Although Raja Ampat’s 1,500 jungly islands look like the definition of an unspoiled tropical paradise, most people who make the long journey to this remote part of East Indonesia don’t come to laze on the beach. They’re here to jump in – diving or snorkelling to observe the mind blowing marine diversity thriving in these turquoise waters, home to a massive 80 percent of the world’s coral species.
Raja Ampat’s mostly uninhabited islands deliver Robinson Crusoe remoteness – things only get busy below the waves where coral reefs teem with life. Dive in!
Anyone with enough diving experience to tackle the sometimes strong currents can explore Raja Ampat’s 200 or more pristine dive sites, discovering turtles galore, schooling fish and reef sharks, sperm whales feeding, manta rays freshening up at cleaning stations, tiny seahorses and gentle dugongs. Back on land, the views ‘topside’ are exceptional and you’ll have them to yourself; Raja Ampat has only tiptoed onto the tourist map in the last decade. Eco resorts on uninhabited islands and the odd local village are the only human life here. The rest is wild, wet and wonderful.