Papua Paradise Thu, 20 Sep 2018 07:51:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Papua Paradise 32 32 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List Thu, 20 Sep 2018 07:51:24 +0000 Indonesia is an incredible country spread over almost 2 million square miles and 3 time zones. This nation is made up of over 17,000 islands and countless tribes, languages, and customs. Indonesia as a country should definitely be on your travel bucket list, and if it isn’t we’re sure it will be after you read this article. We’re going to give you some ideas of where to visit with the top 5 places in Indonesia that should be on your travel bucket list.

1. Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is often said to be the jewel in Indonesia’s crown. Made up of four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and hundreds of other smaller islands, this archipelago contains some of the richest marine biodiversity on earth.

Raja Ampat - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

With 1,508 fish species, 537 coral species – this is 75% of all species that exist in the world, and 699 mollusk species, the variety of marine life is absolutely breathtaking. If you are a diver and Raja Ampat isn’t yet on your bucket list, get it on there now!

Of course non-divers will be blown away by the islands as well. With jungle hikes to waterfalls, dawn bird watching for endemic birds of paradise, snorkeling under your over-water bungalow, and climbing to viewpoints with sights straight out of your dreams, you don’t have to dive to fall in love with Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

For more information about travel and accommodation in Raja Ampat visit: Papua Paradise Eco Resort

2. Borobudur

This temple is one of the largest Buddhist monuments in the world…and you may not have ever heard of it before. Built in the 9th century during the Sailendra Dynasty, it’s right up there with Angkor Wat in Cambodia as one of the great archeological sites of Asia and in many archeologist’s opinions, the world.

Borobudur - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

Located in Central Java, close to the city of Yogyakarta, Borobudur is made up of nine stacked platforms topped by a central dome. You can climb the platforms to admire the 2,672 beautifully carved panels and 504 Buddha statues that adorn the structure. At the top you’ll find 72 Buddha statues in their own stupas surrounding the central dome.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Borobudur is the single most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia.

3. Bali

The Island of the Gods is on just about everyone’s bucket list and for good reason. Not only lush, tropical, and surrounded by beautiful beaches and clear blue water, Bali is also very rich in culture.

Bali - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

In a country of 261 million people, this island of 4 million is around 85% Hindu. In the streets you’ll see brightly coloured offerings, hear the music of the gamelan orchestras coming from temples, and meet processions of villagers in the roads. Beautifully decorated temples are everywhere you look and you’re likely to be invited along to ceremonies by the wonderful Balinese people.

Apart from the culture, surfers, scuba divers, snorkelers and luxury travelers find paradise on Bali thanks to the wide variety of accommodation, activities and budget options.

Bali - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

For lots more information on Bali travel and accommodation visit: Lotus Bungalows Candidasa

4. The Gili Islands

How can these 3 little islands be so very enticing to travelers? The islands of Gili Trawangan, Meno, and Air have become more developed over the past 10 years but they still offer that paradise island getaway vibe so many travelers are searching for.

The Gili Islands - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

With no motorized traffic, these islands have become a mecca for backpackers, honeymooners and families looking to get away from the rat race and just chill. The beaches are coated in soft white sand, the water calm and turquoise, and the island pathways perfect for walking or riding bicycles wherever you’re going.

Divers will find over 25 dive sites within just a few minutes boat ride from the islands, and snorkelers can float their days away with sea turtles just offshore. The Gilis offer the perfect combo of fun, excitement, and relaxation and only 2 hours by fast boat from Bali.

The Gili Islands - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

Read more on what to do in the Gilis here: Villa Almarik

5. Komodo National Park

Encompassing the islands of Komodo, Rinca and a number of smaller islets, this is the home of the fierce Komodo dragons. These world famous carnivorous lizards can reach up to 3 metres long and roam freely on the islands. A guide will take you safely to see these impressive creatures in their natural habitat.

Komodo National Park - 5 Places in Indonesia that Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

To visit this national park you will need to fly to the city of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores and book either a day trip or liveaboard boat that explores the area. It also happens that there is world-class scuba diving here so combining the 2 experiences is a great option.

Have you added to your bucket list?

These are just 5 of the hundreds of incredible places you need to visit in Indonesia. Have you added any of them to your bucket list? Or maybe they were already on there…let us know in the comments.

