Even a country as full of adventure as Indonesia, has its final frontier. Here it is – Papua, half of the World’s second-biggest island, New Guinea. Although the youngest territory of Indonesia, Papua's rich tribal traditions span many centuries. This is where some people still hunt their food with bows and arrows, while others now buy it in supermarkets. Roads can be infrequent; traveling any distance might require you to take to the air or the water. So, unlike most other parts of Indonesia, Papua can feel like a different country. This is what most Papuans believe, since they are of Melanesian origin, ethnically distinct from all other Indonesian lands. Here, travel can become a challenge to plan. Those who take on this Papua assignment, rarely fail to be awed by the charm of the Papuan people, the spirit of its cultures and the splendor of both its intense landscapes and tranquil seascapes. Papua is the largest and easternmost province of Indonesia, comprising the Indonesian, western half of the Island of New Guinea and nearby islands. This western Province is around 600 km long and 100 km wide, containing the highest mountains between the Himalayas and the Andes, called “Puncak Jaya or Carstensz Pyramid”. Tallest peaks even contain permanent equatorial glaciers. Surely, one cannot miss a chance to be part of world-class diving and gorgeous island scenery of the Raja Ampat Islands. Located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula, Raja Ampat, is an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals. Raja Ampat Archipelago is part of Coral Triangle, containing the richest marine biodiversity on earth.
Stretching for hundreds of kilometers are lowland rainforests, extensive wetlands, savanna grasslands, and expanses of mangrove forest. Large lakes and long rivers intersect, to provide abundant rafting opportunities along jungle surroundings. Even the ocean makes a playground for kayakers, paddling out to the numerous offshore islands. An estimated 16,000 plant species are known to Papua; while its forest animals include: marsupials (wallabies, possums, tree-kangaroos, cuscuses and endangered long-beaked echidna); bird species, such as: cassowaries, birds of paradise, parrots, and cockatoos; the world's longest lizard (Papua Monitor) reaching 2.5 meters long, exceeding the length of the Komodo Dragon); and the world's largest butterflies. Protected Papuan areas include: the World Heritage Lorentz National Park, and the Wasur National Park, a RAMSAR wetland of international importance. The 4130-sq-km Wasur National Park is a fascination to anyone with wildlife interests, particularly birds and marsupials. Lorentz National Park, the largest national park in Southeast Asia, is the only nature reserve in the Asia-Pacific region to contain a full range of ecosystems, including: marine areas, mangroves, tidal and freshwater swamp forest, lowland and montane rainforest, alpine tundra, and equatorial glaciers. Because Lorentz National Park still contains many unexplored areas, it is a perfect location for adventurers, explorers and researchers; likely, many more plant and animal species will be discovered.
Komodo Travel offers custom guided tours in Papua