There are many places in Indonesia that could be classed as paradise. With 17,000 islands there are options for every traveler from the most luxury stays to total wilderness. However, there is one place in Indonesia that is undeniably the crown jewel of Indonesia’s archipelago. Raja Ampat is beyond your wildest dreams of paradise. A natural treasure that harbors 75% of the world’s fish and corals. Let us tell you why Raja Ampat is Indonesia’s last real paradise.
Raja Ampat’s spectacular biodiversity is comparable to Galapagos and Madagascar. With over 550 species of coral, 1,427 fish species and more than 700 different types of mollusks there is no disputing this area is an absolute miracle of nature.
There are a number of reasons that contribute to Raja Ampat’s biodiversity, the currents, water temperature, and conservation efforts being the main ones. Located right in the middle of the coral triangle, fed by the Indonesian Throughflow currents, there isn’t an environment more conducive for marine life to flourish in the whole archipelago.
On land the wildlife is also spectacular. The remote location of the islands is a catalyst for thriving bird, insects and plant life. You can see endemic species such as the Red Bird of Paradise on an early morning trek when you stay at Papua Paradise Eco Resort.
Formed over hundreds of millions of years, the area now known as Raja Ampat won the lottery when it came to geography. About 100 million years ago the plates Raja Ampat sits on shifted and the material pushed out from under the plates created the bedding for the first coral polyps. Layer after layer of this bedding was fossilized into limestone.
30 million years ago these limestone beddings were transformed into the mountains and spectacular pinnacles you see today when the Pacific plate slipped beneath the Philippines plate and pushed the limestone up and out of the ocean.
Today, the scenery in Raja Ampat probably looks pretty similar to how it looked at the time the mountains were formed. The remoteness of the islands and lack of human intervention has preserved the majestic beauty. One of the most breathtaking lookouts is from the Piaynemo Islands, which you can visit on a daytrip from Papua Paradise Eco Resort.
The People and Culture
When you visit Raja Ampat, you will be welcomed by the people of the islands. There are a number of different tribes spread over the islands, the majority being from the Asmat Tribe. They live the life of many islanders, fishing, and working together in communities. The closest settlement to Papua Paradise Eco Resort is Arefi village, which you can take a tour of.
Here you can also learn a little about their way of life, meet the people, and even see a traditional ceremony or dance. The colours, costumes, sounds and sights of these long-held traditions are wonderful to see.
Many people say when they visit Raja Ampat that there is nowhere else like it in the world. The unique wildlife, people, and scenery all come together to create a place you will never forget.
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat, leave us a comment in the box below. We can advise on getting to the archipelago if you are in Indonesia now, or booking for a future trip after travel restrictions lift.