Korowai intensive Trek

Crossing the Korowai sector and visiting the Baliem Valley

15 days/14 nights ● from/to Jayapura, Papua ● 9 nights in tent ● min 4 pax/max 10 pax ● Level of difficulty: 4****

During this 15 days/14 nights group tour from/to Jayapura, you meet the Korowai tree house nomads. Still to this day, the Korowai live far away from civilization, deep in the forest of the Papua lowlands. During our tour, we cross the Korowai sector, from Mabul in the West to Yanirumah in the East. We spend many days in the forest, around the Avium river. The deeper we walk into the forest, the wilder it gets. We visit several Korowai settlements, and we spend more time inside the sector than most visitors typically do. We leave the sector from Yanirumah with a charter flight to Wamena in the Baliem Valley. Here, we spend some days in the area of the Dani and Lani tribe. As this is a real jungle trekking tour, a certain level of fitness is required to participate.

Price per person
from/to Jayapura, Papua

USD 4.990 Price in EUR / IDR on request
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Day 1: Arrival Jayapura
Arrival in Papua and last preparations

Upon arrival in Jayapura, you will be greeted by our staff member Siprianus and transferred to the Hotel Horex. Here you will be welcomed by Marc and later have lunch together. Rest of the day at leisure. Later dinner together.

Airport transfer: 10 minutes. Guide included. Accommodation: Hotel Horex. Meals: full board.  

Day 2: Jayapura – Dekai
Start of the journey to the Korowai sector

We are transferred to Jayapura airport for our flight to Dekai. We visit the local market and do the last shopping for the tour. After lunch in a local restaurant, we drive to the port of Dekai where our motor longboat and crew are waiting for us. We drive downstream until we reach the village of Patipi Dibawa. Here we set up our first camp on the riverbank. This short stage gives us an idea of what to expect in the next days: Pure jungle landscapes!

Transportation: Flight from Jayapura to Dekai: 45 minutes. 1 hour of drive, 2 hours by boat. Guide and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

Can you spot him?
Korowai woman squatting presenting sago grub
A Korowai presenting a sago grub

Day 3: Dekai – Mabul
Arrival in Mabul and preparation of the trekking

After breakfast, we continue downriver in our longboat. We pass lush forests and every now and then hornbills, flying foxes and other birds appear at the sound of the passing boat. Around noon, we reach the mouth of the mighty Siret River. After the lunch break, we go up the Siret River until we reach the Korowai settlement of Mabul. Under the best conditions, we reach Mabul in the early afternoon. Mabul is a small settlement established by the Indonesian government for the Korowai in the hope that they leave the forest and give up their nomadic life. We use this settlement as a starting point for our trekking expedition into the Korowai corridor. With a bit of luck, we can pitch our tents and kitchen in an empty stilt house. Later, we start recruiting our porters for the next days.

Transportation: 6-8 hours by boat. Guide and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

A Korowai man standing in front of tree house
Korowai tree houses are up to 40 metres high

Day 4: Mabul – Korowai settlement
Start of the trek, visit of the first Korowai settlement

After breakfast, we meet our team of porters who accompany us for the next days. We leave Mabul heading East. Within only 50 meters, we are standing in a dense forest which we will not leave for the next days. Today we need about 4 hours to reach our first destination: a fantastic jungle settlement with several tree houses. The Korowai are very loving people and they welcome us immediately. We set up our camp amidst the tree houses – or maybe even inside a tree house.

4-5 hours of trekking. Guide, porters and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

Day 5: Korowai settlement
Full day with the Korowai tribe and demonstration of sago processing

Today we follow the Korowai into the sago forest. Here we experience a spectacle from another world. The forest nomads cut down a huge sago palm with their stone axes, open the trunk and start to smash the sago. The sago pulp is processed by women who wash it in primitive “washing machines” – built only from leaves, twigs and rotan. Photo lovers will never forget this day! In the afternoon, we are back to the tree houses where our cook starts preparing our next real jungle dinner. Besides the fresh sago we probably enjoy papaya, vegetables, sago larvae and plantains!

1-2 hours of easy hiking. Guide, porters and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

people in boat on river with forest background
On the Siret river
River crossing during trekking

Day 6 to
Day 9: Crossing the sector

Trekking deeper into the sector, visiting several Korowai settlements

We leave our first Korowai settlement and start our trekking expedition towards the river Avium. The deeper you go into the Korowai sector, the wilder it gets. During the two next days, we hike for an average of 4 to 6 hours per day. In the afternoon we always set up our tent camps in a small tree house settlement. After two days, we should reach the region of the river Avium where many Korowai live. When we are not on the move, we spend our time with the Korowai. They often repair their tree houses at extreme heights. They still make and use bows and arrows – the most important weapons here. Maybe we accompany them on a trip into the forest to look for food. They are true hunters and gatherers: in a few hours their webs are filled with spiders, larvae, grasshoppers and other exotic animals. They even shoot flying foxes from the trees.

