Why Raja Ampat is the Paradise You Never Heard Of
Way up in the north eastern corner of the country, Indonesia is sheltering an amazing secret. In the far-flung West Papua region lies Raja Ampat, a stunning archipelago of over 612 stunning islands, that almost no one has ever heard of.
Raja Ampat is notoriously difficult to get to. The only direct flights leave in the middle of the night from Jakarta, and take four hours to reach Sorong. From there, it’s another two hours by boat to Raja Ampat harbour, plus transfer (anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple more hours) to the island of your choice. It’s a tough old journey – and not many people bother.
Which means that those who do go to all that trouble are rewarded with the kind of isolation that most travellers only dream of. Tropical islands, sleepy villages, beautiful beaches… and you might just have it all to yourself!
White sand beaches skirting dense jungles and lapped by crystal clear turquoise waters. Describing Raja Ampat sounds like something lifted straight from a holiday brochure. But the beauty of these beaches can’t be exaggerated. Get yourself to Raja Ampat, and you’ll soon see why.
The beaches of Raja Ampta make Bali look like Bognor in comparison. Here, there are no crowds, no overpriced sun-loungers, no constant traffic of salesman touting their wares. There’s also no litter, something that has become the scourge of Bali’s once paradisical beaches. In Raja Ampat, the sand is pristine, untouched even by footprints until you arrive. This is as close to paradise on earth as it gets.
Snorkelling and Diving
Those that have heard of Raja Ampat are usually divers, because this is considered one of the best places in the world to dive. The visibility is incredible, and the corals are teeming with life. And with next to no pollution in the area things are set to stay this way for a while.
Raja Ampat holds the world record for most species of fish seen on one dive, and boasts a huge abundance of marine life to reward divers and snorkelers alike. Just snorkelling from the end of the jetty in Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, I saw puffer fish, enormous starfish, jellyfish, and beautiful, frilled lion fish. In the evening, we were even lucky enough to spot the incredibly rare Raja Ampat Walking Shark, a species of epaulette shark found nowhere else in the world. This is truly one of the best and most rewarding places in the world to snorkel and dive.
If all that isn’t enough to tempt you to Raja Ampat, I doubt anything will!
If diving in the beautiful shores of Raja Ampat sounds prefect for you, than you are most definitely an explorer. Our Annual Multi Trip travel insurance will provide you with cover throughout the year for all of your travel adventures.