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Exploring Batanta Island: A must-visit island in Raja Ampat for Adventurous Travelers Fri, 24 Aug 2018 04:18:09 +0000 Batanta is the smallest of Raja Ampat’s 4 Kings, or main islands. However, this doesn’t mean its small. At 60km long and about 8km wide, there is plenty to explore on and around this lush island. Read on to find out why Batanta is a must-visit island on your Raja Ampat adventures.

Where is Batanta Island?

Exploring Batanta Island: A must-visit island in Raja Ampat for Adventurous Travelers

Batanta is south of Waigeo across the strong currents of the Dampier Strait. It’s quite remote and has only a handful of villages. There is very little development on the island and just a few shops selling drinks and local snacks. This means it is suitable only for adventurous travelers to stay on. However, from Papua Paradise Eco Resort it’s only a 30-minute boat ride, so is great for day trips.

What is there to see?

Batanta is densely covered in lush rainforest with a central hill range rising up to 1184m at its highest point. This allows for cloud to settle and generate rain on a nearly daily basis feeding the rivers and waterfalls on the island.

Exploring Batanta Island: A must-visit island in Raja Ampat for Adventurous Travelers

This natural beauty, which is also home to many spectacular species of wildlife is one of the main draws to the island. Trekking to the island’s powerful waterfalls is an especially popular attraction and Papua Paradise runs regular trekking tours. You can find out more about these tours here: Batanta Island Waterfall Tour.

Batanta Island Waterfall Trip: A must-do in Raja Ampat for Adventurous Travelers

On treks through Batanta’s lush forest you will have the chance to look for some amazing animals. This ecosystem is home to the beautiful blue-spotted monitor lizard, 3 types of cuscus, Wilson’s Bird of Paradise, and an amazing variety of bats.

Wilson’s Bird of Paradise Tour: A must-do in Raja Ampat for Birdwatchers

Hornbills can also be seen coming in to roost in spectacular style on Hornbill Island just off the coast of Batanta’s mangroves. This is another trip you can take from Papua Paradise Eco Resort. Read about the tour here: Hornbill Island Sunset Cruise.

Hornbill Island Sunset Cruise A must-do in Raja Ampat for Adventurous Travelers

Because Batanta is so large and so sparsely populated and there are so few homestays, the beaches are paradise. It’s possible to swim or snorkel in the quiet bays without seeing another human. You can also spend some time just relaxing on the pristine white sand under palms after bird watching or trekking.

Marine Life

Batanta Island is also the perfect place to see some incredible marine life. The sheltered bays of the island’s north coast are a great place to spot rare dugongs. You may not see them in one day as they are very shy but you can also see pearl farming businesses that thrive here.

Diving Batanta Island: A must-dive site in Raja Ampat for Muck Diving Lovers

The reefs around the coast of Batanta are incredibly rich and for the most part rarely visited by liveaboards or dive groups. However, the southwest coast of the island is known for its calm black sand bays and critters. If you love muck diving and macro photography, there is no better place in Raja Ampat.

Have you put Batanta Island on your itinerary yet?

Exploring Batanta Island: A must-visit island in Raja Ampat for Adventurous Travelers

If you didn’t have Batanta on your Raja Ampat itinerary yet, we hope you do now. The natural beauty has to be seen to be believed, and photography enthusiasts will be in heaven. We’d love to know what part of Batanta Island most appeals to you so leave us a comment!

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Searching for the Endemic Species of Raja Ampat Thu, 09 Aug 2018 08:31:52 +0000 Raja Ampat is a remote region of West Papua and therefore has an amazing selection of endemic species. Over 35 species of fish and up to 40 corals are endemic to this region. Some of these species are very rare, some can be seen often while diving in the region. If you’re diving in Raja Ampat you can definitely hope to tick at least a few of this incredible species off your ‘to see’ list.

Papuan Garden Eel

Papuan Garden Eel - Searching for the Endemic Species of Raja Ampat

This species is a relatively new discovery, only having been classified for the first time in 2010. This small Heteroconger species hides in the sand and in dens in the sea floor. They are only around 60cm long, hence the difficulty in finding them.

