Touring in any of Indonesia's 33 National Parks
Indonesia offers some very spectacular parks with every imaginable type of beast and foliage.
The parks are not developed and access is often difficult and restricted to walking or sometimes using boats. Local guides are essential. We have the infrastructure set up to enable you to acces the parks withou too much trouble. Contact us for advice and specialist guides who can arrange your trip.
We acknowledge our source for much of this material. It is the best book available on the subject and has much valuable information. We recommend that you buy this book if you are intending to visit the National Parks.
The National Parks and other Wild Places of Indonesia Text by Janet Cochrane, Photographs by Gerald Cubitt. Published by New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 2000
Name: Leuser Ecosystem
Location: North Sumatra
Area: 20.000 square kilometers
Closest city: Medan
When to go: Any time. Bukit Lawang is crowed at weekends and public holidays. Best to stay at least a week to visit a couple of the more accessible areas.
Access: By plane to Medan or Banda Aceh and then by private vehicle or bus. Main points of access and place to stay: Bukit Lawang, Brastagi, Gurah, Takengon, Keudah, Tapaktuan.
Permits: From Local national park offices. Bring passport photocoppies .
Visitor activities: Forest trekking at Gurah, Keudah, Menggamat, Sikundur and Tangkahan, from half a day to several days; best organized places are Gurah, Keudah, Tangkahan. Rafting on Alas and Wampu rivers. Lake-touring at Danau Laut Tawar (Takengong). Elephant-trekking at Brastagi.
Animals, Sumatran elephant, Sumatran rhinocerous many primates including orang-utan includes Bukit Lawang Orang-utan centre
ArchipelaGo visits Gunung Leuser
Name: Pulau Banyak Nature Reserve
Location: North Sumatra
Area: 2,120 square kilometers/99 islands
Closest city: Medan/Banda Aceh
When to go: Any time, though winds occasionally stop boats operating in June-December. Stays of 3-4 days recommended.
Access: Plane to Medan or Banda Aceh, then 10-12 hours overland to Singkil where there are three ferries a week. The Pulau Banyak Foundation ship departs once a week from Tapaktuan. Usual docking point is Balai village.
Permits: Not required. Tourists are only allowed on the turtle nesting beach once a week.
Facilities: Basic beach bungalows on Palambak Besar and Ujung Batu, and small guesthouses in Balai.
Visitor activities: Turtle-watching, snorkelling, birdwatching, boating, fishing, jungle trekking, sunbathing, relaxing.
Name: Siberut National Park
Location: 125 km off the coast of Central Sumatra
Area: 470,725 acres/half of 1 island
Closest city: Medan/Banda Aceh
When to go: Any time, but sea crossings least likely to be delayed by storms Januari-May. Tours are normally 7-10 days.
Access: By plane or overland to Padang (West Sumatra), then to Muara Siberut via a ferry running once or twice a week. Many tours are organized from Bukittinggi, a popular place with travellers.
Permits: Should be obtained from the national park office on Siberut - the guides will help. Make sure you have a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport with you.
Facilities: Small gueshouses in Muara Siberut and in Maileppet, basic accommodation at the research station at Simabugai in the national park, staying with villagers in longhouses elsewhere.
Visitor activities: Difficult hiking through virgin forest, visiting Neolithic clans and watching or participating in their daily activities, e.g. making sago, hunting, ritual ceremonies.
Name: Kerinci Seblat National Park
Location: West Sumatra
Area: 3,706,500 acres
Closest city: Padang
When to go: Any time. best to see Tigers february-April when they come out of the forest in search of durian fruit. July-October best for Rafflesia in flower. Stay at least a week.
Access: From Padang, 6-8 hour drive to Sungai Penuh.
Permits: From the national park office in Sungai Penuh. Bring passport photocopies.
Facilities: Homestays are available in Sungai Penuh, Muara Sako, Kersiktua ( many birders stay here). There is an excellent jungle lodge in the south of the park, accessible from Bangko. Otherwise only village accommodation or forest shelters are available. Guides are essential on the longer treks as it is extremely easy to get lost.
Visitor activities: Excellent birdwatching, forest and mountain hiking (long or short treks).
Name: Way Kambas National Park
Location: South Sumatra
Area: 1,300 square kilometers
Closest city: Bandar Lampung
When to go: Any time. During the wet season higher water levels offer the opportunity of exploring swampy areas by canoe. A stay of 2-3 days is realistic.
