JUNGLE TREK TO THE KOROWAI & STAY IN THE BALIEM VALLEY
During this 17 days/ 16 nights group tour to Papua, we meet the Korowai tribe but also the Dani tribe in the Baliem Valley. We start this journey in Bali before flying to Dekai in Papua, port of entrance of the Korowai territory. We walk for 8 days in the jungle and visit the amazing Korowai in their tree house settlements. We spend time following them in their daily duties such as hunting, cooking or repairing their 40 meters high tree houses. Then, we fly to the Baliem Valley where we go for daily excursions from our superb accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. We meet the Dani people and participate in a traditional pig festival, one of the best experiences of a trip to Papua. This group tour in Papua is one of the last opportunities to meet the Korowai people, as they are disappearing a little more each year.
Day 1: Denpasar airport – Kuta
Arrival in Bali, the island of Gods
You arrive in Denpasar airport, Bali. Our driver Mr Ketut is here to welcome you and he drives you to your hotel in Kuta. Kuta is a bustling and touristy city by the ocean. It is also very close from the airport and so, very convenient for our drive there again tomorrow night. You slowly meet the other guests joining our group tour to Papua. Take advantage of your room to rest and for the early joiners, enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Late afternoon, don’t miss the sunset drink experience at the very nearby beach.
30 min drive. Accommodation: Ida Beach Hotel. Meals: breakfast only.
Day 2: Kuta - Denpasar airport, Bali
Free day in Bali
Today you are free to discover Kuta and its surroundings. Walk by the many local shops, go for street food or enjoy a nice brunch in one of the many cafes nearby. The long white sand beach of Kuta is 5 minutes walking from the hotel. At 11.30pm tonight, Mr Ketut drives you and the other guests to the domestic airport of Denpasar for your onward flight to Jayapura, Papua. Night on-board.
30 min drive. Accommodation: Ida Beach Hotel. Meals: breakfast only.
The plane flying to Dekai
What awaits us
Day 3: Denpasar airport, Bali - Papiti Dibawa
On your way to the Korowai in Papua
After 6 hours of flight, you arrive at Jayapura airport. Our manager Mr Siprianus is here to welcome you and to manage the check-in for your onward flight to Dekai, starting point of our trekking tour in the Korowai area. Once in Dekai, you meet your trekking guide Marc. Marc was born in Germany and he has been travelling to Papua since his childhood. He is one of the most experienced guides for trekking tours in Papua. We first visit the local market and do the last groceries shopping for the trek. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before driving to the harbour where our boat crew is waiting for us in the motor longboat that will bring us to the Korowai. We descend the Brazza river for 2 hours, boating through a virgin jungle, to reach the village of Papiti Dibawa where we install our camp for the first night. Night in tents.
5 h flight to Jayapura, 30 min flight to Dekai. 1 h drive. 2 h boat. With guide and cook. Accommodation: in tent. Meals: full board.
Day 4: Papiti Dibawa - Mabul
A long day of boat
Today is a long boat journey to reach the village of Mabul where a few Korowai people settled down, thus leaving their nomadic way of life. Mabul is the port of entrance for trekking in the Korowai region. So after breakfast, we jump into our boat and go down the Brazza river again. Morning light is nice and it is the best time to see the exotic birds, especially hornbills, living in the forest nearby. After our lunch picnic, we continue on the Siret river. Finally in Mabul, we set up our camp and start recruiting our porters for the trek to the Korowai starting tomorrow.
6-8 h by boat. With guide and cook. Accommodation: in tent. Meals: full board.
Challenging path over a trunk
River crossing during the trek
Day 5: Mabul – Korowai tribe
First day with the Korowai
After breakfast, we start our trek to the Korowai with a team of local porters and cook. After only a few steps, we jump into a wild thick forest, our playground for the next 5 days. We walk for approximately 5 hours in this stunning landscape before reaching Manopteroppo, a Korowai settlement where we spend the night. The Korowai people welcome us in a very authentic and friendly way. We enjoy this first insight of the Korowai lifestyle and of their kindness. We are invited to visit a tree house, 30 meters up there. Tents are dressed next to the traditional tree house.
4-5 h trek. With guide, porters and cook. Accommodation: in tent. Meals: full board.
Day 6: Korowai tribe
Immersion in the Korowai lifestyle
Today we immerse ourselves in the everyday life of the Korowai. Among all the daily activities, the most interesting one is the sago ritual. We are invited to join the Korowai in the sago forest, where the men chop a big sago palm tree with simple stone axes. Then the sago pulp is collected from the sliced trunk to be smashed. Then comes the women’s job who wash the pulp and process it in order to cook it later. During this stunning spectacle, we throw back to ancient times. Back to the village in the afternoon, we enjoy a local dinner nicely cooked by our cook. We are also very welcome to try sago and larvas, staple foods of the Korowai!
1-2 h walk. With guide, porters and cook. Accommodation: in tent. Meals: full board.
A Korowai lady making sago
Following the Korowai into the forest
Day 7 to 10: Korowai tribe
Trekking deeper in the Korowai tropical forest
Today we leave our first Korowai settlement to start a 4 days immersive trekking experience down to the Avium river area. This region is the heart of many Korowai settlements. For 4 days, we get deeper in the forest. Each day, we are warmly welcomed by the traditionally dressed Korowai tribes and we install our camp within the huts settlement. Who knows what is expecting us during those crazy days? Maybe we have the chance to join the men hunting in the forest and filling their nets of exotic products, such as spiders, larvas or even flying foxes shot with bows and arrows. Maybe we are teached how to build and use those weapons that are very often used by the Korowai to seek food in the forest. Or maybe we watch them building or repairing their 30 meters high tree houses while singing. Those 4 remote days are a stunning experience that you will never forget.
