Secret Valleys of New Guinea
Unparalleled culture and wildlife encounters await you on the easternmost
island of the Indonesian archipelago
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
We traverse “the land of the unexpected” from the spectacular lowland rainforests on the coastal plains to 15,000-foot-high peaks our tour of the world’s second largest island, New Guinea. The island is divided in half between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Explore the fascinating villages along the Karawari River; the spectacular flora, fauna, and unique culture of the highlands in Rondon Ridge; meet the diverse tribes from the highlands of Wamena, and the Baliem valley during the Baliem Valley Cultural festival.We’ll do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
* Flights within the itinerary
* All excursions in the company of a world-class expedition leader and local
* All gratuities
* All accommodations
* All group meals, including selected beverages with lunch and dinner
* All entrance fees
* Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
* Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
* Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance
Arrive in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Arrive in Port Moresby on July 30, and transfer to the /Airways Hotel /for dinner and overnight.*Accommodation*: Airways Hotel
Board our group flight to the Sepik River area, via Mount Hagen.
After breakfast, board our group flight to the Sepik River area, via Mount Hagen. Transfer to /Karawari Lodge/—named for the nearby river—your base for exploring the fascinating culture along the jungle-fringed waterways. The main lodge building, designed after the traditional /haus tambaran/—ancestral worship house—is decorated with artifacts and boldly carved furniture, and includes a dining room, library, lounge, and a long veranda overlooking the Karawari River. *Accommodation*: Karawari Lodge
Explore ‘Arambak’ country, one of the most remote and unspoiled areas of
Papua New Guinea.
Spend two days exploring ‘Arambak’ country, one of the most remote and unspoiled areas of Papua New Guinea. Board small boats to explore along the Karawari River, where crocodiles bask on the banks, and you may see locals paddling their dugout canoes with long, curved oars. You have several opportunities to observe village life and customs, participate in daily activities, and see reenactments of traditional ceremonies. Search for several species of birds of paradise and the beautiful Sepik blue orchid, found along the forest trails surrounding the lodge.*Accommodation*: Karawari Lodge
Board our charter flight to Mount Hagen.
Board our charter flight to Mount Hagen and, upon arrival, transfer to /Rondon Ridge Lodge/. Each room features a bird’s-eye view of paradise, overlooking the Wahgi Valley. Spend the afternoon exploring the lodge’s vast network of forest trails.*Accommodation*: Rondon Ridge Lodge
At 7,100 feet above sea level, Rondon offers pristine highlands rainforest.
Over 180 species of birds have been recorded here, including 10 species of
birds of paradise.
Located at 7,100 feet above sea level, Rondon offers pristine highlands rainforest. Over 180 species of birds have been recorded here, including 10 species of birds of paradise. A highlight of your time here is the chance to meet and interact with the Melpa people. Though first contact with the Melpa was made in 1934, in many ways, their lifestyle remains relatively unchanged. Among the world’s first horticulturists, learn about the important industries of gardening and sweet potato cultivation. *Accommodation*: Rondon Ridge Lodge
Bid farewell to Rondon.
Bid farewell to Rondon, and transfer to Mount Hagen for our flight to Port Moresby. Check in to the /Airways Hotel /with the rest of the day a leisure. *Accommodation*: Airways Hotel
After breakfast, board our flight to Vanimo.
After breakfast, board our flight to Vanimo, then embark on a scenic drive, crossing the border of West Papua and Papua. Arrive in Jayapura and check in to the /Swiss-Belhotel Papua /for dinner and overnight.*Accommodation*: Swiss-Belhotel Papua
After breakfast, board our short flight to Wamena, the largest town in
Indonesia’s West Papua highlands.
After breakfast, board our short flight to Wamena, the largest town in Indonesia’s West Papua highlands. Enjoy lunch before visiting the colorful Wamena market. Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.Accommodation: Standard Hotel
Spend two full days exploring in and around the stunning Jayawijaya Mountains
and magical Baliem Valley.
Spend two full days exploring in and around the stunning Jayawijaya Mountains and magical Baliem Valley. The lush terrain is punctuated with swift rivers, the colorful blooms of orchids, and the purple haze of cultivated sweet potato fields. This region is home to the indigenous Dani and Lani tribal people—isolated by 8,000 foot peaks, most of the 5,000-foot-high valley remains as untouched as it was on the day that American explorer Richard Archbold stumbled upon it in 1938. The people here live in palm-shaded, round hut village compounds that have changed little over the millennia. Known for their unique personal decoration, which sometimes includes boar tusks through their noses and headdresses made of bird feathers, the most famous of these adornments is the /koteka/, traditional penis gourds worn by the elder tribal men. The Dani tribe inhabits one of the most fertile areas in West Papua and constant war with neighboring tribes earned them a fearsome reputation as prolific headhunters. During the annual Baliem Valley Culture Festival, enjoy a traditional pig feast, watch a mock battle, energetic dance performances, and several competitions, such as archery and spear throwing. You’ll also have an opportunity to see the 250-year-old mummy at Jiwika, and visit traditional villages where you’ll have the opportunity to experience the daily lives of the Dani people, visit their straw-capped homes, and see their lush gardens.Accommodation: Standard Hotel
After breakfast, board our flight to Jayapura.
After breakfast, board our flight to Jayapura. Check in to the /Swiss-Belhotel Papua/for an afternoon at leisure. This evening, attend a festive cocktail party followed by a farewell dinner. *Accommodation*: Swiss-Belhotel Papua
Today, board your flight to Bali.
Today, board your flight to Bali. Connect with your independent homeward flight. Tour ends here.