Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
The Raja Ampat islands are situated in Indonesia and it is an archipelago off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua province. The regency of it is Raja Ampat Regency. Raja Ampat is also known as the four kings and there are over 1500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the main four islands. The main four islands are Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo and the smaller island is Kofiau. Raja Ampat is famous for its diving experience also; it is known for its beaches and coral reefs rich with marine life. This archipelago’s size is the same as Switzerland’s. There can be found, most of the world’s coral reefs, biodiversity, and rare species of marine life. The Raja Ampat archipelago forms part of the Coral Triangle, which contains the richest marine biodiversity on earth. Overall, it is the most beautiful island chain in the world.
The Raja Ampat is surrounded by oceanic natural resources, give it significant potential as a tourist area. It is already within the top ten of most popular places for diving in the world and retains the number one ranking for underwater biodiversity. The coral triangle is considered the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity, and the coral triangle counties are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and East Timor.
The total area of these islands is 40,000km x km and the total population is 50,000 according to the 2018 list. This area is a fishing area since the area is dominated by the sea. In safe wise Island, areas are politically stable and safe. These islands are having abundant natural beauty and it makes them look like an earthly paradise. But unfortunately, over 45,000 population (20%) live below the poverty line along with poor access to education, health care, and markets. But overall boat travels here is unreasonably expensive, because the main reason is the fuel price here remains well above the nationally regulated price, so to do a lot of boat travel and snorkeling and sightseeing will add to visitor’s trip costs.
To get to Raja Ampat, first, have to fly to Jakarta or Bali in Indonesia, Kula Lumpur in Malaysia or Singapore, and then get a flight to Sorong in West Papua, Indonesia. Most of these flights are taking a stopover in Makassar Udung Padang Airport in Sulawesi Island. There are seven best things to do here. Those are Watch the sunset and sunrise, Snorkel at a Jetty, Hike Piaynemo for a 5-star view in Raja Ampat, walk on a floating Sand Island, Feed the fish at Sawinggrai, Meet the locals, Disconnect.
When visitors go to Raja Ampat there should be 30 items to carry with them for time management while on the tours. Some of them are Backpack and rain cover, Day bag, Head Lamp or torch with extra batteries, Biodegradable soap/shampoo, insect repellent, sunblock, travel towel, etc. Also, there are ten diving sites here such as Lao Lao, Manta Ridge, Saporkren, Cape Kri, Sardine Reef, Chicken Reef, etc.
Since the Raja Ampat lies on the equator, it has tropical weather throughout the year. The temperature lies between 20C to 33C daily. Also, rain can unpredictably fall and less frequently in the dry season. The water temperature varies between 28C to 30C. The best time to dive in here is from September to April where a large number of manta rays are presenting at cleaning stations. The very calmest waters and best visibility can be seen in November, December, January, February, and March. The hot and dry season to Raja Ampat is from October to April which is the best period to visit the islands.
The Raja Ampat is part of the Vogelkop -Aru lowland rain forests ecoregion and these rain forests are the natural habitats of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. There are two endemic species that can be seen there namely, the red bird of paradise and Wilson’s bird of paradise. When considering the marine life in Raja Ampat, it is the global center of tropical marine bio-diversity and is the Crown Jewel of the Bird’s Head Seascape. The Raja Ampat islands are inclusive of 600 species of hard corals, 17000 species of reef fish, endangered and rare marine mammals, whales, dolphins, and orcas. In addition to this, the island’s local villagers have been involved in turtle conservation initiatives by protecting nests or relocating eggs of leatherback olive ridley and hawksbill turtles, were getting supports from the local government as well.
Raja Ampat is famous for its diving experiences, beaches, and coral reefs rich with marine life. Most of the tourists have come to visit here throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy its jungle-covered islands, the scenery of steep, fine white sand beaches, hidden lagoons, weird mushroom-shaped islets, spooky caves, and pellucid turquoise waters. Raja Ampat is also famous for its endemic species and rainforests. But they threaten to the tourism is, the crown-of-thorns-starfish is eating corals and the destruction may cause among reefs. There are some star category hotels on budgets available near Raja Ampat to spend tourists’ holidays without any hassles.