Access: Park entrance at Tridatu, 2 hours' drive east from bandar Lampung.
Permits: From the national park office at the park entrance; passport photocopy may be required.
Facilities: There is a basix guesthouse in a pleasant spot on the Way Kanan river ( food and drinking water and a sleeping-sheet should be taken with you). There are some good trail for day hikes.
Visitor activities: Birdwatching, canoeing on the Way Kanan, short hikes, elephant riding (make sure to establish the exact length of the ride and the route in advance).
Name: Tanjung Puting National Park
Location: West Kalimantan
Area: 300,000 square kilometers
Closest city: Pontianak
When to go: Any time of year, though during the wetter months activities may be more limited. The major animals can be seen in 2-3 days.
Access: By plane to Pangkalanbun, then to Kumai by road and into the park by river-boat.
Permits: Must be obtained from the national park office in Kumai ; bring a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport.
Facilities: There are several guesthouses on the river-banks in the park, some of excellent and upmarket quality.
Visitor activities: Most people come to see the Orang-utans, although it is rare to see wild ones. Birdwatching from the boats is reasonably good, and it is possible to hire canoes in which to paddle along the rivers. Swimming in the peat-black riverwater is refreshing.
Name: Ujung Kulon National Park
Area: 187,800 acres
Closest city: Jakarta/Labuan
When to go: A sea-crossing from Labuan may be too rough in the wet season. Entry overland via Taman Jaya is possible at any time. The main sites can be seen in 2-3 days but a longers stay is well worthwhile.
Access: From Jakarta by sea (tourboat ) or overland to Labuan and then a 6-hour sea journey. There are no ferries, so boats must be chartered (expensive); cheaper to travel overland from Labuan to Taman Jaya (3 hours ), and then walk.
Permits: From national park office in Labuan and Taman Jaya. For group tours, permits will be obtained for you (bring photocopy of relevant passport pages).
Facilities: There is a good airconditioned gueshouse on Peucang, and simpler ones on Handeleum and at Taman Jaya. Park rangers can be hired as trekking guides.
Visitor activities: A gentle introduction to rainforest, spotting Javan birds, long or short hikes, sun-bathing, some snorkelling.
Location: In the sea between Java and Sumatra
Area: 2,696 acres
Closest City: Jakarta/Serang/Bandar Lampung
When To Go: Best in the dry season (the sea-crossing may be too rough in the wet season). The volcano is still active and periodec warnings not to visit are issued; tourists have been killed on the volcano. Trips normally include 3-4 hours of charter.
Access: From Jakarta by sea (tour boat), or overland to Carita (2-3 hours from Jakarta ) and then 2 hours by sea. There are no ferries, so boats must be chartered.
Permits: Krakatau is administratively part of Ujung Kulon National Park, and permits can be obtained from the national park office in Labuan. However, permits are generally not requested. If travelling with an organized tour the permits will be obtained for you.
Facilities: None on the Islands themselves. A good range of accommodation is available on the mainland at Carita, a popular beach resort.
Visitor Activities: Hiking up the volcano, sunbathing, swimming.
Name: Pulau Dua nature Reserve
Area: 74 acres/Island 30-hectare
Closest City: Jakarta/Serang
When to Go: Any time. Pulau Dua can easily be done as a daytrip, but the birds are most active early in the morning, so staying overnight in Serang to start out before first light is a good plan.
Access: By plane to Jakarta, thence by road to Serang (1-2 hours) and then to the small village of Sawah Luhur, about 15 km (9 miles) from Serang. From there about an hour's walk through paddyfields, fish-ponds and mangroves.
Permits: Not required.
Facilities: A small network of trails and a watchtower give good views of nesting and roosting birds. It is possible to sleep at the warden's office in the reserve, but Facilities are very basic - bring with you all sleeping equipment, food and drinking water. There are small hotels in Serang.
Visitor Activities: Birdwatching is the chief interest.
Name: Thousand island Marine National Park
Location: North Java
Area: 4,250 Square/Islands 110 stretch 50 kilometers.
Closest city: Jakarta
When to Go: Wet season best avoided as seas can be rough and visibility for diving poor. Weekends are busy, and accommodation would need to be booked in advance. Many tour operators offer day-trips from Jakarta.
