Korowai Trekking & Baliem Valley

Meet the Korowai tree house nomads

12 days/11 nights ● from/to Jayapura, Papua ● Private Tour ● 7 nights in tent ● 3 nights in The Baliem Valley Resort ● Level of difficulty: 3***

During this 12 days/11 nights private tour from/to Jayapura, you visit the Baliem Valley and later on you go on a mind-blowing journey to the Korowai tree house nomads. We start our trip in Papua with an easy hike to meet the Danis in their villages and fields. Of course, we also experience a traditional pig festival, one of the absolute highlights of any Papua trip. After our exciting days in the Baliem Valley, the real adventure begins. We take a flight to the lowlands, from where we travel, first by boat and later on foot, to the land of the Korowai.  On our 8 days/ 7 nights jungle trip into the Korowai territory, we meet authentic tribesmen who live in tree houses and still hunt with bows and arrows. You are never going to forget this unique adventure.

Price per person
from/to Jayapura, Papua

for minimum 2 guests
EUR 4.290
  • PRIVATE TOUR

Day 1: Jayapura – Baliem Valley
Arrival in Jayapura, flight to Wamena, and transfer to The Baliem Valley Resort

When arriving at Jayapura airport, our manager Siprianus is here to welcome you and assist with the check-in for your direct onward flight to Wamena. At Wamena airport, you meet your local guide and your driver. On the way to The Baliem Valley Resort, we visit the market of Wamena. Here local Danis offer their agricultural products. Besides the very popular sweet potato, many other vegetables and fruits are offered. The market of Wamena is also the biggest trading place for the very sought-after wild boars. Once at The Baliem Valley Resort, you settle in your bungalow and, depending on the time of day, you can enjoy lunch or an afternoon coffee. Later, dinner is served in the restaurant.

Transportation: Flight time to Wamena: 30 minutes. 45 minutes of drive. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

Day 2: 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 the locals 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 hiking. Guide included. Accommodation: The Baliem Valley Resort. Meals: full board.

Dani warrior presenting bow and arrow
women hands reaching over cooking pit
Dani women prepare the cooking pit

Day 3: 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.

Day 4: Wamena – Dekai
Flight to the lowlands and start of the boat trip towards the Korowai area.

In the morning, we drive to Wamena airport for our flight to Dekai which is located on the upper reaches of the Brazza River. After arrival, 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 go downriver 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 Wamena to Dekai: 30 minutes. 1 hour of drive, 2 hours by boat. Guide and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

Porters entering a Korowai settlement

Day 5: 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. On our way the Siret changes its face. The current gets stronger, sandbanks appear, big tree trunks often block parts of the way, and less and less local boats can be seen. 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.

Day 6: 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.

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

Day 7: 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.

Day 8: Korowai settlements
Trekking to another Korowai settlement

We leave our first Korowai camp and go back into the forest. Today we want to trek to another Korowai village and spend the night there. The trekking through the untouched tropical forest is unique and sometimes challenging. It may be necessary to cross small rivers or swamps. We expect to arrive at the Korowai village in the early afternoon. After setting up our tents and kitchen, we spend the rest of the day with the local Korowai. They often repair their tree houses at extreme heights. They still make and use bows and arrows – the most important weapons here. Or maybe we accompany 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, larvae, grasshoppers and other exotic animals. They even shoot flying foxes from the trees.

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

Korowai tree houses can reach up to 40 metres in height
River crossing during trekking

Day 9: Korowai settlement – Mabul
Another day in another world

This is our last day with the Korowai and in this wonderful forest. We thank our hosts and hike back to Mabul. Today’s forest walk takes about 4 hours. Arriving in Mabul, we have time for an extensive bath in the river. We set up our camp for the night again or – depending on the weather – we get back into the boat and cover the first part of the return journey. In both cases, we have another night in tents and dinner from the campfire.

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

Day 10: Mabul – Patipi Dibawa
Return by boat

In the morning we leave our camp and follow the river downstream. After about 2 hours, we pass again the mouth of the Brazza River and continue our way back to Patipi Dibawa. In the late afternoon we set up camp in the small village on the upper reaches of the Brazza River.

Full day by boat. Guide and cook included. Accommodation: tent. Meals: full board.

Day 11: Patipi Dibawa – Jayapura
Back to Jayapura

Today we leave very early in the direction of the port of Dekai. After a 2-hour drive, we reach our destination and say goodbye to our boat crew. By car we drive directly to the airport of Dekai. Around noon, we fly back to the capital Jayapura. Once at Jayapura airport, we first check-in at the hotel and then drive to the nearby Sentani Lake. After lunch at a lakeside restaurant, we depart on our boat tour to visit the artist villages of Asei and Ayapo. They are known for their traditional paintings called Maro – simple depictions of animals on pressed tree bark in red, white and black. Originally worn as skirts, they are now mostly used as wall decorations. In the afternoon, check in to your hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

Transportation: Flight from Dekai to Jayapura: 45 minutes. 2 hours by boat, 1,5 hours of drive. Guide included. Accommodation: Horex hotel. Meals: full board.

Day 12: 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.

20 minutes of drive. Guide included. Meals: breakfast. 

PRICE & CONDITIONS

Korowai Trekking and Baliem Valley ● 12 days/11 nights ● Private Tour
Price per person from/to Jayapura, Papua
for minimum 2 guests
EUR 4.290
  • Single supplement +EUR 300
for 3-6 guests
EUR 3.750
  • Single supplement +EUR 300
for 1 single guest
on request
  •  
INCLUDES
DOES NOT INCLUDE

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!

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. 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.

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