Day 1 – USA to Port Moresby
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.
Day 3 – Port Moresby to Mount Hagen
On arrival into Port Moresby you will need to clear customs and make your way through the main arrivals hall from where you will fly with Air Niugini to Mount Hagen.
Your accommodation, Rondon Ridge, is a 40-minute drive from the town of Mount Hagen and just under an hour from the airport. Guests are accommodated in 22 tastefully appointed rooms with warmed king beds for those fresh highlands nights, with modern en-suite bathrooms. Rondon Ridge has 24-hour, eco-friendly electricity, provided by its own hydroelectric power plant that generates clean, natural energy from a nearby mountain stream.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Mount Hagen Touring - Full Day
Two full days are spent exploring the Hagen Area and Wahgi Valley. The Mount Hagen area is the home of the Melpa people, a people with a strong culture, who in the face of modernity, still live largely traditional subsistence lifestyles.
Mount Hagen City is the business heart of the Papua New Guinea highlands supporting a number of important industries such as tea, coffee, mining and transportation. It is a city where stone meets steel and where tradition and history is juxtaposed against modern ways. A comprehensive touring program takes you on a journey through the traditions and customs of the Melpa People. First contact with the Melpa was made in the mid-1930s when the Leahy brothers were prospecting for gold. The Melpa are said by anthropologists, to be 'predisposed to capitalism' because of their complex traditional society in which 'big men' earn status by accruing wealth and then giving it all away in a ceremonial exchange called "Moka". The Lodge has a variety of new touring vehicles and all excursions are accompanied by experienced local guides from the area.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 5 – Mount Hagen Touring - Full Day
Over 180 species of birds have been recorded in the rainforests around Rondon Ridge including ten species of Bird of Paradise. The surrounding area is pristine rainforest and home to numerous orchid species. The lodge has hours of walking trails providing ample opportunity to explore the unique ecology of this area. All nature and birding walks are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable nature guides. Comprehensive bird and orchid lists are available for Rondon Ridge.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 6 – Mount Hagen to Sepik
Today you will transfer from Mount Hagen to Sepik River for your 3-night cruise. You will board the Sepik Spirit. With its shallow draught, it allows travel to rarely visited areas of the Sepik River and its tributaries in comfort.
Time will be spent with villagers hearing about rituals, warfare, initiation ceremonies and ancestral beliefs. Men’s houses, spirit houses and family houses will be visited, as well as other touring. These villages are renowned for producing tribal art specialties such as masks, flutes and spirit figures. There will be opportunities to view and purchase art pieces and crafts in the villages' impromptu and low pressure markets.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 7 – Sepik River Cruise
Two full days are spent exploring the many waterways of the Sepik and its tributaries including visits to traditional Sepik Villages. The Sepik River is one of the largest rivers in the world – in terms of flow. Steeped in mystery, the people of the Sepik area have fascinated anthropologists like Margaret Mead since the area was first visited. Part of the mystery and attraction of the Sepik peoples is their amazing carvings, now famous the world over.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 8 – Sepik River Cruise
Today you will continue touring the Sepik River villages where additional warm welcomes and genuine experiences await as they walk through villages and exploring the surroundings.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 9 – Sepik River to Tari
Fly by charter aircraft to Ambua airstrip over the Central Ranges, which are some of the most rugged and impressive landscapes in the world. The country between Ambua and the Sepik region is an amazing array of jagged limestone that seem to rise and drop at impossible angles. The Tari Valley is home of the Huli, a colorful and proud people, still largely living the same way that their ancestors did. The afternoon is spent exploring the area surrounding Ambua – high mountain forests with roaring waterfalls beckon the intrepid traveler.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 10 – Cultural and Ecological Tour
A full day of ecological and culturally based touring is sure to satiate those yearning for discovery. The Tari area is home to an incredible 13 species of birds of paradise, as well as numerous orchid species.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 11 – Southern Highlands to Port Moresby
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Port Moresby. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your Airways Hotel by private vehicle. (B)
Day 13 – Port Moresby to USA
Transfer to the airport by private vehicle for your departure flight.