Boven Digoel Camp in Boven Digoel Regency, Papua Province


One of the most common reasons for visiting Boven Digoel Regency is indeed to visit the famous Boven Digoel Camp. The locals often call it Penjara Alam or the natural prison. The location is in Persatuan Village and it belongs to Mandobo Sub-District. For the information, the camp was built by the Dutch during the colonial era. At the time, the Dutch used it to imprison local heroes who stood in their way. The government also used it to exile Indonesia’s important figures back then. These times, the building only becomes a new tourist allure in Papua Province! It offers a unique history, interesting architecture, and distinct nuance! No wonder, more tourists are interested to visit it these days.

The Nuance
For the information, Boven Digoel Camp is located in the downstream of Digul River and it features a neat environment. The nuance feels peaceful, as not many tourists are seen on the site. As for the environment, the old prison features a grassy landscape and several trees on it. What about the building, it indeed looks old and unsophisticated. However, the design represents the Dutch’s architecture and it looks good enough as the background for photography. The building consists of several rooms and minimum facilities, as well.

Exploring Boven Digoel Camp
Well, what makes Boven Digoel Camp popular among tourists? The prime allure is definitely the history. Visitors can get thorough information from the local guide later, so don’t worry. It is said the prison was built in 1927. The strategic location made it quite useful during the reign of the Dutch back then. The most famous person who was imprisoned in the camp was none other than Bung Hatta – the first president of Indonesia. Aside from him, more than 1000 prisoners were also held there!

Despite the age, Boven Digoel camp has a sturdy and nice condition. In fact, the design is quite attractive and often becomes a background for photography. This explains why most tourists have a similar reason for visiting the prison, which is to take some photos of either the building or nearby environment. Not to mention this can be done freely! The only rule is regarding the environment. All visitors should not litter or cause harms to the site.

Next, it is recommended to enter the prison and explore all parts of it. Once again, the guests are not allowed to litter! Here is good news. Due to increasing popularity, the local government also decides to take better care of the site and provides more facilities. This includes the famous Bung Hatta Library, which also becomes an extra allure there.

Nearby Attractions

  • Homemade Café
  • Tanah Merah City

How to Get There
It is common sense to come to Papua Province by airplane. The first destination is Jayapura City and the flight may take around 5 hours and 15 minutes from Jakarta City (Soekarno – Hatta International Airport). After arriving at Sentani Airport, tourists can take another flight in order to reach Boven Digoel Regency (Tanah Merah Airport). The right plane to use is an ATR and the flight may take around 1 hour. From the airport, they can take a local transportation service and head to the camp right away. This trip only takes around 11 minutes, actually.

Where to Stay

  • GG Celebes Inn
  • Mandiri Hotel
  • Tanah Merah Hotel
  • Honai Hotel
  • Mandiri Hotel


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