Jayapura city, known by locals as Kota Jayapura, serves as the gateway to Baliem Valley, a popular place for experiencing the local and unspoilt people and cultures of Papua. As the place is not that easily accessible, you may find it less teemed with tourists and a place to immerse in the unique cultures, histories and what-not.
The name Jayapura literally means City of Victory and have only been given so since 1968. In the past, it has various names, which are Hollandia, Kota Baru and Sukarnopura. Like other cities in Indonesia, it also boasts some nightlife.
Where is it
Jayapura is the capital of Papua, Indonesia and also the largest city here.
What to do
Many people fly into Jayapura as a gateway to explore the rest of Papua at famous places such as Baliem Valley or Lorentz National Park. But if you have a day to spend here, then you can check out these few things to do.
Relax at one of the beaches, either Hamadi beach or the White Sands beach.
Visit the General McArthur Memorial, up on a hill overlooking the city.
Shop and people watch at one of the local markets or local craft stores.
Where to stay
One of the most popular place to stay in Jayapura is the Swiss-Bellhotel * which is well-maintained and high standard with a good view. Else there are quite some other quality choices of accommodations. If you are on a budget, look for homestays and guesthouses.
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How to get there
Jayapura Airport – Sentani AirportThe airport here is the Sentani Airport, about 60 km from Jayapura downtown.
If coming via overland from Papua New Guinea, it only takes 3 hours drive from Vanimo. With this method, Indonesian visa, if needed, can be arranged at the consulate in Port Moresby or Vanimo. You can catch a public transport between Vanimop and the Wutung border crossing which is regular and from the Indonesian border, there are taxis into the city for about 200,000 Rp per person and it takes about 2 hours.
Airlines flying into Jayapura from various points in Indonesia are:
Batavia Air – Jakarta, Manokwari, Makassar, Merauke
Express Air – Sorong, Manokwari, Makassar, Nabire, Kaimana, Surabaya, Yogyakarta
Garuda Indonesia – Biak, Denpasar, Jakarta, Makassar, Timika
Lion Air – Jakarta, Makassar, Merauke
Merpati Nusantara Airlines – Boven Digoel, Biak, Jakarta, Manado, Manokwari, Makassar, Merauke, Nabire, Timika
Sriwijaya Air – Jakarta, Makassar
Susi Air – Borme, Mulia, Sarmi
Trigana Air Service – Oksibil, Wamena
Wings Air – Nabire, Kaimana
What to see
Sentani Lake, not far from Jayapura is the place to immerse in local traditions that are still practiced in the settlement at its shore.
Skyline Hills is a popular resort with water sports facilities and a beautiful view of Jayapura, Sentani Lake and its surrounding. as aptly named.
Where to go nearby
Fly to Wamena, Baliem Valley, the most accessible gateway to Papua as one could get but still very much remote as flying into Jayapura is the only way to get in. Here you can find the tribal people still living the way they use to for thousand of years and they have warm spirits to boot. At the same time, you can marvel at the mountain views, rivers and vast green fields.
Photo credits from top: Rachel, natangkang and Stenly Lam
Baliem Valley, Papua
Lorentz National Park
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Indonesia