Papua Paradise Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:42:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Papua Paradise 32 32 Magical Night Diving in Raja Ampat Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:42:52 +0000 Diving in the Raja Ampat archipelago is magical enough in the daytime, but just imagine what it’s like at night. Each night the sea around Papua Paradise Eco Resort comes alight with a bioluminescent show of light and fluorescent colours. Not many people are lucky enough to dive with such incredible beauty. If you would like to be one of those fortunate divers, read on to learn more.

What is the Purpose of Bioluminescence and Florescence?

Magical Night Diving in Raja Ampat

Marine biologists have studied bioluminescence for decades. They have found that marine organisms use their fascinating capability to ‘light up’ in a number of ways.

We generally see bioluminescence triggered by organisms being disturbed by movement of the sea, other animals or boats. However, they also show their lights to attract a mate or in response to an attack. Certain fish also use their light to attract pray, sometimes dangling it in front of their mouth like a lure.

Magical Night Diving in Raja Ampat

It’s also notable that bioluminescent organisms can be found in any depth of water but are most common in the deep sea. This indicates that marine creatures use bioluminescence as a form of communication.

Florescence seems to have similar reasons to bioluminescence, but even less is certain about the process. Some marine biologists believe there are symbiotic relationships between the zooxanthellae (algae) that give corals their bright colours. It’s also possible the florescence is a type of sunlock, protecting marine organisms from sun damage.

What Might you See in Raja Ampat?

Magical Night Diving in Raja Ampat

You don’t have to search out bioluminescence and florescence in Raja Ampat. Corals, sea fans and anemones that are so beautifully vibrant in the day, become fluorescent in the nighttime.

You will probably also witness the glow worms Odontosyllis enopla flickering bright green. They use their flashing lights to attract mates. Many reef fish including gobys, cardinalfish and goatfish also fluoresce at night.

Magical Night Diving in Raja Ampat

However one of the most interesting bioluminescent creatures found in Raja Ampat is the bobtail squid. The squid itself isn’t bioluminescent but has a specialized organ on its body where the bioluminescent bacterium V. fischeri live. This symbiotic relationship keeps the bacteria fed with sugars and amino acids and stabilizes the squid’s circadian rhythm and keeps it safe from predators.

Magical Night Diving in Raja Ampat

Simplifying the Glowing Seas

This is a very simplified explanation of what is happening in the seas by night. There have been in depth studies into all kinds of bioluminescence and florescence and still nothing is 100% certain. However, what we do know for sure is that there is nothing more breathtaking than diving at night with marine organisms glowing all around you.

Magical Night Diving in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is one of the best places in the world to experience this due to the lack of ambient light, excellent visibility, and the low density of divers at most dive sites.

If you’d like to arrange a night dive with Gangga Divers at Papua Pradise Eco Resort, you will be able to book upon check in. How do you feel about night diving? We’d love to know in the comments below.

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Why is There So Much Biodiversity in Raja Ampat? Wed, 06 Feb 2019 06:28:26 +0000 Raja Ampat is often referred to as ‘the species factory’ due to its unbelievable number of fish and coral species. Some may assume this is due to the remoteness of the islands and lack of human intervention in the region, but in fact it’s much, much more than that. Let’s take a look at why Raja Ampat is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.

The Currents

Why is There So Much Biodiversity in Raja Ampat?

Raja Ampat lies in the absolute middle of the coral triangle at the point where the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet. This meeting point is called the Indonesian Throughflow, pushing water from the Pacific Ocean through the straits that separate the landmasses of Indonesia.

It also happens that the Pacific Ocean is 15cm higher than the average sea level and the Indian Ocean 15cm below. So how does the huge volume of water mix on this huge gradient? This is the cause of the strongest currents on Earth. In fact Norwegian scientist, Harald Sverdrup even made up his own term to explain the vast amount of liquid flowing here. He has said to imagine “a river that is 100 metres wide, 10 metres deep and flows at speeds of 4 knots, then imagine 500 of those rivers all combined together.” This is one Sverdrup…The Indonesian Throughflow is 22 Sverdrups!!

