Raja Ampat is one of Indonesia’s last frontiers. Tourists have only started going to the area the past decade or so, because it has largely been inaccessible until now. The airport in Sorong now provides a great jumping off point for transfers to the stunning islands in the area.
The Raja Ampat archipelago is postcard worthy. With hundreds of lush green islands jutting out of clear blue waters, sandy beaches lined with palm trees, this is paradise. These hills offer great trails for walks, with stunning views of the surrounds. Also, the thick vegetation supports several species of tropical bird, including Birds of Paradise. It is well worth an early morning walk to look for these beautiful species, often seen performing spectacular mating rituals, with males showing off their bright feathers while dancing and screeching.
The snorkelling in Raja Ampat is an absolute treat. The warm waters are the most marine-biodiverse in the world, and the area has some great endemic species like the walking shark and Raja Ampat wobbegong shark.
The sloping fringing reefs, barrier reefs, drop offs and coral bommies are alive with a staggering number of species of coral, which provide homes and food for many reef fish, turtles and invertebrates alike. Almost every tropical reef species I can think of can be found here in large numbers, as can large groupers, Napoleon wrasse and reef sharks.
The region also offers great chances to snorkel with manta rays. These gentle giants can measure up to 6m across. Harmless plankton feeders, these rays are majestic to watch and interact with.
There are several species of turtle in the area, in large numbers, so snorkelling with turtles is almost guaranteed.
There are a few resorts in Raja Ampat that we love, depending on what each snorkeller is looking for. From stilted over-water bungalows to quite rooms on the beach we can help you decide on the right resort for you.