Don’t expect to see hotel chains or resorts in Papua New Guinea. Tourism here is very different than tourism elsewhere in the world, and in a lot of ways I felt that to be for the better. With only a few thousand visitors each year, the available places to stay focus on being eco-friendly and giving back to the lands they occupy. They also cater to their guests, with smiling staff members and attentive service. We stayed at three lodges during my week and each had its own charm. We profiled each and interviewed the managers in our video review.
Watch the video above, and see below for more!
In Mount Hagen: Rondon Ridge
Perched on a Highlands ridge overlooking a lush valley, Rondon Ridge had rustic yet spacious rooms, lily ponds and walking trails, and an overall tranquil feel. The main lodge was the setting for all of our meals, which we found to be satisfying even when there was only one thing on the menu. It certainly was a peaceful stay.
In the Sepik: Karawari Lodge
Located on a small hill, overlooking the Karawari River, Karawari Lodge certainly felt the most remote of the three lodges I stayed at. It took a charter plane, a river boat and a Jeep ride to get us to the front steps but once we got there, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The wooden central lodge was covered in local art, masks and carvings from nearby villages, reminding my group that we were are far from home. The rooms were breezy, with river views, and morning coffee on the balcony was a treat. And son’t forget to say hello to the resident hornbill, the manager’s “pet.”
In Tari: Ambua Lodge
Of the three, this might be the most luxurious with its rows of gardens, individual cottage-style rooms and heated main lodge. We watched a movie about PNG and enjoyed some great meals there, along with evening views of the sun setting behind the mountains.
In Part 3, next Monday: The Highlands.
For Ian Livingston’s recent series on Papua New Guinea, start here. For more on guided travel in Papua New Guinea, visit USTOA.com. For more on the specific itineraries and guides from Kelley’s video, check out swaindestinations.com.
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