Salt Water Tours in the Wamena Baliem Valley

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To absorb salt, banana tree trunks are soaked many times (image: Fajar Arcana)

Papua is a land that is blessed by God, both natural resources, the community, and its culture. Biodiversity is not in doubt. Panorama of natural scenery really spoil the eyes. Not surprisingly, Papua is included in the bucket list of tourist destinations that domestic and foreign tourists want to visit.

Speaking of travel, Papua has a myriad of destinations that not many people know and are still hidden. These hidden tourist sites build our curiosity and our adventurous spirit. Moreover, visiting tourist attractions that have not been visited by many people can create a more quiet and comfortable atmosphere, like in Wamena one of them.

Wamena is a city located in Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Province, and is also the capital of the regency. Based on various sources, Wamena has the potential for salt water tourism in the Baliem Valley. Baliem Valley itself is a valley in the Jayawijaya mountains. This salt water source is located at an altitude of 480 meters above sea level.

Generally identical salt water is found in coastal areas or around the coast. For ordinary people, the discovery of salt water at such height is impossible. Moreover, geographically the location of the Baliem Valley is far from the coast. Quoted page (3/26/2015), in the past the local community often used this salt water source for daily needs. This salt water source can also be used to create salty flavors in cooking.

It is said that the ancestors of the Dani, who inhabited the Baliem Valley, from generation to generation received saltiness from a salt spring on Mount Mili, at an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level. The Dani can walk for days to get the salt. Not far from the spring there is a river that tastes of fresh water (reported on the young, 10/13/2015). The Dani believe that salt is a miracle given by the mountains.

Salt water is also believed to have the power to cure various diseases by local residents. That’s why this spring is sacred. The things that become taboo are not allowed to bathe and defecate in the source of the spring, even strictly forbidden to sit on a large rock located above the spring.

Surely this unique spring is God’s gift for the Land of Papua. Salt water tourism is an attraction for tourists to come to visit Wamena. According to Jayawijaya Regency Government data, hotel construction in the district continues to grow to accommodate foreign and domestic tourists who in 2017 alone have approached 43 thousand. Aside from salt water tours, in the Baliem Valley there is also a fairly deep cave with a length of 5 to 10 kilometers.

Well, now we have additional interesting destinations to travel in Papua, especially in Wamena.

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