A List of Best Activities in Raja Ampat You Must Try
Raja Ampat is an archipelago of over 1,500 islands and is currently still among the most isolated islands in the world, nearly untouched by famous attractions and excruciating crowds. From Yogyakarta, we took a bus, two airplanes, a ferry, and a speed boat to reach the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge at Western Papua. Many people come for worldwide diving, but there are tons of different reasons to travel this far if you do not need scuba.
You don’t have to be a scuba diver to enjoy the underwater world of the Raja Ampat islands. Some of the very best sea life may be observed right at the docks (aka: jetties), at less than ten feet of water. Colorful parrot fish will parade with adorable small Nemos and will hide from the plants and also starfish will cling to the rocks, and brilliant coral is all right in front of your mask. Beneath the pier at Arborek Village, schools of bass at the thousands sat in a cluster, creating a thick wall. It’s tough to tell, but that’s what is right under me in the image below. At the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge jetty, striped lionfish lackadaisical floated by, and if you are fortunate, you could spot one of those waking sharks in the day. Many times you did not even need to get into the water to find the activity. Simply stand on the edge of the dock and look down again.
- Hiking at Pianemo
Indonesia is full of beautiful scenery, but also, for me none was more picturesque than the view from the top of Pianemo Island in Raja Ampat. Pulling up to the little dock on the island, there was a pair of stairs heading straight into the forest. These 318 measures (You can try to disagree!) Were strenuous in the humid heat, but the perspective from the top was well worth every single one. You can see an iconic karst island seascape, small islands surrounded by a dozen colors of brilliant turquoise from the peak. This billion-dollar view wasn’t my sole benefit, so was the fresh coconut juice awaiting me at the base.
- Feed the Fish at Sawinggrai
If you are not a get-in-the-water type of individual, you do not even need to become wet to interact with all the colorful fish of Raja Ampat. At the dock of the tiny village of Sawinggrai that the villagers will concoct a flour blend the fish only love. Simply sit in the close of the pier and watch as heaps swarm. The village is also known for the iconic Cenderawasih bird, attempting to break apart from the fish for extended periods to do a little bird watching.
- Feel the Calmness of Disconnect
In Raja Ampat, you will hardly run into any. This can bring a more meaningful travel experience where you can familiarize yourself with the locals and unwind. Take your chance of being in this remote location by completely disconnecting. No Facebook! No Instagram! No YouTube! If you’re trying to find a place to genuinely unwind where your times will be spent lying in hammocks, listening to the woods from the trees and swimming in the pristine blue waters, then Raja Ampat can be it.
- Meet the Locals
Among the greatest things about Raja Ampat was walking through the cities and meeting the individuals. Regardless of where I moved, the natives were friendly and warm. In Arborek, an entourage of children followed as I walked into their city. Each of them struck a pose when I switched the camera, most flashing the peace sign with their hands on. And then they shyly giggled once I showed them these photographs. In Sawinggrai one small girl was a one-person band pounding on the base of a classic bucket while her sister danced into the music. When they saw me, they temporarily stopped, then transported on for their audience of one.
- Walk on a Floating Sand Island
Pasir Timbul is a sand island in the middle of the sea that can only be seen a couple of hours a day when the tide is shallow. Do not miss your opportunity! If you come at the ideal time, you can walk with all the soft white sand between your feet while surrounded by a gradient of crystal blue water. But beware that it may get very hot, so double up on hydration and sunscreen!
- Sunset and Sunrise
Every day I would walk into the end of the dock in the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge and dangle my feet over the border in preparation for a show unlike any other. The sun would set, creating a brilliant orange-red sky, while the only background sound was coming out of the fish jump in the sea. Occasionally local longboats would break up the animated series that shined down on the water, projecting a cool shadow that begged to be photographed. The sunsets are magnificent but do not discount the sunrises. It will be worth waking up early for!
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