4-6 h of daily trekking. With guide, porters and cook. Accommodation: in tent. Meals: full board.
Day 11: Korowai - Yanirumah
Heading back to the world
Today is our last day of trekking into the Korowai area. We leave our last Korowai settlement and we walk to the village of Yanirumah, a former missionary outpost with an airfield. Today Yanirumah is usually the last trekking stop before flying out of the Korowai district. We set up our camp for the very last time nearby the river and we appreciate a bath before our last jungle dinner.
4-6 h of trek. With guide, porters and cook. Accommodation: in tent. Meals: full board.
A Korowai in front of his tree house
The traditional Noken net is used for carrying everything
Day 12: Yanirumah - Baliem Valley
Flying to the Baliem Valley, home of the Dani and Lani tribes
This morning, we say goodbye to our trekking team of porters and cook. While they start walking back to Mabul, we walk to the small airfield of Yanirumah where our charter plane is awaiting us. We fly over the untouched Papuan jungle before landing at Wamena in the Baliem Valley. On the way to The Baliem Valley Resort, we stop by the local market of Wamena. We taste the local fruits and the most adventurous can also try to chew the betelnut, a numbing drug daily used by the Papuans. Check-in at the Resort in the afternoon. Enjoy a coffee on a panoramic view terrace over the Baliem Valley. Dinner at the Resort.
45 min charter flight. 45 min drive. With guide. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.
Day 13: Baliem Valley
Easy hiking in the Baliem Valley and first encounter with the Dani people
Today our driver takes us to the southern Baliem Valley for a beautiful and easy hike along the Baliem River. First we cross a suspension bridge over the mighty river and then we hike through fields of sweet potatoes, corn, sugar cane and maybe we cross the path with friendly pigs. We pass Dani huts and reach the beautiful village Seinma for lunch. After a nice picnic break, we cross another suspension bridge and walk slowly along the river back to the driver. In the late afternoon we return to the Resort.
2 h drive. 4 h walk. With guide. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.
The Baliem valley trekking landscapes
Portrait of a Dani warrior
Day 14: Baliem Valley
Traditional pig festival, an unforgettable experience
Today is a very special day that will remain unforgettable. We are invited to participate in a pig feast at a Dani tribe. We are welcomed by Dani tribesmen, traditionally dressed and decorated. A pig festival is a very special event for the Dani and Lani tribes, organized to celebrate important occasions. Our hosts begin the feast with dancing and singing. Then the pig is slaughtered, traditionally with bow and arrow. We see how the cooking pit is prepared with hot stones and field grass. The meat is tasty cooked with sweet potatoes and food ferns. Finally we all enjoy the food from the cooking pit. It is a really impressive experience, by far the most interesting experience of a trip to Papua. Back to the Resort in the afternoon and we enjoy our last evening in the Baliem Valley.
The pig festival takes place in changing villages. Precise information on travel times is therefore not provided.
Maximum 1 h walk. With guide. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.
Day 15: Baliem Valley – Jayapura
Back to Jayapura
You leave The Baliem Valley Resort in the morning and your driver takes you to Wamena Airport for your short flight to Jayapura. Upon your arrival, Siprianus is here to greet you. After checking in at your hotel, we drive to nearby Lake Sentani for a boat tour. On an area of 104 square kilometers there are about 20 islands which are home to villages with wooden houses on stilts. We visit two islands known for their traditional paintings on pressed tree bark. Lunch at the lake and return to the hotel.
30 min flight. 2 h drive. With guide. Accommodation: Horex hotel. Meals: full board.
Dani women covering the cooking pit with fern and grass
Dani Pig festival
Day 16: Jayapura - Kuta, Bali
Last day in Papua, back to Bali
We arrive in Bali early in the afternoon. Mr Ketut is here again to welcome us and drive us to our hotel in Kuta. The rest of the day is free. You are familiar with Kuta now! Let’s enjoy a very last sunset in Kuta beach before heading to a nice indonesian dinner.
30 min drive. 45 min flight. With guide. Accommodation: Ida Beach Hotel. Meals: breakfast only.
Day 17: Kuta - Denpasar airport, Bali
Transfer to the airport
Today is your last day in Indonesia. Enjoy your time before saying goodbye to the other guests joining this trekking expedition in Papua. According to your flight schedule, Mr Ketut drives you to Denpasar airport for your international flight.
30 min drive. Meals: breakfast only.
Flight tickets Denpasar – Jayapura and return, with Garuda Indonesia
Flight Jayapura – Dekai and Wamena - Jayapura
Charter flight Yanirumah - Wamena
Exclusive guiding by Marc (English and German speaking)
3 nights in Ida Beach Hotel, Kuta
9 nights in tent in Korowai territory
3 nights in The Baliem Valley Resort
1 night in Horex Hotel, Sentani
Tours as per itinerary
Motor boats including crew
Porters and cook during the trek
Tents and cooking equipment during the trek
All entrance fees
Meals: full board in Papua, breakfast only in Bali
Special travel permit (surat jalan)
Additional drinks and personal expenses
Costs for excess luggage
Sleeping bags and sleeping mattresses for the expedition