Planning for an adventurous tour? You need to consider a tourist spot that has received an award from the Finnish travel magazine, Mondo, as “The Best Destination for Adventure Category” in early 2015. The place is called Raja Ampat. It is an archipelago in the northwest of West Papua province in the far east of Indonesia and has been filmed for a documentary movie, EdisParadies 3 that was screened in a movie theater in Zurich, Switzerland in January 2012. It is not without a reason that Raja Ampat has received such great attention from the world.
Raja Ampat is a kabupaten (similar to county) in West Papua that has 610 islands! It is famous for its fabulous underwater attractions. Its clear blue waters is akin to heaven for divers. Raja Ampat has thousands of unique underwater biota that you will never see elsewhere. According to an environmental organization called “The Nature Conservancy” that is based in Indonesia, 75 percent of the world’s ocean species can be found in Raja Ampat’s underwater. No wonder when you dive, you will see the largest nature collections of ocean creatures. Isn’t it amazing?
Trekking in the exotic islands
Not everyone makes diving as their hobby. If you or one of the persons in your group doesn’t like diving, there is another interesting thing to do. Some of the islands of Raja Ampat are waiting to be explored. To do that, you will need a tour guide. Most tour guides are local fishermen and there is a tradition going on in here. As the islands are inhabited, you will meet native people on the islands. It’s good to make friends with them by giving them pinang (areca nuts that can be purchased from the guide). To the locals, the giving of pinang is a symbol of peace and friendship.
Among so many islands, the island of Wayag is one of the greatest places for trekking.
The island is a must-go place for adventurers. The island has a hill to hike and when you get to the top, you will have an magnificent view. You will also see many beautifully nature-crafted green islands in the middle of the exotic Raja Ampat sea. The most beautiful photographs of Raja Ampat can be taken from the hilltop.
Decent accommodation during your Raja Ampat’s tour.
Are you worried about the accommodation? Worry not, as there are many places to stay on these islands. You may choose to live in a hotel, but you can also stay in a Papuan style bungalow.
You might wonder what makes a Papuan bungalow different. Well, besides all parts of the structure are wooden, unlike a contemporary bungalow, this type of bungalow looks like a “flying” house as there is always some space between the real ground and the bungalow’s floor. The bungalow is supported by pillars and the space is bridged by some stairs that people use to enter the house.
From Jakarta and Singapore to Raja Ampat
There are quite many travel agencies in Jakarta and some cities in Bali that organize tours to Raja Ampat. The price will depend on your duration of stay and group size. For a group of 10 person, it will cost you around 770 USD per person for a four-day tour, excluding the plane ticket cost.
So, are you ready for the adventure? Make Raja Ampat your next destination!
To go there, take a direct flight to Raja Ampat’s nearest city of Sorong from Jakarta. It is a 6-hour flight and you can fly with an international airline Silk Air (Singapore carrier) or some local airlines like Garuda Indonesia, Pelita Air and Merpati Air. If you are coming from somewhere in East or Southeast Asia, you may fly from Singapore and take the flight to Makasar in Sulawesi island for transfer and take another flight to Sorong. From Sorong, you will take a 2-hour ferry ride to Waisai, Raja Ampat’s biggest city that is located in one of the main four islands in Raja Ampat’s archipelago named Waigeo.
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