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West Papua: Baliem Valley and Raja Ampat Archipelago.

12 DAYS

24 PEOPLE

2290 EURO

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Victoria Vlasenko

GROUP COORDINATOR

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12 days

2390 Euro + domestic air travel

April 27 to May 8, 2025

GROUP

24 people                                    

DATES

April 27 to May 8, 2024

West Papua is located in the most eastern part of Indonesia, on the island of New Guinea. We have conducted numerous expeditions to Papua since 2008, exploring its diverse landscapes and meeting the local people. After a long break due to COVID-19 and conflicts, we have decided to resume our adventurous journeys to these interesting and unique places. We aim to show you the uniqueness of this region through its inhabitants and nature.

Our expedition will consist of three parts. First, we will venture into the heart of the Baliem Valley, which was discovered along with its inhabitants only in the 1940s. There, we will witness the full splendor of the Papuans, participate in various ceremonies and the "pig" festival, explore local villages, see smoked mummies, and take hundreds of photographs that will make your acquaintances and friends jealous.

Next, we will take a flight to the astonishing place called Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat is a vast group of small islands located in the western part of the second-largest island in the world, New Guinea. 

This area is also part of Indonesia, the most eastern region of the country. It is a wild and sparsely populated region, challenging to reach with limited connectivity and internet access. However… it boasts incredible nature and an astonishing ocean. It is one of the most beautiful and pristine tropical destinations we have ever seen. Thousands of forest-covered islands form archipelagos with cozy and clean bays, while enormous living coral reefs teem with life. The water is clear and of incredible colors.  The place where life slows down and you simply live amidst all of this, detached from news, hustle, cities, and human interaction.

The Raja Ampat archipelago is a part of the Coral Triangle, known for its rich marine biodiversity. You do not need to be a diver to experience all of this; simply having a mask and snorkel and immersing your face in the water is enough.

EXPEDITION COST INCLUDES:
 

  • Rental of ships and boats with crews during the expedition to the Raja Ampat Islands

  • Accommodation in 4-star hotels in Jakarta and Bali

  • Comfortable resorts with separate cottages in Raja Ampat and Wamena (double occupancy)

  • Meals as indicated in the program

  • All airport transfers according to the travel itinerary (if you arrive and depart on the specified dates)

  • Car excursions on the island of Bali

  • Excursions and festivals as outlined in the Baliem Valley program

  • Rental of cars and buses, fuel, and driver services

  • Entrance tickets to entertainment events specified in the program

  • Entrance tickets and permits to all national parks included in the program

  • Services of local guides and assistants throughout the expedition

  • Services of English-Russian-speaking leaders from Paganel Studio

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Kostyantyn Storozhenko

Expedition leader, translator

ROUTE

ITINERARY

Day 1
27.04.2025

Arrival at Jakarta Airport (CGK). Transfer to the hotel. Introduction to the guides. Accommodation in a comfortable 4-star hotel near the airport. Free time to relax.

IMPORTANT!

Due to the fact that our expeditions do not include international flights to the starting point of the program, we cannot be held responsible for changes in flight conditions by airlines or airport requirements. Since our travelers fly from many different countries and cities, we never participate in the purchase of air travel and limit ourselves exclusively to advisory services in the selection of flights. Air agents or airlines from which tickets were purchased are responsible for the purchase and technical support.

Day 2
28
.04.2025

Wake up at a normal pace. No rush. Have breakfast. Enjoy your morning coffee. Pack your belongings. Leave the luggage at the hotel reception and embark on a full-day tour of Jakarta. Return to the hotel in the evening. Retrieve the luggage. Transfer to the airport, a flight to Jayapura with a transfer at Makassar Airport.

(Meals: Breakfast included)

Day 3
29
.04.2025

Night flight to Jayapura, the capital city of Papua New Guinea. Early arrival and transfer to a plane flying to the Baliem Valley in Wamena city.

 Arrive in Wamena, the Papuan capital of the Baliem Valley. Meet the team of local guides, take a short tour of the colorful local market, and buy fresh fruits.

Then transfer to the mountains, approximately 45 minutes away, to our resort. Check-in to comfortable bungalows. Lunch. Afterward, we put on our trekking shoes and embark on our first walk through the Papuan wilderness.

A two-hour scenic hike awaits us to the summit of the nearby Sekan mountain range, offering a magnificent view of the Baliem Valley.

Return to the bungalow and enjoy free time for relaxation.