For your best chance of spotting a Papuan Garden Eel you’re going to have to dive at around 15-20 metres in Cederawasih Bay or in the clean white coral sand in the Kaimana region. You’ll also need to get very close to the sand, stay very still and be extremely patient.

Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp - Searching for the Endemic Species of Raja Ampat

Mantis shrimp are found in many regions of the world, but there are actually an incredible 8 endemic species of mantis shrimp found in Raja Ampat alone! Many of these mantis shrimp are incredibly colourful and amazing to photograph.

Look in burrows and on sand and rubble slopes at around 25-30 metres for these critters. They should stand out thanks to their rainbow of armor.

Raja Ampat Epaulette Shark

Epaulette Shark - Searching for the Endemic Species of Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is well known for its ‘walking’ sharks and this one just happens to be endemic. These sharks are bottom feeders that like to use their fins to ‘walk’ on the seabed even when the water is deep. They only measure around 1.25 so they are a far cry from the type of sharks you might be used to seeing on TV but they are impressive nonetheless.

You’ll usually find these sharks in the shallows, sometimes at just a metre or so down. The Papua Paradise Eco Resort house reef and Arborek Jetty are favorite places to spot these unique creatures.

Tasseled Wobbegong Shark

Wobbegong Shark - Searching for the Endemic Species of Raja Ampat

Another strange and unusual species that is only found in Raja Ampat is Eucrossorhinus dasypogon. This is a type of carpet shark that flattens itself to the ocean floor waiting for prey. It doesn’t have to do much except open and close its mouth rapidly as the vacuum it creates sucks its dinner right in.

Another amazing fact about wobbegongs is that they are ovoviviparous. This means that the female incubates her eggs in her womb, but the babies hatch still inside the uterus and are then born alive. Incredible right!?

Waigeo cuscus

Waigeo cuscus - Searching for the Endemic Species of Raja Ampat

Above the water there are also endemic species to be found. On the island of Waigeo, and possibly Batanta, you may see Spilocuscus papuensis, a type of marsupial in the family Phalangeridae. Both genders of this species are whitish with black spots unlike other species that differ from male to female.

This species is protected because of the very small area it is found, but they are still quite common. You can trek in the jungles of Waigeo and Batanta where they are seen in the trees.

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise - Searching for the Endemic Species of Raja Ampat

Of course this list isn’t complete without the famous birds of paradise. Raja Ampat is home to Wilson’s Bird of Paradise and the Red Bird of Paradise, which are found nowhere else.
Birding tours to see both of these species can be organized through Papua Paradise Eco Resort and you can also read more about them here: Papua Paradise Tours

There are many more endemic species in Raja Ampat not mentioned here, so book a trip and discover them for yourself! Are you a nature lover that would enjoy searching out these species? Let us know in the comments below which one would be your most exciting find.

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5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat Mon, 30 Jul 2018 06:22:03 +0000 Raja Ampat is often called one of the last unspoiled places in the world. The lush islands dotted across crystal blue waters draw travellers from all over the world. However, thanks to it’s remote location it is not overrun with tourists. Raja Ampat on the whole is stunning, but there are a few places you definitely need to see while you’re there. Read on to find out the 5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat…

1. Pianemo

Pinemo_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

Pianemo is one of the most photographed places in Raja Ampat, so much so it has almost become a symbol of the area. However, as popular as it is, there are rarely many tourists there at one time.

Pinemo_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

Climbing from the dock up a set of wooden stairs you’ll be awe struck by the beauty of the landscape below you. The islets jut out of the sparkling turquoise waters making for a scene like no other against the endless blue sky. You can spend time here admiring the view and taking photos before heading back down to get in the water.

2. Arborek Village

Arborek Village_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

Known as the Arborek Tourism Village, this is the most famous village in Raja Ampat for tourists to visit. Most of the women here now make handicrafts for a living and there are also villagers from young to old that perform traditional dances.

Arborek Village_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

The village isn’t very big and only has around 40 families living there but it’s a really enjoyable way to get to know a little about the people and culture. Walking around you can see traditional houses, rickety jetties and often kids playing and splashing in the water that are wonderful to chat to and photograph.

3. Batanta Island Waterfall

Batanta Island Waterfall_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

Batanta Island is one of the largest islands in Raja Ampat making it the perfect place for exploring. The island is just about 30 minutes by boat from Papua Paradise Eco Resort, which runs tours to Batanta to trek to the waterfall.

