Meaning “Four Kings,” Raja Ampat islands covers four main islands called Waigeo, Misool, Batanta and Salawati. This popular tourism destination lies off the northernmost tip of Papua and not so far away from Maluku islands. The gateway to this attraction is Sorong via Jakarta, or Manado and Makassar for domestic travelers. Leaving Sorong, you must take a speedboat to bring you to your main destination.
After being out of tourists’ attention, Raja Ampat started to gain its popularity only in last decade or so. Difficult access and high budget are two main issues surrounding Raja Ampat tourism, however, it doesn’t stop travelers from coming. To these days, this nature wonder is (and will always be) the most wanted by sunshine seekers and diving-lovers from around the world.
Exclamation of excitement is a common thing you’ll hear upon your arrival on Raja Ampat. From left to right and to every direction you stare, there are limitless beauties to be admired. The surrounding clear sea doesn’t only boast an array of blue-colored water but also towering rock cliff. In another part, countless rock islets stretch to all directions from under the shallow waters.
In Raja Ampat, there are more fish than people and the sea is merrier than the land. Scientists claim that most of marine species in Raja Ampat are unique and don’t exist in anywhere else. The waters here houses three-quarter of the world’s coral species, ten times greater than those in Caribbean. The fish species are even more abundant – 1669 species which will continue to grow each exploration in new area is done.
Every single dive site represents one habitat with distinctive landscape. Many say that you haven’t visited Raja Ampat if you haven’t seen Wobbegong or carpet shark. To find this unique fish is not a matter, you just need to dive around Mios Kon site nearby Kelelawar island. Cape Kri point is more stunning as only by diving in this place, you’ll find 283 species of fish all at once including a school of Barracuda and Giant trevally.
And to experience the real beauty of Raja Ampat which is commonly featured on magazines, Mike’s Point is the right place. This dive site is fully packed with various forms of marine life. Fish from all sizes swim around for feeding or simply having fun. Meanwhile, around iridescent soft corals and small underwater cave, sea horses and morays play hide and seek.
The beauty of Raja Ampat isn’t limited to the waters. Before you’re satisfied exploring the sea, chirps of birds sounds so tempting from distance. Though diving always entails the topic of Raja Ampat tourism, wildlife-watching is worth a try. Some islands within the area like Misool and Gam are popular for its Papuan native species. You’ll spot many “Bird of Paradise” in Gam while in Misool, pademelons and couscouses are safely resting on the branches of trees. Guide is mandatory during this activity as there are no trekking trails to help you cross the jungle.
Raja Ampat is indeed a dream gateway for adventurers. Located in remote area, this place is like a heaven that will stoke your wanderlust to untouched beauty. Be cautious with the magical charm, as once you set your foot in Raja Ampat, you’ll never stop dreaming of coming back here again and again.