Lorentz National Park, Papua (Irian Jaya)

Lorentz National Park, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia. It is a protected area but open to travelers to visit. It has the tallest island peak in the world which is the Mount Carstensz Pyramid (Gunung Puncak Jaya), at 4884 metres tall on the Jayawijaya range, and it is surrounded by beautiful glaciers.

Where is it

It is located in the southwestern and central Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya) of Indonesia.

Map of Lorentz National Park, Papua (Irian Jaya) Indonesia

Map of Lorentz National Park, Papua (Irian Jaya) Indonesia

Why go

Birds of Paradise in Lorentz National Park, Papua, Indonesia

Birds of Paradise in Lorentz National Park, Papua, Indonesia

Lorentz National Park is the home to more than 630 species of birds and 123 species of mammals. 70% of bird species in Papua can be found in this park! Few of these are the famous birds of paradise, tree kangaroos and pig nose turtles. It also stands as a testimonial to earth’s history, geological transformations and features. If you are an animal and nature enthusiast, this is the place to go.

Also it has many indigenous tribes still living here including the Asmat (Nakai), Dani, Amungme (Damal), Sempan, Komoro and Nduga. These tribes go back to thousand of years in existence and still follow a semi-nomadic lifestyle with basic agriculture. They can be found in lowland rivers and swam and it would certainly be a wonder to meet them.

When is the best time to go

Best time to visit Lorentz National Park is between August to December.

What to see

Bird watching at Lake Habbema at the plateau of Habema Valley.

Visit the Asmat villages where you can meet the indigenous tribe of Agats that are famous for their wood carvings.

What to do

Climb the Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya), one of the world’s seven ultimate summits. The climb will start from the basecamp in Tembagapura Freeport. Please note that this is a highly technical and tough mountain to scale, so please do prepare yourself and get the right guide to do it.

Carstenz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) at Lorentz National Park, Papua (Irian Jaya) Indonesia

Carstenz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) at Lorentz National Park, Papua (Irian Jaya) Indonesia


Where to stay

There are several cities near Lorentz National Park that you can stay – Timika, Wamena, Fak-Fak and Merauke *.

How to get there

Flights
Best way to get to Lorentz National park is by flying into Wamena, Biak, Jayapura or Timika and then make your way to the park. Wamena is the best choice as you may get your permit to enter at the Forestry Conservation Office (or you may get it done by a local travel agent). You may fly to Wamena via Jayapura with Trigana Air.

Boat/Ship
Though not really a preferred method, you may also take the Pelni ship to Timika, Agats, Fak fak or Merauke.

Where to go nearby

Baliem Valley – Find cultures (mummy and tradings) and fashion (traditional penis gourd attire) unique to the Dani people, who are famous for their tough and warm spirit. Also marvel at the mountain views, rivers, and vast green fields.

Travel Tips

Always wait to be invited into the home of the indigenous tribes before you consider yourself welcomed as a guest.

Tribe People of Lorentz National Park, Papua (Irian Jaya) Indonesia

Tribe People of Lorentz National Park, Papua (Irian Jaya) Indonesia

Photo credits from top: Rachel, Luc Viator, Luc Viator and DMahendra

Related articles:
Diving Raja Ampat
Baliem Valley, Papua
Jayapura, Papua

Komodo National Park, Flores

Being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, Komodo National Park in Flores is one of the must visit places in Indonesia. The park is situated in the Wallacea Region and identified by WWF and Conservation International as global conservation priority area.

Where is it

Komodo National Park is in Flores, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. It is located in the center of Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Flores.

Komodo National Park Map, Indonesia

Komodo National Park Map by Burmesedays


Why go

It is the home to the Komodo Dragon, known as Ora to the Indonesians, and as a refuge for many other wild terrestrial species, with mixture of Asiatic and Australian origins. It is also rich marine life, consisting of over 1000 species ranging from reptiles like sea turtles to mammals like dolphins and whales, and also 250 species of reef coral. There are even chance of sighting flying foxes (fruit bats) at night across star-filled night sky.

Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Komodo National Park. Photo by leafbug

When is the best time to go

It is tropical all year round thus always good to visit but it has more rain at the end of the year and could be really hot during August/September.

What to see

Komodo Dragon Indonesia

Komodo Dragon. Photo by Millzero

The Komodo Dragon of course, touted as the living fossil. Walk around them upclose and personal but be forewarn and beware as there are reports that they can be dangerous if agitated.

There is also other varieties of wildlife like the Timor deer, wild horses, wild boar, buffalo, long-tailed macaques, palm civets, fruit bats and Rinca rat.

What to do

Dive to immerse in the rich marine life and coral reefs. It could be strong currents but the viewing is still amazing. Diving here brings high chance of rare marine life and coral reefs.

-> Check out Komodo liveaboard diving trips *

Snorkel at the Pink beach, where you can have a chance to swim with sea turtles, manta rays and rock-hole island among incredible arrays of corals and fishes.

Camping and kayak – if you got enough of watching Komodo dragons or wildlife, fret not as you can do more outdoor activities like camping and kayaking. With kayak, you can even explore more places that are too narrow for the boats to get to, which undisturbed, are naturally rich with reefs and fishes.

