Baliem Valley Special Tour D 8 days/ 7 nights (WAMENA)
Day 1: Jayapura - Wamena
In the morning arrival in Jayapura and short flight to Wamena. Lunch and visit of the local market in Wamena. Transfer to The Baliem Valley Resort. Dinner at the Resort.
Day 2: Wamena, Sinakma, Wesaput and surrounding (Tour 1)
In the morning, trip to the large local market outside the town. Every day hundreds of Dani tribespeople meet here to sell their produce. As in many Papuan regions traditional handicrafts, such as stone axes, grass fibre nets, and bows and arrows, are also sold here. We continue to the local market by the Wamena bridge, where you will also find many interesting photo opportunities. We will take our picnic lunch alongside the picturesque upper reaches of the Wamena River, surrounded by beautiful countryside. The local water power station, which supplies the entire valley with electricity, is nearby. We drive to the big Baliem River near Wesaput where you can admire a large suspension bridge. Visit to the traditional Dani hamlet on the other side of the river. Before our return to the resort you have the opportunity to do a bit of shopping in Wamena.
Day 3: Salt spring, Kurulu mummy, traditional Dani hamlet (Tour 2)
In the morning, one-hour trip to Jiwikia, in the middle of the Baliem Valley. Start of a one-hour uphill hike (approx. 1,000 feet altitude difference) through stunning mountain rainforest to the traditional salt spring of the Dani tribe. Local women dressed in traditional tribal clothes will accompany us and show us their ancestral salt production techniques. After the walk down we will take a picnic lunch at the foot of the mountain. We will then walk to the nearby Kurulu village where you can admire the ancient mummy of the famous Dugum clan. Afterwards, the women show us how they process the brine they extracted from the spring. We will see more quaint and picturesque Dani homesteads. Wherever we go, friendly Papuans offers their arts and craft, weapons, and all kinds of curiosities for sale. Return to the resort in the afternoon.
Day 4: Trekking South Baliem Gorge (Tour 6)
In the morning, drive to the southern Baliem Valley past Wamena. By the village of Sogogmo, not quite 2 miles outside Kurima, the road ends. This is where our hike along the huge Baliem River starts. First we cross the roaring Baliem River on a traditional suspension bridge. We continue through romantic Dani settlements with their terraced fields and wild sugar cane groves. Throughout the hike we enjoy magnificent views of the river and the narrow valley. Around noon we get to the church square of Seinma, where we eat our picnic lunch surrounded by stunning scenery. Outside Kurima we cross the river again on a wild and romantic suspension bridge. To return to our vehicle, we need to cross a few side valleys. There will be many unique photo opportunities today. We get back to the Resort in the late afternoon.
Day 5: Option 1: Pyramid Region in the north-western Baliem Valley (Tour 9)
In the morning, drive to the big indigenous market of Wamena and then to the well-built road along the western side of the valley. The landscape in the west of the valley significantly differs from the eastern side. The west is dominated by expansive grassland landscapes; we occasionally pass tall acacia forests near the river. During this sightseeing tour we can stop off to take photos whenever you like. We pay a short visit to the bigger market towns of Elagaima and Kimbim. Depending on the weather and the state of the road, we will take a trip to the cone-shaped Magi Mountain in the Pyramid region, where you can enjoy a stunning view of the western part of the Baliem River. We find a place to have our picnic lunch. The Pyramid settlement in the northern Baliem Valley was one of the first 1950s missions to the highlands of West Papua. We then take a leisurely drive back to the resort (in total around 110 miles).
***Alternative program for day 5 (no surcharge):
Day 5: Option 2: Journey to the Habema Lake (Tour 4)
This tour should start early in the morning. Depending on the weather (rain!) the drive through the tall rainforests can be problematic! A 3-hour drive (about 55 miles) from the resort to the lake at about 50,000 feet altitude. We will pass all the vegetation zones of Equatorial New Guinea. The often savannah-like landscape of the wide bottom of the Baliem Valley gives way to gigantic mountain cloud forests and rainforests with truly monstrous tree ferns and screw pines. The giant trees are overgrown with moss, lichen and climbing plants - a wonderfully unique flora. Lake Habbema is located in the middle of a large upland moor, surrounded by magical meadows full of dwarf cypresses, little tree ferns, rhododendron and many different types of orchid. If the weather is nice you will have spectacular views of the peak of nearby Mount Trikora (15,000 feet). Picnic lunch by the lake surrounded by the magnificent upland moor landscape. Excursions to the surrounding area are possible depending on the weather. If the sun does shine you can even bathe in the lake (sandy beach). We drive back to the resort in the afternoon.
Day 6: Traditional pig cooking festival (Tour 3)
Traditional one-day pig festival in a traditional Dani village, either in the resort grounds or in the Jiwika region. Many adorned people from the Dani tribe in traditional clothing will take part in the festival. Such food celebrations with hot stones and earth pits are probably the most interesting part of a trip to New Guinea. If you like taking photos and videos you will certainly get your money’s worth today! It is difficult to describe what’s so unique about these food celebrations; you will have to see and experience it for yourself. Lunch will be a picnic in the village. If you like you can taste the food from the traditional earth pit afterwards. The freshly cooked pork and sweet potatoes are delicious! Back to the resort in the late afternoon.
Day 7: Wamena - Jayapura
Transfer to Wamena and short flight to Jayapura. Upon arrival, direct city sightseeing tour Jayapura or optional tour Lake Sentani with lunch enroute. Overnight at Hotel Travellers in Sentani, including breakfast. Upgrade to Hotel SwissBel in Jayapura City possible on request (transfer costs only).
Day 8: Departure
Transfer to airport, departure to your next destination.