Buy your airline tickets with reputable travel agencies or ticket specialists. After some browsing on the internet you’ll get a fair idea of reasonable airfares. Don’t book your flight at the last instance. Airfares tend to rise when buying a ticket close to the departure date. From the Netherlands a return ticket to Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali) or Manado (Sulawesi) usually amounts to € 800.-. The quickest way from Amsterdam is with Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia or KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. There will be refuelling stops or stopovers at Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Garuda stops half way at Dubai until summer 2011. When travelling from London Heathrow or Frankfurt British Airways or Lufthansa are a good option.
Flying to and inside Indonesia
On arrival in Indonesia there are no directly connecting flights to Papua. International flights arrive in the morning or afternoon. Connecting flights from Jakarta depart in the evening and from Denpasar and Manado at midnight. When flying with Singapore Airlines to Manado the route from Singapore to Manado is serviced by Singapore’s subsidiary SilkAir. The route from Manado to Jayapura (Papua) is flown by Garuda. Smaller airlines fly to other destinations in Papua
Visa for Papua
Tourists holding a Dutch Passport receive their visa on arrival (at port of entry).The same applies to many other nationalities from the EU, but do inquire with the travel agency. Usually one receives a visa for 7 to 30 days at a fee of US$ 25.-. It is therefore advisable to keep this amount in dollars at hand. Other currencies will have to be changed at the airport.
(Note: carrying large amounts of cash is not necessary, as there are ATM’s in Papua. For the use of credit cards a fee is charged, so if possible use debit cards (bankcards).)
Only Garuda Indonesia flights provide an on board visa service. One receives a visa voucher, which facilitates passing customs.
Officially travellers to Papua are required to buy a visa at the Indonesian embassy (in The Hague), but in practice one can obtain visa on arrival. Just do not mention forward travelling to Papua on your immigration card (which you fill out on board). Of course this is not possible if you have a (combined) ticket with Garuda Indonesia stating Papua as your final destination.
Transit in Indonesia
In the absence of direct flights to Papua one may consider a stop over. However, if preferred it is possible to make a shortstay reservation for a minimum of six hours at the Jakarta Airport Hotel. In Denpasar and Manado there are small hotels in the vicinity of the airport.
From Jakarta or Denpasar the best option for flying to Papua is with Garuda Indonesia. As of summer 2010 Garuda Indonesia fully complies again with EU airline safety regulations, a certain measure of safety. There are two main routes to Papua servicing Timika, Biak and the provincial capital Jayapura. Sentani Airport is a 45 minute drive from Jayapura.