Places to visit

Baliem Valley: Home of the Dani's


Baliem Valley: Home of the Dani
Baliem Valley: Home of the DaniHigh up in the mountains of central Papua at an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level, hemmed in by steep green mountain walls, lies the stunningly beautiful Baliem valley, home of the Dani tribe.

Baliem valley is 72 km. long, and 15 km to 31 km wide in places. It is cut by the Baliem river, which has its source in the northern Trikora mountain, cascading into the Grand Valley, to meander down and further rushing south dropping 1,500 meters to become a large muddy river that slowly empties into the Arafura Sea.

The first outsider to discover the valley was American Richard Archbold, who, on 23 June 1938 from his seaplane, suddenly sighted this awesome valley dotted with neat terraced green fields of sweet potatoes, set among craggy mountain peaks. This is Indonesia’s own Shangri-La.

Only recently emerged from the Stone Age, the Dani are known as the “gentle warriors”. With their simple tools of stone and bone, they nonetheless, managed to sculpt green fields that hug the hills, where they grow root crops, and raise pigs. They have also built outposts and lookout towers to defend their valley from hostile tribes.

Because of the fertile soil and their agricultural skills, the Dani together with the sub-tribes of the Yali and the Lani, are, therefore, the most populous in Papua, living scattered in small communities near their gardens among the steep mountain slopes. Today, they also cultivate bananas, taro and yams, ginger, tobacco and cucumbers.

The men’s and women’s huts (locally called the honai) have thick thatched roofs, which keep the huts cool during the day and warm during the cold nights.

To Stay

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Hotel Rannu Jaya 2

Jalan Gatot Subroto No. 50, Wamena Wamena

Hotel Srikandi

Jalan Irian No 16 99511 Wamena

Hotel Nayak

Jalan Gatot Subroto No 63 99511 Wamena

Baliem Pilamo Hotel

Jalan Trikora No 114 Wamena Jayawijaya Wamena

Hotel Mas Budi

Jl Pattimura No 32 99511 Wamena

Hotel Rannu Jaya 1

Jalan Trikora No. 109, Wamena Wamena

Hotel Timika Indah

Jl. Jend. Ahmad Yani 99910 Manokwari

Hotel Metta Star

Jl Raya Kemiri, Sentani, 99532 Abepura

Swiss-Belhotel Papua

Pusat Bisnis Jayapura Jayapura

Hotel New Season and Cafe

Jalan Raya Abepura no 7, Entrop Jayapura, 99111 Jayapura

Horison Jayapura

Jalan Percetakan Negara II no 2 Jayapura, 99111 Jayapura

Hotel Horison Jayapura

Jl. Percetakan II, No. 2 Jayapura

To Stay

For those who are adventurous and are cultural observers at heart, it is possible to stay and mingle among the Baliem Valley people, just make sure your tour operator booked this before your visit. Go show? Affordable. If the first alternative seems too extreme, you can stay at hotels in the town of Wamena: (click on Find Hotel


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