Far from the view-blocking skyscrapers, dense and hectic concrete jungles, congested traffics, flickering electric billboards, endless annoying noises, and all the nuisances of modern cities, you will find a pristine paradise where Mother Nature and warm friendly people welcome you with all the exceptional wonders in Raja Ampat, the islands-regency in West Papua Province. With all the spectacular wonders above and beyond its waters, as well as on land and amidst the thick jungles, this is truly the place where words such as beautiful, enchanting, magnificent, and fascinating get its true physical meaning.
Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau.
The Raja Ampat archipelago straddles the equator and forms part of Coral Triangle which contains the richest marine biodiversity on earth.
According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth. Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and East Timor. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.
The area's massive coral colonies along with relatively high sea surface temperatures, also suggest that its reefs may be relatively resistant to threats like coral bleaching and coral disease, which now jeopardize the survival of other coral ecosystems around the world. The Raja Ampat islands are remote and relatively undisturbed by humans.
Raja Ampat’s sheer numbers and diversity of marine life and its huge pristine coral reef systems are a scuba dream come true – and a fantastic site for snorkelers too.
There are times when you may not speak the language but you can never be mistaken about the warmth of their greetings! When a group of tourists arrived, they usually perform a traditional welcome dance right at the dock and entertained the ‘guests’ with various Papuan folk songs.
With all its spectacular wonders inland, on the shore, and beyond the waters, and distinct serene ambiance that you rarely find anywhere else on earth, Raja Ampat truly offers the ultimate experience ones can only dream of.
How to get there?
To get to Raja Ampat you should first take a flight from Jakarta or Makassar to Sorong. There are small aircraft to take you to Waisai, the capital of the district of Raja Ampat, or alternatively, you can take a ferry from the port of Sorong to the islands.
Established in 2012, the Marinda Airport in Waisai, the capital town of Raja Ampat Regency served flights to and from the city of Sorong. Please be advised that Marinda Airport is still under development and expansion and located relatively far from any facilities. So be sure to pack some snacks and drinks as you await your return flights to Sorong.
Alternatively, there are ferries available to get you from Sorong and Waisai and vice versa. The ferry trip will take about 2 to 3 hours.
Source: https://www.indonesia.travel/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/rajaampat, pexels, unsplash