is an initiative of the Community Based Ecotourism Network to support local Papuans by promoting their activities concerning tourism.

We strongly believe that true development starts with passionate initiatives by Papuans themselves.

To promote and develop ecotourism in a sustainable and effective way, in 2010 the Community Based Ecotourism Network was initiated.

By working together we unite our strengths to maximize the benefit of small scale tourism for local people and for the conservation of the environment and traditional Papuan Culture.

The wide variety of wildlife, tropical forests and marine ecosystems of West Papua attracts tourists from all over the world.

A decline in biodiversity will thus have a negative impact on the tourism sector and the economy. The other way round, a growing number of tourists can also have a negative impact on biodiversity.

In order to make sure that tourism gives a positive contribution to nature conservation, the development of tourism in West Papua needs to be planned and managed with extreme care.

Therefore the Community Based Ecotourism Network focuses on the principles of Fair Tourism

Community Based Ecotourism Network

Foundation SDSP

Sustainable Development Papua Barat

The Foundation for a Sustainable Development in Papua Barat (SDSP) was founded from private initiative in 1995 and is a Dutch NGO run completely by volunteers.

SDSP supports projects sprung from local initiatives in West Papua - whilst preserving their own identity and culture - that contribute to a sustainable society in which health care, education, agriculture, housing and nature conservation are organized in an effective manner.

Microtourism Raja Ampat

Stay at local homestays

This microtourism project Raja Ampat is a community based holiday concept that lets local Papuan people benefit from their own efforts.

Want to know more about the homestays or their owners in this pristine region? Their website contains travel information and photos for the conscious travelers that would like some help in organizing their trip to the beautiful Raja Ampat archipelago.

Charles Roring

Guide and blogger

Charles is an experienced guide that organizes eco-tours for visitors who want to experience trekking, camping, wildlife and birdwatching in the tropical jungle of Sorong regency, the Tambrauw mountains, snorkeling tours in Raja Ampat, whaleshark watching in Kaimana or customized trips to the Koroway tribe.

Charles also writes several blogs to promote eco-tourism and share his experiences travelling through beautiful West Papua.

Magnificus Expeditions

Conservation, protection & support

Papua Bird Club (PBC), now operating as Magnificus Expeditions, is dedicated to the promotion of conservation, the protection of birds, and the support of rural communities in Papua.

Founded in 1995, it offers customized tours for bird lovers and implements conservation and development activities with local Papuan communities with the goal of conserving the birds and forests of Papua and improving the lives of indigenous Papuans.

Zeth Wonggor

Bird guide

Zeth is a highly experienced, self-trained bird guide who has led bird watching tours in the Arfak Mountains since 1994 and has worked with, among others, Sir David Attenborough.

His profound and abundant knowledge of the wildlife of his home region has established his reputation as the most reliable and successful guide in the Arfak area.

Travel info

The West Papua (Papua Barat) Bird’s Head Peninsula is located in the Western part of the island of New Guinea. West Papua is part of the Republic of Indonesia. The mountainous peninsula is shaped in the form of a bird’s head and is covered in jungle and crossed by raging rivers and breathtaking highlands.

New Guinea is one of the world’s few remaining unspoiled places. Its impenetrable and rough terrain facilitates the conservation of over two hundred separate languages and cultures. Apart from the urban coastal areas, the peninsula has hardly been disclosed. The majority of the Papuans still stay true to their traditions and live in the rural highlands or in mountain villages.

When to go?

Papua Barat sits within the tropics and is therefore characterized by a hot and humid climate that varies little throughout the year. The rainy season starts around November and ends around May.

From May until November is the dry season and this will be the best time for travelling, especially if you would like to watch the unique Birds of Paradise display.

What to expect?

West Papua is the least developed province of Indonesia. This means that during a visit to the Bird’s Head peninsula accommodation, meals and transport will not always meet your expectations with regards to (travel) comfort. There’s also no such thing as fixed prices for tours or trips; often prices may vary depending on e.g. the availibility of gasoline or weather circumstances. Due to the infamous “rubber time” (jam karet) you may experience delays or even cancellations of flights.

West Papua’s tourist infrastructure is still very much under construction and actually that is the great charm of traveling through the Bird’s Head Peninsula; provided with a flexible attitude you can truly enjoy the cultural richness and ecological heritage of the Papuan people.

How to get there?

