Getting to know Sugapa, the Main Gate toward the Peak of Cartenz Papua – Sugapa is a capital city of Intan Jaya Regency, Papua. Sugapa is located in the central mountains of Papua, at an altitude for about 2,200 meters above sea level and is the gateway toward the Cartenz Peak. Sugapa is surrounded by the mountains of Bula Pigu, Mbulu-bulu Pigu, and Jogo Pigu.

There is no a road access to Sugapa yet. People going in and out of there can only go via the air. In Sugapa there is a Bilogai airport for pioneer aircraft of twin otter from Nabire or Timika. A researcher from the Papua Archaeological Center, Hari Suroto, said that only experienced pilots with the mountainous conditions of Papua dared to fly to Sugapa. “The conditions over there are rocky karst hills and wilderness and are often foggy, so it greatly affects visibility,” said Hari Suroto.

As an area in the highlands with limited sunlight intensity, the conditions in Sugapa are cold and often foggy. The temperature there is around 12 to 25 degrees Celsius. The main commodities of the Sugapa community are agricultural products, in the form of vegetables, tubers, and fruits.

Vegetables are in the form of carrots, cabbage, beans, tomatoes, chilies, sugar cane, and wax vegetables. Tubers are like taro, sweet potato, and cassava. The fruits are banana, papaya, pumpkin, passion fruit, and red fruit. Agricultural commodities in Sugapa are grown organically. “The most special thing is passion fruit because it tastes very sweet and has absolutely no sour taste,” said Hari Suroto.

Sugapa is the closest point to Cartenz Peak, a snowy peak in the tropics. Climbers take a week on foot from Sugapa to Cartenz Peak. The peak of Cartenz is sacred by the Moni Tribe and is guarded by the dingo, Papuan singing dog.

Don’t worry about the signal. In Sugapa there is satellite internet for communication. Users only need to buy vouchers at an hourly rate. However, this satellite internet depends on the availability of electricity from generators or solar cells. And the availability of fuel oil in Sugapa is highly dependent on shipments from Nabire or Timika using the pioneering aircraft.

Besides Carstensz Peak, tourists visiting Intan Jaya, Papua can also come to the Moni Tribe village in Sugapa. There is a mummy named Belau Mala. The Moni tribe in Wandai and Hitadipa Districts still practice the tradition of making salt from saltwater pools that has been going on for generations.

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