27.07.21 - 12.08.21

Wamena Highland Show, Korowai & Asmat

17 days/ 16 nights   from/to Denpasar, Bali   


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.


Three highlights in one tour! Special expedition to West Papua, including a visit to the colorful Baliem Cultural Festival in the highlands of Wamena. The Highland Show in the Baliem Valley has become internationally popular in recent years and more and more visitors are coming annualy. For three days, clans from all the highland regions gather in Wamena to present their unique culture and to compete in several ancient competitive disciplines.
But before we visit the festival, we will first embark on an intensive journey to the Kuruwai and the Asmat. Until today, the Korowai live very traditionally in tree houses up to 40 meters height, hidden deep in the forest of West Papua. The Korowai are one of the most original tribes in Papua and visiting them is a very special experience. As they live deep inside the forest, daily trekking is needed. This is the physically most demanding part of our journey.
From the Korowai area it takes about one day by boat to reach Asmat. The people of Asmat are world famous for their craftsmanship and imposing men houses. We plan one big ceremony where a full village will be involved – a spectacle almost no visitor is able to see! From the Asmat, we will fly out to Wamena by charter plane.
No fan of Papuan culture should miss this tour!
Minimum 6 persons (maximum 12 persons). Level of difficulty: 3***


Arrival Bali
Arrival in Denpasar, Bali (international flights can be booked on request). Our local agent will pick you up at airport and bring you to our partner hotel Ida in Kuta. This is a classical Balinese hotel only 5 minutes from Kuta Beach. Later at night, transfer back to airport for flight to Jayapura. Departure time is around 01:50am. 

Day 2

Denpasar – Jayapura – Dekai (start Korowai)
In the morning, you arrive in Jayapura. Our local agent will welcome you and assist with the check-in for the flight to Dekai, located at the upper reaches of Brazza River (about 35 flight minutes). After arrival, you meet  with your guide, visit the local market, and do any last shopping for the tour. After lunch at a local restaurant, we drive to the harbour (about 28km/ ca. 1 hour). At the harbour our motor longboat and crew awaits us. Then, we plan to go downstream for 2 hours until we reach the village of Patipi Dibawa. Here we raise our first tent camp right down by the river. This short stage gives us an impression of what awaits us over the next few days: the purest jungle landscapes! (Any luggage which is not needed during the Korowai part, e.g. warm clothes for the highlands, can be packed separately and sent via airmail to Wamena – our local agent in Jayapura can take care of that).

Day 3

In the morning we have an early breakfast before we continue to go downstream in our longboat. Down the Brazza River, we pass amazing, untouched forest landscapes. Hornbills, flying foxes and other birds often startle when our boat appears. Around noon we will reach the mouth of the mighty Siret River. Then the journey upstream begins, which leads us in the afternoon through wildly romantic open river landscapes. The Siret is getting wilder and wilder, with pebble banks and rapids. Trees lie scattered in the water and in some places large driftwood dams block almost the entire course of the river. To get through here without any problems you need enough daylight and an experienced boatman. Around 18 o’clock local time, with break of the short twilight, we must have arrived at our goal in MABUL. Many young Kuruwai families live here, who hope that the river will improve their supply with the most necessary goods and food. Some families already have small motor canoes, with which they sometimes get downstream to the shops. We spend the night in an empty stilt house. Here we can use the cooking place and put up our tents sheltered. In the evening our guide negotiates with the locals and the porters for the next days are arranged.

Day 4

After breakfast we meet our escort. All luggage and food for the next days will be divided among the porters. Then we leave Mabul, and after only about 50 meters we are already standing in the dense forest, which we will not leave for the next days. Today we need about 5 hours to reach our destination: a grandiose jungle settlement with various tree houses, MANOPTEROPO. The traditionally dressed Kuruwai are excited about our visit and do not leave our side anymore. Tent camp at the tree houses. If you like, you can set up your tent in one of the tree houses.

Day 5

Today, we will follow several Korowai families into the sago forest. Here, we will experience a spectacle from another world. The forest nomads chop a huge sago palm with their stone axes, open the trunk, and start smashing the sago pulp. The sago pulp is further processed by women who wash it in primitive washing installments – built only from leaves, branches and Rotan. The pure sago is the staple food for all jungle dwellers. Photography enthusiasts will never forget this day! In the afternoon, we are back at the tree houses, where our cook starts preparing our next real jungle dinner: maybe we will have papaya vegetables, sago larvas, and plantains! The kitchen will surprise us every day with new exotic cuisine.

Day 6

We will visit another settlement in the Korowai forest. Maybe today the Korowai will show us how to repair a tree house in extreme heights, or how to make and use bows and arrows – the most important weapons here. Or we will join the Korowai on a journey into the forest to seek food. They are true hunters and gatherers: in a few hours their nets are filled with spiders, larvas, locusts and other exotic animals. They even shoot flying foxes from the trees. And again, we can look forward to another exotic dinner!

Day 7

Today, we say goodbye to our friendly hosts. Back in Mabul we still have time to take a look at the local craftsmanship and perhaps, to bring some of these artefacts back home with us. For example a fantastic bone knife, is a perfect souvenir for every visitor, and the truest proof that somebody has really been to the stone ages!