Komodo National Park, Indonesia - Eagle Sea

Eagle at the Sea, Komodo Island. Photo by leafbug

What and where to eat

Most people come here for the activities and not really the food as it is limited in choices but there are some budget eateries nearby the park headquarters in Pulau Rinca.

Where to stay

You can find guesthouses within the park itself or you may choose to stay in Loh Liang (Komodo Island) or Loh Buaya (Rinca island). Else better budget and choices would be in Labuanbajo where you can take a trip to the park in the day. You may also choose to stay in the motorboat that takes you to the island as they do come with cabins and rooms. Many tourists had good reviews on Komodo Resort * just next to the Komodo National Park.

-> Find the best hotel deals near Komodo National Park*

Komodo Dragon walking

Komodo Dragon walking. Photo by Richard Liblanc

How to get there

By sea – there is a ferry/boat service from Sape in Sumbawa or Labuanbajo in Flores, twice a every week.

By air – the best way is to fly to Labuanbajo from Denpasar, Bali without the need to transit on another flight or boat. Sky Aviation serves regular flights on this route.

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdia

How to get around

The park is not that huge so most places can be cover on foot. Else you may charter private boats around as there are no public or regular boats.

Safety

Komodo Dragon Defense Stick

Komodo Dragon Defense Stick. Photo by david.james.harris

Stay safe as the Komodo dragon do have histories of attacking human. So beware and do not get too close, and always stay close to your guide and listen to warnings. While out trekking to find them, a pole is very useful not only as a support but also in need as a weapon for defense. Komodo Dragon’s bite is suspected to be venomous and can cause massive blood loss, therefore, it is wise to stay alerted and safe.

Recommended tours *:
Komodo Liveaboard diving

Related articles:
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Sumatran Orangutan Trekking at Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, on the eastern side of Gunung Leuser National Park which is one of the three National Parks in the UNESCO listing for Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. With its name literally means “door to the hills”, Bukit Lawang is an Orangutan sanctuary, therefore, many people come for trekking in hope to have sightings of the rare Sumatran Orangutans.

Where is it

Bukit Lawang, Indonesia Sumatra Map

Indonesia Sumatra Map

Bukit Lawang is at 90km northwest from Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra and at the eastern side of Gunung Leuser National Park.

Why go

It is one of the last few places on Earth to see the Orangutans live in the wild, enough said

Mother and Baby Orangutan @ Bukit Lawang

Mother and Baby Orangutan. Photo by Arian Zweger

When is the best time to go

Most times in the year would be a decent for a visit to Bukit Lawang. You may want to take note of rainy seasons at the end of the year but the rain is mainly only in the evening or at night, so do not worry about it impeding your trip.

You may want to check out local Indonesian public holidays, which means that many local tourists will crowd the village, especially on weekends.

What to see


Orangutan drinking from a cup @ Bukit Lawang

Orangutan drinking from a cup. Photo by NYC-MetroCard

Orangutan Viewing Platform where there are twice a day feeding (8 am and 3pm), therefore you will be able to see the Orangutans for sure. Attending the feeding would cost 20,000 Rp though and there is a surcharge for camera at 50,000 Rp. This is usually a good opportunity to learn more about the Orangutans as the national park staff are well qualified and also to take great pictures as the Orangutans normally hang around while munching away the bananas.

What to do

Jungle Trekking
Bukit Lawang is one of the best place for jungle trekking as not only you get to bask in the natural jungle that are full of wild flora and fauna that will wow nature enthusiasts. You may have a chance to sight the Orangutans in their natural habitat, though not guaranteed, but possible if you follow your guides’ advises. There is also a nice waterfall on the way to relax and swim. During the trek your guides will also provide you with nice Indonesian food and fruits!

It is not permitted to go into the jungle without a guide but don’t worry as there are many good reliable guides around. Just make sure to ask questions and choose properly to get a quality guide. It would be wise also to check with your guesthouse for recommendations. The price for a jungle trek is 32 USD per day; 80 USD for a 2 days trek with extra of rafting and 3 days trek with rafting can go up is 110 USD. If going for multi-day treks, please make sure you are in a fit condition.

Community note: Please try to make sure your guides do not feed the Orangutans or other wildlife with common food as it may make them sick and in some cases die. Also please try not to get too close to the Orangutans as this would increase the risk of passing viral infections and diseases to them, which will endanger their chance of survival. Do your bit to protect the Orangutans and other wildlife!

Tubing @ Bukit Lawang

Tubing at Bukit Lawang. Photo by NYC-MetroCard

Tubing
If you have extra time to spend, one quite popular past time is tubing, where one uses an inner-tube to float down the river. Be careful as sometimes the water currents can be strong.

Other activities
You can also visit the bat cave for 5,000 Rp or kayak or just take a walk around the rice fields and rubber plantations, or visit some local projects or shop around the local market.

What and where to eat

Try the local Indonesian food which normally would not disappoint. There are a few restaurants or cafes around that serve good home cook style of Indonesian food. If you want a variety from local food, there are choices of pizza or even vegetarians.

