There simply isn’t an adequate word in the English language that can do justice to the sublime majesty of Raja Ampat. This is an area that has drawn visitors and researchers from around the world to absorb the timeless natural wonder of rich marine life and island vistas that present there. Raja Ampat is an eye opening destination and in this modern world of ours, one of the truly great natural wonders of our time.
It is impossible not to be overwhelmed by natural beauty of Raja Ampat. A trip to this incredible area of ocean in Eastern Indonesia transports one to a different world, far away from the skyscrapers and asphalt of modern civilization. It is a window to the world that nature intended and a holiday destination of priceless beauty.
Raja Ampat translates into The Four Kings and is made up of the four island groups of Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo and Misool that lie off the province of Papua. The four groups make up an archipelago of more than 1,500 islands, cays and shoals. Each of the four main islands has its own unique identity and culture but shares a common attraction; a magnificent seascape of tiny islands with turquoise lagoons coral reefs.
Marine biologists have observed that Raja Ampat has the richest reefs in the world with a marine biodiversity second to non. Here with its staggering marine biodiversity, new species are being discovered on an almost daily basis. The lagoons and coral reefs support breeding areas and nurseries providing the very essence of marine life’s cycle. Raja Ampat is a paradise for snorkelers and divers who along with the full prism of marine colour can view giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, manta rays and several types of sharks, including the mesmerizing wobbegong shark. Besides Raja Ampat’s well known diving sites of Manta Ridge, Cape Kri or Sel Pele Bay, there are dozens of other sites that are yet to be explored and studied.
For holidaymakers wanting to take in the sights from a base of indulging accommodation there are a number of luxurious eco-resorts to be found in the vast expanse of Raja Ampat’s archipelago. One or two stand firmly above water providing guests with front door access to a calm blue sea and its coral gardens.
To get to Raja Ampat, one can fly to Sorong, a coastal city and regency in the eastern Indonesia province of West Papua. However there are no direct flights to Sorong from Bali or Jakarta so the first leg of the journey would be Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi. From there a 4-hour fast boat trip will take visitors to the outer islands of Raja Ampat. The Live-aboard boat excursions have become a popular and enjoyable way to reach Raja Ampat from Bali or Jakarta.
Intending visitors to Raja Ampat can be sure that the extra effort required to get there will pay the sort of dividends one dreams about for pristine destinations.