Mount Trikora and Baliem Festival

2013 was only the 100th anniversary of the first recorded climb of Papua's 3rd highest mountain - Gunung Trikora. Adventure Alternative is offering a chance to climb to the top of this remote and little known 4750 m non-technical peak.

The scheduled climb will either begin or end with the annual Baliem Valley tribal highlands festival – this is when all the various highlands tribes come together for a big party in Wamena – a photographers dream!

This is also an area where there have been reported sightings of the rare species of wild New Guinea Singing Dogs (NGSD). It was in a similar area in mid 2012 that our guide Tom Hewitt photographed what may have been a wild singing dog and other local guides have reported seeing wild dogs whilst on the trail up to Mt Trikora. This was later corroborated during a follow-up expedition, and we have now been credited with the re-discovery of what has now been renamed the Papuan Highland Dog

The New Guinea Highland Wild Dogs foundation has published it's full expedition report into the 2016 expedition which led to the first filming of these animals in the wild since they were thought to have died out many decades ago. 


At 4750 m high and nestled West of the fabled Baliem Valley, Trikora is an accessible mountain by Papuan standards but still requires high respect and good levels of fitness. Expect to trek for 8 days at altitude and spend the pre accent night in a cave. Weather can be bad enough to require at least two attempts on summit morning so a spare day is included.

The trek will start in the Baliem Valley and take in the spectacular 3300 m Lake Habbema and pass through traditional Dani tribal villages en route. Often the trails will be no more than very muddy pig and hunting trails with many slippery logs! We finish with a wonderful feast in our guides family house back in Wamena before we return to the capital or to the next Papuan destination.

The trip will be led by Adventure Alternative Borneo director Tom Hewitt. Originally from the UK, Tom has led a life of travel and adventure before settling in Borneo. Tom is very knowledgeable about the environments and people of rainforests and mountains of south east Asia and passionate about their protection. He has worked in rainforest protection and enrichment projects and has been able to practice what he preaches in setting up and running the Lupa Masa eco camp close to Poring Springs in the North East of Borneo. Tom speaks basic Malay and Indonesian and is well respected by local communities for the responsible and ethical stance that his activities follow.


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Trikora and Baliem Festival itinerary

The exact dates coincide with when the Tribal Festival dates have been set and confirmed. The festival normally takes place around the 8th of August each year, lasting for 4 to 5 days. Therefore we will need to be arriving on our international flights into Jayapura no later than around 29th of July.

If you have a group or are a couple who are interested in a private expedition to Mt Trikora or just to attend the Baliem Tribal Festival please do contact us for options on a bespoke package.

For more information and advice on flight options see our More Info page to the right entitled "Before You Leave for Papua"

Total 14 days in country:

Arrive in Jayapura, expedition commences (1 day)
Internal Flight to Wamena & Final Preperations (1 day)
Drive & Trek from Wamena to Lake Habbema (1 day)
Climb Mt Trikora (5 days)
Trek out via mountain villages (2 days)
Baliem Valley Tribal Festival (2 days) [can be extended on request]
Internal flight from Wamena to Jayapura (1 day)
Depart Jayapura or add-on trips (1 day)

DayElevationTravel TimeInfo
1     Arrive in Jayapura, capital of Papua Indonesia, after international flight. Probably via Jakarta or Bali. We will stay overnight here in simple local guesthouse and sleep off some of our jet lag.
2     Fly Jayapura to Wamena. A short 45 minute flight over unbroken rainforest brings us to the fabled Baliem Valley. Here we will meet our guides and porters, visit a local market for last minute supplies and spend the night in a local hotel. After our flight, today will also be a fairly relaxed and flexible programme to further assist us in recovering from the international flight & jet lag and also to get to know the team.
3     Drive Wamena to Lake Habbema. Today we will transfer to Lake Habbema at 3,300 m by 4 x 4. We then begin the first stage of our trek. After 2-3 hours walking we will establish camp close to the lake shore.
4     After breakfast we continue our trek with around 5-6 hours of walking up through valley with gradual ascent. By afternoon we will establish camp and enjoy our surroundings.
5     Today we continue on up the valley for around 5-6 hours until we get to a big cave at base of Trikora where we spend one night.
6     Cave camp to the mountain Base Camp We trek further up the mountain flank to establish our base camp. We will have one or two nights depending on the weather to give the best chance of successful summit. The climbing on these days is testing with steep drops but non technical, it will be done slowly.
7     Summit Day. Today we will set off from our base camp for the climb up to the summit of Mount Trikora. After enjoying the summit we will descend to base camp or even all the way down to Cave camp if conditions are good.
8     Spare Summit Day If weather conditions allowed us to summit on the previous day then today can be spent relaxing or perhaps making our way back down toward the valley, setting up up camp en route. If the weather had not been suitable the day before, this will be our second opportunity to push on to the summit from base camp.
9     Trikora Mountain to Mountain Village From the previous camp we will reach the first village on out route back – expect 6-7 hours today through wonderful wild scenery – the elusive and only once ever photographed New Guinea Singing Dog is known to inhabit this area.
10     First to second mountain Village We continue our trek down to the next village, this may take around 5-6 hours. If we had a successful first summit day then we may be a little ahead of schedule and may therefore get back to Wamena today.
11     Second Mountain Village to Wamena We complete the short last leg of our trek into Wamena, check into hotel and enjoy the start of the festival.
12     Today we will get involved in the Wamena mountain festival. All the various visiting tribes will be 'meeting and greeting' each other and it will be a wonderful meeting of cultures and celebration of traditional lifestyles.
13     Fly Wamena to Jayapura. Today we will bid farewell to our team of local guides, cooks and porters and take the short rainforest flight back to Papua Indonesia's capital, Jayapura.
14     International flight home or Continue to additional trip extensions elsewhere in West Papua, possible options to follow.


