The legendary Baliem Valley is the land immune to time; hidden in West Papua’s interior.
The Dani people who live here, were still dependent on tools of stone, bone and wood until 1938. Visiting the Baliem Valley, you will take in high mountain scenery and past simple Dani villages and be taken to a world far removed from the fast paced city life generating an experience to be savoured. Pig feasts, traditional dancing and music all form this incredible journey, before venturing by motorised canoe deep into the forest in search of rare tribes still living in the bows of forest canopy in treehouses. Perched 10-15m above the ground, this minority group of forest dwellers have little contact with the modern world, making their way of life truly fascinating and something almost fable like.
Welcome to West Papua! This morning you will meet at Jayapura Airport for your connecting flight at midday to Wamena. On arrival at Wamena Airport, you will be met for a short transfer to your hotel, where the remainder of the day is free at leisure. Wamena City is the capital of Jayawijaya Regency . and is nestled in a mountainous area which makes a great base before venturing into the highlands. Consisting of two words “Wa” and “Mena”, the meaning is the ‘Tame Boar’.
3 nights at a local hotel or similar
Following breakfast in your hotel, depart to explore the Baliem Valley. 80km in length and 20km wide, the valley sits at an altitude of approx. 1600m. Driving to Napua Hill, take in the panoramic views of Sinakma Village and the Baliem Valley below.
Continuing on, drive to Megapura, located in the Southern Baliem Valley, where local life remains traditional and untouched. Engage with the locals and appreciate their simple lifestyles. In the afternoon, drive back to town and time permitting, visit local market of Jibama. (B, Boxed lunch)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, before you set off for a 40-minute drive to Jiwika Village located in the north of the Baliem Valley. This village is known for its preserved Mummy in Sumpaima Village, which you will have the privilege to see and understand the story and tradition behind this fascinating practice. From here, set off on foot to walk to the next village (approx. 10-minute walk), where you will then witness and enjoy the traditional Dani ceremonies of a mock battle and pig feast.
Observe how the villagers make fire traditionally, kill a pig with bow and arrow and cook it over hot-burning stones with vegetables and sweet potatoes. This traditional performance will be held over 4 – 5 hours. After the locals have cooked their traditional food, the chief of village will serve the pig and vegetables amongst the villagers. For health and safety reasons, guests will not be offered to eat the pig. Return to your hotel. (B, Boxed lunch)
Following breakfast at your hotel, you will then transfer to the airport at around 8am for your flight to Dekai. Fly over hills and rolling mountains and tangles of dense jungle with your guide and cook. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a simple lunch in a local restaurant before driving for approx. 1-hour to Lokpon dock. A stop will also be made at the local police station to register for our travelling permits through this region.
From Lokpon dock, board a motorised canoe with your expedition team to Patipi Village. Putt along the Braza River for about 2 – 3 hours. You will reach the village late in the afternoon and have time to explore, whilst your cook prepares dinner. **Please note there is no shade or bathrooms available – your crew will stop if required. Guests are encouraged to bring cushions for comfort and an umbrella for shade.** (B,L,D)
Overnight basic accommodation
Following breakfast at your camp prepared by your cook, board your motorised canoe as you continue to motor another 4-6 hours depending on the winds and water currents to Mabul Village.
Upon arrival at Mabul, you will walk into a small village where you will head to a local house and spend the evening. This afternoon is yours to explore the village and mingle with the locals, whilst we co-ordinate porters to carry our luggage ahead of our adventures the next day, as we venture into the jungle and meet the tree house tribe. (B,L,D)
Overnight in a local homestay or similar
Today, you begin your adventure into the Korowai (Tree house people) through the dense tropical rainforest. Trek through the swampy lowland, crossing rivers, climbing over fallen trees and soaking in the sounds of pristine jungle. Your trek today is approx. 4-5 hours, with local porters supporting you carrying your bags, foods, and other equipment.
The Korowai tribes build their house on the top of the trees around 10-15 metres above the ground. Some are even higher than this! It is forbidden to climb into the tree houses without the permission from the owners. Each treehouse is liveable for only 2-3 years. It is not possible to sleep in the treehouses due to safety. (B,L,D)
3 nights in a temporary house near a local tree house
Spending the day with the Korowai tribes, you have the opportunity to slip into their daily life and participate in activities, such as making bush traps, processing sago for cooking and fishing with the local tribe members. (B,L,D)
Today, you will trek to other tree houses with your expedition team. Search for more treehouses and local tribes who move around every 2-3 years. You may even see some treehouses that are left behind from previous seasons. The weather in Korowai is humid. Meals will be provided by your cook. (B,L,D)
This morning is yours to continue exploring until noon, when you will track back to Mabul with your porters. (B,L,D)
Overnight in a local homestay or similar
Enjoy breakfast at your camp/local house and walk to the dock where your motorised canoe is waiting. After the canoe is loaded, sail back to Dekai. Departing early, follow the river for approx. 5 hours.
Around noon, you will arrive at Lokpon and transfer for 1-hour to Dekai town, where you will check in to your basic accommodation. (B,L,D)
Overnight in a basic local hotel or similar
Enjoy breakfast before your transfer to the airport for your flight to Jayapura. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure. (B,L,D)
Overnight at Grand Alison Hotel or similar
The morning is yours until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward departure. (B)
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**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 4 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of 35% per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.