Imagine a tropical archipelago crowned with a lush green canopy. Pristine turquoise water lapping on to the white sandy shore. Colorful coral reefs — home for millions of exotic marine life. An idyllic beach with a few bamboo gazebos. That’s Raja Ampat for you!
Raja Ampat, which is directly translated as ‘Four Kings’, is an archipelago that consists of more than 1500 mini islands. As the name suggests, there are four main islands here — Salawati, Misool, Waigeo, and Batanta.
Home to one of the richest marine ecosystems on the planet, the archipelago of Raja Ampat is part of the coral triangle, consisting of the islands of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea — making it a perfect incubator for the exotic biodiversity.
The ecosystem of this region is so rich and unique that it is often considered as the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity. With more than 1508 species of fish, 699 species of molluscs, and 537 coral species, the Raja Ampat islands is ranked first for its marine biodiversity as per the surveys conducted by Conservation International.
The islands are largely untouched. That is why, it remains a safe haven for a variety of endemic species of fish, such as the wobbegong sharks and harmless jellyfish. Studies have also found out that almost 96% of Indonesia’s stony corals and 75% of the world’s hard coral species are found on this archipelago.
How to get there
If you’re planning to be at one with nature at Raja Ampat, accessing this region is not that difficult. You need to take a six-hour flight from Jakarta to Sorong and a boat for the remaining journey. You can arrange a local guide from Locaguide to pick you up at the island. He will accompany you along your journey, meanwhile explaining all the interesting myths and legends surrounding this beautiful archipelago. He can also arrange a deep sea diving expedition, snorkelling, and other activities for you to bask in the immaculate beauty of nature.
Hailed as one of the top destinations for nature lovers and photographers, you can be sure to enjoy your days in Raja Ampat to its fullest!3