This volume of water and the speed at which it moves carries millions of eggs and larvae that both thrive in the region and are food for others to thrive on.

Water Temperatures

What is the ‘Coral Triangle’?

Of course factors other than the strength of the current come into play as well. The Coral Triangle has many deepwater basins that have protected the region from glacial water during Earth’s ice ages. The basins allowed species to thrive without being harmed by cold water. While other regions of the world lost species en masse to glacial water, Raja Ampat’s trenches stayed at a pretty steady temperature.

On the flipside, the trenches have also protected the Coral Triangle from the dangerous rise in temperatures that many other regions have faced. Raja Ampat in particular has been saved from the rising water temperatures and coral bleaching devastating reefs around the world.

Conservation and Tourism

 May Saving Raja Ampat’s Marine Biodiversity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           +

Raja Ampat draws divers and scientist from around the world to see the incredible marine life. We usually assume that tourism always has a negative affect on ecosystems but in Raja Ampat this definitely isn’t the case.

Seeing the positive impact on the economy, the Indonesian government realized that the conservation of the region was incredibly important. In 2013 Indonesia’s first shark and ray sanctuary was created encompassing Raja Ampat’s 46,000 square kilometres. They also designated a large network of Marine Protected Areas that are patrolled for those fishing with damaging methods, illegally disposing of rubbish or harming the marine life in any other way.

There are many conservation programs running in the region, and in this case the government is very supportive of their efforts. Keeping Raja Ampat’s biodiversity thriving is way more profitable for the people than fishing, shark finning, or other now illegal activities.

Understanding Raja Ampat’s Biodiversity

Raja Ampat’s Biodiversity

To really understand the scale of biodiversity in Raja Ampat you must see it for yourself. Whether you’re looking down on the house reef at Papua Paradise Eco Resort where dugongs are often spotted, or diving in some of the 200+ dive sites in the region, you will quickly realize how important this part of the world is when it comes to marine life. Is there anything you’d like to know about what species you might see in Raja Ampat? Leave us a message in the comments box below.

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Spotting Whales and Dolphins in Raja Ampat Tue, 15 Jan 2019 05:15:30 +0000 Whales and dolphins may not get much hype when we talk about species in Raja Ampat, but they are in fact abundant in the region. 31 species of whales and dolphins are found in Indonesia and 16 of those are regularly seen in Raja Ampat, sometimes even from your over-water bungalow at Papua Paradise Eco Resort.

Indo-Pacific bottlenose, spinner, Fraser’s and spotted dolphins are some of the most common sights in the area. Large pods of short-finned pilot whales, sperm and Bryde’s whales and even an orca or two have been seen. Are you ready for some whale and dolphin spotting in Raja Ampat?

Spotting Whales and Dolphins in Raja Ampat

What are whales and dolphins doing in Raja Ampat?

Marine mammals are generally found in colder parts of the world like the nutrient-rich waters of the poles. They are known to make long migrations between feeding grounds, but it seems unlikely for them to spend time in the warm waters of Raja Ampat.

There is very little observation and research as to why these animals are in Raja Ampat. However, what there is seems to suggest that whales and dolphins are mating and calving in abundant waters of the region. Sperm whales and Bryde’s whales have been observed mating and it can be assumed that other species are doing the same.

Spotting Whales and Dolphins in Raja Ampat

The Dampier and Segwin Straits are very important cetacean migration routes thanks to the strong currents of the Indonesian Flowthrough. Large whales have been observed migrating to this area from both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Traveling between dive sites with Gangga Divers you will have the opportunity to watch for whales and dolphins.

Whales and Dolphins and the Marine Ecosystem

It is well known that marine mammals play a key role in the maintenance of healthy ecosystems. In areas where whales and dolphins are numerous, marine life tends to thrive. There are a couple of reasons for this; predator-prey interactions, and the churning up of nutrients.

