Welcome to Jayapura, the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of Papua. Formerly known as Hollandia, this city is situated on the northern coast of New Guinea island and covers an area of 940.0 km2 (362.9 sq mi). Jayapura borders the Pacific Ocean and Yos Sudarso Bay to the north, the sovereign state of Papua New Guinea to the east, Keerom Regency to the south, and Jayapura Regency to the west. With a population of 398,478 according to the 2020 census, Jayapura is the most populous city in the entire island of New Guinea, surpassing Port Moresby, the national capital of Papua New Guinea. It is also the fastest-growing city in Indonesia, with the population increasing by 55.23% since the previous census in 2010. Here are some of the reasons why Jayapura is worth visiting:

1. Rich History
Before its inclusion into the colonial government of the Dutch Indies, the location of present-day Jayapura was known as Numbay. The society of Numbay was led by an ondoafi (chief of the tribe) and maintained relations with the Ternate Sultanate. It was later named Hollandia during the Dutch colonial era, and became the capital of then Netherlands New Guinea in 1945. After being handed over to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority, the city went by a dual Dutch/Indonesian name: Hollandia/Kota Baru (New Town). When Indonesia took control over the city on 1 May 1963, it became solely Kota Baru, and was briefly renamed Sukarnopura, after then-President Sukarno, until 1968, when it acquired its present name.

2. Stunning Landscapes
Jayapura has a tropical rainforest climate with heavy rainfall year-round, resulting in lush greenery and breathtaking scenery. The topography varies from valleys to hills, plateaus, and mountains up to 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level. Jayapura overlooks the Yos Sudarso Bay and has many stunning beaches, such as BaseG beach in North Jayapura, Hamadi beach in South Jayapura, and Holtekam beach, Skow Mabo and Skow in Muara Tami district. The city is also home to Lake Sentani, which is surrounded by beautiful mountains and traditional villages.

3. Unique Culture
As the capital of Papua Province, Jayapura has become a magnet for settlers from other regions of Indonesia, leading to a diverse and vibrant culture. Ethnic Javanese, Makasar, Buginese, Torajanese, Manadonese, Bataks, Moluccans, Madurese and others have contributed to the city’s unique culture. The indigenous people of Port Numbay have also competed in the service sector and small-scale trade, utilizing the customary rights area along the coast that has become a coastal tourist attraction. The city is also home to the Diocese of Jayapura, which has a rich Catholic history dating back to 1949.

4. Delicious Cuisine
Jayapura has a variety of delicious local cuisine that reflects its diverse culture and history. Sago concoctions, cassava, salted fish and bird-of-paradise are some of the traditional foods of the city. Seafood is also abundant and fresh, with dishes like ikan kuah kuning (yellow fish soup), cumi-cumi saus padang (squid in Padang sauce), and kepiting soka saus padang (soft-shell crab in Padang sauce) being popular among locals and tourists alike.

5. Exciting Activities
Jayapura offers plenty of activities for adventure-seekers and nature-lovers. Visitors can go trekking in the surrounding mountains, explore the traditional villages around Lake Sentani, or go birdwatching in the nearby forests. The city is also home to Persipura, a professional football club that has won the Liga Indonesia/Indonesia Super League four times, and plays its home matches in the Mandala Stadium.

Jayapura is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and exciting activities, it’s definitely worth a visit. Come and discover the charm of Jayapura for yourself!

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