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Tropical Island Vacation in Numfor

Updated on May 13, 2012
Jettie was holding a sea star while snorkeling in Numfor island
Jettie was holding a sea star while snorkeling in Numfor island

a beautiful tropical paradise in Indonesia

I traveled to Numfor island last month (November 2010). It's a small tropical paradise in the Geelvink bay of New Guinea island of Indonesia. This time, New Guinea is administered by two states. The first half in the eastern region is the independent state of Papua New Guinea whereas the second half of the western region is the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. This area is called Irian Jaya or Papua. There are two provinces in Papua, i.e. Papua and West Papua. Numfor island is a beautiful tropical island that is very potential to be developed as a favorite tourist destination in the Pacific region.

white sandy beach at the tropical island of Numfor in Papua province of Indonesia
white sandy beach at the tropical island of Numfor in Papua province of Indonesia

Ecotourism activities in Numfor island

As a tourist guide, I have visited this island twice. The first one was in October and the second one in November 2010. I guided Dutch tourists and volunteers at the time. During our tour in the tropical island, we did the bird watching trips in the mornings and we went swimming and snorkeling at the beautiful white sandy beach of Numpuri and Manem islets. Interaction with the islanders will help you understand the unique culture and art of the Papuan people.

Monique and Jettie were spending their 4-day holiday in Numfor island. Bird watching, swimming, snorkeling.
Monique and Jettie were spending their 4-day holiday in Numfor island. Bird watching, swimming, snorkeling.

How to go to Numfor island

To visit Numfor island, first you need to fly to one of the big cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya or Denpasar and Manado. There are a lot of international flights that offer affordable daily flights to Jakarta and Denpasar. 

When you have arrived in for example Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia, take a domestic flight to Manokwari city, the capital of West Papua province. Don't forget to contact me Charles Roring via my email: before you arrive so that I can arrange your trip to Numfor island both by ferry boat or by airplane.

Walking Permit

There are paperworks that you need to prepare before enjoying your holiday in the tropical island of Numfor, i.e. photocopy of your passport and visa, and 2 passport size photographs. I, as your tourist guide, will bring these papers to the police station in this city to get a "surat jalan" or walking permit for you. Every tourist who travels around Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia must bring with them the "Surat Jalan."

ferry boat Kasuari Pasifik at Numfor harbor
ferry boat Kasuari Pasifik at Numfor harbor

Traveling by boat to the tropical island

The hotel rates in Manokwari city are between 15 and 50 US dollars/ room/ night. After taking a rest and buying some food in Manokwari city, we can go to Numfor island by ferry boat that goes to Numfor island twice a week (on. The boat returns to Manokwari city again on the same day. There is another ship that also go Tuesday and Friday) Numfor island. Its name passenger ship is MV Yap Wairon. When you think of such ship, please, do not imagine it like Oasis of the Seas, the greatest cruise ship in the world. Both ferry boat Kasuari Pasifik and MV Yap Wairon are simple boats that transport economy class passengers to the beautiful tropical island of Numfor. The ticket price from Manokwari city to Numfor island is not expensive. You only need to pay around Rp. 30,000 which is around 3.52 US dollars  (for an economy class seat). The boat ride takes around 5 hours.

 At the middle of the sea, we may get a chance of watching groups of dolphins migrating around the bay not far from our ferry. 

Arriving in the harbor

If we go in the morning at around 10, we will arrive at 3 p.m. At the harbor, the fishermen sell fresh fish which have just been caught from nearby  waters. If we leave Manokwari city at 12 mid night by MV. Yap Wairon, then we will arrive in the island very early in the morning. My first visit to Numfor island was with the passenger ship MV Yap Wairon. Its economy class was not really comfortable but it was a nice adventure trip. The economy class is Rp. 38,000 - around 4.47 US dollars. We can buy some food for breakfast or lunch at the harbor depending on the arrival time. One package of food will cost you Rp. 25,000 (around 2.94 US dollars).