The small dolphins that are so plentiful in Raja Ampat both prey on fish and are preyed upon by larger whales and sharks. Therefore, they play a key role in the food chain as both predator and prey.

Spotting Whales and Dolphins in Raja Ampat

Large whales play their own special role in the health of the ecosystem when they dive to up to 3,000 metres and return to the ocean’s surface. On their ascent they bring with them essential deep-sea nutrients that wouldn’t otherwise make it to the shallower waters.

Threats to Marine Mammals in Raja Ampat

Because there hasn’t been very much research undertaken on the whales and dolphins of Raja Ampat, there are no guidelines for their conservation. Many injured whales have spotted with scars and severed dorsal fins indicative of collisions with boats or propellers.

Spotting Whales and Dolphins in Raja Ampat

Cetacean populations are also under threat from government oil and gas projects. Seismic testing and other underwater noise pollution can disturb whale and dolphin populations and their prey. Without proper conservation laws and areas these projects can have devastating effects on their numbers.

However, with the positive advances for other marine species in Raja Ampat in recent years, we can feel encouraged that whale and dolphins can be kept safe in the region.

Are You Interested in Seeing the Whales and Dolphins of Raja Ampat?

Spotting Whales and Dolphins in Raja Ampat

Whale and dolphin sighting may not be your first thought when you book a trip to Raja Ampat, but perhaps now it could be. This is an opportunity to see cetaceans in an unexpected environment – a marine wonderland! Leave us a question or comment below if you’d like to know more about how to see whales and dolphins in Raja Ampat.

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Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat Thu, 13 Dec 2018 04:41:05 +0000 The Fam Island group is a small cluster of islands around 90 minutes from Papua Paradise Eco Resort. If you google Raja Ampat, the Fam Islands will definitely pop up in the image search because they truly are stunning to see. Scattered over a small area, these islands pack a big punch with incredible dives, deserted beaches, towering rock formations, and crystal clear lagoons.

Scuba Diving the Fam Islands

Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat

If you’re a diver, this group of islands is likely to be on your list of day trips. The calm water, huge numbers of fish, and pristine coral are world class and often attract marine biologists.

Melissa’s Garden is one of the best dives in Raja Ampat. The oval-shaped reef here is teeming with small marine life. Intensely coloured coral gardens are made up of hard and soft corals, sponges and crinoids. The reef is nestled between 3 small islands and starts at about 8-12 metres. Sloping down, the sandy bottom is at 25 metres. For macro photography lovers this is an umissable dive in Raja Ampat.

Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat

Rufus, a beautiful wall dive, and Anita’s Garden are also popular dive sites in the Fam Islands. At these sites you might see pygmy seahorses, lionfish, nudibranchs and angelfish. In deeper areas seasnakes, and even wobbegong sharks are seen.

You can book the Fam Islands day-trip when you arrive at Papua Paradise Eco Resort. To read more about it, click here.

Above Water

Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat

On your surface interval or if you aren’t a diver, you’ll definitely want to see these islands from above. From Fam Lagoon there is a wooden staircase that leads to a viewpoint. The panoramic views of the lush islands will take your breath away and make you think you’ve been whisked off to a magical place. You’ll be inspired to get back to diving or snorkeling to explore all that beautiful crystal blue sea.

Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat
Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat

You might also spot some of the most pristine beaches you’ve ever laid eyes on. These beaches are unspoiled and are the perfect place to take a break, have some lunch, snorkel, or even have a little nap between dives.

What You’ll Need

On a day trip to the Fam Islands, you will most likely be diving and will have all your gear readied by Gangga Divers. However, if you choose to snorkel and are spending any time above water, sunscreen is an absolute must. The sun is incredibly strong in this part of the world and you will burn very quickly without protection. A hat is also a good idea.

Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat

Of course you can’t forget your camera! This is one of the most picturesque places you will ever travel to and you definitely don’t want to leave without some photos to look back on. If you are an underwater photographer or enthusiast, this is the ideal place to get some incredible shots.