Access: By plane to Jakarta, and then by boat from Ancol harbour, about 45 minute's drive from the city. There are different types of boat, taking 1-4 hours to reach the resort islands and reefs.
Facilities: Several of the islands have accommodation, ranging from simple to luxurious, including Pulau Putri and Pulau Kotok. Dive and snorkelling equipment can be hired at dive resorts on these and other islands.
Visitor Activities: Good snorkelling off most of the beaches in calm seas, good-quality diving, sunbathing, relaxing on palm-fringed islands with white, sandy beaches.
Name: Gunung Halimun National Park
Location: Western Java
Height: 1,929 metres ( 6,328 Feet )
Closest City: Jakarta/Bandung
When to Go: Any time. It is not possible to visit Gunung Halimun as a day-trip - a minimum of three days is recommended.
Access: By car, 3-5 hours from Jakarta, via the toll road to Ciawi. From there to Cigudeg ( northern entrance), Parang Kuda (eastern entrance), or pelabuhan Ratu (Southern entrance).
Permits: Should be obtained from local national park office near the entrances; bring photocopies of your passport in case these are requested.
Facilities: There are several community-run eco-lodges, fairly basic but pleasant, and local guides. Food can be obtained but extras such as chocolate and biscuits should be taken in .
Visitor Activities: Birdwatching, walking, experiencing rainforest (especially if it rains), forest camping, mountain biking, culture of local Sundanese people. A conservation consortium is trying to involve local people in non-exploitative tourism as a way of getting money into the communities.
Name: Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park
Location: West Java
Area: 150 square kilometers/58 square miles.
Closest city: Bogor/Jakarta
When to Go: An overnight stay is best for early-morning birdwatching, and at least two days is needed to climb the mountains. Weekends can be crowded. Much of the park is closed in the wet season (December-March)
Access: South from Jakarta to Ciawi, then continue towards Bandung over the Puncak Pass. At Pacet, 7 km after the pass, turn right to the national park and the Cibodas Botanical gardens.
Permits: From the national park office at the park entrance (bring passport photocopies in case they are needed).
Facilities: There is a good guesthouse in the botanical gardens, and other questhouses and Hotels outside the park and at hill resorts near the main road. The park has several (very basic) campsites. There are well-marked trails, so guides are not necessary.
Visitor Activities: Mountain hikes of varying lengths are possible; camping is necessary for some. Birdwatching is excellent. The botanical gardens offer a relaxing stroll and mountain flora.
Name: Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
Location: South of Surabaya
Area: 2,000 square metres
Closest City: Probolingo/Lumajang
When to Go: Any time, but views are best in the dry season, otherwise dawn may be cloudy. Crowded at weekdeds, on public holidays at Bromo and on Semeru, and during the Kasodo festival at Bromo. Reach the summit of Semeru at dawn; after this, poisonous gases blow across from the crater. Most people stay for less than half a day, but longer is worthwhile.
Access: South-east from Surabaya to the main entry point of Cemoro Lawang (3hours), via Malang to Ngadas (4 hours ), or via Lumajang to Ranu Pani 9.5 hours). From Bali: ferry to Ketapang, then overland (6 hours ).
Permits: On entry to the park.
Facilities: Small hotels at Cemoro Lawang near Bromo, and small homestays in Ranu Pani and Wonokitri. Elsewhere, villagers will offer accomodation. Campsites at Cemoro Lawang, Ranu Pani and Ranu Kumbolo. Information centre at Cemoro Lawang. Guides are generally not needed.
Visitor Activities: Volcano watching: Bromo and Semeru are both active and can be dangerous. Trekking between upland villages; the local Tenggerese people have many cultural differences from lowland Javanese.
Name: Meru Betiri National Park
Location: South Java
Area: 125,500 acres
Closest City: Probolinggo/Banyuwangi
When to Go: Any time of year, but heavy rains can make fording rivers on the access road impossible. Spending at least two nigths will give a better chance of seeing turtles (peak nesting season October-March).
Access: From Surabaya or Ketapang by road south to Banyuwangi and south-west to Jagag and Sarongan.
Permits: From national park office near Sarongan; passport photocopies sometimes needed.
Facilities: Small, basic guesthouses at Sukamade, one run by the national park office and the other (slightly better) run by the plantation. Take all supplies if staying at the national park one, though some food can be bought in the village.