 Later, dinner will be served at the restaurant.

 We will have an introductory evening and distribute expedition t-shirts.

(Meals: Lunch, dinner included)

Day 4
30
.04.2025

After breakfast at the hotel, we once again put on our trekking shoes; grab a water bottle, headlamps, and cameras. Today, we will explore the northern part of the Baliem Valley. After a 1.5-hour drive from the mountains, we reach the starting point of the trek in the village of Jiwika, where the local villagers from the Dani tribe, clan Dugum, greet us.

They will accompany us to their saltwater source. Together, we walk through the mountainous tropical forest to reach the hidden source. The trek takes approximately 2 hours, with a 500-meter elevation gain. At the top, they will demonstrate traditional salt mining methods.

We then have a small picnic before visiting the village and admiring the 300-year-old mummy of the clan, which is kept in the men's house. The mummy still has Koteku (traditional penis gourd) and hair accessories. This is a popular spot as such mummies are very rare and usually difficult to see.

From the mummy, we proceed to the famous Kotilola cave with its giant stalactites and stalagmites. The cave has partially collapsed, giving way to lush vegetation. With our headlamps, we can venture a bit deeper into the cave until we reach an underground river.

The cave is also home to many bats. We return to the vehicles and drive back to our cozy resort.

(Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner included)

Day 5
01
.05.2025

Today we have a day filled with experiences. Bring along your good mood, cameras, hats, sunscreen, and trekking shoes. After breakfast at the hotel, we set off on foot to the nearby Dani village in the Baliem Valley. The trek uphill will take about 30 minutes.

In the village, we will be greeted with a traditional martial dance, and we will also witness reenactments of battles among the Papuan people, who used to fight each other with bows and spears not long ago, both for specific reasons and without. And, of course, the highlight of this day will be the opportunity to participate in the pig festival.

Throughout the day, we will take numerous photographs with the indigenous people of the Baliem Valley in their ceremonial attire and decorations. 

A pig, in front of your eyes will be shot with a bow, and then cooked in the traditional way on hot coals. You probably do not need to worry about trying the local pork, but you will definitely gather many photos and memorable experiences from interacting with the colorful local characters.

There will also be dances and round dances during the festival, followed by group selfies and the joy of socializing☺.

 After the festivities, we bid farewell to the Dani tribe and descend to our bungalows.

We relax, watch the sunset on the restaurant terrace, have dinner, and pack our belongings as we have an early departure to the airport tomorrow.

(Meals: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner included)

Day 6
02
.05.2025

Early breakfast, check-out, and transfer to Vamena Airport. Departure to Jayapura, where we will transfer to a flight to Sorong.

Upon arrival in Sorong in the middle of the day, we will have lunch and then transfer to the port. There, a large speedboat reserved for our group will be waiting for us. We will load our belongings and set off towards the wind and hundreds of islands! The Raja Ampat archipelago is part of the Coral Triangle, known for its rich marine biodiversity, which is the highest on Earth.

It is home to over 76% of the world's shallow-water coral species, 37% of reef fish species, 50% of razor clam species, six of the world's seven species of sea turtles, and the world's largest mangrove forest. It is often called the "Amazon of the Seas." Although it occupies only 1.6% of the planet's oceanic area, 76% of all known coral species in the world can be found in this region.

Raja Ampat is also one of the few places on our planet where you can enjoy the enchanting songs of endemic paradise birds in the morning, explore the unique underwater world during the day, and contemplate breathtaking sunsets in the evening.

The speedboat ride to our cozy resort, located on one of the islands in the archipelago, will take about 3 hours. Upon arrival, we will settle into our bungalows, familiarize ourselves with the surroundings, take a shower, and relax.

You can take a mask, fins, and snorkel and explore the nearby reefs. The coral gardens start right in front of your bungalows. Dinner. 

(Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 7
03
.05.2025

After breakfast, we will gather our swimming gear, hats, towels, snorkeling equipment, sunscreen, and board our speedboat. We will head to the first beautiful spot, consisting of small islands and picturesque bays, which will take about an hour to reach.

Upon arrival, we will go for a walk and enjoy a short trek up a hill to get a panoramic view of the islands. 

Then we will proceed to a place called Manta Point, where we might have the opportunity to witness the feeding of giant manta rays (average length 2-3 meters). If we are lucky and they are there, we can swim with them in open waters!