On a trip to the Fam Islands from Papua Paradise snacks, drinks and lunch are all provided so you don’t have to worry about anything else at all.

Are you dreaming of the Fam Islands now?

Spend a Day at the Fam Islands in Raja Ampat

These picture perfect islands really could straight from a Hollywood film, but luckily they are remote enough that they are still pristine and don’t get too many tourists visiting. Is this a place you dream of going to? Let us know why it appeals to you in the comments below.

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Good News for Indonesia’s Seas Tue, 27 Nov 2018 05:07:14 +0000 Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic country with a vast marine area of 5.8 million square kilometres. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that the fishing industry in Indonesia is massive, coming only 2nd in the world to China.

Fishing and marine activities directly support at least 2.8 million households in Indonesia, making it one of the most important industries for the country economically and socially. However, for many years marine habitats have been suffering from the effects of destructive fishing methods and overfishing.

Destructive Fishing in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area

The near-pristine marine habitat of Raja Ampat in West Papua was one area that was being damaged by blast and chemical fishing as well as lack of waste management.

In 2007 much of Raja Ampat became a Marine Protected Area, with additional areas being added in 2009. There are zero tolerance laws for destructive fishing and it is also 100% illegal to fish for rays, turtles and dugongs. In addition shark finning is illegal.

People are still able to fish in Raja Ampat but the strong laws protecting this incredible marine environment are essential.

What the government is doing to help?

Diving in Raja Ampat Indonesia

Thanks to programs put into action by current President Joko Widodo and Minister of Maritime Affairs & Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti, there has been significant progress in saving Raja Ampat’s marine environments.

Severely punishments are enforced in Raja Ampat and all around the Indonesian archipelago. Coastguards are well known to destroy boats and ships found to be involved in illegal activities in the area. Trawling has also been outright banned in Indonesia.

The result of these laws has been a 90% drop in foreign fishing vessels found in Indonesian waters. This is thought to have had a positive effect on local fishing industries, especially solo and small-scale fishing. In Raja Ampat destructive fishing has given way to high end dive tourism, which is not only great news for the environment, but the economy as well.

Some of these policies were met with some resistance, but the minister is adamant that the marine habitats and livelihoods of smaller-scale fishing industries are worth much more in the long run.

What’s next?

Papua Paradise Eco Resort in Raja Ampat

The Indonesian government plans to develop 12 integrated maritime and fisheries centers around the archipelago. They will provide boats, gear storage and infrastructure to allow village fishing industries to be self sufficient and sustainable.

In Raja Ampat, the coastguard and local people will continue to protect their waters and also educate children on the importance of maintaining the natural marine habitats, while resorts like Papua Paradise Eco Resort also do their part. Putting as little of a footprint on the environment ensures guests keep coming and respect their surroundings.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can make your visit to Papua Paradise and dives with Gangga Divers as low impact as possible read our article: Diving Responsibly in Raja Ampat

Do you think about environmental issues like this when you choose a place for a dive holiday? Let us know in the comments below.

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When is the Best Time to Dive in Raja Ampat? Thu, 15 Nov 2018 04:24:39 +0000 Raja Ampat is a remote area in Indonesia’s West Papua. It takes some time and effort to get there, so you’ll want to be able to dive as much as possible for the days you are there. Choosing the time of year with the very best diving conditions will give you the best chance of spectacular dives. Lets talk about when you should book a dive trip to Raja Ampat and why.

The Weather

When is the Best Time to Dive in Raja Ampat?

When you’re booking a trip to tropical dive locations like Raja Ampat the weather will no doubt be one of the first things you consider. The equatorial climate keeps the temperatures pretty much the same year round. You can expect highs in the low 30’s and lows in the mid 20’s. This means that the water temperature also sits around 28-29C as well, which is perfect for diving.

