The legendary Baliem Valley is the most popular and most accessible destination in Papua’s interior. The Dani people who live here were still dependent on tools of stone, bone and wood when a natural-history expedition led by American Richard Archbold chanced upon the valley in 1938. Dani life has since changed enormously with stone axes being replaced by mobile phones and age-old belief systems with Christianity, but even so the changes are often skin-deep and the valley and surrounding highlands remain one of the world’s last fascinatingly traditional areas. Visiting the Baliem Valley and trekking through high mountain scenery, past neat and orderly Dani villages, takes you to a world far removed from Jakarta and is an honour and an experience to be savoured. For most people it is the highlight of Papua.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Baliem Valley.