Wonderful Lake Sentani

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Not just a source of water, Sentani Lake is also a tourist spot in Jayapura. (photo: IO/Prive. Doc)

IO – Visiting the land of Papua is a tourist trip that is definitely desirable for every tourist both local and foreign. This island in the easternmost region of Indonesia has all the natural beauty that is still intact for you to explore. Mainland and underwater natural areas have become a paradise for nature lovers. Not only is the nature rich, Papua also saves the wisdom of local culture that still survives in today’s modern era. Exploring Papua will certainly be an interesting experience for you when traveling in this region.

Sentani Lake in Papua is a lake that is not only used as a source of water but also as a tourist place in Jayapura. Lake Sentani is the largest lake in Papua with an area of ​​9,360 hectares, located at an altitude of 85 meters above sea level and about 75 meters deep. Lake Sentani is also a unique lake, and the only lake formed by tectonic activity in the form of landslides and dams.

The meaning behind the name Sentani is said to be a hope for Papuans in particular, and Indonesia in general. The name Sentani means “here we live peacefully”. The name of the cantic lake was first pinned by a Christian Pastor BL Bin in 1898. The meaning stored behind the name Sentani does indeed bring a message of peace that should be applicable in all areas of life. Both in Papua and in Indonesia.

Danau (Lake) Sentani Jayapura has 22 small islands scattered around the lake. Some of these islands are even used as Jayapura tourist destinations. One of the most famous is the island of Asei, an island that is believed to be part of the dragon’s body. Even the local residents believe that they are the descendants from ancestors riding the dragon. Bark bark is one of the typical of Asei. This art is the original art of the Asei people and has been famous throughout Indonesia and even the world.

Our initial journey starts from the Kalkothe ​​pier in Sentani Timur, then the local guide will took us along the lake by boat and stopped at one of the islands. My friends and I stop at the nearest Asei Island or Ayapo. Before stopping on the island we were invited to tour the lake, look closely at the lives of local residents with houses on the water whilst looking at the surrounding scenery.

Local residents have been waiting for their wares in the form of paintings and crafts from bark. The price is varied, small paintings start at Rp. 75,000. The price they offer to tourists is negotiable but not too cheap. The paintings on average are of birds of paradise, tifa, honai, which are typical ornaments of Papua. The ones who paint are generally big men and boys, while the ones who are coloring are mama-mama(the women). The coloring is natural: red from the ground, black from the cauldron, white from lime, yellow from turmeric. So if you come here, you may want to buy the craft as a souvenir, calculate to share the sustenance with the people of Sentani.

Lake Sentani is a lake that is rich in natural beauty and its uniqueness has several endemic species that are only in the center. Their strong cultural values make us aware that Indonesia has a lot of natural and cultural wealth. No need to worry about visiting the East, you can have numerous experiences that you won’t usually get  when visiting Java. So, you must travel as far as you can. (Mahrayuni)