We never expected we would stay in West Papua for so long, but its wonderful nature and unique culture really got us. Not many people travel to West Papua and the development in the area goes slowly which makes it a place you will not find anywhere else in the world, so pristine and beautiful. There is not much information available online or in print and the flight connections are scarce. So we summarised our favourite 2 -3 weeks West Papua itinerary here. Don’t miss out any highlights and save time an resources flying efficiently.
2 Weeks West Papua Itinerary
Jakarta/Bali —> Sorong (Raja Ampat) —> Jayapura (Baliem Valley) —> Nabire (Whale Sharks) —> Biak (beaches and diving) —> Jakarta/Bali
Start out from Bali or Jakarta and fly to Papua’s most famous dive spot Raja Ampat. There is no need to stay in Sorong try to get to your resort or homestay on the day of arrival and enjoy a magical underwater world. Explore the jungle and observe the birds of paradise’s mating dance. You should at least stay 4 days there is really lots to do and see in Raja Ampat.
From Sorong you can fly to the capital of West Papua Jayapura to get your connection flight to Wamena (Baliem Valley) for an unforgettable hiking trip in the highlands. Experience the culture of the Dani tribe and they in local villages. This will take you about 4 days, but you can also spend more time walking to further villages. The longer you walk the less civilisation.
After all the hiking its time for swimming with the gents giants in Nabire. There are only a few places in the world where you can get so close to whale sharks. Don’t miss that opportunity. This will take 1-2 days depending on your arrival.
Spend the last 4 days at the pristine Padaido Atoll in Biak. Unwind and relax on untouched Pulau Wundi island. After you are rested go diving and maybe experience your first cave dive at Wundi Cave.
From Biak you can head back to Jakarta via Makassar.
You can also do this trip in reverse order. Just be careful there is no flight from Sorong to Nabire, only from Jayapura, Biak or Ambon. For info about every destination please read our other guides for Biak, Baliem Valley and Nabire. You can do all mentioned destinations in 2 weeks, but it would be better to have 3 weeks to full enjoy astonishing West Papua.
3 Weeks West Papua + Banda Islands Itinerary
Jakarta/Bali —> Ambon (detour to Banda islands) —> Nabire (Whale Sharks) —> Jayapura (Baliem Valley) —> Sorong (Raja Ampat) —> Jakarta/Bali
Ambon also offers connection flights to Nabire. So you could first go to the Banda Islands from Ambon for superb diving and wonderful beaches and then continue your journey to West Papua. Your first step would be Nabire to swim with the whale sharks. Afterwards you can fly to Jayapura your getaway to Baliem Valley. From there it is very easy to get to Sorong to explore Raja Ampat.
From Sorong there are regular flight to Jakarta and Bali via Makassar.