Papua New Guinea is an island nation in Oceania. It may not be on many people’s bucket lists, but it is a small, beautiful country that may surprise you. The best time to go there is April through November because the very wet season occurs December through March. However, if you are interested in trekking in Papua New Guinea, the best time to do so is June through September. We would like to share a few essential details about Papua New Guinea so that you do not go there unprepared.
We will start off with entry requirements. While Papua New Guinea’s visa policy does not include a list of visa-exempt nationalities like many countries in the world, the visa policy itself is pretty lenient. For one thing, 71 nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival. If you count yourself among them, all you need is a passport that maintains its validity for at least another 6 months from the date of entry in Papua New Guinea. The visa on arrival allows you to spend up to 60 days in Papua New Guinea, but you can extend your stay for a fee. This type of visa is only available at the following points of entry: Port Moresby or Tokua (Rabaul).
At the same time, the same nationalities that are eligible for a Papua New Guinea visa on arrival also qualify for a Papua New Guinea eVisa. This document grants an entry of 60 days too. The eVisa is available to 25 additional nationalities, but these can stay in Papua New Guinea for only up to 30 days, not 60.
The nationalities that cannot get a visa on arrival or an electronic visa for Papua New Guinea are required to pay a visit to the nearest embassy of Papua New Guinea and apply for a standard visa there.
As to what you can see in Papua New Guinea, you can take your pick. We recommend that you visit the South New Guinea, where you will find the Kokoda Trail. It is 60 miles long and starts in Port Moresby. It used to be utilized by gold miners at the end of the 19th century, and this is the place where the Japanese tried to reach Port Moresby in World War II. If you want to take the hike along this trail, prepare for a 5-day hike, but the mountain ridges and the streams are worth it. You will come across fantastic scenery.
The Highlands are also worth a visit. They comprise a long string of fertile land, separated by mountains. You will come across many tribal regions there, which is something you may find interesting. If you feel up for it, you can climb Mount Wilhelm, which is Papua New Guinea’s highest mountain. It reaches 14,880 feet high, but the climb is reasonably easy. You should allow yourself about 4 days to finish it because you will want to enjoy the sights along the way. You can hire a guide if you wish, they are quite cheap. Even so, the fact that you will get to see both the north and south coasts of Papua New Guinea will make the trip worth your while. And let’s not overlook the fact that the Wahgi River is one of the best places in the world where you can go white rafting. Exciting, isn’t it?
If you want to check out the Northern Coast, you will come across beautiful things here as well. In Madang, you can go scuba diving at all skill levels. You will be able to admire some of the coral reefs, which are home to several species of very colorful fish. If you want to adventure further, you can see some Japanese plane wrecks that have been off the coast since World War II. If you go closer, you can see how their cargo and weapons are intact. Nature has been kind to them. While you are in the Madang area, you can trek along one of the active volcanoes in the area.
If you move a little to the west, you will reach Wewak. It is a gateway that leads to the Sepik River region. It has a unique culture, very different from the one in the Highlands. Here, you can enjoy a long canoe ride up the river.
Papua New Guinea also has three islands: New Britain, Bougainville, and Trobriand Islands. Each and every one of them has something to offer, so if you have some free time, you should check them out.
While Papua New Guinea has plenty to offer, we cannot stress enough the fact that this small island nation provides some of the best tropical reef diving in the entire world. You should not miss the opportunity to go scuba diving. Even if you have never done it before, you should learn and experience marine life in all its splendor.
Papua New Guinea is labeled a risky destination by many countries, and that is somewhat true. The low employment rate makes people fight for their meals, which is why we recommend that you take precautions before traveling there. One way of doing that is calling up the embassy and asking about risks.
The people in Papua New Guinea are incredible, especially those from villages. They are hospitable and friendly. They will go out of their way to help you. If you want to go somewhere specific, someone will take you there even if it means postponing personal needs. You do not have to ask. The locals will adopt you, so to speak.
We should mention that the tap water in Papua New Guinea is not safe to drink. You should also buy malaria medication, just to be on the safe side. Many villages have been treated for mosquitos, but you can never be too safe.
While Papua New Guinea is not hugely popular among vacation destinations, you should give it a try. It may be small, but it has plenty to offer. You will not regret paying it a visit.