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
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
There are several cities near Lorentz National Park that you can stay – Timika, Wamena, Fak-Fak and Merauke *.
How to get there
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Pink Beach – Besides the Komodo dragons, little is known that there is a secret beach here which is known as the pink beach (known as the Red Beach by the locals).It was named as such because the sands are pink in color, mainly composed of corals, broken shells and calcium carbonate from the marine life that lends to its color. It is said that there are only 7 beaches in the world that have pink sand. Coupled with its unspoiled nature and the ethereal pink sands, this pink beach is indeed an experience to be had. Being sort of a secret and of the unbeaten track, you will find the beach uncrowded and that you can swim and sunbath in peaceful bliss.
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 in Komodo National Park brings high chance of rare marine life and coral reefs.
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.
Trekking – you can also trek around the islands discovering wonderful views of the sea and nearby islands
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Bukit Lawang is one of the best place for jungle trekking as not only you get to bask in the natural jungle that is 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!
There are guest houses dotted along the river in Bukit Lawang that are affordable and reasonably priced, therefore choices are aplenty. Availability of accommodations in Bukit Lawang * here is easy to arrange except during the busy tourist season which is June – August.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.