Puncak Jaya, Where the Snow Exists in a Tropical Country

If you look for a place with high mountains and deep seas, then Indonesia is the right place to be. Because this country has numerous destinations with these two categories. In Bali and Raja Ampat, you will meet various sea creatures. Meanwhile, in a place like Puncak Jaya, you will walk through the clouds.

This is because Jayawijaya mountain in Papua is the highest mountain in the country. It stands 4884 meters above sea level and has become a must-see destination for summit wanderers. Not to mention, only this mountain’s summit is covered with snow, which is the only place in the entire tropical country.

What to Expect

Taking a hike in Puncak Jaya needs perfect preparation. Because the place is remote and has extreme treks. But on the other side, this is also the charm that many people love. Here are what you are going to find when summiting here:

  • The summit is covered with glaciers, making it the only place in Indonesia, a tropical country on the equator, that experienced snow.
  • There is another summit in Jayawijaya mountain called Carstensz Pyramid. This is the highest summit on the mountain consisting of stony hills and steep cliffs.
  • Different from any other summit in Indonesia, in this place you have to wear snow gear as if you are going to the Alps.
  • Aside from the naturally challenging, going to Jayawijaya mountain is also politically challenging. Because local conflict and war may arouse anytime and can delay your journey.

How to Get There

To summit the mountain, there are two possible access points. Depending on what kind of method you are going to do, here are the options for how to access the location:

  • The first option is trekking from Nabire. To reach Nabire, you can access it from Jakarta or Bali with any major aircraft. Then, from Nabire, you have to fly to Sugapa by small aircraft. Sugapa is your starting point for trekking and in total, you need 21 days.
  • If you do not think you can allocate that much time and energy for trekking, there is another option to reach the summit. A helicopter trip will help you reach the place faster. But instead of Nabire, you have to reach Timika and from there fly to the Carstensz Base Camp. This trip will cost you a shorter time, only 10 days.

How Much It Cost

It would be better to use an adventure travel agent for this trip due to its political challenge. Also, not to mention it will be safer to travel in a group than alone. A travel agent, usually, will provide complete meals during the travel and for the trekking trip will also provide porters.

Using a travel agent, you have to pay more or less 3.5 to 4 thousand US dollars per person for both trekking trips and helicopter trips. The trekking trip also costs that much because the longer time means more meals.

In booking a trip to Puncak Jaya, it would be better to do it three months before your planned time. Also, prepare for abrupt canceling any time because of its local situation. 

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