Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a beautiful island nation located off the coast of Australia. This idyllic destination provides visitors with everything from scuba diving and fresh seafood to luxury beach hotels and the chance to learn about the more than 800 different ethnic tribes. White-sand beaches, tiny rural villages and a slew of outdoor activities all add to the unbeatable Papua New Guinea travel itineraries. Still a relatively undeveloped country, Papua New Guinea tourism has seen a recent boost in interest and provides South Seas travelers with a less crowded atmosphere than French Polynesia or Fiji. If you are looking for a relaxing tropical getaway, then this destination should be on the top of your list.

The best time for vacations in Papua New Guinea is during the drier months of May through December. Although the temperature throughout the islands is warm to hot throughout the year, rainfall is common from January through April. The air here is very clean, and the sun shine filters through even the most overcast day, so it is recommended to always wear sunscreen and a hat or sunglasses. The drier months tend to be the busiest in Papua New Gui nea, and accommodation prices see a slight increase, but if you prefer to avoid the rain, it’s worth dealing with the extra influx of tourists.

Getting to Papua New Guinea is becoming easier with the establishment of two airports on the islands. Jacksons International Airport is the main gateway for Papua New Guinea travel and is situated just a few miles away from the main town of Port Moresby. The Mount Hagen Provincial Airport has also been recently developed as a major entrance port due to its economic importance in the Highland provinces. Once inside the island nation, the easiest way to explore is by air. Air Niugini and Airlines PNG are the country's two major airlines and they both provide constant flights among the islands and to surrounding destinations. The rugged terrain of the islands makes overland travel somewhat difficult, but there are good roads in major towns and villages, and some also have a local bus and taxi service that is useful for travelers. A popular, though slower, way to explore the islands is by boat or ferry, but no matter which transportation method you choose, you will be delighted with the scenic trip.

The capital city of Port Moresby is the most popular destination for vacations in Papua New Guinea. This colorful town is steeped in tradition and is home to a variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Travelers can take a tour of the National Parliament House, visit the numerous museums, relax on a local beach, or explore the surrounding botanical gardens and wildlife reserves. The mix of cultures within Port Moresby provides visitors with a unique  experience unable to be copied anywhere else in the world, as it is home to a variety of ethnic tribes and expatriates from the Indo-Pacific. The capital serves as a great starting point for your Papua New Guinea travel as it is the major hub of transportation and is situated in close proximity to major beaches and the Highlands.

The Highlands, located in the Eastern Highlands, Southern Highlands, Simbu, Enga, and Western Highlands provinces, are a lush oasis that serves as a home to and unbelievable list of flora and fauna. The excellent hiking trails and sweeping views are some of the best things about vacations in Papua New Guinea, and visitors remember the verdant rain forest and peaceful surroundings long after they’ve left. It’s possible to explore these alone or to book a tour with a knowledgeable local guide who can explain the evolution and ecosystems of the islands.

The coastal provinces of Western, West Sepik, East Sepik, Madang, Morobe, and Northern are all blessed with beautiful beaches, mangrove swamps, sheltered bays and large rivers. These provinces provide visitors with a range of outdoor activities including diving, fishing, and surfing. If you enjoy the water and the sun, you should definitely soak up some rays on one of these picturesque white-sand beaches. The small towns and villages located in these provinces are great places to visit to learn about the local culture, sample fresh cuisine, and purchase traditional crafts and souvenirs. The provinces of East New Britain and West New Britain are also popular destinations for cultural exploration and world-famous diving sites.

With the variety of activities, striking rain forests, and breathtaking beaches, it is hard to resist the tropical pull of Papua New Guinea. Those who are looking for a trip off-the-beaten-path that combines local culture with relaxation and time outdoors will find this Pacific island nation to be especially alluring.

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