goodmorningpapua.com – The Arfak Mountains located in West Papua have extraordinary allure in the world of international tourism. This potential was glimpsed by the Trek Papua Tours & Travel travel agent so that it was packaged into one of the mainstay tour packages.
Trek Papua Tours & Travel is an international travel agency founded by the Papuan native, Demianus Wasage, in 2008 with the aim of creating jobs for Papuan Indigenous People.
The travel packages offered are not ordinary tour packages. He calls it special interest tourism.
“The Arfak Mountains of West Papua are home to flora and fauna, mainly medicinal plants, birds, insects and butterflies. That’s what attracts foreign tourists, especially researchers, wild life photographers and videomakers,” he explained.
For the sake of explaining, for bird watching, there are several endemic bird species that attract tourists, including the Lesser birds of paradise, Superb birds of paradise, mountain maleo, eagles and other endemic bird species.
In addition to birds, the existence of butterfly species also seems to attract foreign tourists, and what is famous from this area is the bird-wing butterfly.
The journey to the Arfak Mountains, said Demi, was a journey through difficult geographical conditions and terrain. In addition, weather factors also affect trekking activities in the wilderness.
“I usually arrange trips in 4 days. Where there is no lodging available, guests will usually stay at people’s homes. Therefore, before traveling I will establish communication and describe the terrain that guests will face. Other challenges that may be faced are mosquitoes and snakes,” he explained.
Demi also reminded tourists that birds-watching and butterfly trekking activities are carried out in the wild, and there is no guarantee that they will get what they want.
“I recruited local residents as tour guides, porters, cooks and drivers. Because they are the ones who know the conditions of their area so they can provide good information and services to tourists,” said Demi.
In addition to the birds-watching and butterfly packages, the Arfak Mountains also attracts ethnic photographers and researchers of cultural anthropology.
For the record, the number of groups that are guided to travel to the Arfak Mountains is a group in a small group of a maximum of 5 people.
“Small groups are easier to manage, and their presence in the wilderness does not disturb the bird’s habitat, so the target of photographing birds can be achieved. We have a motto to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photos,” he explained.
Tour packages offered by Trek Papua Tour & Travel with the lowest price rate of 1000 – 1200 USD per person per day. The value is adjusted according to the route, the terrain encountered and the number of days of visit.
Tourists who come also come from various countries, including Japan, Europe, America and several Asian countries.
Furthermore, Demi said that since the pandemic the number of tourist visits has decreased drastically and it is hoped that by 2022 the tourism industry will recover and the number of visits will increase in line with the government’s success in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.