Papua (Province): Travel Tourist Information Guide
Traders from Europe first began to arrive in the 16th Century in their search for spices and other delicacies. This brought about a great interest in the island and it was not until 1828 when the Dutch officially made Papua a Dutch Territory until 1962 when it was annexed. It was then called Netherlands New Guinea. However, from 1973 until 2002 it was known as Irian Jaya and today is known simply as Papua.
Their is currently a population of approximately 3.5 million people made up of 250-sub ethnic groups making it extremely culturally diverse. About half of the population are ingenious Papuans and the other half are migrants from Indonesia. The official language spoken is Indonesian, though there are also Papuan and Austronesian languages used by the various tribes. The leading religion is Christianity (80%), then Islam (15%) while Hiduism, Buddism, Animism make up the remaining 5%.
Papau has several protected area such as the World Heritage Lorentz National Park, Wasur National Park and the RAMSAR wetland. The island has over 16 000 species of plants and a dense forest of over 103 million acres of land. It also contains mammals such as tree-kangaroos, wallabies and other rare and endangered species. It is home to a large number of birds, lizards, butterflies, crocodiles, flying foxes and recently discovered new species of animals.
Papua is sought after holiday destination due to its natural beauty and contrasts. It is one of the more remote places to visit adding to the desirability of travelers to vacation on the island. The rich history and cultural diversity of Papua is a big bonus along with the grassy meadows, dense forests, picturesque beaches and snow capped mountain peaks. Transport wise it is easy to both get to and move around Papua. Furthermore, accommodation won't cost an arm and a leg and Papua caters for all. There are plenty of great activities to do and excursions to take keeping everyone on their toes and after sunset watch the island as it transforms into a sleeping wonderland or be entertained in Jayapura with some Indonesian cuisine.