Mount Trikora and Baliem Festival cost £2,495.00

  • All accommodation and food on trip
  • All transfers and internal transport from Jayapura Airport to all locations on itinerary and back to Jayapura Airport
  • Trip Leader
  • Local Guides, Cooks Porters and Staff
  • All group camping and cooking equipment
  • Puncak Trikora Climbing Permit
  • UK company back-up and logistics

Note this price does include internal flights from Jayapura to Wamena but we can include this if you wish.

  • International air fare from/to Jayapura; DJJ (~£800)
  • Indonesia Visa (UK-$25)
  • Personal Travel Insurance (~£50-100)
  • Vaccinations & Medications (£varies)
  • Additional drinks & Food in cities/towns


You do not need to be super-fit for this trip but you do need to have a good background health and fitness and be able to sustain a slow walking pace for many hours. This kind of fitness is best arrived at by simply doing long walks on mixed, undulating terrain, perhaps with a small pack of say 5kg. Of course any kind of execise will benefit your conditioning for the trip, especially cardio-vascular and aerobic exercise and perhaps some leg-strength and flexibility work if you feel you have any weakness there.

On the trip we will travel slowly but continuously and will only carry our small day-packs containing extra layers, snacks and water. Porters will carry our larger packs and the group equipment and food.

As well as fitness, another thing to consider is general health. We will spend a number of days in difficult and remote terrain with more restricted egress to medical facilities. You do therefore need to ensure that any background issues of medical conditions, musculo-sketetal problems, dental conditions etc are discussed with your medical professional and any neccessary steps taken to address any issues. In addition, any potential issues muyst be fully disclosed to ourselves and to your travel insurance provider.


We will be moving over varied terrain as we gain altitude. This area is far less frequented than trekking routes in places such as Kenya or Nepal. In many places it may appear that we are moving over terrain with little or no path at all! We will start in rainforested jungle and move up though slightly more sparse and stunted forest though to the rocky upper reaches of Mt Trikora. In some places on the upper parts of the climb there will be some low grade scrambling where we will move slowly and with care. In general you will not need to have experiece of this kind of terrain but it will be an advantage if you do not have a strong aversion to heights.

Kit List

  • 65-75 Litre rucksack, liner and cover plus a daypack, and various stuff sacks which are waterproof
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers, gaiters
  • Warm insulated jacket and a fleece top
  • Trekking Trousers, shorts, shirts and base layers like Tshirts. Try to avoid cotton underwear. Various socks
  • Warm hat and sun hat, gloves
  • Sun glasses
  • Trekking Boots, sandals
  • Travel clothes and shoes (these can be left in Wamena or Jayapura while we are trekking)
  • 3 season sleeping bag (comfort temperature approx -5 deg C) and liner
  • Sleeping mat
  • Walking Poles, headtorch, camera, solar charger, water bottles, multitool
  • Cutlery, bowl and mug

Personal first aid and toiletries

  • Toilet roll in zip lock plastic bag
  • Antibacterial hand gel
  • Wet wipes 
  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Adhesive Plasters
  • Blister Plasters
  • Zinc Tape
  • Insect Repellent
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Sunblock Cream
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Rehydration Sachets
  • Personal Medication as required



Choose a scheduled date or ask about private dates and itineraries. 
The minimum deposit is £100 with the balance in instalments and final payment six weeks before travel. 

Tours from only 2,495pp book
Key Information
  • Duration 13 days
  • Numbers 4-10
  • Altitude 4750m
  • Distance
  • Challenge Moderate
  • Comfort Camps/Hotel