From the land to what is underwater, West Papua is full of hidden gems as natural wonders.
Some wonder what can be its ecotourism potential. First-time visitors may need help choosing which place to visit first.
A General Guide for First-Time Visitors to West Papua
Need help to figure out where to start? Let’s go over this general guide if you are a first-time visitor. Do proper, thorough research on transportation and accommodation in West Papua.
Check out some local and city guides to help you to go around. It is better to have a companion than to go about alone.
Next is your decision about where to go first. You may hear a lot about famous places like Raja Ampat and Sorong. However, if you wish for some hidden gems of this province’s natural wonders, there are other options you can try here:
1. Ayamaru Lake
Sometimes spelled and pronounced “Aramaju,” this hidden gem shows you a huge lake with clear water. Ayamaru Lake is located in Maybrat Regency, Ayamaru District, West Papua.
This lake is also called Framu Lake. Surrounded by cliffs and bushes, you can enjoy this natural wonder without feeling overcrowded by other people.
2. Um Island
Yes, that is the name of the island. It is just across the Malaumkarta Village in Makbon. It is just a short distance from Sorong, also in West Papua.
This is where you can see bats and seagulls since Um Island is a natural habitat for them. Besides that, enjoy the glittering sea while swimming next to a sea cow (dugong).
3. Rumberpon Island
Although it has become more popular lately, Rumberpon Island is still considered one of the hidden gems of West Papua.
It is in Wondama Cape, and it takes about five hours of boat trip from the province’s main island.
This is where you can visit the mangrove forest, go diving and snorkeling, enjoy the long sandy beach, and check out endemic faunas like Cervus timorensis or burung rusa (deer bird).
4. Pasir Putih Beach
Which Pasir Putih Beach? Aside from the one in Java, West Papua also has one. It is located in Manokwari. Just like the name, you get to enjoy the beautiful white sandy beach here.
The water is still crystal clear, as if unspoiled. To feel like Pasir Putih Beach is your private island, you can come when it is not the weekend or a public holiday.
You can walk around the beach, swim in the sea, and check out some food stalls nearby.
5. Kebar District
What is in Kebar District? It is a valley located in the northern part of Semenanjung Kepala Burung (Bird’s Head Peninsula), southwest of Papua.
This valley is split into three regions, such as East Kebar (Kebar Timur), South Kebar (Kebar Selatan), and Central Kebar (Kebar Tengah).
Here is where you can do much birdwatching while enjoying the natural wonders around you. Of course, you can also find the endemic Cervus timorensis.
6. Yenbuba Village
Pristine and peaceful are the first impressions you might get when you visit this village in Mansuar Island, Raja Ampat, West Papua. Yes, Raja Ampat itself is already worldwide famous.
However, you might need to find out what else is inside the regency. Since Yenbuba Village is close to the coast, you can enjoy the easy-breezy wind and the beautiful beach.
This village is also a favorite to devout Christians since there is a church, and it is such a peaceful place to feel much closer to God.
There are still many other hidden gems of West Papua’s natural wonders here. Check out the map and pick what interests you the most.