Visitor Activities: Most popular is turtle-watching. Birdwatching is good, and, as there are good forest trail, some trekking is possible; take a guide for longer hikes. Views of the southern coastline are dramatic, with beautiful sandy beaches enclosed by prominent rocky headlands.
Name: Baluran National Park
Locational: East Java
Area: 96 Square/Island 35-63 inches
Closest City: Situbondo/Banyuwangi
When to Go: Any time, but mud can make walking difficult in the wet season. very crowded at weekends. Essential to spend at least one night - or arrive before dawn-to see wildlife; most tours drive through during the heat of the day and see nothing.
Access: Overland 6-8 hours from Surabaya, or 1 hour from Ketapang, then a 12-km entrance road to the main questhouse at Bekol, and a further 3 km to the beach at Bamah.
Permits: From the national park office at the gate; bring passport photocopy in case it is requested.
Facilities: Rather basic guesthouses at Bamah and Bekol. Bring all food and drinking water; limited supplies available locally. Camping is possible. Park rangers are available as guides.
Visitor Activities: Short hikes between and arround the questhouses, especially early morning. Birdwacthing, swimming and snorkelling are leisurely enough for the high temperatures.
Name: Alas Purwo National Park
Location: South-eastern Java
Area: 107.290 Acres
Closest City: Banyuwangi
When to Go: Any time. November-March best for nesting turtles, April-October for rutting Banteng and displaying Peacocks. Stay least 2-3 days.
Access: To Ketapang by ferry from Bali or overland from Surabaya, then by road via Benculuk-Pasaranyar for Alas Purwo, or Sitobondo-Paltuding for Ijen Crater.
Permits: Available at national park pffice at the park entrances; make sure you have passport photocopies with you.
Facilities: There are basic guesthouses at Trianggulasi (Alas Purwo) and Paltuding (Ijen). Take drinking water, food to supplement the basic, and a sleeping-sheet. There is a viewing tower at the Sadengan grazing-ground.
Visitor Activities: Birdwatching, especially around the marengan peninsula, animal watching at Sadengan, turtle-watching on the south-west beaches, short hikes, world-class surfing in Grajagan bay, watching volcanic activity at Ijen.
Name: Bali Barat National Park
Location: West Bali
Area: 46,930 acres
Closest City: Gilimanuk/Negara
When to Go: Any time, but underwater visibility may be reduced in rainy season. Menjangan island is most cowded in December and July-August. For birdwatching spend at least one night in the park for an early start.
Access: By road, 3-4 hours from Bali's south coast resort, 1 hour 30 min from Lovina (north coast ) and 30 min from Gilimanuk.
Permits: For diving and short hikes (up to 2 hours), from the national park post at Labuhan Lalang. For longer hikes, from the park headquarters at Cekik (at the road junction from Gilimanuk). Bring passport photocopy.
Name: Bunaken Marine National Park
Location: North Sulawesi
Area: 305 Square
Closest City: Manado
When to Go: Visits are possible at any time, but water visibility can be poor during the wet months, especially after a storm. There is such a variety of good quality dive-sites that visits of a week or so are recommended.
Access: By plane to Manado and then a short drive to the dive resorts.
Permits: Organized by the dive centres. Passport photocopies may be useful.
Facilities: There are several good dive centres and many hotels of all qualities on Manado. Several small homestays have been set up on Bunaken Island for a 'back to nature' stay.
Visitor Activities: Principally diving, with some snorkelling. Sunbathing and relaxing on the island or the beaches of the mainland are also a pleasant way to spend the time.
Name: Tangkoko Dua Saudara Nature Reserve
Location: North Sulawesi
Area: 21,910 Acres
Closest City: Manado/Ujungpandang
When to Go: Any time, though access may take longer in the wet season. July-August can be crowded. Stay overnight to see tarsiers in the evening and birds in the morning.
Access: By plane to Manado, than overland 1-2 hours to Batuputih, on the north-western side of the reserve.
Permits: Can be obtained from nature reserve wardens on entry. Bring passport phocopies.
Facilities: There are several fairly basic but popular homestay at Batuputih. Plenty of quality accommodation is available in Manado. Several trails have been depeloved, and some of the wardens are very knowledgeable about birds and other wildlife.
