Raja Ampat, West Papua
Raja Ampat is one of world's best diving destinations. Raja Ampat, or "four kings", is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals, located off the northwest tip of Indonesia's West Papua province, on the island of New Guinea. It encompasses more than 40,000km2 of land and sea, and contains an astounding diversity of habitats and the largest marine National Park in Indonesia, Cenderawasih Bay.
According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the the area is the highest recorded on Earth. Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sample in the Coral Triangle (world's coral reef biodiversity), making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.
The high marine diversity in Raja Ampat is strongly influenced by its position between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It has 1,309 fish species, 537 coral species, and 699 mollusk species, making a perfect place for different diving experiences from pelagic drift dives, vertical wall dive to magic muck dive. Because of its pristine water and excellent visibility, Raja Ampat is a great place to snorkel.
Four largest islands in RajaAmpat include: Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool. There are 610 islands but most of them have no social life. This regency has 10 districts and 85 villages with about 48,707 men.
Raja Ampat has rare fauna, such as red birds of paradise (Paradise Rubra), wilson birds of paradise (Cicinnurs Republica), maleo waigeo (spilocuscus Papuensis) and rainbow fishes. For the flora, it has many kinds of orchids, waigeo palm, ironwoods or black woods, keruing, ulin woods, etc.
The best dive sites:
Maluku (Spice Islands)
With the provincial capital in Ambon, Maluku comprises of hundreds of small islands from Halmahera in the north to Wetar in the south east. The region is endowed with beautiful nature, rich marine biodiversity and unique flora and fauna. The Indian, Chinese, Arab and European traders flocked to the islands to trade for spices in the past. Historical forts and ruins are reminder of the fierce fighting to win control of the islands among the European colonials. The commonwealth memorial park in Ambon showed the island's crucial role during the WWII. Maluku offers beautiful white sandy beaches, warm turquoise water and coral reefs. A haven for ornithologists, Maluku is home for many famous birds including great bill parrots, exotic pigeons, palm cockatoos, triton, lorikeets and many other species.
Come and find this hidden paradise, taste the flavorful local cuisines, enjoy the bird watching from the tree top and discover the colorful historical past and traditions of the Spice Islands. And if you are seeking a meaningful life experience while exploring life in another culture, Maluku is the perfect place for you to share your hands and heart with the local community. Lending a helping hand at the bird rehabilitation center, working together with local community to keep the oceans clean and healthy or inspiring the children to protect their environment are some of the short-term volunteering opportunities in Maluku.