Take a step back in time and see real life tribal groups living in villages and huts. There are mountains, caves and beaches to explore right on the doorstep of our Papua New Guinea hotels. Papua New Guinea is made up of over 600 islands, with 800 languages, and has been inhabited for around 50,000 years. Papua New Guineans descend from Melanesian tribes and continue to perform many of the traditional rituals and ceremonies in birth, marriage, death and initiation. If you're lucky, you might get the chance to attend one of these ceremonies.
Some of the more popular cultural events in Papua New Guinea include the Mask Festival in July, where you can watch eerie costumed dances, performed to the beat of traditional drums; the Crocodile Festival in August, which celebrates crocodile conservation efforts; the Mt Hagen Cultural Show in August, which showcases the vibrancy of native dance and brings together many different tribes (as well as tourists) in one big celebration and cultural exchange; and the National Canoe and Kundu Festival in November, where traditional war canoes race, while kundu drums are beaten and the conch shell is blown. Besides these festivals, the most popular tourist attraction in Papua New Guinea is the Kokoda Trail, famous for its role in World War II. This rugged track is a challenge worth preparing yourself for (physically and emotionally). The Moitaka Wildlife Sanctuary is also worth a visit. It's home to a wide range of native wildlife, as well as a small zoo and research laboratory. The Port Moresby Botanical Gardens isn't your average garden. You will, most likely, spot bamboo, kangaroos and monkeys here. The Melanesian Arts Gallery is another great attraction, with tribal artefacts, ancient art and culturally significant handicrafts on display.
You can go trekking, hiking, surfing, fishing, kayaking and/or bird watching in Papua New Guinea. The waters in the area are renowned for being an 'underwater photographer's paradise', making it very popular for diving and snorkelling. If you'd like to purchase some fresh produce and local handicrafts, visit the Hagen Market, Wewak Main Market, Port Moresby Handicrafts Market and/or Ela Beach Craft Market. If you're hungry and adventurous, try some of the traditional underground oven-cooked meals, or have a taste of some crocodile meat. There are also plenty of international cuisines available in the bigger cities, like Port Moresby. In the cities, you'll find some good low-key watering holes and live music joints, but you can also go clubbing into the wee hours of the morning, if you're so inclined. Take care when doing so, though, and always travel in pairs or groups.
The airport is about 8km from the centre of Port Moresby. There are taxis in Port Moresby but if you're planning on visiting other parts of Papua New Guinea, you'll have to rely on hotel minibuses, charter boats and/or small aircraft, especially if you want to go island hopping. To rediscover your natural instincts and enjoy a tribal holiday, check out our cheap flights to Papua New Guinea and book your Papua New Guinea accommodation.
Image credit Luke Brindley under Creative Commons