Visitor Activities: Short hikes in the forest to see unusual animal and birds, longer hikes up the mountains. Snorkelling and swimming off the beaches are of course pleasant activities.
Name:Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park
Area: 1,108 Square
Closest City: Gorontalo
When to Go: Any time, though activities will be somewhat more restricted in the rainy season. Stay for at least 2-3 days.
Access: Plane to Manado, then via well-surfaced roads 4-5 hour's scenic drive west to Doluduo or Toraut to access the eastern part of the park. For the western side, fly or drive to Gorontalo and then drive to Pinogu.
Permits: Should be obtained from the national park office near Doloduo or at Toraut. Bring passport photocopies.
Facilities: National park guesthouses at Doloduo and at the research station of Toraut. Somewell-marked trails around Toraut give a good introduction to the rainforest.
Visitor Activities: Birdwatching along reasonable trails, short or long rainforest treks, and volcano climbing, especially at Mount Ambang.
Name: Togian Islands
Location: Central sulawesi
Area: 1,000 Square/Island 400 Square miles
Closest City: Wakai
When to Go: Any time. The waters are sheltered because of being in a large bay and seas are never very rough. Visits will need to be a minimum of 2-3 days because of the distance to get there.
Access: By plane to Palu, overland to Poso and then to Ampana, on the north coast of Central Sulawesi, then charter a boat. Alternatively, take the weekly ferry running between Poso and Gorontalo (North Sulawesi), stopping off at the Togians.
Permits: None required.
Facilities: The best accommodation is on Batudaka Island, where there is a small hotel. Several other islands have homestays.
Visitor Activities: Diving and snorkelling: safe because of lack of strong currents. Sun-bathing on idyllic island. Short forest hikes and cave exploration are possible. People in the traditional fishing villages may have seen few tourists.
Name: Lore Lindu National Park
Area: 2,310 Square kilometers
Closest City: Palu
When to Go: Dry season best, as trails can be impassable in the wet season. Trips must be at least 4 days because of the distance; better sun-cream, benoculars.
Access: From Palu, by road south-east to Kamarora (2hours), or south to Gimpu (3hours) and walking trail Gintu (2-3 days) or by road from Paluto Poso and track to Gintu (1-2 days). Or follow the trans-Sulawesi highway via Tentena.
Permits: From National park office in Palu. If entering from the south-east, you can obtain them in Tentena or in the Bada Valley. Bring passport photocopies.
Visitor Activities: Exellent birdwatching in the north-east of the park. Superb 2-3 day hikes into Bada valley from north-west or south-east, or longer treks south towards remote South Sulawesi. Fascinating ancient statues in Bada and Napu Valley.
Name: Wakatobi Marine National Park
Location: South-est in S-east Sulawesi
Area: SE Sulawesi
Closest City: Kendari
When to Go: Avoid wettest months as winds can be strong. November - April best for Pilot Whales. September-December calmest for diving. Being difficult to get to, allow for a stay of 4-5 days.
Access: Plane via Ujungpandang to Kendari. Then overland and ferry to Baubau, on Buton island and ferry to the Tukang Besi archipelago. Alternatively, expedition dive-boats depart from Kendari.
Permits: None required at the time of writing, but once the national park administration becomes better established permits should be obtained from the park office.
Facilities: Accommodation is in eco-lodges on tiny Hoga island, off Kaledupa Island, or on Buton, and there is a dive resort on Tolandono, off Tomia. Elsewhere accommodation should be possible with villagers, and homestays will appear as more tourists visit. A live-aboard dive-boat runs for Operation Wallacea surveys.
Visitor Activities: Most popular are marine-based activities such as snorkelling and diving. Birdwatching on Buton is worthwhile. Many visitors will be there to participate in conservation projects.
Location: North Maluku
Area: 20,000 Squiare
Closest City: Halmahera
When to Go: Visits are possible at any time of year. Several days should be allowed because of the unavoidably lengthy process of travelling to and around the island.
Access: By plane to Manado or Ambon and then a smaller plane to Ternate. Thence by Ferry to Sidangoli, a port town in the west of Halmahera.
Permits: Not required, but best to travel with a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport in case on offical asks for it.
