How to reach Irian Jaya : Most people fly from Jakarta ( the capital city of Indonesia ) and get a transit flight from makassar to Jayapura via Biak.
By Garuda flight : Depart from Jakarta at 21:40 hours and arrive at Makassar airport at 00:15 hours for transit stop, then depart from Makassar at 01:30 hours, arriving at Biak at 05:10 ( early morning ) then from Biak to Jayapura - arriving at 07:00 ( in the morning )
Irian Jaya at a glance
Irian Jaya is a hot, humid island rising from the sea with some of the most impenetrable jungles in the world and yet also has snowcaps covering 5,000 meter-high mountain peaks, towering over glacier lakes.Irian Jaya is Indonesia’s largest and easternmost province and covers the western half of the world’s second largest island. It is a land of exceptional natural grandeur, with beautiful scenic beaches, immense stretches of marshlands,cool grassy meadows and powerful rivers carving gorges and tunnels through dark and dense primeval forests. The most heavily populated and cultivated parts of the island are the Paniai Lakes district and the Baliem Valley to the east.
Dense forest and mangrove swamp cover 85% of its area. Part of the interior remain unexplored - the most unknown area in the world - in the cloud drenched central mountains rises Australian continent's highest peak,Puncak jaya of 4,884 m. The island also contain Asia's only tropical glacier.A unique array of wildlife with 47 species of marsupials range from wallabies on the grasslands to a new species of Tree Kangaroo recently discovered in the highlands. Birdlife amazingly, most famously The Birds of Paradise with their flamboyant plumage. Also spectacular butterfly with foot-wide wingspan. And, as the timeless domain, Irian jaya still held the last stone-age culture in the world.The people of the island can be divided into more than 250 subgroup, which are closely related to the islands along the southern remove the Pacific and include among others, the Marindanim, Yah’ray, Asmat,Mandobo, Dani and Afyat. Those in the central highlands still maintain their customs and traditions and because of the terrain have virtually been untouched by outside influences. Communications have always been difficult here and different tribes have lived, for the most part, in isolation even of each other, resulting in an incredibly diverse mixture of cultures.Traders, however, visited the flatter coastal regions of Irian Jaya, as early as the 7th century from Sriwijaya. European traders began arriving in the early 16th century, looking or spices and have left historical footprints in the area with names such as Bougainville, Cape d’Urville and the Torres Straits, named after Luis Baez de Torres, a Spanish navigator from the early 17th. It was the Dutch who made Irian a Dutch Territory, which was not released until 1962. The Provincial capital of Jayapura is built on hills, which slope down to the sea, and is accessible by boat and place. It was here that General MacArthur assembled his fleet for the invasion of the Philippines during the Second World War. Regular flights to other major parts of the archipelago are available with Garuda and Merpati Nusantara Airlines.