Batanta Island Waterfall_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

From where the boats anchor it’s about a 40-minute trek on forest paths and rocky terrain to the beautiful waterfall. The walk is 100% worth it though because once you’re there you can enjoy the fresh cool water, explore the cave behind the falls and watch the variety of wildlife.

4. Pasir Timbul

Pasir Timbul_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

Like something out of a dream, Pasir Timbul is a stretch of sand that emerges out of the ocean only at low tide. The water here is crystal clear and the sand so powdery white you’ll hardly believe your eyes. You can enjoy playing and relaxing on the beach, taking photos and watching the underwater life without even using a snorkel.

Pasir Timbul_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

Pasir Timbul is just off the island of Mansuar about 30 minutes by boat from Arborek village.

5. Hornbill Island

Hornbill Island_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

Hornbills are one of the most incredible bird species in Raja Ampat and seeing them in their home environment is a very special sight indeed. Hornbills congregate on a small island off the coast of Batanta Island where the mangroves are thick and healthy.

Hornbill Island_5 Places You Need to See in Raja Ampat

In the evening around sunset the hornbills come to roost here for the night. You can watch them fly in, almost always in pairs, and settle in with the group. Papua Paradise runs evening tours to Hornbill Island just to see this magical natural sight.

Are you ready to book your trip to Raja Ampat?

Has this article given you some inspiration to book a trip to Raja Ampat? What would you like to see most while you’re there? We’d love to hear which place is most attractive to you.

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What is the ‘Coral Triangle’? Tue, 10 Jul 2018 05:52:31 +0000 When we talk about Raja Ampat we often mention the area being in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Most serious divers will be familiar with this term but for most it needs explaining. Let’s talk about where the Coral Triangle is and what amazing things you’ll find there.

Where is the Coral Triangle?

Raja Ampat - Where is the Coral Triangle?

The seas and islands of 6 countries make up the Coral Triangle – the Indonesian Archipelago from Papua to the southeast end of the island of Java, the Philippines, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the Island of Borneo. Some conservationists and researchers believe the Coral Triangle should be extended to include Brunei, Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. This is a vast area of 6 million square kilometers!

Many areas in the Coral Triangle are a huge draw for divers from all over the world. Some are more developed than others, for example the island of Bali, and other parts are only reached by a number of flights or long boat journeys.

Why is the Coral Triangle so important?

Raja Ampat - What is the Coral Triangle?

One of natural world’s most spectacular areas, the Coral Triangle is only 1% of the planet’s surface yet contains 30% of the world’s coral reefs! Those reefs are also comprised of 76% of the world’s known hard coral species. Almost 600 species have been identified and 15 are endemic to Raja Ampat.

The importance of this area cannot be stressed enough. It sustains upwards of 120 million people, mainly through fishing and tourism. It is also home to nearly 3,000 species of fish, half the world’s seagrasses, 20 species of cetaceans, 45 mangrove species, the rare dugong and 6 of the world’s 7 sea turtle species.

Can you imagine what would happen to the food chain if this vital ecosystem was destroyed??

Coral Triangle Conservation

Raja Ampat - What is the Coral Triangle?

None of the countries that lay within the coral triangle have a very good reputation for conservation either on land or sea. Overfishing, destructive fishing, unsustainable tourism, the impacts of urbanization, and climate change have all taken a toll on the area and steps have had to be taken to slow the destruction.

NGOs like WWF and The Nature Conservancy have stepped in to undertake research and push lawmakers to pass laws to help the Coral Triangle. For example, much of Raja Ampat is now a Marine Protected Area where there are harsh fines for fishing sharks, dugongs, and sea turtles. There are also penalties for using destructive fishing methods like fishing with explosives.

Raja Ampat - Where is the Coral Triangle?

When it comes to sustainable tourism many hotels and resorts have taken it upon themselves to ensure they are taking as little toll on the environment as possible. For example Papua Paradise Eco Resort encourages guests to use refillable water bottles, provides eco-friendly amenities in the bathrooms, and teaches guests about the best practices for diving in the area. They also work alongside local communities to educate people on how to live without putting stress on the marine habitats. Read more in Diving Responsibly in Raja Ampat and Saving Raja Ampat’s Marine Biodiversity

Diving in the Coral Triangle

Raja Ampat - What is the Coral Triangle?

