By attending the massive Baliem Valley Festival, visitors will have a rare chance to learn and experience firsthand the different traditions of each tribe participating in the Festival without having to make the difficult trek to their compounds deep in the hinterland of West Papua. During the festival, have your camera ready. Very often you will come across unique moments that you never want to miss.
A number among the more than a thousand war participants, do want to keep abreast with the outside world, so they adorn themselves with local regalia, while sporting flashy sunglasses: a personal ad of a trendy look meeting age-old tradition. Ask them politely to pose for you. It’s an unusual anachronism not to be missed. All you need to do during the festival is just observe and enjoy the mock war. The longer it gets, the nearer the spears and arrows get to hit the opponents. The closer the miss, the louder the roar from the hundreds of spectators. They have participated in these battles every year so that participants do get better each year.
After the Festival, visitors can go sightseeing to the Dani Market in Wamena, and visit the traditional Wauma Village that can be reached by car from Wamena. In Aikima see a 250 year-old mummified village chief, or, after a 2-hour climb, see the salt springs, where Dani women have, for centuries, made salt in a simple manner.
For your own safety, when intending to trek alone into the interior, you are advised to first report your itinerary to the Police upon arrival at the airport. A number of travel agencies regularly organize tours to the Baliem valley.
Take a flight from Jakarta, Makassar or Bali to Jayapura, capital of the province of Papua, then, a connecting flight to Wamena will take you to the heart of Baliem Valley within the very same day.