Women sell food at the harbor of Numfor island
Women sell food at the harbor of Numfor island

Vacation in Amberimasi Bay

Staying at the tourist guest house

The first place which we will go is Amberimasi bay. We can go there buy Ojek (a motorcycle taxi). There is a small wooden house called Losmen Amberimasi which is usually used by tourists to stay for a few days. The tourist house is only a stone throw away to the white sandy beach with its calm waters. You will spend around 10 dollars for the Ojek. For staying in the tourist house with very basic facilities (no lights), you will spend around 10 US dollars/night. The tourist house is far from the main road.

Bird Watching - So, it is very quiet there. In the morning we can hear the sounds of various species of birds. We can start walking to watch  birds at 5.30 p.m. and return to the tourist house at 8 or 9 a.m. depending on how far we want to go bird watching. 

Swimming and Snorkeling - When the sea tide is low, we can ask some Papuan boys to paddle their canoe to bring us to Numpuri islet that is located around 400 meters (around 1312 feet from the beach of Amberimasi). The pristine coral reef of the tropical island is really beautiful. Don't forget to bring snorkeling gear if you want to enjoy snorkeling over the reefs to see various colorful ornamental fish and corals. If you are not used to snorkeling, than you can enjoy swimming at the beach of Numpuri island.

sunset in Numfor island, a tropical paradise in Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia
sunset in Numfor island, a tropical paradise in Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia

A Visit to Yemburwo village

When we have spent one or two days in Amberimasi village, we may continue our trip to Yemburwo village which is located at the north of the Numfor island. In 1944, Yemburwo was a fierce battleground between the US and the Japanese forces during the World War II. The American defeated the Japanese and occupied the airbase which they would use for attacking the Japanese positions in the Pasific islands and finally defeated Japan in 1945. In Yemburwo village, we can swim or sunbathing at the Samido beach or watch the traditional Papuan music and dance performance at the house of the tribal chief of the tropical island. If we plan to return on Friday, we will go back to the harbor on the next day.

How much you will spend in Numfor island

For this 4-day tropical island vacation in Numfor, you will roughly spend around 200 to 400 US dollars depending on the number of activities and places that you want to visit.

Optional additional trip while in Numfor island - If you feel that the 4 day vacation is not enough, then you can lenghten it to one week including one or two nights stay in Manem islet (an hour boat ride from Numfor island) or a visit to Numfor bay to see how the Papuan people live their daily life. For extending your vacation in Numfor island for one week, you might spend between 350 to 700 US dollars). Most of your spendings will be on transportation and accommodation. The cost that I mention here is not a tour package price. It is the amount of money which you will likely spend while traveling around this wonderful tropical island. I bet you will like this island very much.Remember,

Not a highly commercial tourist island - Numfor island is not a tropical island that is crowded with tourists. You might be the only tourist in the island while you visit it. So, don't expect to go sunbathing on the deck of a luxurious yacht, or stay at comfortable tropical island resorts when you go to Numfor. If you are an adventurous person and eager to see new world, beautiful nature and unique culture then you deserve a trip to Numfor island of Papua.

Want to go to Numfor island?

If after reading this hub you become interested in traveling to this tropical island, please, contact me via email: I will be happy to arrange your transport and accommodation to and in the island. 

palm trees near Kornasoren village of Numfor island in the morning
palm trees near Kornasoren village of Numfor island in the morning
traditional music and dance performance in Rarsibo village of Numfor island
traditional music and dance performance in Rarsibo village of Numfor island
school children in Numfor island
school children in Numfor island
sea birds were flying over the sea water near Yemburwo village
sea birds were flying over the sea water near Yemburwo village


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    • charlesroring profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hi Kesinee, I am glad to hear that you are interested in visiting Numfor island. I'll be happy to guide you around when you come. It's really a nice tropical island.

    • kesinee profile image

      Sranunta Lamduan 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      I really like experience sharing of Namfor Island. This is very nice article and inspire me to visit this island in the near future. As Indonesia is not far from my country Thailand I hope I will be there someday.


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