Often referred to as the Grand Valley, the Baliem Valley is situated in western Papua and is full of pretty villages to explore.

Although quiet on first glance, the Baliem Valley is simply teeming with life. Stretching for 80kms from top to bottom and 20kms across, the Baliem Valley was mostly unknown by the Western world until 1938, when Richard Archbold conducted a zoological expedition here.

This is the perfect place for trekking, and much of the valley is at a high altitude, offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Trekkers can embark on a tour of the valley that lasts for several days, following the course of the flowing river and spending the night in the tiny Dani villages that they come across.

The Dani people have followed their own intricate traditions and practices for several centuries. Spending some time with them can be an enchanting and education experience that can be found in few other parts of the modern world.

Visitors to the Baliem Valley should make sure they take plenty of provisions with them as there are few grocery stores here. However, most villages have a market place to buy basic goods such as fruit and vegetables.

Getting there

There are a number of airports in the Baliem Valley. Most people tend to fly into the airport at Wamena, which connects with Jayapura Airport (40 minutes). Jayapura has connections with Bali’s international airport at Denpasar. From Wamena, it is possible to take buses to most of the major towns and villages in the Baliem Valley.

In brief

What is it? One of the most beautiful regions in Papua. 

When to go? During the dry season from May to October.

Nearest town**: Wamena, a 30-minute bus ride away from many towns and villages in the area.

Don’t miss: stay in a Dani village to experience a unique way of life.
Factoid: the Baliem Valley is home to the people of the Dani tribe.