Divers from all over the world come to the Coral Triangle to see the breathtaking array of fish, coral and other marine species. Many areas, including Raja Ampat, are known for their remoteness, clear waters and unparalleled reefs. While diving in the Coral Triangle you are likely to see many species you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Does this sound like somewhere you can see yourself visiting? We’re always happy to help with suggestions and tips on where to go in the Coral Triangle, so let us know in the comments below.

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Diving with Sharks in Raja Ampat Tue, 26 Jun 2018 03:10:42 +0000 Raja Ampat covers about 46,000 square kilometres and since 2013 sharks are protected throughout the whole area. Shark fishing is now strictly prohibited and punishments for anyone caught are severe. However, punishments are rarely used these days, thanks to community education that has shown locals that live sharks are worth much more than dead ones.

Divers, tourists, and marine scientists and researchers put large amounts of money in the economy and wholeheartedly support shark conservation programs. Thanks to them, the government and the cooperation of local communities, Raja Ampat is thriving and so are its sharks.

What species of sharks are found in Raja Ampat?

Raja Ampat is an ideal habitat for a number of species of sharks. Black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks thrive here thanks to the bounty of pray in the ecosystem. They are some of the top predators in this area and are exciting to watch while they cruise for their next meal.

White tip reef shark in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Down at the depths on the sea floor four species of walking sharks reign. Tasselled and ornate wobbegongs and two species of epaulette sharks may be wriggle and‘walk’ across the sea floor, but they are in fact excellent predators.

Wobbegongs sharks in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Both wobbegongs and epaulette sharks are found in shallow temperate and tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean, mainly around Australia and Indonesia. However, one of the epaulette species was discovered near Halmahera Island in Raja Ampat in 2013 and was named Hemiscyllium Halmahera, making it very special to the area.

Epaulette sharks in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Where to find sharks in Raja Ampat

You’ll probably see sharks wherever you dive in Raja Ampat. The area is their home and they swim freely, feeding on the plentiful fish, mating and laying their eggs in shallower waters. Trips to sites like Fam Island and The Passage between Waigeo and Gam give you a great chance of diving with a number of species of sharks.

Reef sharks in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

If you aren’t a diver you can see reef sharks from the jetty at Papua Paradise Eco Resort, or while snorkeling. Wobbegongs and epaulette sharks are more difficult to see if you don’t dive as they live on the sea floor.

Diving with sharks

Diving with sharks in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The reef sharks found in Raja Ampat are very docile and it is pretty much unheard of for divers to have any trouble. There are some tips you should follow when diving with sharks though.

First of all, like any other sea creature, let the sharks go about their business. Don’t follow or swim in front of them. You should swim calmly and gracefully without making jerky movements. For both reef sharks and walking sharks you must remember to always give them space. Although rare, divers have been bitten by walking sharks when they got too close.

Scuba diving with sharks in Raja Ampat is exhilarating but also completely safe if you follow these guidelines.

Does diving with sharks fill you with fear or excite you? We’d love to hear how you feel about it in the comments below!

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Searching for Sea Turtles in Raja Ampat Tue, 12 Jun 2018 05:24:02 +0000 Did you know sea turtles are one of the world’s oldest species? Scientific evidence shows they are at least 100 million years old and the nearest turtle ancestors are up to 112 million years old. Raja Ampat is an incredible place to see at least four of the world’s seven turtle species. Read on to learn more about where, when and how to see sea turtles in Raja Ampat.

Why are sea turtles so special?

Searching for Sea Turtles in Raja Ampat

Sea Turtles play a critical role in marine environments. They are almost like their own reef system, with parasites and fish living on their backs. They provide transport and nutrition for these stowaways.

Nearly all sea turtle species eat jellyfish, and in fact a leatherback can eat up to 200kg of jellyfish a day! This is important because jellyfish feed on juvenile fish, so jellyfish populations need to be kept in check to let fish populations thrive.

Green and Hawksbill turtles also have a vital role balancing the ecosystem. Greens eat sea grass, allowing new shoots to flourish. Without turtles to trim the sea grass it would become overgrown and grow deadly slim mold.

