Due to poor planning, I had to wait for 2 days in Jayapura for a flight to Sorong. But I have to say it was not a waste of time at all.
Jayapura is built on hills. This gives a very singular atmosphere to the city, combined with the average dark complexion of its inhabitants it feels as if you had left Indonesia for something closer to Brazil.
A bit like in Ternate, houses are also quite colorful.
After the dreadful segregation of Wamena, Jayapura was really refreshing. The population is obviously more mixed, maybe because as an harbour it has been trading with people from other places since a long time.
Set out for a stroll from Hamadi beach, then Hamadi central market, then Jayapura city hill is a good idea.
A few people told me the city was unsafe at night with people getting drunk and brawling. I don’t know exactly in which extent this is true.
A couple of stuff to do
Hamadi and Base-G beach
Two beaches can be easily accessed by public transport from Jayapura. Angkot within town costs 4,000Rp.
I visited Base-G at low tide and as you can see it’s not the best moment. Pantai Hamadi is closer from town but also more crowded. Both are quite clean for Indonesian standards.
Discovering Papuan traditional craft
There is a museum on the road between Jayapura and the airport but it was unfortunately close when I was there. But you have another option by visiting Hamadi central market. Most of the angkot will take you there, otherwise take one to Entrop terminal and from there another one to Hamadi.
About 10m after the market on the main road there is 5 or 6 shops selling souvenirs for tourists, mostly Asmat woodcraft (masks, totems, statues …) and animal skin paintings. As of July 2017 they were still selling hat made out of stuffed birds of paradise but a recent regulation from the governor has banned it.
Climbing to ‘Jayapura City’ hill
You got a nice point of view over the harbour from the hill that has JAYAPURA CITY written on its top. An angkot can take you halfway then you have either to walk or to take ojek.
I got told there are a couple of other viewpoint reachable by car or motorbike.
Visit Sentani Lake
Sentani lake is located next to the airport. You can go on some boat trip or visit the nearby villages.
For me it was quite a hassle because a ferry had just arrived in town and all rooms were booked. I couldn’t manage to find a decent homestay. I eventually found Hotel Annabel that charges 253’000Rp a night for a single room with AC and a breakfast.
Going to Jayapura from the airport
There is a Damri bus that costs 50,000Rp one way. Otherwise you can go to Entrop terminal by angkot.
Ask around which one to take for the airport, you will have to change twice to get to your final destination. The price from Entrop will be 5,000 + 5,000 + 7,000 Rp. It takes a bit more than one hour.