This blog is to help out a local guide that I had meet as well as helping some foreigners that want a good experience as well as saving money.
I first intended to write these summaries to post on google maps as well as trip advisor but Wamena doesn’t have the best up to date materials. So here is my first one and I’ll post another after numbered 2. Honestly I’m getting quite lazy and frankly just quite tired of me writing hours upon hours a day only for one reader a month. So this is a copy and paste enjoy as you wish.
So Wamana was awesome and it definitely had its perks and drawbacks. It was awesome seeing how different the world can be but it was also so sad to see how much the world is controlled by money. I went on a three day hike by my self saving money but lucky for me I found a local and his name is John. John wanted to come with me and after him showing me the way it was good, because it might of taken me four days to hike. Many places are up and down on the map so it’s possibly too get lost quickly, so make sure you have enough phone battery as well as power banks if you choose this on your own like I did.
I choose this tour in south of Wamena going to the Kilise tribe then to the Syokosimo area. They say you can see the naked people in Kilise but I never seen any and it’s a great stop on the way but not that tribal for me. Beautiful over looking the mountain in Kilise and this is where John is from so he does know the area quite well and he now resides in Wamena city but lucky for me I meet him in my way to Kilise as I gathered information from some Dutch people in the city at a local restaurant to do this tour on my own.
If you can get a hold of John and you would like to save money I would highly recommend this because it is not cheap getting a guide here. Actually that is one down side is almost everything is about money even taking a simple picture. So be aware of this and John would charge only half of what others ask and he can speak ok English, enough to get by but just so you know this whole place is a tourist trap and all about that money. The food is nice in the local areas and the tribal areas are becoming more and more not so tribal but the views are spectacular and the water is great along with most of the people being nice. Bring some cigs even if you don’t smoke as almost all smoke throughout the villages. It took me three days to walk to Syokosimo and I was walking pretty slow enjoying my time. I would suggest if you have more time to go deeper into the tribal lands but three days is enough to see the naked people just be prepared to fork out some money. Or bring lots of cigarettes and coffee and sugar and they will all love you 😍 also you can carry some simple medicines to give along the way also. I hope this has helped and enjoy be safe you can continue to read my blog of my world travels at
The internet is not good here so be patient if trying to reach John or anyone else for a trip. John can be reached through FAceBook at
Ellonyeackmatu And his phone # is
082199932334 And email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers and hope this helps you out as there is not to many guides in the area and man the prices can get incredible high. I also recommend going to cave north of Wamena called Kontilola cave and it is pretty close to the salt water hole. The salt hole is a hike and is not that impressive when you get there but it’s definitely a wonder of how this little pond of salt is at the top. They say it can bring many good things for you and if you like hiking go, it’s free. You can find lots of the micro buses to take you here as well to the cave and not expensive at all. Kontilola cave is how I do believe they spell it but it’s just a little more north from the salt spring and wow, bring your camera and be amazed. This cave was awesome and not expensive to get into but make sure you check out the ancient drawings in there from prehistoric times. Once you go inside in the middle on your right hand side on a steep 180* degree wall you will see some heads with different ears and eyes. This is some ancient drawings and make sure you go through the whole cave as it’s about three levels with a bottom full of water and two different spaces filled with vivid colors. Ok hope this helps about your trip.
I hope all what I write can help out the next traveler especially one on a budget. Wamena is not a small town like I had pictured. In fact it’s a booming town with an average of five flights a day coming in. The airport is super small and had been destroyed in 2014 along with four military Hercules American planes. The people here are really try to free themselves from Indonesia. Wamena has its perks and its downsides of course like anywhere else. It acts as one big tourist trap which I feel, only being here for a couple days. I highly recommend you not come here no less then four days or you won’t really get to see the real beauty through the mountains along with all the gushing surrounding rivers as well as many caves and of course the villages. The whole naked traditional culture of skirts made out of grass and the gordes over the male private is very unusual to most to see and very unique for me. Trying to learn the history of why they have these over the penis is vastly hard to acknowledge because no one has a legit answer. I believe it was a traditional dance or perhaps they wore it as a sign of marriage. But anymore in today society it just seem as a cult to where the item because of money, but many of this traditions are failing fast. So fast as you do not see anyone under 35 years of age wearing anything like this here in Wamena. So better act fast if you to still want to see this but be prepared for everyone to ask you for money even if the people have clothes on and you try to take a picture it will always be about money. Sad but true! 😞 so coming to Wamena is an adventure for sure with advanced trekking and long days. Flights seem to be always delayed and weather can change rapidly here. If want to see any of the villages in the mountains then it takes minimum two days to get to and this is just a start to see what the villages really offer. If want to go back more in time, plan a trip for 3 or more days. They have many tours here and they also are very expensive, at least to me they are. I had got some information from a gentleman named Jimmy right near the airport. When leaving the airport you turn right and about 5 houses on your left you will see a grass wooden brown archway and this is Jimmy home and he is a lovely guy that has lots of information around Wamena. Sometimes he is free and sometimes not. But worth a quick visit to learn some good information. So I decided to do the trekking on my own to Syokosimo and I had meet a gentleman by the name of John in my way. Many of the local transportations can take you to places so you do not have to hire a private vehicle. John is from Kilise village and knows the area very good. He is becoming a new guide and is definitely the cheapest person around. His FB account is
( Ellonyeackmatu ). Also if you decide to walk around the city you will find many more guides probably a lot cheaper than at the airport. Also do not forget to bargain, as some of these prices are easily twice as much as they are worth and make sure you get everything down in writing and use common sense when booking a tour. I have heard many people that get scammed here throughout Papua Island. You can also check out my blog ( forestdestine
. WordPress ) where you will find many interesting facts and how to budget travel like a Nomad traveler as me on a super low budget. Another tip is bring some medicine, simple cheap items to give to the villages as well as cigarettes. Almost everyone smokes and it’s a good gesture of a friendship so be prepared for just about everyone asking you for a smoke weather you smoke or not. Lighters is also another cheap jester as well as coffee. So have fun and safe travels peeps.
This is just an update about Wamena itself. Wamena is a booming town and amazing how fast it’s going and how things even get here. Almost everything comes by plane and for a town this size it’s surely booming. With lots of military and a big university with beautiful people around especially the woman along with many churches and mosques it certainly is not a poor place. I was very surprised about the town and the surrounding areas. They also have a big festival here once a year and I’m sure it can get super crowded.