One thing to consider here is that the weather conditions can vary from island to island. Many islands have their own microclimates that can be very different from the weather station in Sorong. It’s very common for Papua Paradise Eco Resort on Birie Island to have blazing sunshine while neighboring Batanta island is being drenched with rain.

Rainy Season

When is the Best Time to Dive in Raja Ampat?

Speaking of rain, the rainy season in Raja Ampat isn’t as predictable as some of Indonesia’s other islands. There is usually more rain between June and September, but this doesn’t mean it rains every day in this season and not at all in other months.

Thankfully, the rains in Raja Ampat are also less severe than other areas of the archipelago. There are certainly heavy rain storms but they are usually shorter in duration than Bali or Java for example.

In the rainy season you may find visibility is slightly decreased. This shouldn’t affect your dives too much though because visibility in Raja Ampat is incredible. You can expect from 9 to over 20 metres all year round.


When is the Best Time to Dive in Raja Ampat?

One thing to consider if you are thinking about traveling to Raja Ampat in the rainier months of June – September is the wind. The seas can get choppier at this time of year and those who suffer with sea sickness might want to book another time.

The rougher seas can also be harder to manage for less experienced divers. However, experienced divers may choose to dive in Raja Ampat at this time of year because many liveaboards stop their tours during these months. This means incredible dive sites all to yourself!


When is the Best Time to Dive in Raja Ampat?

The strong currents in some parts of Raja Ampat are the life force of the marine ecosystem and without them the diving wouldn’t be so spectacular. However, they must be respected and divers should be prepared to use a reef hook and safety sausage. Your dive guides at Gangga Divers will check the currents and make sure each individual dive is appropriate for your skill level. There are so many dive sites reachable from Papua Paradise that choosing an alternative dive is never an issue.

The currents tend to stay the same throughout the year so this isn’t much of a concern when planning a trip. However, the choppier water in the rainy season can make challenging dives tougher.

So when is the best time to dive in Raja Ampat?

When is the Best Time to Dive in Raja Ampat?

General consensus is that the months of October to April when there is less rain and the seas are at their calmest. This being said, Raja Ampat really doesn’t have an off season. The air and water temperatures and underwater visibility are excellent year round. When you’re in such an incredible environment a rain shower or two can’t possibly spoil your trip.

Are you considering a dive trip to Raja Ampat? We’d love to hear about when you’re planning to come in the comments below.

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Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat Mon, 29 Oct 2018 06:05:12 +0000 Raja Ampat is one of the most pristine marine landscapes in the world, and for this reason is on the bucket list of most scuba divers. The area is remote and takes time to get to, so once your there you want to get the very best experience.

You may be looking at the liveaboard options that tour this region, but don’t forget to consider a resort. There are plenty of pros to staying on land, so read on to find out why it might be the best choice for you.

Spacious Rooms & Full Bathrooms

Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

When you’re on holiday you want some room to stretch out, relax and enjoy your privacy. This isn’t always possible on a boat. Even when you book a luxury liveaboard you’re still going to have a much smaller room than you would have on shore. Although some luxury boats have ensuite, it’s likely you’ll be sharing a simple bathroom with the other passengers. This isn’t a bad thing, but wouldn’t it be nicer to have a nice big open-style bathroom all to yourself? No waiting for the toilet or showers in the morning or when you get back from a dive.

Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

Papua Paradise Eco Resort has over-water rooms that are as close as you can get to the water without actually being on it.

No Sea Sickness

Seasickness is an absolute curse when you’re on a dive trip. No one wants to feel queasy if there are wonderful things to see and do. Staying on shore is great for those who get seasick and would rather just speed to the dive sites and not have to worry about getting used to the motion of the boat for the first couple of days.

Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

Experience the Sights and Sounds on Land

You might be a lover of all things marine, but Raja Ampat has an incredible array of beautiful sights on land as well. The beaches, jungle, and treks to search for unique species like Birds of Paradise are a must when you stay in this lush landscape.

Another plus is waking up to the sounds of the birds and other wildlife right on your doorstep. At Papua Paradise you get the best of both worlds, the water and the land sounds.

Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

Non-Divers Can Enjoy Themselves Too

Just because you are diver doesn’t mean your companion is too. You may have to compromise when it comes to holidays, but luckily Raja Ampat is awe-inspiring even without diving. However, if you choose a liveaboard trip the non-diver isn’t going to have such a great time.

Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

A shore stay offers lots more room to move around, options to hang out in public areas like the bar and lounge, and other non-divers to talk to when you’re out diving.

The Price

Liveaboards tend to be very pricey even if they aren’t super luxurious. Most include your room, meals, crew, scuba diving equipment and sometimes even transfers. It can be really nice to have everything taken care of but if you are willing to stay on shore you might save a ton of cash and get a more comfortable experience.

Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

When you book a stay at Papua Paradise you will choose from a specific number of dives or unlimited diving with Gangga Divers. Buffet meals are also included in the price of your stay.

Why You Should Choose a Shore Stay Over a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

Shore Stays in Raja Ampat for a the Perfect Vacation

Sure, there are lots of pros and cons to think about when you’re choosing between a shore stay and a liveaboard cruise. But if you want comfort and luxury on your holiday, a shore stay is the smart choice. What would you choose, a resort or liveaboard? We’d love to know in the comments below.

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Top 5 Dive Sites in Raja Ampat Tue, 16 Oct 2018 05:01:18 +0000 There are many hundreds of dive opportunities in Indonesia, but for many divers Raja Ampat is the ultimate dive destination. The sheer number of species of marine creatures, the health of the reefs and the clarity of the water makes it as near perfect as a dive destination gets. There are more dive sites than you could visit in one trip, so if you have to make some choices, here are our top 5 dive sites in Raja Ampat.

1. Fam Islands

Top 5 Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

The Fam Islands consist of a number of small islands and 4 larger ‘main’ islands – Fam, Penemu, Inus, and Yar. Marine biologists frequent these islands due to the incredibly healthy flourishing reefs found here so you know there is plenty to see.

A couple of the best dives here are Melissa’s Garden and Penemu Wall. Both are sites teeming with marine life, from wobbegongs and reef sharks to tiny pygmy seahorses, ghost pipefish and nudibranchs of every colour and shape. Penemu Wall is especially well known for its huge gorgonian fans that can grow up to 3 metres across!

The Fam Islands are located around 90 minutes from Papua Paradise Eco Resort so these sites are visited as part of a day trip. If you’d like to know more about this trip read: Fam Islands Day Trip

2. The Passage

Top 5 Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

The small shallow channel that separates the islands of Waigeo and Gam is known as The Passage. This is perhaps one of the most iconic of Raja Ampat’s many dive sites.

This area has a variety of different seascapes, from mangroves where the light filters through in breathtaking patters, to rocky underwater ridges where macro marine life like to hide away. There is also Citrus Ridge which offers one of the best coral gardens in all of Raja Ampat.

The currents here can be very strong, so this area is only recommended for experienced divers. However, it is also a wonderful location for snorkeling as well. Like the Fam Islands, The Passage can be booked as a day trip. Read more about it here: The Passage Day Trip

3. Dampier Strait

Top 5 Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

The Dampier Strait flows between the mainland of West Papua and Batanta Island and the large island of Waigeo to the north. This strait has extremely rich marine life thanks to the large amount of water passing through, and therefore amazing dives.

Sardine Reef, Cape Kri and Arborek Jetty are all well known dive sites in the Dampier Strait, and there are plenty more as well. Vibrant schools of fish thrive in the strong currents of the strait, but of course divers must be aware of the dangers.

4. Manta Sandy

Top 5 Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Manta Sandy should technically be in number 3 as it is in the Dampier Strait. However, divers looking for mantas usually make this site a priority.

This is quite a shallow dive at 18 metres so is appropriate for any skill level. This spot has a variable current and a large concentration of plankton, which attracts the rays. It’s not uncommon to see up to 20 rays stopping by for a tasty snack.

