The people of the island can be divided into more than 250 sub-groups, which are closely related to the islands along the southern rim of the Pacific and include among others, the Marind-anim, Yah`ray, Asmat, Mandobo, Dani and Afyat. Those in the central highlands still preserve their customs and traditions and, because communications have always been difficult here, different tribes have lived for centuries in isolation of each other for the most part, resulting in an incredibly diverse mixture of cultures and languages. The Provincial capital of Jayapura is built on hills which slope down to the sea and is accessible by boat and plane. It was here in fact, that General MacArthur Assembled his fleet for the invasion of the Philippines during the Second World War, remains of which can still be found.
Further to the east is a torrid land rising from the sea with snow caps covering 5,000 meter-high mountain peaks, towering over glacier lakes and some of the most impenetrable jungles in the world. The land is Papua which is Indonesia`s largest and most eastern province. It is a land of exceptional natural splendour, with beautiful scenic beaches, immense stretches of marshlands, cool grassy meadows and powerful rivers cutting gorges and tunnels through dark, dense primeval forests.