Hawksbills on the other hand, eat sponges, which would strangle the coral if left unchecked. Sponges are toxic to most sea creatures so the hawksbill’s job is an incredibly important one.

With every species of sea turtle now endangered coral reefs are in grave danger. Turtles are absolutely imperative to the survival of the seas.

Sea turtle conservation in Raja Ampat

Sea turtle conservation in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat was designated a shark, dugong, and sea turtle sanctuary in 2014. Since then a number of conservation agencies have been working with government officials and local communities to stop the capture of sea turtles for their meat and eggs. It is now illegal to catch turtles or collect their eggs in Raja Ampat. However, although this terrible practice is in decline, it still happens.

When you stay at Papua Paradise you will be asked to comply with all the laws pertaining to the conservation of the marine ecosystem. You will also pay a fee of $100, which is included in the price of diving, to enter the Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area. This fee contributes towards community outreach, the marine park patrols and other costs of keeping the area safe.

Where and when can I see sea turtles in Raja Ampat?

Where and when can I see sea turtles in Raja Ampat?

Sea turtles can be spotted just about anywhere in Raja Ampat. They are nomadic, so you might be sitting on your deck at Papua Paradise Eco Resort and see one gliding past.

However, there are a few spots where they are sighted more often. Hawksbills, Greens, Leatherbacks and Olive Ridleys all nest in Raja Ampat. In fact about 75% of the total number of nests in the west Pacific are laid on beaches in the Sausapor district. Green turtles are also known to nest on Waigeo.

Hatching season is typically from July to August so around this time of year you might see more sea turtles in the area.

Swim with sea turtles in Raja Ampat

Sea turtles are one of the most majestic creatures in the sea and there is no more magical place to see them than Raja Ampat. Would you like to get up close and personal with these ancient giants? What do you think your reaction would be if you saw one swimming next to you? We’d love to hear your answers in the comments section.

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Don’t Miss These Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia! Tue, 29 May 2018 09:19:49 +0000 The Indonesian archipelago is made up of over 17,000 islands making it an absolute paradise for divers. But how do you choose from the thousands of dive sites that stretch from Sumatra all the way to West Papua? We’re going to help out by listing our top 10 dive spots in Indonesia…in no particular order.

1. Raja Ampat

 Raja Ampat, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

Raja Ampat, or the four kings, is known by divers as one of the most biodiverse areas in the Indonesian archipelago. This marine protected area covers over 1 million hectares. With over 550 species of coral, 1,400 fish species and more than 700 different types of mollusks have made, there is more to see here than you could discover in a lifetime of diving.

Rays, sharks, turtles, nudibranchs of every colour and shape and an unbelievable variety of fish can be found in this area. Even rare dugongs are spotted off Papua Paradise Eco Resort’s house reef.

2. North Sulawesi

Gangga Island, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

North Sulawesi is one of the most amazing areas of Indonesia for variety of seascapes. Bunaken National Marine Park offers steep coral walls and challenging dives for experienced divers. Gangga Island Resort’s house reef is one of the richest places for stunning reef life and pristine coral, and the nearby Lembeh Strait is heaven for macro photographers. Huge sponges, beautiful coral gardens, and countless marine species are the highlights of this area.

3. Bali

Bali, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

Bali is famous for its stunning beaches and world-class surf, but under the water is bursting with marine life as well. Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan islands off the south coast of Bali offer some of the best diving with the possibility of seeing Manta Rays and other pelagics. However, Tulamben and Candidasa just off the shore where Lotus Bungalows sits are also packed with marine action. Deep drop-offs, coral ridges and a WWII wreck pushed into the sea by the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 hold many magical adventures.

4. Flores & Komodo National Park

Flores & Komodo National Park, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

Flores and Komodo are part of the islands of East Nusa Tenggara and are best know for the mighty Komodo dragons that live on the islands of Komodo and Rinca. However, below the surface of the water there are fantastic things to be seen. Over 1000 species of fish are known in this area and the array of hard and soft corals is staggering. The only downside is that currents in the national park can be very strong so diving here isn’t recommended for beginners.