It’s possible to dive manta Sandy when you stay at Papua Paradise, but a more tourist-heavy times of the year Gangga Divers has another manta spotting dive that is less crowded than Manta Sandy.

5. Batu Lima

Top 5 Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Batu Lima, or five rocks, is at the southwest entrance to Kabui Bay. There are five large rock formations that stick out of the water here, hence the name. Apart from being a beautiful location, the draw to this dive is the huge coral fans you’ll find at just a few metres from the surface. The gorgeous coloured corals range from purple to black and many colours in between.

And with the healthy corals come plenty of colourful fish as well. Travellies hunt here and you may even run into a few blacktip or whitetip sharks.

Top 5 Raja Ampat Dives for Your Itinerary

If you’re planning a trip to Raja Ampat you’re most likely a diver. The draw to this part of Indonesia is very strong for divers and spending time in the islands is a dream trip for many. Hopefully these five dives will be put on your itinerary and we hope you find them as breathtaking as we do. Which dive sounds like your number 1? We’d love to know in the comments below.

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Read This Before You Travel to Raja Ampat! Thu, 11 Oct 2018 07:57:26 +0000 Raja Ampat is located off of West Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia. Although it’s named ]]> Where is Raja Ampat?

Raja Ampat is located off of West Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia. Although it’s named the 4 Kings after the 4 main islands, it’s actually an archipelago of over 1,500 islands.

Read This Before You Travel to Raja Ampat!

Booking Before You Go

There is a certain amount of planning and scheduling that goes into a trip to Raja Ampat. This is mainly because of boat schedules and scuba and land excursion timetables.

If you are thinking of backpacking around and have plenty of time, it’s possible to drift from one island to another. However, if you have a limited amount of time and want to get the most out of your holiday, you’ll need to plan a little. Thankfully, if you stay at Papua Paradise Eco Resort most of this planning is done for you. All you’ll need to do is book the package that suits you best. You can choose from a specific number of dives, unlimited diving, or the non-diver package.

Read This Before You Travel to Raja Ampat!

You can find out more information about the diving and tour possibilities here: Papua Paradise Tours

Arriving in Raja Ampat

You will most likely book a flight to Domine Edward Osok Airport in Sorong on the main island of West Papua. This is the largest and busiest airport in the region but will probably seem very small to most international travelers.

The ferries and resort boats leave from Sorong harbor, which is just 15-20 minutes by car from the airport. When you stay at Papua Paradise Eco Resort this is all organized for you. Papua Paradise is around 2 hours from Sorong by boat. Leaving at 2pm gets you in at the ideal time to settle in and enjoy an incredible sunset from your over-water bungalow.

Read This Before You Travel to Raja Ampat!

For more in-depth information about planning your trip with regards to timing and how many days to book read this article: Planning a Trip to Raja Ampat.

What Should I Take?

Raja Ampat is remote and you must consider this while packing for your trip. Outside the main towns there are very few shops selling anything but snacks, and definitely no ATMs. This means you will need cash if you plan to buy anything (outside the resort).

Also consider the distances you will be traveling and that most of this will be by boat. You don’t want huge fancy suitcases full of things. Pack lightweight clothing that are easy to wash and quick to dry. Also sandals and a pair of waterproof or easy drying walking shoes for jungle treks are essential for exploring. If you don’t have anything suitable for trekking, Papua Paradise can provide you with shoes.

If you have diving or snorkeling gear of your own, you’ll definitely want to take it with you. Otherwise snorkel and scuba gear is available from Gangga Divers at Papua Paradise.

Read This Before You Travel to Raja Ampat!

Other essentials include any medicine you take, mosquito repellant and plenty of sunscreen.

Now You’re Ready to Travel to Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat really is an incredible part of the world and is definitely worth visiting. But preparing for the trip is always important, and especially so when you are going somewhere as remote as this. What do you make sure you have with you when you go off the beaten track? Let us know in the comments below.

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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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