Day 8

In the morning, we leave Mabul and follow the river downstream. After some 2 hours we again pass the mouth of Brazza River, but this time we continue along the Siret towards Asmat. Downstream the strong current makes our journey much quicker. Shortly after we pass Brazza, we reach Binam/Suator, the first bigger settlement with a small kiosk. Here we need to fill up our petrol, and it is also time for lunch in a small warung or locally operated food stall. After lunch, we continue to Wowi, a typical Citak settlement, right across the mouth of the powerful Wildemann River. Wowi is also the home of our boatman. We will build our tents next to his house and will use his kitchen place for our dinner. A small tour through the settlement gives a very good insight into the lives of the people here.

Day 9

Today, we spend the whole day in our boat until we reach KAIMO, the first typical Asmat settlement. After lunchbreak in Kaimo we will continue further downsteam until we reach the village of YAOSOKOR. Our tents and kitchen will be set up inside the huge traditional men’s house (Jeu). Spending the night in this impressive house, with its traditional and iconic ancestor poles and fireplaces is a unique experience in and of itself.

Day 10

We continue by boat until we reach Beriten, a smaller Asmat settlement with a mighty men’s houses and a settlement known for its Asmat craftsmanship. After our arrival, the residents bring all of their art treasures to the men’s house, opening an ad-hoc bazaar. Visitors often have a good chance to find interesting objects for low prices that cannot be found in the official stores in bigger towns. After lunch in Beriten we continue to UWUS (about 2 hours) where a big ceremony is planned for the afternoon. Afterwards, we will set up our tents in the big men’s houses of the village. 

Day 11

In the morning we go through a narrow river channel, right through the mangrove forest. This is a spectacular journey, as our boat goes past the thick jungle. Around 10am we will reach Agats, the “capital city” of Asmat. Here we will stay in Hotel Anggrek, a small, clean, and quiet hotel. As all the other buildings in Agats, also Hotel Anggrek is built on wooden stilts. In the afternoon we will visit the very interesting Asmat museum, which collected a large amount of unique Asmat artifacts. The collection gives a very good overview on the different Asmat cultures and styles of craftsmanship. Agats is a town without cars and during our short tour through the center; we will be surprised how many people are nonetheless living here.

Day 12

Agats – Wamena
In the early morning we leave Agats Harbor for a quick boat ride to the airfield of Ewer. Here, our flight charter awaits us. The type of aircraft will most likely be a Cessna Caravan. Flight time to Wamena is approximately 60 minutes. The flight to the highlands is an adventure in itself. After a successful landing in Wamena there is a short stop at the local market and later on, a transfer to The Baliem Valley Resort. During the rest of the day there is no program, and there is lunch and dinner at the Resort.

Day 13

Transfer to the festival showground in Wosilimo/ Kurulu district. Big opening ceremony. 
Planned program includes (09.00 – 16.00):
1. Performance tribal war
2. Competitive games (for children, teenagers and visitors)
3. Feast with traditional cooking
4. Performance of traditional dances
5. Competition in archery
6. Competition in javelin
7. Competition in manufacturing traditional craftsmanship
8. Competition in playing the traditional mouth harp
In the afternoon back to the Resort.

Day 14

Transfer to the festival showground in Wosilimo/ Kurulu district.
Planned program includes (09.00 – 16.00):
1. Performance tribal war
2. Competitive games (for children, teenagers and visitors)
3. Feast with traditional cooking
4. Performance of traditional dances
5. Competition in archery
6. Competition in javelin
7. Competition in manufacturing traditional craftsmanship
8. Competition in playing the traditional mouth harp
In the afternoon back to the Resort.

Day 15

In the morning, transfer to airport and take a flight to Jayapura. After arrival in Jayapura, with a direct tour to Lake Sentani, lunch on the way right next to the lake. In the afternoon, check in at Hotel Horex in Sentani. Dinner.

Day 16

In the morning, transfer to Jayapura airport and flight back to Denpasar, Bali with Garuda Indonesia. Arrive in Bali in the early afternoon. Transfer to our hotel Ida. The rest of day has no program.


End of tour. We provide transfer to airport.

Price in EUR per person sharing a double room/tent

Price per Person

1/2 double room/tent
4.990 Single supplement +€ 650
  • We guide this tour
  • Flight tickets Denpasar - Jayapura - Denpasar, with Garuda Indonesia
  • Flight tickets Jayapura - Dekai / Wamena - Jayapura, with TriganaAir
  • Charter flight Agats - Wamena
  • 2x overnight Hotel Ida, Kuta, Bali
  • 3x overnight The Baliem Valley Resort
  • 1x overnight Hotel Anggrek, Agats
  • 1x overnight Hotel Horex, Sentani
  • 9x overnight in tent
  • Tour as per itinerary
  • Crew for the tour (cook, porters etc)
  • Motor long boat and crew
  • Equipment (tents, cooking, dishes) / NO sleeping bag and mat!
  • All transfers
  • All entrance fees
  • Surat Jalan travel permit
  • Meals full board
  • International flights (can be booked on request)
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat !!
  • Meals in Bali (only breakfast included)
  • Additional drinks, tips, personal expenses


Passport must be valid for at least 6 months when entering Indonesia. Most nationalities receive a visa on arrival (free of charge). Please check with your embassy if you need a special visa for Indonesia and about the procedure. For the special surat jalan travel permit each participant must bring 1x passport copy and 2x passport photos. A list of equipment will be sent with the booking confirmation.