Cultural Activities in Papua New Guinea

An Authentic Oasis of Tradition

In a world where shopping malls and smartphones seem ubiquitous, chances to experience authentic traditional cultures are rare. But not in Papua New Guinea, where footpaths still outnumber roads, virgin rainforests cover the mountains and much of the population maintains the lifestyles and beliefs of their ancestors. When you are greeted by a villager wearing a grass skirt and headdress, it's not a costume, it's way of life. You will be welcomed into villages that seem unchanged from centuries past, where the secrets of bush medicine and sorcery are preserved by storytellers, and meals come from backyard gardens and the surrounding forest, not the supermarket.

Highlights

  • Best for: All travellers with a sense of adventure and love of nature and culture
  • Best season to visit: Year round
  • Weather: Tropical and moist, with minimal seasonal variation, and air temperatures from the high 70s to high 80s

Things to Do

PNG Information

Cultural activities in PNG Overview

Visits to traditional villages and other cultural sites most often begin with a short walk, a ride in a comfortable off-road or a boat trip, as there are few or no paved roads into the most remote areas of the country. Accommodations range from simple village guest homes to comfortable eco-lodges that blend off-grid sustainability with modern comforts.

Cultural activities in PNG Tips

Don't expect tour buses, brochures or gift shops. A visit to traditional villages puts you beyond the realm of mainstream tourism and into adventures that are safe but far less scripted than a theme park. A bit of time spent in advance learning about the culture and people will make for a more enjoyable and memorable visit.

Best Places for Cultural activities in PNG

From the fjords of McLaren Harbour, guests are ferried up a jungle river by outrigger canoe and welcomed at a traditional village where village elders share the ways of bush medicine, fire making and traditional tattooing. At the village of Orotoba, visitors can spend the night in thatch-roofed guest houses and share in traditional meals. A boat ride from a coastal lodge gives access to Sepik people, who are renowned weavers and wood carvers. In the Tari region, Huli Wigmen still stage sing-sings inspired by the mating rituals of flamboyant birds-of-paradise

What to Pack for Cultural activities in PNG

Sturdy walking shoes, light weight clothing that provides sun protection and cooling in lowland tropical conditions, and possibly a light jacket for mountainous regions. Cameras are acceptable.

Packages

Cultural Activities

Papua New Guinea

Rondon Ridge

HIGHLANDS ADVENTURE includes accommodations at the Rondon Ridge, Mount Hagen, airport transfers, tour transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

3-Full days exploring the Hagen Area & Wahgi Valley.

The Mount Hagen area is the home of the Melpa people, a strong cultured people living in traditional subsistence lifestyles. In the mountains surrounding the Wahgi Valley lives a stunning array of birds, orchids and plant life.

Tours will also include a visit to a local Huli Village in Mount Hagen. These Highland people employ as their art, body decoration, face painting and human hair decorated with feathers, flowers and moss. The Huli culture is the most vibrant intact and colorful to be experienced anywhere.
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From $2,353 per person/double

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Dive

Papua New Guinea

Tawali Resort

1 FREE NIGHT + 18 BOAT DIVES 7-NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes Standard accommodations, 6 days of 3-tank boat dives, shore diving on house reef, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, coffee, tea and fruit juices, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Valid thru 12/30/21
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From $2,046 per person double diver

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Dive

Papua New Guinea

MV Oceania

10 nights accommodations including all meals and snacks, 8 1/2 days of unlimited diving as scheduled, use of tanks, weights and belts, roundtrip ground transfers.
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From $4,990 per person double diver

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Dive

Papua New Guinea

MV FeBrina

LIVEABOARD - 10-NIGHT ITINERARY includes 10 nights double cabin accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily including complimentary wine with dinner, four to five dives per day, airport transfers on day of departure and disembarkation, light laundry daily, environmental and safety fee. Departure time is no earlier than 6 p.m. on the first day and disembarkation is no later than 9 a.m. on the final day. Packages available for 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 night trips. Call for 7 and 12-night package dates and rates.
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From $5,440 per person double diver

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Dive

Papua New Guinea

Tawali Resort

MILNE BAY - 7-NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes Standard accommodations, 18 boat dives, shore diving on house reef, all meals including coffee, tea and fruit juices, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.
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From $2,252 per person double diver

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Resorts

Dive

Papua New Guinea

Tawali Resort

MILNE BAY - Tucked away, only accessible by boat, sits what may be Papua New Guinea's best kept scuba diving secret. Located on a volcanic bluff overlooking the clear protected waters of Milne Bay, Tawali offers travelers a unique location to dive, relax and enjoy the unspoiled wonders of this magnificent part of the world.
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Dive