Orangutan Sleeping, Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Orangutan sleeping. Photo by idirectori

Where to stay

There are guest houses dotted along the river in Bukit Lawang that are affordable and reasonably priced, therefore choices are aplenty. Availability of accommodations here is easy to arrange except during the busy tourist season which is June – August.

-> Find the best hotel deals in Bukit Lawang at Booking.com. Free cancellation *

How to get there

Fly in to the nearest city Medan and then from there you can either take a taxi or rent a car/van to get to Bukit Lawang from the airport / hotel.

How to get around

Being a small village, you can cover all around on foot from one side to the other in just 25 minutes. There are three bridges across the river for easy access.

Orangutan @ Bukit Lawang

Orangutan at Bukit Lawang. Photo by Stefanie Weijster

Where to go nearby

On the way back to Medan, stop by the famous Lake Toba for a good chill and relax by the largest volcanic lake.

Also on the way, you can visit Berastagi which famous for locals for weekend getaways. You can hike out to the two nearby volcanoes, Sinabung and Sibayak.

For these, you can check with your transports services back to Medan for a stopover or side trip.

Tips

For solo female travelers, you may try to arrange with your guesthouse to join a group of other travelers for your safety.

Bring mosquito repellants and general sanitary needs as although available for sale here, it lacks in choices.

Related Articles
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UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia

Indonesia has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for both cultural and natural, ranging from temples and early settlements to National Parks and rainforests.

Some of the Indonesia’s world heritage sites are under threat of losing its characteristics and properties inscribed by UNESCO.

Map of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia Map

Map of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia

Borobudur Temple Compounds

Borobudur Temple, Java Indonesia

Borobudur Temple, Java

This 9th century temple is one of the largest Buddhist temple in the world and is unique in structure and carvings in compared to other Buddhist temples in Asia. Thousands of Buddhists does their pilgrimage here in Borobudur during Waisak day. One of the most popular place to stay in Borobudur is the Manohara Hotel *, that connects directly to the temple gorund and offers a good sunrise trip as well.

-> Find places to stay in Borobudur at Booking.com *

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park, a volcanic island, is inhabited by around 5700 Komodo Dragons (giant lizards) which exist nowhere else in the world! It is a famous site for scientists to study the theory of evolution.

Besides this important attraction, the islands also have white sandy beaches, various wildlife and rich in marine life and reef corals in clear blue sea.

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdia

Prambanan Temple Compounds

Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta, Java

Candi Prambanan is a well known ancient Hindu Temple that stood majestically nearby Yogyakarta in Java. You will sure to find yourself standing in awe as you were greeted by the looming Prambanan temple that looks somewhat foreboding yet mesmerizing. It is one of the largest Hindu temple architecture in Southeast Asia.

-> Find places to stay near Prambanan at Booking.com *

Ujung Kulon National Park

This national park is located at the extreme south-western tip of Java. It is part of the Sunda, including Ujung Kulon and its islands and the natural reserve of Krakatoa. This location exudes natural beauty and its inland volcanoes are the fascination to many experts. One can find species of endangered plants and animals here, for example the Javan rhinoceroes.

Trees at Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia

Trees at Ujung Kulon National Park, Java. Photo by ovancantfort

Sangiran Early Man Site

This is the excavation site of the first hominid fossil discovery and also other 50 fossils of Homo Erectus, which are half of the world’s known. Sangiran has been inhabited for more than one and a half million years and the site is the key to understanding human evolution. The site is located in the Central Java, 15 kilometers north of Surakata in the Solo River Valley.

Replica fossil from Sangiran, Java, Indonesia

Replica fossil from Sangiran, Java. Photo by Gerbil, via Wikimedia Commons

Lorentz National Park

Lorentz National Park is a protected area but open to travelers to visit.

It has the tallest island peak in the world which is the Mount Carstensz Pyramid (Gunung Puncak Jaya), at 4884 metres tall on the Jayawijaya range, and it is surrounded by beautiful glaciers.

Lorentz National Park is the home to more than 630 species of birds and 123 species of mammals. 70% of bird species in Papua can be found in this park!

Also, it has many indigenous tribes still living here that go back to thousand of years in existence.

Birds of Paradise in Lorentz National Park, Papua, Indonesia

Birds of Paradise in Lorentz National Park, Papua. Photo by Luc Viator

Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Comprise of three national parks – Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Sebat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.

Bukit Lawang in Gunung Leuser National Park is famous for its Sumatran Orangutan and many go for Orangutan trekking in chance to view the Orangutan in natural habitat or visit the Orangutan Viewing Platform during feeding.

-> Find the best hotel deals in Sumatra at Booking.com *

Mother and Baby Orangutan @ Bukit Lawang

Mother and Baby Orangutan. Photo by Arian Zweger

Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy

The cultural landscape of Bali consists of the five terraces and the water temples. The temples are a wonder itself with a complete water management system since the 9th century. One of these temples is the Pura Taman Ayun temple, one of the top 10 temples to visit in Bali. The subak is a philosophical concept of Tri Hita Kirana, bringing together realm of spirit with the human world and nature. The subak system has proven to be successful for the farming society.