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Raja Ampat in Western Papua is arguably one of the best getaway attractions in Indonesia. The archipelago is bejewelled with four main tropical islands and over 1,500 small islands, each offering their irresistable charms. Literally translated as 'The Four Kings', the archipelago is shrouded with an intriguing secret. According to a local folklore, the islands name was a nod to four ancient kings who ruled each island in the past. The four kings were born from four mysterious eggs found by a couple. It isn't hard to believe that the legend might be halfway true, as Raja Islands is blessed with a very diverse underwater life. The sea is a home to more than 500 species of coral reefs, 1,000 species of tropical fishes and over 7,000 mollusks, which makes Raja Ampat highly attractive to divers around the world.
6 Worth-Visited Attractions in Raja Ampat
Waisai is the capital region of Raja Ampat District with best diving spots in Raja Ampat where you can experience a fun diving experience and observe colorful reefs and fishes. The area is studded with many scenic diving spots offering different charms of marine diversity. There are also numerous sightseeing spots with astounding view waiting to be discovered. For beginners, you don't have to worry about your safety as you will be attended with an certified diving coach. You can also join on a short course and obtain a diving certificate too. If getting wet is not your thing, rent a boat that will takes you around.
Two main islands of Raja Ampat, Misool Island and Waigeo Island offer perfect diving spots if you're looking for scenic underwater view with larger fishes. It is almost guaranteed that you will spot a horde of dolphins, a whale shark, and manta rays casually passing by in front of you. You might even get to observe the manta rays closer as Waigeo Island is also known as Pari Manta Cleaning Station. Watch as one of the greatest mutualism symbiosis between manta rays and angel fishes unfold before your own eyes.
While Pianemo Island might not be one of the major islands in Raja Ampat, it is definitely an island you must visit out of the thousands. You'll have to climb the staggering 318 stairsteps that divides the dense forest. While it might be a strenous hike, it will all be paid off once you reached the summit. An unobstructed scenic view of the karst islands is waiting for you from the wooden deck. It is absolutely breathtaking, especially if you're waiting until the sun sets. You will find yourself taking numerous instagram-worthy shots of the view. You can also purchase a refreshing coconut water once you returned to the bottom that will quench your thirst and boost your energy.
One of the best thing about Raja Ampat is that the archipelago is protected by the government, there are virgin forests with exotic wildlife and birds making their habitat there. As you trek along the forest, be sure to keep your eyes out on beautiful tropical birds residing in the islands. Who knows, you might catch a glimpse of the nearly extinct birds of paradise or Waigeo Spotted Cuscus.
If you come at the right season, there's a huge chance you'll get to see a rare phenomenon called 'Sea Ghost' in Waigeo Island. The Sea Ghost is a rare natural phenomenon where you can see bright light emerge from the sea that will last for about 10 to 18 minutes. It happens almost in every end of the year, and you can see it if you go to Urbanisopen and Yesner Village in Waigeo Island.
Just one and half hour away from Waisai is Arborek Tourism Village. Dubbed as the most popular tourist destination in Raja Ampat, the humble village is highly praised for its hospitality. Not only you can find affordable homestays, you'll be greeted with heart-warming welcome party. You'll be treated like a special guest and be entertained with locals singing Papuan folk songs and traditional dances. During your stay, you'll get to interact with them or observing as they carry on their daily activities. The village is also dotted with numerous scenic sightseeing and diving spots. Don't forget to purchase some local handicrafts such as noken bags for souvenirs.
How to Get Tickets?
There's no admission ticket applied to enter Raja Ampat, however you'll have to pay for two official Raja Ampat entry fees. The first one is a fee for Indonesian tourist visa and a fee to support environmental services in Raja Ampat. Separated fees will be applied if you rent a boat, or staying at a local homestay.
How To Get Around?
Raja Ampat is not that extensive and almost all attractions and facilities you need are within walking distance. There's a motor boat service you can use for island-hopping or to go to any diving spots, but for the most part you can explore the islands on foot.
What Should I Wear?
There' s no regulations on how you should dress in Raja Ampat, you can wear practically anything that feels comfortable to you.You might want to bring one or two pieces of swimsuits.You will also need a sturdy and comfortable walking shoes as you will walk most of the time.
Best Time to Visit
To fully enjoy Raja Ampat, be sure to come during dry season, that falls between October and April. The weather will be cheerful most of the time and there will be enough sun rays.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, all informations you need are available in this website.
How To Get There?
The Arborek Tourism Village in Raja Ampat can be easily reached by taking a direct flight to Sorong from any major cities in Indonesia. You can then take a motorboat from Sorong Port to Waisai. Take a longboat to go to Raja Ampat Islands.