Diving in Raja Ampat
Located at the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on Papua, which is the most eastern island of the Indonesian Archipelago, Raja Ampat which means ‘The Four Kings’ when translated is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, which surrounds the four main islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool. The Raja Ampat name, itself is believed to come from a legend where a woman found seven eggs, with four of them hatch and become the kings of the four main islands, while the other three became a woman, a ghost, and a stone.
Raja Ampat is located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, where you will find a pristine paradise where Mother Nature and warm friendly people welcome you with all the exceptional wonders in Raja Ampat, the islands-regency in West Papua Province. With all the spectacular wonders above and beyond its waters, as well as on land and amidst the thick jungles, this is truly the place where words such as beautiful, enchanting, magnificent, and fascinating get its true physical meaning.
For underwater enthusiasts, Raja Ampat definitely offers some of the world’s ultimate experience. The territory within the islands of the Four Kings is enormous, covering 9.8 million acres of land and sea, home to 540 types of corals, more than 1,000 types of coral fish and 700 types of mollusks. This makes it the most diverse living library for the world’s coral reef and underwater biota.
As you embark on your dive here, the phrase “Attention to detail” takes on new meaning as pigmy seahorses swim around your fingers. Manta Rays and wobbegongs will glide right by you. Schools of Tuna fish, giant trevallies, snappers, batfish, and even barracudas are there to complete your underwater “meeting list”. Not to mention the friendly assistant of the dugong, and a busy colleague, the turtle. Down at the sea floors, giant sea clams measuring to over one meter in length truly offers one of kind close encounter sensation.
There is a lot of diving and snorkelling spots to choose from in these vast waters. Among these are at the Kabui Passage (the very narrow passage between Waigeo and Gam Island crossed by the renowned British explorer, Alfred Russell Wallace in 1860), around the Arborek Island’s Dock, Sawandarek, Yenbuba, Friwen Wall, and many-many more.
While its underwater splendours are beyond exceptional, the landscape above the surface is equally breathtaking. As if it was carefully designed and placed with such aesthetic, the rock islets amidst the clear blue water and bright blue sky in Piaynemo offers some of the most spectacular sceneries on the face of the earth. Looking down from the top of the hill, it almost seems that Mother Nature painted her finest artwork and offers a glimpse of paradise. Further at Wayag Island, you will also find an amazing rock islets formation on an even bigger scale.
The incredible wildlife of Raja Ampat does not stop underwater. Amidst the many thick jungles within the islands, one can still find various bird species including the spectacular Cendrawasih or the bird of Paradise. There is also an endemic species of cuscus, the Waigeou cuscus or Waigeou spotted cuscus (Spilocuscus papuensis) which is a species of marsupial in the family Phalangeridae.