Getting to Wamena
Flying is the only way to access the Baliem Valley through Wamena. Usually, people fly into Jayapura airport in Sentani, from where the only airline serving Wamena, Trigana Air, takes them to the Baliem Valley. The normal price is Rp 850.000 or 85 US$/person.
Jayapura is served by various carriers, by the time of writing the following four:
- Batavia Air (Jakarta, Manokwari, Makassar)
- Lion Air (Makassar, Jakarta)
- Garuda Indonesia (Biak, Denpasar, Jakarta, Makassar, Timika)
- Merpati Nusantara Airlines (Biak, Manado, Manokwari, Merauke, Tembagapura)
- Tiket2.com/ (Online booking)
Trigana then carries you to Wamena, usually (the weather permitting) they serve three to four flights to and from Wamena each day. By the time of writing it was not possible to book Trigana flights online, be prepared to buy tickets directly at the airport (and for cash).
For visiting some of the places in Papua (and especially the Baliem Valley), it is still necessary to obtain a Travel Permit (known as “Surat Keterangan Jalan”) from the local police. This is usually not difficult to get and can be arranged directly after arrival in Jayapura, Papuas capital city, but it is also possible to get it from the police in Merauka, Timika, Biak, Nabire or Manokwari.
You need to bring: 2 Photos (3×4 cm) and one copy of your Passport (including the visa). With these documents go to Jayapura police station (in main street), ask for the “travel permit-office” and explain the friendly officer (speaks English) where you want to go. If you’re not sure yet, which places you want to visit, tell all that might be on your way in Papua (including the Papuan islands, Tuk Tuk or other regions).
The Cost: It should be free. But the officer kind of expects a “donation”, 5000 Rp. perr person should be sufficient.
Make at least 5 copies of your travel permit, which you will need at police or military posts along the way.
If you like, we can make all necessary arrangements for you to get this permit, from picking you up at Jayapura/Sentani airport to provide all necessary copies. This could usually be accomplished in half a day.