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Overview

It’s not just the breathtaking volume of sea life that lures avid divers so far off the beaten path. Nor is it only the overwhelming variety of sea creatures here, perhaps more than any other spot on earth, thanks to its location where the Indian and Pacific oceans meet. And the endless diversity of dive sites, with many more to be discovered, is a definitely a bonus. But perhaps Raja Ampat’s biggest draw is the opportunity to explore an undersea world that’s still in pristine condition, largely due to its remote location and cultural mores. With conservation at the forefront of development efforts, additional activities have been added ...

It’s not just the breathtaking volume of sea life that lures avid divers so far off the beaten path. Nor is it only the overwhelming variety of sea creatures here, perhaps more than any other spot on earth, thanks to its location where the Indian and Pacific oceans meet. And the endless diversity of dive sites, with many more to be discovered, is a definitely a bonus. But perhaps Raja Ampat’s biggest draw is the opportunity to explore an undersea world that’s still in pristine condition, largely due to its remote location and cultural mores. With conservation at the forefront of development efforts, additional activities have been added to enhance appreciation of this unique area. Kayak through crystal clear waters in search of wildlife with Western-trained local guides; hike through tropical forests or take a gentle stroll, or go birding with indigenous guides in hopes of catching a glimpse of fabulous Birds of Paradise, Palm Cockatoos, parrots and lorikeets. Staying in a dive resort on one of the archipelago’s main islands is one option, but you can also sail there on one of several liveaboard boats. The advantage of the latter is the adventure of being on the sea, avoiding airport waits and reduced packing and unpacking time. Either way, though, the best adventure is exploring this pristine undersea world.

Linda Hoffman
About the Expert

Linda Hoffman is a contributing editor for five Periplus guides, including Bali (two editions), Papua, Java, Nusa Tenggara, and eight editions of Insight Guides Indonesia and the Indonesia section of their Southeast Asia guidebook.

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Linda Hoffman for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Formerly called Irian Jaya, the Raja Ampat Islands are located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia's West Papua province. It is an archipelago comprising more than 1,500 small islands.
  • Language: Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch, Javanese and local dialects
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year round