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Day 1: Arrival
We will meet on arrival at Port Moresby airport and transfer to our hotel.
Day 2: Port Moresby to Mt. Hagen
This morning we depart for the airport for our domestic flight to Mt. Hagen. Upon arrival, we will check into our hotel and enjoy a tour of Mt. Hagen. We will have the opportunity to visit Paiagona Village for some pre-show entertainment before the Mt. Hagen Cultural show officially begins. Overnight in Mt. Hagen.
Days 3 - 4: Mt. Hagen Cultural Show
A yearly event in Papua New Guinea, the Mt. Hagen Cultural Show is one of the best shows in Papua New Guinea to witness some of the amazing traditional dances and tribal attire from over 40 different tribal groups. An early morning wake-up call gets us to the show ground to see the preparations before the formal show begins. We see the performers preparing their traditional clothing and body decorations and practicing for their "dances". We spend the next two days at the Mt. Hagen Arena taking in the "singsing" performances.
Day 5: Mt. Hagen and Kumul Lodge
Today we travel to Kumul Lodge, in the shadow of Mt. Hagen, a well known bird watching spot. In addition to the Birds of Paradise (75% of the Birds of Paradise species can be seen here), you may also spot the Crested Berrypecker, White Winged Robin, Tit Berrypecker, Brown Sicklebill and Ribbon Tailed Astrapia. We will take a walk through the forest, bird spotting and looking for the beautiful mountain orchids that can be found here. We take a scenic drive to Wapenamanda in Enga province, the highest and most rugged province in Papua New Guinea.
Day 6: Mt. Hagen to Goroka
This morning we depart for a full day tour to Goroka via the huge Waghi valley. Enroute we stop at Avi for a brief visit to their orchid gardens. Further along at the village of Mindima, we witness the Courtship and Bride Price ceremony. After lunch we continue to Goroka stopping for a view of the breathtaking scenery at Daulo Pass.
Day 7: Goroka
Goroka is the capital of Eastern Highlands province and we will spend the day exploring some of the interesting sites including the JK McCarthy Museum and the Raun Raun Theatre. We will walk to the lookout at Mt. Kiss for some amazing views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. We then visit Asaro village to meet the famous Asaro Mud-men who traditionally covered themselves in mud before raiding nearby villages. The legend of the Mudmen says that the tribe was attacked and forced to flee their village. To hide, they jumped into the Asaro River. When they emerged at twilight from the river, covered in mud, the attacking tribe saw them and thought they were spirits and fled the area. While in the village we may be able to watch an eerie performance of the Mudmen, which is a production of mime. We also may see a local artist making an actual mudmask. Overnight in Goroka.
Day 8: Madang
Madang Province has many of the country's highest peaks and a broad ethnic diversity.
Day 9: Madang to Wewak
This morning we visit the Madang local market, Kalibobo light house, Madang Museum and arts gallery. This afternoon we visit the Balek Wildlife Sanctuary, home of an interesting sulphur creek pouring out of a limestone formation. The creek is filled with turtles, eels and fish. The creek is said to cure illnesses by the local people. The park also has a variety of tropical trees and plants, hot springs and sulphur caves. Following our visit to the Sanctuary, we visit the local Haus Tamburan for a traditional dance ceremony.
Day 10: To Sepik River
After an early breakfast we proceed to the airport for our flight to Wewak,
Day 11: Sepik River
This morning we drive to Pagwi on the Sepik River. The drive can take between 5 and 6 hours as we visit markets and viewpoints along the way. Arriving in Pagwi, we board motorized dugout canoes and travel down river to Palimbe village - home of the crocodile cult - and set up for our next two nights in the village.
Day 12: Sepik River Excursion
Today, we will travel by dugout canoes along the Sepik River and its tributaries. Before heading out, explore a Palimbe village and see their beautiful hand-carved totem pole.
Day 13: Sepik River, Return to Wewak
This morning we visit another village and Haus Tamburan before arriving in Pagwi, a small scattering of houses, where we disembark from our canoes and continue by road to Wewak. This afternoon we have a walk through the town to see the memorial at the site of the Japanese/Papua New Guinea Peace Park. For those who wish, you may also stretch your legs with a walk along the beach or visit the local market.
Day 14: To Port Moresby
Early morning departure for our flight to Port Moresby. We have a full day city tour of Port Moresby city and surrounding areas, including the National Parliament and the Botanical Gardens. We have time to enjoy the fabulous views down to the coast and of Port Moresby, and the beautiful Rouna Falls before visiting the Bomana WW II cemetery.
Day 15: Fly to Louisa, Kiriwina Island, Trobriand Islands
Today we fly to the island of Kiriwina, in the Trobriand Islands. The Trobriand Islanders have a fascinating and rich culture and a unique feature of these islands is the importance of yams. The crop is an indicator of how well the producer is at gardening and there is a yearly festival held to show off the best of the yams grown that season.
Day 16: Kiriwina Island, Trobriand Islands
The label of a "free love society" has been placed on the islands, but the sexual practices of these people have been misunderstood. The society does encourage free choice and "casual encounters" as the norm for teenagers, however, people are encouraged to settle down to married life. The belief in this society is that all children are in spirit form until they enter a woman through her head and then are born. In addition to spending time with the villagers, we also explore the island including its beautiful beaches, WWII relics and nearby caves. Our time on Kiriwina Island is flexible so that we can explore according to the group's interests and local events.
Day 17: Kaibola Village, Trobriand Islands
This morning we leave the lodge and drive to Kaibola village where we will enjoy a swim, walk on the beach or snorkel. We will have time to relax at our hotel in Kiriwina in the afternoon. Overnight in Kiriwina.
Day 18: Port Moresby to Loloata Island
This morning we leave Kiriwina and fly to Port Moresby to embark on our boat ride over to breathtaking Loloata Island for a sunset over the ocean you will never forget. Watch the sunlight fade over the Gulf of Papua and enjoy the ocean air.
Day 19: Loloata Island
Welcome in the day with a stroll on the island as you unwind from your great adventure. Today is a day to relax in the sun, explore the island or immerse yourself with the dazzling array of great fish and corals. Why not sit back and have a drink with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
Day 20: Loloata to Port Moresby
We have a morning at leisure on Loloata Island before we board the ferry back to Port Moresby. The afternoon is free for last minute shopping or relaxation in Port Moresby.
Day 21: Depart Port Moresby
We say a fond farewell to this fascinating and beautiful country as we transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
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