If you are seeking to experience the ultimate diving adventure, this is one of the more remote, beautiful places you can visit.
Within the diving community, Raja Ampat is know as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity with some of the world’s richest reefs.
Some 1320+ species of coral reef fish have been recorded here thoughout the 600-plus islands.
Believe me when I say remote, as you have to have stamina to get to these islands. In fact, the native residents had little contact with the outside word until the 1950’s and no wonder, as it is hard to travel to.
Raja Ampat contains some of the last truly healthy reefs, although they, like all reefs, are threatened by the same global warming and fragile pressures of other marine spots. Diving here is like reef diving on steroids. A remote diving tour through the worlds best underwater cities of the sea, much like the final aquatic frontier. And yet it is a frontier that has just begun to be explored.
The Islands lie at the crossroads of strong ocean currents. These currents converge from Indonesia, the Philippines and Papau New Guinea. As well, the currents sweep in marine life from across the Indian and Pacific oceans. As yet, this remote area has not succumbed to development. Most accommodations on the islands can be quite simplistic with no A/C, rolling electrical schedules and lack of wifi.
There are some more modernized hotels for those needing more creature comforts but it can be liberating to exist without.
Tourism to areas like Palawan or Bali have now been overrun by tourism. Boats filled with snorkelers and divers converge on beaches and dive spots in throngs. That type of tourism most often leads to oil slicked waters and trash filled bays.
While Indonesia has the same problem, Raja Ampat has not been blighted with those issues thus far. However conservation will be the key to maintaining this beautuful epicenter of marine reef life. NGO’s and conservationists are working hard to do so.
What propelled me to book this last minute adventure I can’t say, but dang, it was worth the travel journey to get here. Mine was a 30+ hour trip. Due to my allegiance to American Airlines and to maximize frequent flyer point accrual, I didn’t take a direct flight to Asia on a codeshare airline which would have cut the travel time down. Therefore my itinerary consisted of flying American airlines out of Washington DC to Dallas Fort Worth.
Dallas Fort Worth to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong to Jakarta (codeshare Cathay)
Regional inter-country Indonesian airline flight to the island of Sorong Indonesia.
All of those flights were followed up with a 2 hour ferry from Sarong to Waisai port
and finally a 1/2 hour boat ride from Waisai port to my dive resort.
Friendly residents, clear aqua colored waters, beautiful sunsets and amazing diving opportunities, Raja Ampat casts a spell on everyone who visits. Well worth the hassle to get to this beautiful oceanic area. So you can imagine it was super hard to say goodbye ☹️