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Wamena

Wamena

People heading to Wamena are here for one thing only and that is trekking in the Baliem Valley.

The only real way you will arrive is by flight landing at the very basic airport. Merpati is the best option to take you to Wamena. The town itself is rather drab however there is a great insight into the missionaries that once lived here. The streets are quite wide and on either side you will see the houses that the missionaries once occupied.

Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by a police officer, who will ask for your Surat Jalan and then proceed to stamp it. If there is no police officer waiting at the airport, make sure you head to the town's police station to present your Travel Permit.

The town is a refreshing change from the coastal areas of Papua and can get quite cold at night so make sure you have a little warm clothing packed away.

 

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If you find yourself waiting a few days for your trek into the Baliem Valley to begin, there are a few villages scattered on the outskirts of Wamena that are well worthy of a visit. One particular village you should check out is Jiwika. Jiwika will give you an insight into Papuan life and their daily customs and culture.

Wesaput is a village just after the airport and it makes for a nice, short excursion. Some of the villagers here continue to wear traditional dress of grass skirts and the like. Be aware that if you do take photos the villagers will all ask you for money. Usually Rp 1,000 is an acceptable amount to offer in exchange for some great photos.

 

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Organising your trek is relatively easy from Wamena. You will surely be offered the services of many guides at the airport but a much surer way to find a guide is at the police station where they have a list of all registered guides available to take you in the Baliem Valley.

There is a scattering of accommodation in Wamena. Your best option is to walk around the town trying to find a place that is suitable for you. As the climate can get cold at night make sure you ask for blankets and in some places hot water.