5. Banda Island

Banda Island, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

The remote Banda Islands in the regency of Maluku were famous as being the only source for nutmeg and mace until the mid-19th century. Now, they are a dream destination for divers from all over the world.

Healthy coral reefs, sea fans, sponges and thousands of species of reef life are untouched in this isolated area. Gunung Api, is an amazing dive where an undersea volcano destroyed the reef and you can see the brand new reef growing. If you love seeing pelagics in up close and personal, Bali Wali is the spot. This is a marine protected area and is actually a spawning ground for the plectropomus grouper.

6. Bangka & Belitung Islands

Bangka & Belitung Islands, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

One of Indonesia’s best-kept secrets is the islands of Bangka and Belitung off the south east coast of Sumatra. Not many people make the trek to these islands where thick carpets of colorful corals, reef slopes and pinnacles are as pristine as they get. There are over 25 dive sites to choose from and the waters are generally calm and shallow so divers of all skill levels can be comfortable here. Drift diving is especially good around these small islands.

7. Wakatobi Islands

Wakatobi Islands, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

The name Wakatobi is actually an amalgam of the names of the four main islands here: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko. These islands are located in the Banda Sea off of South East Sulawesi and have national marine park status. Coral reefs and marine life are abundant here with over 900 known marine species. Sightings of sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays and moray eels are common, but of course there is plenty more to see as well.

8. Pulau Weh

Pulau Weh, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

Pulau Weh is well off the beaten track, making it one of the most exciting places for serious divers. This island to the northwest of Sumatra bursts with pristine reef systems, which are home to an incredible variety of marine life. You’re likely to see Napoleon wrasse, large groupers, black-tipped reef sharks and sea turtles as well as many smaller critters. Schools of barracuda, huge tuna and devil’s rays are often spotted around the island as well.

9. Togean Islands

Togean Islands, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

This archipelago stretches across the Gulf of Tomini in Central Sulawesi. Although popular with divers, the Togean islands are still largely unexploited due to the remoteness of the islands. Stunningly blue water, pristine reefs, volcanic islands, WWII wrecks and huge amounts of fish are the highlights here.

Expect to see huge parrot fish, barracudas, reef sharks, shrimps of every size and shape and tons of colourful coral. This is truly paradise for divers looking for a unique castaway experience.

10. The Gili Islands

Gili Islands, Top 10 Dive Spots in Indonesia

Easy to reach from Bali, the Gili Islands are quite touristy but still offer some amazing diving. The largest island of Gili Trawangan is a great place to base yourself for 20+ dives around the 3 islands.

There is a wide range of dives here, from shallow slopes, deep drop offs and excellent muck diving. The islands are also known for the hawksbill and green sea turtles that make their homes there. One of the best turtle spotting sites is right in front of Villa Almarik on Gili Trawangan.

Diving the Indonesian Archipelago

As you can see there are endless diving opportunities in Indonesia. If you had to choose just one which one would it be and why? We’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.

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The paradise of Raja Ampat just got a little more relaxing with Spa in Paradise Tue, 15 May 2018 07:51:19 +0000 Paradise just got a little more relaxing with the opening of Spa in Paradise at Papua Paradise Eco Resort. The first of its kind in Raja Ampat, a luxurious spa for the guests of Papua Paradise. Read on to learn a little more about the philosophy behind the spa and the treatments you can enjoy there.

Why Open a Spa in Raja Ampat?

Spa in Paradise at Papua Paradise Eco Resort

Raja Ampat is an escape from everyday life, a place to go to get away from everything. You can connect with nature, disconnect from technology, and enjoy time with a partner, friend, or loved one. So, why open a spa in Raja Ampat?

Spa in Paradise offers treatments that will deepen your experience of this magical place. Using Ayurvedic treatments from India and Southeast Asia, the aim of this spa is not only to treat your physical body, but also balance your mental and emotional wellbeing.

The sounds of nature, from the jungle to the ocean, can be heard from the treatment rooms, enriching, rather than removing you from the resort setting.

What to Expect at Spa in Paradise

Spa in Paradise at Papua Paradise Eco Resort

Spa in Paradise has three private treatment rooms, each their own bit of paradise. Complete with a bathtub, rainshower, and manicure/pedicure and hair cream bath areas, they self-contained and beautifully private without being enclosed. Each has incredible ocean views and is open to the sounds of the waves.

