Danau Habbema

Baliem Valley

This lovely lake, 30km west of Wamena as the crow flies, sits amid alpine grasslands at 3400m altitude, with dramatic, snow-capped mountains in view (4750m Gunung Trikora rises to the south). The fascinating ecosystem and its flora are draws for nature lovers. The ideal way to visit Habbema is to drive there and trek back through rainforest and villages (three to four days). To do this you will need a guide; find one in Wamena.

The usual route starting from the lake is via Yobogima (a forest clearing) and then through a spectacular gorge to Daela village and on to Pilia and Ibele.

It’s also possible to visit Habbema as a day trip from Wamena – the drive is around two hours each way. The road is paved for about half the way, and passes through a military checkpoint at Napua, 7km from Wamena. You can get a 4WD taxi in Wamena for around 2,000,000Rp round trip.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Baliem Valley attractions

1. Alongga Huby Mummy

15.09 MILES

The 280-year-old Alongga Huby mummy can be viewed in Araboda; viewings cost around 80,000Rp (plus another 50,000Rp to the holder).

2. Pyramid

17.41 MILES

Pyramid is a graceful mission village named after the shape of a nearby hill.

3. Gua Wikuda

19.98 MILES

In Wosilimo, a 45-minute drive northwest from Wamena, Gua Wikuda is said to be several kilometres long, with an underground river that reaches Danau…

4. Gua Kotilola

20.7 MILES

The road north from Jiwika is flanked by rocky hills with several caves. Gua Kotilola is a sizeable cavern up a short, pretty path behind a Dani compound,…

5. Werapak Elosak Mummy

20.78 MILES

About 8km from Wamena, nondescript Aikima is famous for its Werapak Elosak mummy, the (supposedly) 300-year-old corpse of a great chief, which was…

6. Wimontok Mabel Mummy

22.29 MILES

The celebrated mummy is kept at the tiny settlement of Sumpaima, 300m north of Jiwika along the main road from the main village entrance (look for the…

7. Air Garam

22.8 MILES

At Iluwe, 1½ hours up a steep path from Jiwika, is Air Garam, a group of saltwater wells. Villagers soak sections of banana trunk in the water, then dry…