22 June 2018
A Paradise for Nature Adventure
Amongst the abundant natural tourist destinations in Indonesia, Raja Ampat is regarded as being the most beautiful. So stunning is the landscape here that it has gained international recognition.
Located off the Northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat (which means four kings) in West Papua province is an archipelago. The Raja Ampat archipelago has four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo which are surrounded by over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals.
Forming part of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat offers sublime scenery of steep, jungle-covered islands, baking white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons, spooky caves, weird mushroom-shaped islets, and pellucid turquoise waters. It’s this unadulterated beauty that attracts numerous tourists to the area.
Raja Ampat is also home to abundant wildlife and some of the world’s richest marine biodiversity making it a diver or snorkeler’s dream come true. It’s not surprising that CNN acknowledged Raja Ampat, along with Komodo National Park, as one of the 11 best destinations in the world last year. The world's leading news website featured Raja Ampat at the top of that list.
“Experts say it's hard to find anywhere else in the world that compares, given it's got the world's greatest concentration of marine life for a region of its size and 75% of all known coral species in the world.
A true marine oasis, the area harbors more than 1,000 different species of fish, sea turtles, sharks, and manta rays. “Snorkeling here means largely having the place to yourself as the isolated islands are scarce of people,” wrote CNN, which also placed Raja Ampat as number one on their list of “the 20 holiday destinations the experts say not to miss” and as one of “the 10 best dive sites in Asia”.
When to go
Although a year-round destination, the best time to visit is during the dry period from April-October, which is by contrast to the rainiest period in western and central Indonesia. Because of Raja Ampat's tropical climate, rain can be unpredictable and fall at any time although this is much less frequent during the dry season. For the calmest waters and best visibility for diving, it is best to visit between November and March. From May to October, the Raja Ampat region receives the heaviest rain so it can make jungle walks treacherous.
Places to Visit
Located in Pam Village, West Waigeo Islands, Piaynemo presents a stunning view of the Karst Island cluster which is often called little Wayag. A small mound of karst islands with blue sea colors can be seen from Piaynemo Hill. However, before you enjoy the view, you must climb about 320 steps before reaching the top of the hill. Piaynemo in Biak language is the connection between the head and the handle of a spear or harpoon.
The islands of Wayag, within the Raja Ampat archipelago, has a raw natural beauty. Many tourists say that Wayag is the most beautiful place in Raja Ampat. The picturesque karst formations, including some big protrusions that can be hiked up for sweeping views of the stunning islands, are the main attraction of Wayag. The islands also offer its tranquil blue and emerald water where colorful fish swim through beautiful coral reefs.
Misool Island and Manta Ridge
Misool Island and Manta Ridge are popular spots for divers. Here, divers can view abundant marine wildlife and encounter dolphins among the fish, while in Manta it’s common to meet sea turtles and plenty of manta rays if you dive deeper.
The Village of Arborek
Located in Meos Mansar District, the tourist village of Arborek boasts white sandy beaches and beautiful pristine blue sea. On Arborek Island, travelers can meet locals and experience some of the areas culture and unique traditional foods. Aside from the beauty of Arborek Island, visitors have the opportunity to learn the value of the local culture of Arborek People. Here children are often seen playing traditional games, groups sing traditional songs or perform dances, and local artists work on their crafts.