Papua New Guinea

It has 12 modern and tastefully furnished rooms with ultra-modern bathrooms, a welcome amenity in the country. The rooms have desks, warm beds and quilts for those highlands nights and are decorated with original native art. Its main building houses the lounge, bar, dining room and a conference center surrounding a huge fireplace.

Every room affords a magnificent view of the Hagen Range and the Wahgi Valley. Prices range from approximately $200 per night dbl and travelers will delight in the nature tours that set off from the lodge.

There are 10 species of the legendary bird of paradise—Papua New Guinea’s national symbol—in the area, plus countless orchid species that will delight flower lovers.

But the best and most fascinating asset offered is guided tours to Mindima, an area about 30 miles east of Mt. Hagen. Mindima has three individual villages populated by Papua New Guinea’s iconic and legendary mudmen and skeleton people. There’s also a traditional highlands village nearby where the calendar turns back a few centuries.

Visiting the area is a fascinating and enriching experience. The outlandish cultures overwhelm and the memories brought back will never be forgotten.

Yes, there has been progress, as the modern age advances into the country, but as Bates put it: “When I first came here, you often met people who had eaten human flesh. The place was that primitive. Changes have taken place, but the mystique of Papua New Guinea remains. It is our main selling point, the mystery of it all, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.”