. The museum has a wonderful exhibition of objects from Irian Jaya. A large part comes from the Asmat area.
There are a few beautiful beaches close to Jayapura. Hamadi Beach, where Allied forces landed in WWII, is about 15 minutes from Jayapura by bemo. The beach is located near a busy inhabited area and is very busy. The Base G beach, which owes its name to Mac Arthur who had his headquarters here, is a nicer beach. This beach is also not far from Jayapura and can also be reached by bemo.
Lake Sentani is 40 kilometers from Jayapura, see Sentani.
JakartaJakarta, The Big Durian, you either love it or you walk away from it. It is the hometown of my mother, then called Batavia. In 1993 I was still in her birth house, a privilege that few Indos can still experience, as Jakarta has grown into a metropolis with about 17 million inhabitants. A lot of low-rise buildings have had to make way for skyscrapers that define the skyline of Jakarta.
Only the old city, Kota Lama, still shows many traces from the Dutch period. Be sure to visit Fatahillah Square with the National Museum and drink a cup of coffee in the nostalgic Café Batavia. Glodok, Jakarta's China town is within walking distance of Kota Lama. The old VOC warehouses and the fish market Pasar Ikan are also worth a visit.
I find it difficult to name a favorite restaurant. What I write today will be obsolete tomorrow. I would say check the internet and selamat makan, enjoy your meal!
WamenaWamena is the capital of the Baliem Valley. It’s a pleasant little town with nice shops.
The Baliem valley lies at an altitude of 1600-1700 metres in the mountains and has therefore a temperature of 15 – 20 degrees. In the valley live some 100.000 people, of whom most are original Papuas and the rest transmigrants from especially Sulawesi and Java.
Baliem valley - TribesThe original population are the Dani people, a well-known tribe in Papua. The Dani are known for their war-minded attitude. When the valley was discovered, people noticed that everywhere high, slim towers had been built. These were lookouts to warn the villagers that hostile clans were approaching. These lookouts were little by little put down when the area got under Dutch administration and war-making was forbidden. The Dani of the Baliem valley are related to the tribes from the mountains west of the valley, that are called western Dani or Lani. Their area is more densely populated than the area of the Dani. A third tribe are the Yali, who live in sparsely populated areas high on the mountain flanks of the Jayawijayain mountain chain.
Under Indonesian administration in the 70’s the situation became tense with the Dani, who were considered as underdeveloped people. In the early seventies the Indonesian government tried with 'Operation Koteka' to motivate the Dani to change their Koteka for clothes and to house them in modern square houses. Many Indonesian soldiers, who had to carry out the policy, regarded the Dani as 'savages' (little more than animals, an attitude that’s still alive among many Indonesians) and treated them very badly. Opposing Dani were sometimes even killed. In 1977 the Dani rebelled led by the Organisasi Papua Merdeka, the Dani fought with bow and arrow against Indonesian soldiers with rockets, attack planes and helicopters with which they bombed the Dani villages. It is estimated that 500 Dani died during the fighting, that was concentrated around the villages Pyramid and Bokondini in the north of the valley. 'Operation Koteka' was a complete failure.
In the nineties a new fight broke out for independence, which also was put down violently by the Indonesian government, that in 1997 even tried to put up the tribes against each other and thus stay out of range itself. Until the middle of the 20th century the valley was closed territory. A lot of Indonesian government officials still consider the valley as ‘the end of the world’.
Raja AmpatRaja Ampat is a group of islands in West Papua (former Irian Jaya) and counts 610, mostly desert islands. The four biggest islands are Waigeo in the north, Salawati (southwest of Sorong, the second largest city in West-Papua), Batanta (north of Salawati) and Misool in the southwest. The name Raja Ampat is is based on these 4 islands and means literally ‘the 4 kings’.
Raja Ampat is still a quite unknown area in Indonesia, but among divers on the contrary, it’s a famous destination. This because it offers an incredible lot of different fish species and fantastic coral reefs, varying from hard to soft coral. The islands themselves are very impressive too. The Raja Ampat islands have silent lagoons with crystal white sand and water that varies in colours from bright green to bright blue.
From mid-Juli till mid-September it’s rainy season in Raja Ampat, the sea may, locally, be less pleasant to travel long distances by boat. This doesn’t have to be a problem for divers, since dozens of dive spots are within 15 minutes by boat.
The islands of Raja Ampat are therefore mostly known among divers. Some beautiful dive sites are:
Between Waigeo and the smaller island Pulau Gam are many little jungle islands of limestone. The Nudibranch Rock is certainly one of the highlights of this site, because on this rock lives an extremely important population of brightcoloured … slugs.
The coralreefs around this small island on the north coast of Batanta houses rare fish species, like the recently discovered Raja epaulette shark, wobbegong shark, crocodile fish and big mantas. There’s also an old American fighter aircraft wreck dating from the Second World War.
This location between the Gam and Mansuar islands is a real rays’ paradise. In this area swim more than 15 different ray species of which some with a wingspan of 5 metres! Exceptional is that this location is a kind of washing station for the rays. The rays lie down on the coral and are then ‘cleaned’ by small lipfish. Best period: mid-October untill mid-April. From May to September there is little chance to spot mantas here.
Video Raja Ampat snorkel cruise
Dive spots north Raja Ampat
Divie spots North Raja AmpatThese days you can dive and snorkel at will in the most beautiful area of Indonesia.
Between November and March a diving- or a snorkelling trip at Manta Sandy is a must! But don’t forget to admire the seahorses, wobbegong sharks, barracudas and other wonderful fish above the marvellous healthy coral as well.
