Puncak Jaya (also known as Carstensz Pyramid) is the summit of Mount Carstensz (also called Mount Jayawijaya) in Indonesia. You may also hear it called Nemangkawi, Carstensz Toppen, or Gunung Soekarno.

Why Is It Famous?

Puncak Jaya is popular for being the highest mountain within Indonesia, standing 4,884 meters above sea level. It is also the tallest mountain on the planet that is also an island. Another unique claim to fame of Puncak Jaya is that it is the highest point found between the Andes and Himalayas.

What Is Nearby?

This mountain is part of the Sudirman Range, which is in Papua Province’s western central highlands. Other summits within the Sudirman Range include East Carstensz Peak, Sumantri, and Ngga Pulu. It sits on the island called New Guinea.

Geological Description

Puncak Jaya stands at the highest point of the central range. The range dates back to the Melanesian orogeny during the late Miocene period. The cause was an oblique collision of the Pacific and Australian plates. Geologists can see this history today in the mountain’s composition of middle Miocene limestones. The slopes of the mountain contain several glaciers.

Events In Time

People lived in the area around Puncak Jaya long before contact with Europeans, with the peak first called Nemangkawi in the Amungkal language. Jan Carstenszoon, a Dutch explorer, saw the glaciers on the mountain’s peak in 1623. This led to the name of Carstensz Pyramid among Europeans, although Carstenszoon faced ridicule for two years until the discovery was verified.

Dutch explorers reached Puncak Jaya’s snowfield as early as 1909 with the first climbing attempt in 1936. The mountain we now know is the tallest was first climbed in 1962. To climb the peak today, you need a government permit.


The tallest island mountain in the world and the highest mountain in Indonesia, Puncak Jaya is a unique mountain that attracts a fair amount of interest.