The easiest way to get to Manokwari is by air. There are flights to Manokwari from Jakarta, Denpasar, Surabaya and Ujung Pandang (Makassar). It's easy to arrange domestic flights when in Indonesia, but you can also check out while preparing your trip. If you like to travel by sea, check for their route information. Please note that if you like to stay longer than 30 days in Indonesia you will have to apply for a visa in advance!

As a tourist you will encounter a mix of ancient habits and rituals. You will travel through virtually untouched nature, where you are dependent on local guids who know the surroundings. To make it easier to find your way around, we highly recommend to start your unique adventure well prepared by contacting our eco-tourism network partners.


West Papua’s capital is located at a splendid bay. Manokwari, ‘old village’ in local language Numforese, is better known as the ‘fruit city’. Its people (population 130.000) predominantly live of the trade in fish, wood and fruit.

The exquisite nature of Manokwari’s direct surroundings and the proximity of the Arfak Mountains, the Anggi Lakes and the Kebar Valley, make Manokwari the ideal destination for nature lovers and adventurers. Divers and snorkelers will appreciate the surrounding clear blue waters of the Pacific and the islands of Lemon, Raimuti and Mansinam. There are plenty of coral reef sites that stretch from the northern coast, along the Dore bay and the southern coast to Cendrawasih bay. We recommend checking out the website of Abasi Surfing Club if you would like to go snorkelling or (free)diving. Don't forget to bring your own snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel and fins)!

Manokwari is also the gateway for trekkings to areas like the Arfak Mountains, Kebar Valley and the Tambrauw regency. From Manokwari's main harbour, you can also take ferries or fastboats to Numfor and Biak. Manokwari has an airport that frequented daily by several Indonesian air carriers.

For up-to-date information about travelling around Manokwari, we highly recommend checking out Charles Roring's blog about Manokwari

Tambrauw Regency

Tambrauw regency is located at the north of the Bird's Head province and can be reached from both Sorong and Manokwari, but chartering a 4WD from Sorong is the easiest and quickest way.

Although Fef is the capital town of the regency, most activities are concentrated at Sausapor, a small town on the northern coast.

The area is famous for its variety in birdspecies and while hiking along the Syugrar river, through Ases valley or along the Cuan river you will definitely spot a lot of birdspecies and probably also cuscus possums, birdwing butterflies, deers, wild pigs, cassowary birds and colorful beetles.

Our eco-tourism network partner Charles Roring can act as your guide while visiting this area. More photos and travel info can be found on his website

Kebar valley

In Kebar Valley, Papuans still live in traditional villages, such as Asiti and Senopi, although modern developments are also on their way. Kebar Valley is a short 20 minute flight away from Manokwari and is very much worth visiting on a tour around the Birds Head peninsula. Here you will encounter original ‘adat’ (custom) of the indigenous Papua people and they are happy to show you how they live in harmony with the surrounding nature.

The Kebar Valley is known for the vibrant green colours of the mountains and grassy fields. A priest once called Kebar Valley “God’s backyard” because he so enjoyed its magnificent grasslands, rainforest, raging rivers and countless bird and wildlife species just waiting to be discovered.

Our eco-tourism network parners can arrange trips to Kebar Valley for you on request, including meals, transport, accommodation and a local guide.

Klasow valley

Klasow valley, located in the Sorong regency, is a fantastic destination for nature lovers and birdwatchers. During your trip to the valley, you can spot Lesser Birds of Paradise, Twelve Wired Birds of Paradise, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Blyth's hornbills, Spotted Goshawks, Golden Myna's and other tropical birds that have Klasow as their natural habitat.

From Sorong, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach the valley by a 4WD car followed by 2 hours on foot to reach the guesthouse that is in the middle of the jungle in the village of Malagufuk.

Our eco-tourism network partner Charles Roring can act as your guide while visiting this area. More photos and travel info can be found on his website

Raja Ampat

The Raja Ampat ('Four Kings') archipelago is nothing less than paradise: covered in bright green rainforest and lined with white sandy beaches. The island group is often mentioned because of the discovery of several new fish species in its colorful tropical waters.

The “Raja Ampat Marine Park” nature reserve offers excellent opportunities to divers and snorkelers to admire the marine life; dolphins, turtles, manta rays, pilot whales and so much more. At Mansuar, a neighboring island to Gam, you can arrange scuba diving or snorkeling trips with a respected dive center.

By arranging your overnight stays through our Microtourism Raja Ampat or Stay Raja Ampat partners, you will support the local community based holiday concept that lets local Papuan people benefit from their own efforts.

Trips to the islands, including meals, transport, accommodation and local guide can be arranged and customized according to your wishes.

