Biak, The Charms Of The Papua Island
Biak is probably the first stop for travellers heading into the untamed landscape of Papua. Biak is an island located just off the north coast of mainland Papua and is served by planes coming from Java, Sulawesi and Flores. Citilink is a good option of airline.
Biak is a great place to have as your base as the island offers all the charms that Papua conjures up in a travellers mind. You will have a choice of pristine beaches, tropical waterfalls and virgin coral reefs all teeming with an abundance of marine life.
Upon arrival at Biak airport it is easy to find transport, as there will be a good dozen or so taxis (mini-vans), waiting to take you to your hotel. Be sure to obtain your Surat Jalan here in Biak at the Police station located on Jalan Diponegoro. The Hotels here in Papua are considerably more expensive than the rest of Indonesia so expect to pay double of what you are used to.
Travelling around Biak is quite easy and you can arrange with your hotel suitable transport to other areas of the island. A place to head to is Bosnik east of Biak’s main town. Most people head to Bosnik not for the town itself but the scattering of beaches that line the coast here. Some of the best places to snorkel is Saba Beach which is right in front of the old Biak Hotel and 5 km further east you will arrive at Barito village. Make sure you have your snorkeling equipment, as the sea here is very enticing with its turquoise waters and pristine coral.
The outer lying islands also offer some amazing snorkeling and great beaches. To get to these islands you can once again arrange with your hotel or try to hop onto the public boat laving Wardo in the afternoons. Wardo is located around 35 km northwest of the main town of Biak. A lot of the islands don’t have accommodation as such but you can stay in the village. If you choose this option, you must always ask the Chief of the village for authorization. (Kepala Desa). Expect to pay around Rp 50,000 per night. You will also be fed three meals a day.
If you are beached out you could always head to Gua Jepang (Japanese Caves). It was here where the Japanese hid during the latter stages of World War Two from the Americans. It is rather an interesting visit as you will see old oil lamps, oil drums and undoubtedly monitor lizards and snakes. If you visit in the early morning you will be met by a multitude of Fruit Bats.
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