The archipelago of Indonesia is blessed with numerous attractive and beautiful natural sites. It also applies to Papua, the easternmost island in the archipelago. Entitled as the Island of Paradise, a multitude of fascinating natural wonders spread throughout the island of Papua. Below are brief reviews of six tourist destinations in Papua with their various beauty and uniqueness.
Raja Ampat Islands
The most well-known tourist destination in West Papua, Raja Ampat Islands, offer the beauty of exotic sea and beaches, as well as thousands of species of fish and sea turtle. Raja Ampat has been broadly known as the island with the largest variety of sea ecosystem.
Diving becomes one of the exciting activities to do while visiting the islands. Compared to other months of the year, October and November are considered the best time to visit Raja Ampat Islands, especially those who come to dive. At the end of the year, the nice weather will create the clearer sky, allowing the divers to look more closely at the beautiful living creatures under the sea.
Another natural wonder in Papua that is impossible to resist is Mount Jayawijaya. The mountain top of Jayawijaya is always covered in snow. Snow covering the peak of the mountain is a surprising, yet exciting occurrence, considering that Indonesia is a tropical country. People often refer to the snow on the top of Jayawijaya Mountain as the eternal snow, making it one of the most incredible hiking destinations for travelers from around the world.
The mountainous range of Jayawijaya belongs to the area of Laurentz National Park. Carstensz Pyramid, the highest peak of Jayawijaya Mountain is included in the world’s top seven summits that record it as one of the most incredible and beautiful mountain tops in the world.
Baliem Valley lies around the mountainous range of the Jayawijaya Mountains, lying 1,600 meters above sea level. As a mountainous region, the weather in Baliem Valley is obviously nice and pleasant, but sometimes, it can be a little chilly at the temperature of 10-15 degree Celcius.
The valley is inhabited by three ethnic groups of Papua: Dani, Yani, and Lani. In addition to its spectacular panoramic view, Baliem Valley offers the uniqueness of the ethnic groups’ traditional living. The annual festival, namely the Baliem Valley Festival, is held for three days in August. The festival shows a traditional performance containing historical scenes of ethnic warfare that happened in the past.
Biak Island is actually one of the two islands that belong to Biak Regency with Numfor Island as the neighboring area. Located near Cenderawasih Bay, Biak Island is well-known because of its admirable scenery and pleasant weather. Moreover, it also has a number of interesting places to visit. One of them is Amoi Village, a beautiful village that offers a breathtaking panoramic view.
Fifteen kilometers from Biak, lay Bosnik Beach, another natural wonder with a lot of undersea beauty to offer. Besides Raja Ampat, this tropical beach is also a favorite destination for travelers who are looking for the perfect place for snorkeling and diving.
Lake Sentani is probably the most popular lake in Papua. The beauty of this inland water has been admitted not only by the locals, but also by foreign travelers. The lake is surrounded by 21 highland areas with the height of 75 meters. Each year, Lake Sentani Festival is held on June. The festival shows various cultural traditions of Papua, including traditional ceremonies, cultural dances, and culinary festival.
There are so many interesting things to do around Lake Sentani. The lake is open for swimming activity. Moreover, the visitors can also go fishing in the special area of the lake as well as wander around the lake by boats. Several restaurants and food courts are available in the tourist area where the visitors can enjoy lovely taste of Papuan culinary delights.
Besides Lake Sentani, Lake Paniai is another beautiful lake in Papua that should be visited by those who value the wonder of nature. Having the area of 14,500 hectares, this large lake lies 1,700 meters above sea level. Lake Paniai is indeed located in the highland range. While spending time in the lake area, the visitors can enjoy the attractive scenery as dusk falls, or looking at the groups of birds flying in the sky over the lake.
In 2007, Lake Paniai was acclaimed as one of the world’s most beautiful lakes at the World Lake Conference that was held in India. The site of Lake Paniai can be reached through the city of Enarotali or by a Cessna plane which boards across the area of the lake.
With so many natural wonders surrounded the island, the title “Island of Paradise” has clearly become the right title for Papua. Just like any other areas that belong to the Indonesian archipelago, the country’s easternmost island and province also has great potential for tourism development.