Daily trekking of 4-6 hours. Guide, porters and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

Day 10: Korowai settlements – Yanirumah village
Arrival in Yanirumah

After five days in the forest, we finally reach the village of Yanirumah. This former mission outpost was the first modern settlement in the Korowai area. Nowadays, it is a sleepy village with a small airfield. We arrive at noon and ask the villagers for a vacant house where we can set up our camp. Then we take a well-deserved bath in the river!

4-6 hours of trekking. Guide, porters and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

Collecting sago grubs
Following a group of Korowai

Day 11: Yanirumah village – Baliem Valley
Charter flight to the Baliem Valley and visit of the local market of Wamena

In the morning we head to the airstrip and wait for the charter plane. Here we say goodbye to our porters. While we fly to Wamena, they go on foot back to Mabul. If the weather is good, our plane should arrive around 10 am at the latest. The aircraft type is usually a Pilatus Porter with 8 seats. The flight over the mountains into the Baliem valley is certainly another highlight! After arrival in Wamena, we are picked up by our driver and brought to The Baliem Valley Resort. On the way there, we stop at the big market of Wamena. Here Dani people from the area offer their agricultural products. Besides the very popular sweet potato, many other vegetables and fruits are offered. It is also the biggest trading place for the very sought-after wild boars. As soon as we arrive at the Resort we have lunch or an afternoon coffee, and then the first real shower since the beginning of the trip in Papua!

Transportation: Flight time to Wamena: 45 minutes. 45 minutes of drive. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

Day 12: Baliem Valley
Easy hiking in the southern Baliem Valley and encounter with the Dani people

Today we visit the southern Baliem Valley. We start our easy hike in the village of Sogogmo and we follow the mighty Baliem River. We cross suspension bridges, walk through Dani settlements, meet them and see them working in their terraced fields and wild sugar cane groves. For lunch, we enjoy a picnic with a magnificent view over the river and the narrow valley. We walk back on the other side of the river, passing more Dani fields and settlements, before we meet our driver again. In the late afternoon we are back at the Resort.

Transportation: 2 hours of drive. 4 hours walking. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

Day 13: Baliem Valley
Traditional pig festival, an unforgettable experience

Today is a very special day! After breakfast, we get ready to participate in a pig feast which takes place in a traditional Dani village. Many decorated people from the Dani tribe take part in the festival. Such pig feasts with hot stones and earth pits are probably the most interesting part of a trip to New Guinea. It is difficult to describe what exactly is so unique about these festivals because there is just too much happening at once. You have to see and experience it yourself.  For lunch, there is a picnic but you can also eat the food from the traditional earth pit if you like. The freshly cooked pork and sweet potatoes are delicious! In the late afternoon, we return to the Resort.

The pig festival takes place in changing villages. Precise information on travel times cannot be provided. 1 hour walking. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

decorated dani man starting a fire
A Dani from the Baliem Valley starting a fire
women hands reaching over cooking pit
Dani women prepare the cooking pit

Day 14: Baliem Valley – Jayapura
Last day in the Baliem Valley and transfer to Jayapura

After breakfast, we are transferred to Wamena airport for our flight back to Jayapura. Once at Jayapura airport, we first check-in at the hotel and then drive to the nearby Sentani Lake. After lunch in a restaurant on the lake shore, we start our boat tour to visit the famous artist villages of Asei and Ayapo. They are known for their traditional paintings called Maro – simple animal depictions on pressed tree bark in red, white and black. Originally worn as skirts, today they are mostly used as wall decoration. Later return to the hotel and dinner.

Transportation: 2 hours of drive. Flight time to Jayapura: 30 minutes. Accommodation: Horex Hotel. Meals: full board.

Day 15: Jayapura – Jayapura airport
Last day in Papua

You enjoy your breakfast at the hotel before your transfer to Jayapura airport. Siprianus accompanies you to ensure a smooth check-in and a pleasant onward journey. 

Transportation: 20 minutes of drive. English speaking guide included. Meals: breakfast.


Korowai Intensive Trek ● 15 days/14 nights ● Group Tour
Price per person from/to Jayapura, Papua
USD 4.990 Price in EUR / IDR on request
  • Next dates coming soon

Travelling to remote areas of Papua is difficult, the conditions are harsh, there is no comfort at all. If you can handle such conditions, you will enjoy this trip. If you have any doubts, ask us before you book it. We are happy to help!

For payment we accept USD, EUR, and IDR. Please let us know your preferred currency. We ask for a deposit of 15% of the tour price at the time of booking. The balance is due no later than 4 weeks before the start of the tour. Prices are subject to change. The final price will be quoted upon confirmation of the tour. Foreigners need a travel permit for Papua (“surat jalan”). We will take care of this permit before your arrival. For the permit we need a copy of your passports and passport photos. A list of equipment will be sent with the booking confirmation.

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