We will continue exploring the island archipelago, immersing ourselves in untouched nature and enjoying the pearly sands of secluded beaches. Lunch.

After lunch, we will disembark on the Floating Sand, a sandy shoal where the sand blends with the turquoise waters, and the water merges with the sky. 

We will engage in snorkeling, swimming, and revel in the beauty of Papua.

We will return to our resort for dinner. Relaxation and leisure time. 

(Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 8
04
.05.2025

Today is a busy and incredibly beautiful day. Early rise and breakfast. After breakfast, we take everything we need, load into our speedboat and set off for the whole day to the western part of the archipelago (on the way 3 hours one-way), where about a hundred islands are collected on a tangible area.

This place is one of the most beautiful and unusual on our planet. You will see for yourself. Due to the distance from the main places of residence, there are not many tourists here.

We land on one of the islands - pimples for trekking to the very top to stretch our legs and see this beauty from above with our own eyes

Further, we ride between the islets, stop for swimming in bays and on small beaches. Again snorkeling and relaxation. We enjoy the place and the incredible nature of Raja Ampat.

We then reach a small village where we take a lunch break. Our local guides provide us with lunch boxes, water, and fruits. After enjoying our meal, we have the opportunity to swim with reef sharks in this area, capturing unique and interesting photographs.

After a refreshing swim, we hop back on the speedboat and return for about three hours to our hotel. Exhausted but filled with unforgettable memories, we arrive back at the resort. We freshen up with a shower, grab a cup of coffee, and witness the enchanting sunset. Dinner , we have some time to relax.

(Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner included)

Day 9
05
.05.2025

Today is a free day with no scheduled activities. You can choose to sleep in, sunbathe, swim, and snorkel near our private pier, walk around the island on which our resort is located.

 Alternatively, you have the option to hire a boat for a few people and explore the neighboring islands and coral reefs.

Diving enthusiasts can also opt for a diving program, as Raja Ampat is renowned for its stunning diving spots.

In the evening, we gather at the resort for dinner, exchanging impressions and sharing photos.

(Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner included)

Day 10
06
.05.2025

We wake up early, have a quick breakfast, and check out of the hotel. We load our belongings onto the speedboat and head towards Sorong. The return journey will take approximately three hours.

Upon arrival at the port, we bid farewell to our local guide and the speedboat crew, remembering to leave tips. We then transfer to minibuses for transportation to the airport. We have a flight to Bali with a layover in Makassar. During the layover, we have time to have lunch. We arrive at Denpasar airport in the evening, retrieve our luggage, and board the waiting minibuses. A 1.5-hour transfer takes us to the Ubud area.

We settle into our 4-star hotel and have a light dinner on the way. Finally, we can relax.

(Meals: breakfast included)

Day 11
07
.05.2025

We wake up slowly. Have breakfast. Lounge by the pool. Enjoy a cup of coffee. Around 10:30 AM, we board our microbuses and head to a special location for a private sound healing ceremony.

Afterward, we move to the center of Ubud, where you will have free time to explore the numerous shops, visit a couple of temples, buy souvenirs, and enjoy coffee, lunch, or dinner at a recommended restaurant.

In the evening, at 6:30 PM, we gather at a prearranged location for a tea ceremony and a private musical concert.

We return to the hotel. Relax. 

(Meals: breakfast included)

Day 12
08
.05.2025

We wake up. Have breakfast. Pack our belongings. Check out of the hotel. Bid farewell to each other and the guides. Tearful goodbyes. We say goodbye to Indonesia and the island of Bali. The expedition is over. Transfer to the airport.

 Flight back home...

 (Meals: breakfast included)

We are unique

For many years, we have been traveling the world to our small planet's most remote and unusual places.  We do not use the services of domestic travel agencies.  The trips we invent and carry out are always unique and have their unique zest, charm, and adventurous spirit.

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WHY WITH PAGANEL?

Creation

The first thing that interests us is creativity in everything.  During the expeditions, we shoot a lot of videos, take pictures, write stories, draw pictures.  If you are interested in a creative approach to life and travel, then WELCOME... we are very happy to meet you!

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Interest

By joining our team, you join a kind of club-family, which already consists of several hundred people who are interested in discovering the world with us.

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Since most of the expenses for the organization of the trip are air tickets and travel documents for other types of transport, accommodation, excursions, services of local companies and guides, etc. are not refundable in case of your cancellation of the trip. We simply have no way to return it.

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Cherish Life! Love! Travel!

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