Facilities: There ar several hotels on Ternate, but touristm Facilities are not yet well developed on Halmahera. There are one or two small homestays near Sidangoli, but otherwise accommodation is with villagers. Some local men have been learning to guide birdwatchers to important sites. The official protected areas have little administration as yet.
Visitor Activities: Halmahera has become popular with special interest tourists keen on birdwatching. Walks in the tropical forest are also possible, although much of Halmahera remains unknown to tourists, or even to scientists, so this is a good place for the intrepid.
Name: Manusela National Park
Location: North Ambon
Area: 1,890 Square/Island 729 Square
Clossest City: Seram/Ambon
When to Go: Avoid the wettest months. Allow at least 7-10 days.
Access: By plane to Ambon, then ferry to Wahai (north coast of Seram ) or to Hatumetan (south coast). The usual route is to walk in from the north and finish on the south coast, although it also possible to reserve this.
Permits: Should be obtained from the national park office in Ambon. Bring passport photocopies.
Facilities: There are small places to stay in the towns, but there is no official accommodation within the park. Stays may be arranged with villagers in a few places. Trails are those used by villagers, and it is advisable to arrange for guides in order not to get lost and to get a better understanding of the environment.
Visitor Activities: Birdwatching, long treks through the park (should be tackled by the fit and adventurous only).
Name: Banda Islands
Location: Central Maluku
Area: 675 square metres.
Closest City: Banda Neira
When to Go: Visits are possible at any time, but seas are likely to be at their most turbulent and dive-visibility poorest during the wet months.
Access: By air to Ambon then small plane to Banda Neira, or by Ferry From Ambon. Specialist dive cruises operate in the area.
Permits: Not required, but carry passport photocopies as a matter of routine.
Facilities: There is one medium range hotel and several small hotels and homestays. Boats can be hired quite easily, but dive equipment can only be hired by people staying at certain hotels, and as a result diving is in its infancy beause of the expense.
Visitor Activities: Most popular activities are diving and snorkellings, admiring the colonial buildings, some birdwatching, and climbing the Gunung Api volcano.
Name: Gunung Rinjani National Park
Location: Northern Lombok
Area: 187,800 acres
Closest City: Mataram
When to Go: Best in the dry season, as paths are slippery in the wet and cloud cover greater. Crowded at weekends, public holidays and nights of full moon. Visits are generally of 3 days.
Access: Plane or Ferry to Lombok, then overland to Bayan and Senaru (in the north of the park ) or Sapit (in the east).
Permits: From national park office at park entrances (permits will be obtained by guides if you are on a tour ). Bring passport photocopies.
Facilities: Wide range of accommodation at the tourists resorts, not far from the park. Within the park there is a camp-site beside Segara Anak Lake and rustic shelters at various points along the trail. There are homestays at Senaru and Sapit.
Visitor Activities: The principal aim of visiting Rinjani for most people is to climb one of Indonesian's highest and most sacred mountains and enjoy the view and scenery. The hike up to the top is strenuous.
Name: Komodo National Park
Area: 541,150 acres
Closest City: Bima/ Labuan Bajo
When to Go: Any time, but seas can be rough July-August. Visits take minimum 3 days from Bali, but Komodo can be visited in a day as part of an 'overland' trip through Nusa Tenggara.
Access: Plane from Bali to Labuan Bajo, then charter boat to Komodo or Rinca.
Permits: from national park office on Labuan Bajo or Komodo. National park entry fees here are the highest in Indonesia beacause of the demand . Bring photocopies of you passport.
Facilities: Small hotels at Labuan Bajo, including some of reasonable quality, and rather basic questhouses on Komodo and Rinca (often full). Boats can be chartered in Labuan Bajo to visit the main islands. Dive gear can be hired in Labuan Bajo.
Visitor Activities: Dragonwatching, snorkelling/diving on reef throughout the park, hiking through not grasslands on Komodo or Rinca, sun-bathing, birdwatching.
Name: Ruteng Nature Recreation Park
Location: Ruteng, western Flores
Area: 79,100 acres
Closest City: Flores/Labuan Bajo
When to Go: Any time, but weather best April-December. Allow at least a couple of days during an overland tour of flores.
Access: By plane from Bali to Ruteng, or overland from Labuan Bajo (3 hours).
