Christian Stan, at 19 Feb. 18, in News

Off the coast of West Papua are over 1500 islands that make up the Raja Ampat archipelago. This remote group of islands is becoming more accessible by plane and boat and has been getting more and more attention from diving enthusiasts from all over the world.

Even though this is paradise for divers, you will most likely have whole dive sites to yourself. There is plenty of space and so many dive sites, you may not see other groups of divers the whole time you’re there. Raja Ampat is still very much a protected area where tourism is well regulated to ensure the flora and fauna is kept intact.

To get to the islands of Raja Ampat you must first fly to Sorong, which is accessible from Manado and Makassar. Connecting flights from Jakarta, Bali, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are easiest.

From Sorong harbor there are ferries to Waisai, the capital city of the island of Waigo, and then smaller boats to the other islands. It may seem like a complicated trip, but Papua Paradise can plan all of this for you and it’s 100% worth it once you’re there!

Raja Ampat is a diver’s paradise. It’s one of the richest areas for marine life on Earth and new species are being discovered all the time.

Being a tropical climate, the water temperature stays around 28 °C all year round and visibility is generally between 10 to 30 meters depending on the site. Dives are generally from 10 to 40 metres deep and although most dives are suitable for divers of all levels, the remoteness of the area makes it more suitable for divers with experience.

If you want to see big species like giant trevally or dogtooth tuna, as well as many species of sharks, this is the place for you. You’ll dive mainly with blacktip and whitetip reef sharks but there are often sightings of the strangely beautiful wobbegong shark.

Manta rays are also very common in Raja Ampat and can even be seen right around the house reefs at Papua Paradise Eco Resort. Manta Sandy and Manta Ridge are well known dive spots for swimming with mantas and the curious and rare dugong is sometimes spotted here as well as other dive sites.

The people of Raja Ampat are mainly Papuans from the closest island Papua, however they tend to live in tribes and speak both the Indonesian Language and their own language Biak Papua. They also often speak their own tribal dialect and anthropologists have counted over 800 languages in the region alone.

The people from Raja Ampat are mainly fishermen and live off the land. They are very welcoming to guests and the children are always laughing and waving to divers who come to visit. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the wonderful people in Raja Ampat and learn a little about their lifestyle and traditions.

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