Do you remember the movie Avatar by James Cameron? It is about a very beautiful outer space place called Pandora that has magnificent scenery, thousands of exotic animals and wise local tribes called the Na’vi that is all endangered because of greedy humans that try to mine their precious mineral without considering the consequences. Well, there are some places in this earth that is actually face the same problems as Pandora. Papua, in this case Raja Ampat, is one of them.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago that consists of more than 1.500 islands including four main islands of Misool Island, Salawati Island, Bantata Island and Waigeo Island. This place is located in West Papua Province of Indonesia. To get there, you can fly to Sorong, and then take speedboat or long boat for about one until three hours.
Just like Pandora in the movie, Raja Ampat is a very beautiful place. It is a home for 1.628 species of reef fish, 603 species of hard coral, and 57 species of mantis shrimp. It is also the natural habitat of 13 species of marine mammals and 5 species of endangered sea turtles. This amazing marine biodiversity makes Raja Ampat a sacred place that needs to be saved from all parties that try to endanger it. Around 75% of all species that exist in this earth live there and need our careful attention to stay alive.
Raja Ampat is definitely a heaven for those who love diving. Diving in Raja Ampat will certainly give you an unforgettable experience because there are so many amazing spots with different kind of view every time you move. You can start your amazing diving experience by meeting Manta Rays in Southwest of Waigeo Island. After that, you can go to Northwest of Misool Island to see the famous Blue Mangroves that crazily made beautiful labyrinths. Then, you can go straight to Wayag Islands to see hundreds of limestone islands with silver sand beach and Grey Reef Sharks that swim underwater. Last but not least, make sure you witness the amazing phenomenon that only happen in the darkest phase of the moon. Ride your boat between Bantata Island and Salawati Island and wait for the Wai’s trees to glow with million of fireflies blinking together in the same rhyme.
Done doing diving in Raja Ampat, you might want to try kayaking, exploring the islands by boat, exploring bat caves, catch a fish using traditional Papuan techniques and many more. For those who love beaches, you can go to Sawandarek to enjoy the beautiful white sand beach, home of the sea ducks and magnificent corals.
Tempted by the beauty of Raja Ampat, now write ‘visiting Raja Ampat’ in a piece of paper, frame it and put it in the first place you see when you wake up. It is an amazing place which will continually give you surprises of miraculous unexpected things and events that will always take your breath away. Go there, dive there and do your very best to keep them save. Make sure your children and grand children can have the same opportunities to experience the beautiful Raja Ampat.