Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau. Raja Ampat Regency is new regency which separated from Sorong Regency at 2004. It encompasses more than 40,000 km² of land and sea, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. It is a part of the newly named West Papua (province) of Indonesia which was formerly Irian Jaya. The islands are the most northern pieces of land in the Australian continent.
The name of Raja Ampat comes from local mythology that tells about a woman who finds seven eggs. Four of the seven eggs hatch and become kings that occupy four of Raja Ampat biggest islands whilst the other three become a ghost, a woman, and a stone. History shows that Raja Ampat was once a part of Tidore Kingdom, an influential kingdom from Maluku. Yet, after Holland invaded Maluku, it was shortly claimed as a part of the kingdom of Holland. The main occupation for people around this area is fishing since the area is dominated by the sea. They live in a small colony of tribes that spreads around the area. Although traditional culture still strongly exists, they are very welcoming to visitors. Their religion is dominantly Christian.
The oceanic natural resource around Raja Ampat makes it significantly potential as a touristic area. Many sources place Raja Ampat as one of their top ten popular places for diving whilst it becomes number one in terms of underwater biodiversity. According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth. Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.
The area’s massive coral colonies along with relatively high sea surface temperatures, also suggest that its reefs may be relatively resistant to threats like coral bleaching and coral disease, which now jeopardize the survival of other coral ecosystems around the world. The Raja Ampat islands areremote and relatively undisturbed by humans.
The high marine diversity in Raja Ampat is strongly influenced by its position between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as coral and fish larvae are more easily shared between the two oceans. Raja Ampat’s coral diversity, resilience, and role as a source for larval dispersal make it a global priority for marine protection. 1,309 fish species, 537 coral species (a remarkable 96% of all scleractinia recorded from Indonesia are likely to occur in these islands and 75% of all species that exist in the world), and 699 mollusk species, the variety of marine life is staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs. Although accessing the islands is not that difficult, it takes some time. It takes six hours flight from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia to Sorong. Then, taking boat to reach the islands is necessary.
RAJA AMPAT SNORKELING, VILLAGES EXPLORING AND BIRDING
Raja Ampat Tour Packages :
08 DAYS – 7 NIGTHS
Day 01 : SORONG ARRIVAL
Arrive at Sorong airport meeting service then transfer pax to Royal Memberamo Hotel or similar,for check in pax free program. Lunch and dinner on your own arrangement.
DAY 02 : SORONG –WAISAI RAJA AMPAT ( BLD )
After breakfast pax free at leasure until transfer to public harbour then by public ferry boat that leave around 13.00 Pm and cruise to Waisai mother town of Raja Ampat regeny. Arrive harbour then transfer to melati hotel,or losmen for stay overnight
DAY 03 : WAISAI – KABUI ISLAND –BIANCI ISLAND ( BLD )
After breakfast ten pax by outrigger boat explore 2 hours a long the gulf to Kabui village,meet the local people learn the way of life,snorkeling activities make the pictures of Panorama.Stay overnight at local house or tent in Biancy island.Lunch and dinner provided on the spot.
DAY 04: BIANCI –ARBOREK – SAWINGRAI VILLAGE –YENWAUPNOR VILLAGE (BLD)
After breakfast pax snorkeling,then after lunch explore by the outrigger boat to visit Sawaing ray for snorkeling and adventure.Dinner ans stay overnight in Yenwaupnor village.
DAY 05 : YENWAUPNOR –KELELAWAR ISLAND – SAONEK BONDE ISLAND-WAISAI. (BLD)
Early morning pax with guide local escourt trkking to the jungle to observe the lesser birds of paradise,and other birds then after activities there,back to your village for breakfast.After Lunch then by boat explore to Kelelawar island to see the groups of flying-dogs,snorkeling also in Saonek Bonde the afternoon and overnight at Yenwaupnor village.
Day 06 : Saonek Bonde Island-Painemo-Waisai ( BLD )
After breakfast, visit Paynemo Star Lagoon and enjoy the icon of Raja Ampat with this best view, Snorkeling in the lagoon and after lunch with your speed boat transfer back to Waisai and overnight at your hotel.
DAY 07: WAISAI – SORONG (B) After breakfast pax free program until transfer to harboaur for by fast boat in 3 hours return to Sorong,then to your hotel Royal Memberamo.Lunch and dinner in your own.
DAY 08: SORONG DEPARTURE. (B)
After breakfast then pax free until transfer to airport for your flight return to Jakarta via Makasar by Express air. Tour ends
RATES: USD 2.350/Person min 04 person
Rate including :
– Raja Ampat Entrance Fees
– Snorkeling Equipments
– English Speaking Guide
– All Accommodation in Sorong and Raja Ampat Islands
– Meals as mention in the itineraries
– Refreshments ( Mineral water, coffee and tea during trip )
– Ferry Boat Tickets
– Speed boat during the trip
Rate excluding :
– Raja Ampat conservation fees
– Return air tickets Jakarta-Sorong-Jakarta or Manado-Sorong-Manado
– Diving tags and taxes
– Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
– Meals in the hotels as mention in the itineraries
– Tipping – Laundry
– Any personal expenses