We take a peek at one of the worlds unspoiled area in the eastern part of Indonesia called West Papua Irian Jaya. Travelers have come to this part of the world to experience the rich rain forests, rivers, beautiful beaches, and breath-taking mountains. The tallest peak on the island would be Mount Jayawijaya, which towers a good 5,000 meters high. From there you will see stream lined rivers that pass through the thick rain forests. Travelers have also come to West Papua to visit the people that inhabit this island. The Irian people have a very distinct look from [...]
The western part of New Guinea is reasonably identified as Western New Guinea, although internationally, it is recognized as the province of Papua. The area is a rich rain forest environment and is home to a wind range of mammals, birds, lizards, amphibians and butterflies. In fact, as recently as February, 2005, scientists on an expedition in the Foja Mountains discovered several previously unknown species of birds, butterflies, amphibians and plants, and were even able to take the first ever picture of the Six-Wired Bird of Paradise. This is just a small indication of the amazing floral and fauna awaiting a visitor to Western New Guinea.
Diving, Snorkeling and Swimming are the main varieties of water sports in Western New Guinea. One can spend a little or a great deal of money pursuing underwater exploration, so it is a good idea to check out the sites you are planning to explore ahead of time and find out what the costs are associated with diving in the area. The costs may be well worth it however, as some of the most beautiful coral reefs are found in the coastal regions of Western New Guinea. One can also relax and unwind on one of several beautiful and tranquil beaches in the region.
Western New Guinea or Papua became part of Indonesia after a very controversial “popular consultation” in 1969. Since that time, the region has been subject to a massive influx of new peoples, not to mention mining and logging companies scouting out new interests. Many native Papuans have not accepted these changes happily. There is a small guerrilla movement striving for independence, and ethnic violence and demonstrations have broken out on occasion. This has kept a variety of travelers away from Papua, but for those adventurous few with the means and desire to travel here, the rewards far outweigh the risks.
Surprisingly for a tropical destination, the list of things to do that are not water sports outweigh the snorkeling and diving by a long shot. Have a gander at the stilt villages of Yotefa Bay. Better yet, visit the Dani Villages of the Baliem. The Dani culture is largely preserved and many of the village folk still participate in traditional customs and wear traditional dress. They are quite welcoming to tourists and you might even get a chance to see the mummy of a long deceased Dani chief! There are wonderful opportunities for hiking and the landscape is abundant with variety; rainforest’s, mountains, highlands, rugged coastlines and lakes make up the diverse landscape. Nowhere is there better bird watching or butterfly chasing. Rock climbing is even an option here. Woodcarving is a traditional pastime in many regions and there are several opportunities to view the beautiful carvings, and even pick some up as souvenirs. But whatever your desire, be sure to stop and get a travel permit as you will need one to venture into the interior region of Papua. The place to get your permit is at Jayapura, which is the capital of Papua.