Papua New Guinea

Tufi Dive Resort

TUFI - Nestled in the only fjord country in Papua New Guinea, this boutique upmarket resort offers macro diving at its best along with great outer reef diving. Tufi Dive Resort also offers snorkeling, cultural trips, fishing, outrigger safaris, and trekking.
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Dive

Papua New Guinea

Walindi Plantation Resort

KIMBE BAY - Walindi Plantation Resort has long set the standard in catering to the diver who craves the very best. Stunning vistas above the water are surpassed by the profusion of corals and sheer abundance of marine life beneath the sun-drenched turquoise waters of Kimbe Bay.
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Liveaboards

Dive

Papua New Guinea

MV Oceania

Oceania is currently undergoing a refurbishment before she launches. Her focus will be on scuba diving charters within the Bismarck Sea, but she is likely to explore some other areas within Papua New Guinean waters and is open to specialist charters including leisure and birding focused trips. Guest cabins will be a combination of twin share and queen bed rooms, all en-suite, above deck and designed with comfort in mind. Cabins and common areas inside will all be air-conditioned, or guests can relax outside on the spacious sun deck.
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From $4,990 per person double diver

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Dive

Papua New Guinea

MV FeBrina

A liveaboard steeped in the diving folklore of Papua New Guinea, MV FeBrina has attracted a dedicated and enthusiastic band of followers from around the world from the enthusiastic sports diver to the world's best underwater photographers, The FeBrina offers some of Papua New Guinea’s best diving for small intimate groups with a maximum of only 12 divers per trip. These trips sell out quickly so contact us for current availability and details.
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From $3,720 per person/double diver

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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

Entry Requirements: All U.S. citizens are required to present a valid passport which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry into the country. Proof of onward or return ticket may be required and you must have at least 1 blank page in your passport for the entry stamp. Visas are required for entry for stays less than 60 days which are given upon arrival for tourist stays.

Exit Requirements: All persons leaving PNG, pay a Government Departure Tax which should be included in your airline ticket.

Immunizations

While there are no required vaccines for entry into Papua New Guinea, it is always recommended that you check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at cdc.gov.

Culture and Customs

Papua New Guinea is one of the most fascinating and primeval destinations on earth. It is a land of smoldering volcanoes, impenetrable forests, exotic wildlife and still more exotic cultures. With few roads, vast tracts of the interior highlands remained unknown to the outside world until the mid 20th century. This region is home to isolated tribal communities that speak more than 800 distinct languages. Village elders are one generation away from a stone-age heritage, and much of the nation still embraces broad elements of traditional lifestyles and dress. Elaborate rituals accompany marriages, deaths, rites of passage and ceremonial eats. Cultural gatherings such as sing sings are not performed for tourists but are an actual gathering of tribes to resolve conflicts and disputes through competitive song and dance rather than warfare. In addition to unique cultural interactions that can include stays in traditional villages, visitors can engage in a range of eco adventures, from birding excursions to mountain treks and river trips in dugout canoes.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity in PNG is 240 volts, 50 Hz, similar to Australia, so an adapter will be needed for U.S. visitors. Some hotels have 110 adapters for hair dryers and shavers. The country code for PNG is 675. Check with your cell phone provider for international plans including data, text and voice. Some hotels offer WiFi, but internet service can be spotty.

Water Quality

In general, drinking the tap water is not recommended. It is best to drink bottled water throughout the country.

Language & Currency

English and Tok Pisin are the official languages, but most communication is via Tok Pisin. There are over 800 indigenous languages spoken among the various native tribes. The local currency is the Papua New Guinea Kina (PGK) but U.S. dollars are accepted in some places. Check the currency rate here. ATM cards can be used at banks. It is recommended to change some money in Port Moresby upon arrival if possible.

Time

Papua New Guinea utilizes Papua New Guinea Time or PGT which is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+10 GMT). PNG does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Location, Size and Population

Papua New Guinea is a large island located in the southwestern Pacific and accounts for the eastern half of New Guinea and it’s numerous other offshore islands. The island is located 160 kilometers north of Australia. There are some 600 offshore islands off of Papua New Guinea. The size of Papua New Guinea is approximately 178,000 square miles (about the size of California) with the main island having the bulk of the surface area. The island of New Britain is approximately 14,000 square miles.

The population of Papua New Guinea is 7.77 Million (2016).