Papua is home to some of the world’s most amazing diving. The richest areas for diving are Raja Ampat Island and Triton Bay. Scientists have identified more than 540 species of hard coral in Raja Ampat-70% of the world’s total. There are also 699 species of mollusk, 1,200 species of reef fish, including four species newly recorded by scientists. Triton Bay, while perhaps not as diverse as Raja Ampat, still maintains one of the most diverse ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific area.
Good trekking in Papua
Papua also has many great trekking opportunities. Good climbing can be found in the high mountains of Mount Trikora (4743 m) and Cartensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya); which is the highest mountain in Papua at more than 5030m and includes a glacier.
June is the dry season in some parts of Papua, and so is a good time to visit the Merauke regency in the southern part of Papua. There, during the mating season, you can see many kinds of birds from New Guinea and Australia in the big of swamp of Kaisa Merauke. Butterflies and insects are also abundant.
Even if you have already been to Papua previously, a return visit is well worth considering as everything changes from every year to year. For example, the price of basic equipment has dramatically decreased. You may have heard about cases of social unrest; however, the reality is that demonstrations and active political debates occur peacefully and do not interrupt people’s everyday work and activities. In fact the economy is growing, which is obvious from the many new businesses that are being created.
Travel to Papua
On the other hand, be aware that the prices of airplane tickets may vary. Airplane travel is the only way to reach many areas in the Highlands. If you plan to travel by plane in Papua, make sure you purchase your tickets well before the date you want to leave. If you are already in Papua, buy a one-way ticket to get to the area you choose to visit. Don’t buy a two-way ticket as the weather is unpredictable and can quickly change so some air lines cancel their routes because of the weather. Flexibility must be built into your travel schedule.