Hidden Luxury: Raja Ampat Islands

A veritable paradise awaits divers and nature enthusiasts…

Located in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat is an archipelago composed of over 1,500 islands and cays. The name means Four Kings, and the islands are part of the famed Coral Triangle, which is home to the richest marine biodiversity on earth. Most of the visitors to this remote island come to experience the wonderful diving opportunities it provides.

Isolated golden sands beckon, and shimmering corals color the waters of Raja Ampat. Visitors have the option of choosing either a dive resort, or a liveaboard experience. The Misool Eco Resort is one of the best luxury options on the islands. The exclusive resort is on a private island, with its own marine protected area. Eight luxury water cottages built on stilts are located on the North Lagoon, while the villas are spread on both the northern and southern sides. The Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Ray Sanctuary is located here. Fringed with powdery sands and coral reefs, the Misool Eco Resort has a maximum capacity of just 40 guests, and boasts a staff-to-guest ratio of 3:1; making it a truly special experience.

For a memorable liveaboard experience, the luxurious Amanikan comes highly recommended. The 32 meter custom-built coastal cruiser features three above-deck cabins, a large foredeck for al fresco dining, and world-class diving and snorkeling facilities. The master cabin is spread across the entire upper deck, and features sweeping views of the vista. In short, the cruiser is equipped for the holiday of a lifetime in the Indonesian archipelago. For larger groups, the Amanikan’s sister boat Amandira can also be chartered simultaneously. A typical cruise takes guests through charming islands, with pitstops at Sorong, Mioskon, Alyui Bay, and Arborek.

While enjoying a liveaboard experience, do not miss out on the dining options available on board. Fresh sea food is a specialty given the location of the holiday, but it is served up in international styles as well. For a taste of local cuisine, try the island specialties at one of the stops made during the journey. Visit Cape Kri and the Pianemo Islands to take in the natural beauty of Raja Ampat. Spend an evening stargazing at the equator in picturesque Kawe. View sharks and manta rays in their natural habitat at Pulau Wayag, and climb to the top for sheer beauty!

The smallest of the four Raja Ampat islands, Batanta is a must visit. West of the mainland city of Sorong, Batanta features rugged mountains and dense rainforests – a dream come true for nature lovers. It is the best place to spot indigenous tropical birds and flora. Since it is not a very commercially developed island, it is best for those seeking a hideaway from the world.

Raja Ampat’s natural beauty is sure to offer a rejuvenating and blissful break to everyone. Visit before the world discovers this secret gem!

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