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Even a country as full of adventure as Indonesia has its final frontier. And here it is: Papua, half of the world’s second-biggest island, New Guinea. It may be the youngest part of Indonesia, but Papua's rich tribal traditions span thousands of years. This is a place where some people still hunt their food with bows and arrows. A place where roads are so scarce, that to travel between towns you often have to take to the air or the water. So unlike any other part of Indonesia, the province formerly known as Irian Jaya can feel like a different country – which is what many Papuans, who are Melanesian and ethnically distinct from other Indonesians, would prefer it to be.

Travel here is a challenge, and it's not cheap. But those who do so are awed by the charm of Papua’s peoples, the resilience of its cultures and the grandeur of its dramatic landscapes and idyllic seascapes.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Papua.

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