Baliem Valley (Wamena) and Dani Tribe 7-Days Tour

The Baliem Valley is a lush and fertile valley, surrounded on all sides
by towering peaks of 2,500- 3,000 meters. It has been farmed for 9,000 years but wasn't discovered by Westerners until 1938. It was once dubbed "Shangri La".

There are three main tribes inhabiting the Baliem Valley area:
The Dani at the base of the mountains, the Lani to the west and the Yali in the southeast. Each tribe has a distinctly different culture. One sure way to tell them apart is the unique style of koteka, or penis gourd, that is worn by the males in each of these tribes. Each tribe cultivates a different gourd, grown and harvested by men, to produce a different style koteka. The Dani wear a long, thin Koteka, the Lani sport a medium sized, wide cannon-like gourd, and the Yali prefer the longest of them all.

Entering the Dani territory is a journey into an alternate reality. The inevitable pig-feast on arrival is an engrossing 4-5 hour rite of passage into their unique culture. The setting is a simple, traditional, tribal compound; transformed by the color and intensity of the greased and painted Dani in full ceremonial regalia.

The elaborate festival is a deeply spiritual experience to witness.
Chief Yali will warmly greet us; our adoptive father, legendary amongst the Dani for his kindness, generosity and skill at co-operation and diplomacy in the art of avoiding conflict. Meeting Chief Yali is a unique opportunity and you'll have a greater appreciation of this honor as you receive the full measure of Dani hospitality.

The traditional Dani tribal pig feast at Chief Yali's village is truly one of the highlights of the tour. The Dani people in Chief Yali's compound will stage a "mock battle", followed by ceremony at his family compound. They will have prepared a pig to be cooked in a traditional earth oven filled with stones that have been heated in an open fire. The hot stones are placed into a hole in the ground along with sweet potatoes and vegetables. More hot stones are placed on top and then the pig goes in on top of that. Finally, it's covered with grass and held in place with long rattan vines. An hour later it's opened and the feast begins.

Throughout the compound, all are dressed in traditional costume. The men wear koteka and the women dress in grass skirts. The men's faces are painted; beautiful headdresses made of exotic feathers adorn their heads. We are invited to enter the wives houses; the cooking house where each of Chief Yali's four wives have their own place for cooking. The highlight of the evening is a visit to the Honai (men's house). Chief Yali and rest of the men sing traditional songs, which are slowly translated as the narrative and the evening transpire.



Day 1
Arrive in Wamena via air transport from Jayapura, Papua.
Day tour around Wamena including a visit to the market.
Accommodations in medium priced hotel in Wamena.

Day 2
Travel in the morning by chartered car to the village of Jiwika, around 20km north of Wamena.
Traditional Dani tribal pig feast at Chief Yali's village.
Travel by chartered automobile back to Wamena and spend the night at the hotel.

Day 3
Travel by chartered automobile, south of Wamena.
Start our 4-day, 3 night trek, following a trail for the first hour
before we climb up to the last village below the pass.

Day 4
Climb for around an hour to reach the pass and the spectacular view to the
south; Baliem River Gorge. The view to the north is the town of Wamena, about 20km away.
Follow the trail as it winds down and through a small village on the way to our destination; another village several hundred feet above the Baliem River where we spend the night.

Day 5
Head for a Dani tribe thatís also several hundred feet above the river. The trek follows the contours the mountain. We will be gradually climbing but itís never very steep, as it meanders through small Dani tribal settlements and sweet potato gardens. All along the way we will have great views of the Baliem River from above. Stay overnight at the Dani tribal village.

Day 6
Trek down and cross the Baliem River on a suspension bridge and trek up the west side of the river. At times we are high above the river (150 meters) and other times we will be near the riverbank. We continue trekking through Dani tribal villages and then cross the river again on another suspension bridge. We continue onward till we come to the road where an automobile will take us back to Wamena. Accommodations at a medium priced hotel in Wamena.

Day 7
Morning flight to Jayapura and check into our hotel.
Tour of Jayapura town, which is around 40km away. Visit to the arts and crafts village of Hamadi, which has carvings and other artwork from all over Papua including masks and statues from neighboring Papua New Guinea.


Round trip airfare (Jayapura to Wamena) including all airport taxes, and all land transportation ∑
All hotels and camping fees in villages ∑
All food and beverages on the 4-day, 3 nights trek ∑
English speaking guide ∑
All ceremonial fees and travel permits ∑

Papua Adventures can help arrange the booking and payment
of domestic airline tickets to and from Jayapura, Papua.

Excess baggage fees for overweight luggage ∑
Tipping, meals and beverages in Jayapura and Wamena ∑
Alcoholic beverages ∑
Travel insurance ∑
Personal health insurance ∑
Laundry ∑
Any fees for photography outside the ceremony ∑