You can enjoy a cup of fresh ginger tea in the tranquil lounge before or after your treatment, and just spend some time letting your body heal and unwind. Let yourself be totally pampered by the spa therapists.


Spa in Paradise at Papua Paradise Eco Resort

Each treatment at Spa in Paradise has been specifically chosen to compliment the setting and the activities offered on the island. The Spa Manager can help you to choose the perfect treatment or program for you, and the spa therapists will always discuss with you to find out the parts of your body or mind that need the most care and attention.

You’ll find treatments to help soothe tired muscles after long treks or diving, others to revive sun-baked skin or hair, and even more to create balance to help you sleep better and allow you to enjoy your time on Birie Island to the fullest.

Enjoy Everything About Papua Paradise Eco Resort

Spa in Paradise at Papua Paradise Eco Resort

There are many wonderful things about Papua Paradise, and with Spa in Paradise there is now one more. Your health, wellbeing and sense of adventure will all be nurtured at the resort, now more than ever.

Do you love spa treatments? Which kind of treatments make you feel the most revitalized? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

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Saving Raja Ampat’s Marine Biodiversity Thu, 10 May 2018 08:30:52 +0000 Raja Ampat is one of the most important areas of marine biodiversity in the world and in 2007 the government there decided they needed to take action to keep it that way. They did this by declaring a network of seven Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to ensure the long-term health of the marine ecosystems.

Over the past 10 years more MPAs have been added and now cover 45% of Raja Ampat’s coral reefs and mangroves. This area is around 35,000 square kilometres of incredible scenery, ocean life including Birie Island where Papua Paradise Eco Resort is located.

Raja Ampat is an extremely desirable target for economic development, but being protected has kept this happening. Tight controls on tourism developments, fisheries, oil and gas exploration, mining and logging have allowed Raja Ampat to continue to be one of the richest marine areas in the world.

How the Marine Park is Funded

Saving Raja Ampat’s Marine Biodiversity

Conservation International (CI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), as well as the Indonesian government’s Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program (COREMAP) currently control management of the marine protected areas. This helps with funding, but there is also a permit that must be purchased to enter the park.

The Rp1 million permit discourages mass tourism and also contributes to the running costs of the marine park. The price of the permit is included in your stay at Papua Paradise and allows you to dive in any areas of the park.

Programs in the Marine Park

Sanctuary for dugongs in Raja Ampat

Another huge step forward for conservation was the creation of a sanctuary for dugongs, manta rays, sharks, and turtles in 2014. This sanctuary covers a massive 46,000 square kilometres around Raja Ampat. In this area these marine creatures are fully protected from any destructive practices, including reef bombing and any activities for the aquarium fish trade.

Considering Indonesia has the highest rate of shark fishing in the world, this sanctuary could have an incredibly positive effect on shark populations worldwide. It also encourages other Indonesian government agencies to review their own policies to keep up with the positive changes in the Raja Ampat region.

Protecting these marine animals will not only ensure the safety of the ecosystem, but also encourage tourists to visit the area. And dive tourism, a controlled amount of course, is one of the best ways to bring prosperity to Raja Ampat.

The Future of Raja Ampat Marine Park

Saving Raja Ampat’s Marine Biodiversity

Scientists are constantly discovering new species and drawing new conclusions in Raja Ampat. These advances include the discovery that the coral around Raja Ampat is more resilient to fluctuations in water temperatures. This allows the coral larvae to be swept into the Indian and Pacific Oceans to replenish other reef ecosystems.

Because of the diversity of coral in Raja Ampat, this could help the survival of reefs all over the world.

With the help of the international NGOs like Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Shark Savers, and Walton Family Foundation, as well as government agencies and resorts like Papua Paradise Eco Resort, Raja Ampat is at the forefront of marine biodiversity studies and advances.

What You Can Do to Help

Saving Raja Ampat’s Marine Biodiversity

When you stay at Papua Paradise you will be asked to obey the rules of the marine park and the resort. You can read more about how you can make your stay as eco-friendly as possible here: Diving Responsibly in Raja Ampat.

What do you think of Raja Ampat’s conservation efforts? We’d love to know how you feel about the progress they are making in conserving their beautiful ecosystems in the comments below.

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