You might want to spend all your waking moments in Raja Ampat underwater, but there will be times when you can’t dive. So, what can you do in the 24-24 hours before you fly, or even between dives?
Swim or Snorkel
If you really can’t resist getting in the water, get your snorkeling gear out or just float in the crystal clear waters. The water temperature is between 25-28°c all year round, so if you’re not from the tropics, you might not get to swim in water like this for a while…unless you have a very big bath.
Right off of Birie Island, where Papua Paradise Eco Resort is located, there is a fabulous house reef. You’ll see thousands of fish, critters and maybe even something a bit bigger like a turtle, reef shark or ray. Dugongs are sometimes even spotted here.
Another option is exploring the sand flats that emerge with the ebb of the tide. You might spot starfish, octopus, and jellyfish in the shallow pools.
Explore on Land
The islands of Raja Ampat are also incredibly rich in wildlife. These ancient limestone islands are covered in dense tropical rainforest and fringed by mangroves. Just listen to the sounds of bird and insect calls and you’ll know that you are in one of the richest habitats in the world.
One of the most famous species living here on the islands are the endemic birds of paradise. You can book a day tour to see the Wilson’s or red birds of paradise while you’re staying at Papua Paradise. The tours leave before dawn and your guide will take you to the best hides for spotting these incredible birds.
Apart from birds, the plant species, insects and the endemic cuscus or Australasian possum are a pleasure to spot.
Learn About the Culture
Raja Ampat’s society is a mix of indigenous cultures created by the waves of people who moved to the area. Bahasa Indonesia is widely spoken, but in day-to-day conversation people use their mother tongue. This usually means one of the many Papuan languages.
To learn about the culture and history of the area, you must visit the villages. You can do this on a day trip and you’re sure to find the people of Raja Ampat are warm and friendly.
If you get the chance to see a local dance or ceremony, it is something you will never forget. Different tribes will have different dances and costumes.
Relax in a Hammock
One of the glorious things about Raja Ampat is the lack of phone signal and ability to step away from the wi-fi connection. It’s there is you really need it, but you might find this time to switch off is a blessing for your soul. If you find a spot with a hammock, a shady place under a palm tree or even a daybed to relax with a book, you will probably find yourself 100% at peace with the world. Watch the sun sink in to the ocean and reflect on the passing of a day in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Does Raja Ampat sound like somewhere you need to put on your bucketlist? What is it about the region that you would like to see most? Leave us a comment below to tell us how you would spend your time in Raja Ampat.