Arfak Mountains

From Manokwari, a two hour drive by jeep will bring you to the foot of the Arfak mountains; highlands with mountain peaks that reach up to 2900 meters. Covered with pristine jungle and inhabited by hospitable locals, this is the place to be for nature lovers to enjoy the indigenous forests and wildlife. Scientists and adventurers travel here from all over the world, just to catch a glimpse of the birds of paradise, the tree kangaroos or the world’s biggest butterfly; the infamous Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterfly.

The Arfak Nature Reserve definitely holds the world’s biggest treasure in rare and endemic flora and fauna, covering almost 63.000 ha. New species of animals and insects are still discovered here regularly. Local guide Zeth Wonggor is specialized in tracing the famous Bower bird, which attempts to seduce the female by gathering and displaying all kinds of berries and shiny objects in its nest. You can spend the night at the Arfak guesthouse which is situated in the jungle, close to the village of Mokwam, or at one of the other guesthouses in the area. Trips including meals, accommodation, transport and professional guiding services can be arranged and customized to your wishes by through our eco-tourism network partners.

Anggi Lakes

For avid explorers anxious to roam the jungle for a longer period of time, the Anggi lakes in the Arfak mountains are an excellent destination to travel to. Trekkings here from Manokwari take around four days (one way). Two-day trekkings can be arranged by driving to Ransiki from Manokwari and starting the walk to the Anggi lakes from there. The local mountain climate is cool, making warm clothes and a comfortable sleeping bag essential.

The Anggi lakes offer dense, ancient rainforests with a broad diversity in wildlife and plants, including many types of orchids, butterflies and birds, amongst which the Bower birds. Several trails cross the surrounding villages. Endurance, willingness to accept extremes and an adventurous spirit are key requirements for travelers in this rugged area. Never travel without a guide. If you are keen to stay up to speed with the local guides, we recommend you to hire a porter. Ask your guide for details.

Numfor Island

Between Manokwari and the island of Biak lies the beautiful and unspoiled island of Numfor. Few tourists have visited this tropical and hospitable island. Surrounded by corals and tropical waters, the indigenous Papuan people live primarily off fishery and the cultivation of coconuts. The Numfor inlands show pristine jungle where you can discover birds of paradise, reptiles and tree kangaroos. This is also the habitat of the very rare Paradise Kingfisher!

It is also possible to travel through the extended mangrove forests and local guides are happy to take you on a daytrip to the uninhabited island of Manem. Trips to Numfor, including transport, meals, accommodation, guide and excursions can be arranged and customized according to your wishes by our eco-tourism network partners.

Mansinam Island

A water taxi ferries from Pasir Putih to the tropical island of Mansinam. Missionaries Ottow and Geisler were the first men to set foot on the land here and a beachside monument serves as a reminder. When travelling along the coast by ‘prahu’ (a small boat made from a carved out tree trunk), do stop at one of its deserted beaches to swim or snorkle in the warm waters. In the relatively shallow ocean waters near the coastline you can find an easily accessible wreck of a Japanese WWII patrol boat.

Worth a look

Conservation International

Protecting Marine Environments

In 2004, Conservation International forged an unprecedented collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, the World Wide Fund for Nature and numerous local partners to sustainably manage coastal and marine resources in the Bird’s Head Seascape.

In Bird’s Head Seascape, CI is working to protect the coral reefs and mangroves — the life support system of the Indonesian region of West Papua.

Stay Raja Ampat

Website portal

Stay Raja Ampat is a non-commercial, not-for-profit website created to help travellers and locals in Raja Ampat.

Staying in Raja Ampat accommodation that is owned and operated by local people provides a unique cultural experience at an affordable price. You’ll be supporting the local economy and empowering the traditional owners of Raja Ampat in their efforts to preserve both their environment and their way of life.


Research & Conservation Centre

RARCC stands for Raja Ampat Research and Conservation Center and has been taking the initiative introducing conservation and community related projects in the Raja Ampat since 1993.

Since RARCC was established, they have formed close working relationships with Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, WWF and some of the local NGO’s. They take initiative in conservation and strive to create alternatives among others in the form of sustainable marine tourism industry initiatives.

The Nature Conservancy

Protecting nature. Preserving life.

The Nature Conservancy has been actively working with local government, communities and other partners like World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International toward Raja Ampat’s protection for the past decade.

Their main goal: to ensure the archipelago remains one of the world’s most biodiverse regions while sustaining the valuable natural resources Raja Ampat’s people need to keep their livelihoods.

Photography by Laurence Crossman-Emms ©