Besides diving and snorkelling you can book excursions to the birds of paradise or a traditional village on the spot. Or just chill out on the beach…
Cape KriOne of the favorite dives, Cape Kri is Sordio Bay’s house reef and less than 3 minute by boat from Kri Eco Resort. This is the dive site that put Raja Ampat on the map when Dr Gerry Allen smashed his record for total number of fish species on a single tank dive: 374 different species!
The world-record holding Cape Kri, with a record count of 374 different species in one dive counted by Dr. G. Allen, is just a 1 minute boat ride from our jetty. At the Northeast point of Kri island the currents sweep into a channel between Kri and the small island of Koh. At this point beneath waters churning in the current, huge schools of Big-eye trevallies, Barracudas and Snappers can be seen hanging over the drop-off. At the base of the reef at 38 meters an ancient snagged anchor rests next to a bommie with a dense school of Banded sweetlips. A large shallow coral garden crowns the reef top with blacktip reef sharks patrolling amongst the overlapping maze of hard corals with feeding hawksbill turtles. Car-sized Queensland groupers down to the diminutive ever-present pygmy seahorse can be seen on this phenomenal and always-surprising dive site! Dawn and dusk are feeding time so divers can experience this site at its awe-inspiring best.
Blue magicOnly 15 minutes from Kri Island, this small pinnacle has almost everything
From Wobbegong sharks to tiny 2cm Denise Pygmy seahorses. The reef top is covered in hard coral with some big coral heads and some tabling Acropora corals well over 3 metres across. There is a resident school of Big eye Trevallies and many large Barracuda. Green Turtles can be found here as well as Black Tips, White Tips and the occasional Grey Reef Sharks. If you are very lucky even a Giant Manta Ray. The magnificent dive ends with a blue water safety stop drifting over and away from the reef.
SardinesOnly 10 mins from Kri Island, this submerged reef with a reef top at 5 metres, contains a very high biomass, one of the highest in Raja Ampat.
Sardines reef is quite simply one of the best reef dives in the world, where divers witness the phenomenal diversity of Raja Ampat at full force. Where the current strikes this offshore reef and splits, a dazzling array of fish congregate, audibly swarming fusiliers spin above, pursued by huge giant trevallies, packs of Bluefin jacks and huge Spanish mackerels. Batfish gather in the hundreds, while multitudes of schooling bannerfish feed in the current. Grey reef sharks, blacktips and whitetips can also be seen along with the wobbegong waiting in ambush on the sea floor. Coral bommies dot the slope covered with many colourful species of dendronephya soft corals and up to three separate species of Pygmy seahorses can be found amongst them. On the current-swept reef top a resident school of thirty massive bumphead parrotfish crunch on the coral, keeping the divers company on a safety stop who hang from their reef-hooks like kites in the wind. Upon surfacing, many divers comment that this is the best dive they have ever done!! Photographers love this dive site and have to return to change from wide angle to macro!
Manta SandyOnly 25 mins from Kri Island, this sandy slope is famous for its Manta Rays. It is a cleaning station where they come in to get cleaned.
If the many reefs are not enough this area also boasts some of the best manta diving in the world! There are two main manta sites just half an hour away. One, Manta Sandy, is a cleaning station where up to 10 mantas can be seen vying for a position above the two rocks where wrasses clean these giants. We get enormous 4 meter wide black mantas, looking like a negative photographic image, their gills are highlighted in white, along with the other more common white-bellied variety. Another site nearby, Manta Slope, mantas circle above in the sun while divers hook onto the reef while the current arcs overhead and down the steep slope below. Divers can be caught unaware while giant demonic-looking black mantas cruise by behind them. This trip is out of our 10km range, but is offered once a week without any fuel surcharges!
The PassageAs seen in many articles, including recently by David Doubilet in the Sept 2007 National Geographic, the passage is a completely unique dive site. The narrow canyon 40 minutes away between Gam and Waigeo can be described as river flowing between the two Islands, but also a marine environment, a haven of peculiar and unique microhabitats.
This is a place where experienced divers and photographers enjoy the utterly different experience of diving in this truly one-of-a-kind location. Above water the sheer limestone cliffs make this a place where the sightseeing above water is also excessively beautiful. Guests combine this trip visiting the labyrinthine Hidden Bay, a maze of towering islets, and Kabui Bay where literally hundreds of mushroom islands create staggering scenery. This trip is out of our 10km range, but is offered once a week without any fuel surcharges!
SorongSorong is the westernmost city on the island of New Guinea. The city is located on the Sele Strait of the Pacific Ocean on the Vogelkop Peninsula. It is the base for trips to the Raja Ampat Islands.
Two hours' drive south of Sorong is the rainforest in the Klasow valley with all kinds of strange birds. You will find different types of Paradise birds and the endemic Cassoway, a peacock or smaller ostrich species.
Sorong is the logistical center of the oil and gas industry around West Papua, which manifests itself in growing wealth and economic prosperity. The city has over 50,000 inhabitants, making it one of the larger cities of Papua. Most of the inhabitants are transmigrants from Sulawesi, Java and other islands.
Directly off the coast is the island of Jefman, which until 2012 had the airport of Sorong. The new airport has daily connections with Jakarta, Makassar, Manado, Ambon and several cities in Papua, among others.
Sites to seeThe city has a nice beach promenade and some historical buildings dating from the Dutch oil period. It’s a city full of contrasts. The following sights are close to the city:
Cape Cassuwary: 3 km from Sorong, beach with coralreefs;
Crocodile island, 500 metre out of the beach;
The island Kafiau;
The island Matan;
The hot springs of Klaijili, 60 km from Sorong;
A protected forest area, 15 km from Sorong;
Sorong is the most important gateway for trips to the nearby Raja Ampat-islands and the coralreefs of the Coral Triangle.