Maybe most of you have never heard the name of the Raja Ampat Islands. But if you have a hobby of diving, then perhaps you’ve heard the name of the Raja Ampat Islands, or even been familiar. Well, according to various sources, the area of Raja Ampat Islands is one of the 10 best dive sites in the world because of the wealth, diversity and beauty of the underworld sea.
Located in the western region of “Bird Head” Peninsula of Island of Papua, Raja Ampat administratively belongs to the Province of West Papua, and only about 50 miles from the town of Sorong in West Papua. The Raja Ampat Islands is a series of four adjacent islands. The four islands were named in the name of its largest island, namely Waigeo Island, Misool Island, Batanta Island and Salawati island. The entire island in Raja Ampat Islands, numbering more than 610 islands, 35 islands of which have been inhabited, but many of the island has not even given a name.
To visit Raja Ampat Islands, you can use the airlines from Jakarta to Sorong via Manado. This trip takes about 6 hours. From Sorong, then you can use pinisi boat to explore Raja Ampat Islands or stay in Papua Diving Resort that offers underwater tours.
As mentioned earlier, the Raja Ampat Islands are recognized in the top 10 best places in the world for its richness, diversity and beauty of the underwater world. A research in Raja Ampat Islands noted, there are more than 540 species of hard corals, over 1000 species of reef fish, 700 species of mollusks.
This research revealed that Raja Ampat Islands owns 75% of coral species of the world. In some areas of Raja Ampat Islands, the condition of coral reefs are still very well where the level life coral reached to 90%. This area area Dampier Strait between Batanta Island and Waigeo Island, Kofiau Islands, Wayag Islands and Misool Islands.
In these amazing islands, you can find a wide range of marine life such as several species of sea horses, wobbegong, manta rays. You can also find hordes of tunas, giant trevallies and snappers in Raja Ampat Islands. Maybe, you also will get a thrilling experience when you meet a group of barracudas or sharks. In some places, you can also find turtle or sea cow. Raja Ampat Islands also has endemic fish species, such as Eviota, a kind of gobies. There are also Apogon, a kind of cardinal and Hemysyllium, a type of shark.
Not only the beauty beneath the water, Raja Ampat Islands also offers a wealth of flora and fauna that are not less interesting. Red Cendrawasih, Wilson Cendrawasih, Maleo Waigeo, Nuri and Cockatoos, are various species of birds that inhabit Raja Ampat Islands. While the plants that make its natural resources are the various types of orchids, including the famous black orchid.
You can also be found relics of history. In Misool Islands you can find prehistoric relics in the form of hand stamp on a rock wall. Uniquely, the stamp of this hand is very close to sea level and not in the cave. Estimated age of this hand stamp around 50,000 years and become part of a series of instructions for distributing human path from the western region of the archipelago to Papua and Melanesia. It can also be found in the remains of World War II such as the sinking ship in the diving area of the Wai archipelago and cave bunkers built by the Dutch and the Japanese army during the World War II.
In Raja Ampat, there are also natural phenomena. In East Waigeo, particularly in front of Urbinasopen and Yesner Villages, there is a very interesting and unique natural phenomenon, the which cans only be seen every year-end. A light comes out from the ocean and wanders around on its surface for about 10-18 minutes. After that, it disappears and cans only be seen again at the following years-end. Local inhabitants in both villages call this phenomenon the “Sea Ghost”. This is more than just a sunset view, overlooking from your liveaboard.
There is several accommodation in Raja Ampat Islands such Misool Eco Resort, Kri Eco Resort, Sorido Bay Resort, Raja Ampat Dive Lodge and another else. They provide a simple but you will experience a fun place to stay while you are there. Or perhaps you like to have a liveaboard trip?
You may rent a small boat if you wish to stop and make personal discoveries along the line of the beaches and then trek around the islands to find hidden beauties, like Waterfalls and ancient Caves.
Enjoy the pure nature of the Raja Ampat Islands.
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