Facilities: There are several small hotels in Ruteng: choose one that offers hot water in the bathrooms! The usual cold showers of small Indonesia hotels are not welcome at this altitude. The trails are not well-depeloped, so some adventurousness and the ability to ask for (and understand) directions in Indonesian are required if venturing far off the main roads and tracks.
Visitor Activities: Good for spotting Wallacean birds and for forest-hiking in relatively cool temperatures. Other possibilities include climbing the volcanic peak of Gunung Ranaka and visiting Lake Rana Mese.
Name:Maumere Marine Recreation Park
Location: Maumere, eastern Flores
Area: 20-50 Metres/ 65-165 feet
Closest City: Maumere/Flores
When to Go: The main diving season extends from Marh to November. In January and February winds are generally too strong to allow access to the dive-sites. November and December are the best months for seeing Whale Sharks.
Access: By plane from Bali to Maumere.
Permits: Permits are not required, but it is best to bring a passport photocopy along in case someone asks for it.
Facilities: There are several dive resorts which have well-trained staff, and a range of hotels and homestays in Maumere and the villages nearby. Boats are available for hire.
Visitor Activities: Principal activities for visitor are diving, snorkelling, and boating. There are also cultural attractions such as traditional architecture and weaving in the villages around Maumere. An interesting side trip which can be made is to Keli Mutu National Park.
Name: Arfak Mountains Nature Reserve
Location: West Irian Jaya
Area: 168 acres / mountains 9,187 feet
When to Go: Trails can be impassable in the wet season.
Access: Plane to Manokwari, then flights to Mokwan or Minyambou, or walk in (trails are steep and strenuous). Main entry points for hikes are Warmare for Minyambou or Mokwam, Warkapi for the eastern slopes, Ransiki to travel along the Ransiki valley, or from the Anggi lakes directly into the mountains.
Permits: Travel permits (surat jalan) must be obtained in Jayapura or Biak and shown to police in Manokwari. Obtain permit for the reserve from KSDA (nature reserve office), Manokwari. For all travel in Irian, bring at least 3 passport photocopies and 4 photographs.
Facilities: None in the reserve itself, but accommodation may be arraged with villagers and guides and porters hired locally. There are hotels in Manokwari. Camping is necessary on trecks.
Visitor Activities: Most popular are bird-and butterfly-watching. Strenuous trekking through mountanins, forested terrain is almost unavoidable. Best is to fly in and walk out (downhill).
Name: Lorentz National Park
Location: Irian Jaya
Area: 21,500 Square
Closest City: Jayapura
When to Go: Avoid wettest months. Heed government warnings of Free Papua Movement activity (in mid-1990s several people were kidnapped and held for months in Lorentz ). Allow at least a week and expect delays.
Access: Plane to Wamena in Baliem Valley. Missionary flights (occasional) from Baliem Valley to villages such as Mapnduma and Akimuga will only take tourists if they have room. There are commercial flights from Nabire (north coast of Irian) to llaga for climbing Mount Jaya.
Permits: Travel permits (Surat Jalan) must be obtained in Jayapura or Biak and shown to police in Manokwari. For all travel in Irian, bring at least 3 passport photocopies and 4 photographs.
Facilities: Complete range of touristm Facilities in the baliem Valley (start or end point for Lake Habbema trek). No tourist Facilities in Lorentz, but accommodation with villagers and hire of porters/guides is possible.
Visitor Activities: trekking (the Lake Habbema trek is especiallygood), birdwatching, and making friends with local tribes.
Name: Wasur national Park
location: South Irian Jaya
Area: 4,130 Square
Closest City: Jayapura/Irian Jaya
When to Go: Best time to visit is August-December as much of the park is flooded at other times. Allow at least 3-4 days.
Access: Plane to jayapura and then Merauke (several flights a week). Merauke is very close to the National park; it is possible to hire vehicles or to travel along the Maro River.
Permits: Available at park entrance points. Travel permits (surat jalan) must to obtained in Jayapura or Biak and shown to police in Manokwari. For all travel in Irian, bring at least 3 passport photocopies and 4 photographs.
Facilities: There is a good range of hotels in merauke, and villagerun homestays in several places in the national park (some set up by WWF). Small but strong horses can be hired, or jeeps (expensive). There are several trails, and local guides are available.
Visitor Activities: A good range of general interest activities such as birdwatching, seeing marsupials and other mammals, easy hiking, pony-trekking, camping, and observing the local way of life.
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