The sun rises and sets at 6:30am and 6:30pm everyday along
the equator all year, every year where two stunning archipelago’s
of unique life and great marine bio-diversity tempt
adventure seekers to experience their natural wonders. Every
sunrise and sunset is an inspiring and life affirming sight to
behold even if it only flirts with our senses for a fleeting moment
at the center of the planet.
On opposite sides of the globe sit The Galapagos, that
Darwinian ecological mecca of rugged volcanic terrain and
highly adapted animal life, and it’s lesser known sister nation
in Natural Selection, Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Raja Ampat sits
at the heart of The Coral Triangle and is home to the most
diverse, exceptional and plentiful underwater species of coral
and marine life in the world. So stunning, it has been dubbed
“Heaven on Earth” for it’s paradisiacal beauty.
“Bucket” lists and “Top-Islands-to-Visit” lists and “Best-Adventure-
Ever” lists abound with tales of these two exceptional
island groupings. Both have played an integral role in determining
the scientific basis of natural selection, both are best
explored by boat, both are made up of incredible volcanic
landscapes and vistas and both, of course, have some of the
most stunning underwater life on the planet. You need not
be a professional diver or bird-watcher or scientist to enjoy
what these two famous archipelagos have to offer. An internal
yearning for beauty and adventure is all that is required.
If you’re lucky enough to have already visited the Galapagos
look no further then Raja Ampat for your next great adventure.
If you’re still deciding between the two here are a few good
reasons to bump Indonesia up to the top of your list because
for all their similarities they are two very different experiences.
Raja Ampat is without a doubt one of the least visited but
most memorable adventure-destinations on our planet where
there is still tremendous opportunity for authentic experiences.
The country is 17,000 islands strong and occupies a
distance similar in breadth to the United States. Raja Ampat
is among the easternmost island groupings with a high season
from November to March.
So, how do you decide where to go?
Top 5 Reasons to Experience Raja Ampat
Indonesia is home to hundreds of diverse ethnic groups and indiginous cultures many of whom live and work as
they have for hundreds of years. Whether you’re taking in a spice market, watching local dancers, learning about
weaving techniques or playing with a group of young children it is the constant smiles and good humor of the
local people that complete any trip to Indonesia.
2) Coral, Coral and More Coral
These aquamarine waters thrive with over 75% of the world’s known coral species and the largest diversity of marine
fish life to be found anywhere on the planet. Earning its top billing as the epicenter for marine biodiversity,
this vast region of marine protected areas encompass over 12,000 square kilometres of reef.
3) Wildlife and The Wallace Line
You need not be a seasoned birdwatcher to see and appreciate the dazzling birdlife that brought Alfred Russel
Wallace to this region over a century ago. The unsung hero of the work behind “The Origin of the Species”,
Wallace observed a clear “line” through Indonesia which identified species to the west as Asiatic and to the east as
Australian in origin. Asiatic or Australian, witnessing the curious bobbing, flapping and weaving display dance
of the Red Bird of Paradise, hearing the shrieks of the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and the loud whooshing wing
beats of Hornbills in flight is truly spectacular.
4) Adventure, Education AND Relaxation
In a single day you may venture into the waters of a pristine marine lake which is home to these rare stingless jellyfish,
motor up an inlet looking for indiginous wildlfe with an expert guide, then relax on deck with a good book
or ply the waters on a stand-up paddle-board or sea kayak.
5) Tropical Paradise
Seriously, this is the island nation with Bali as its hub, the very definition of island paradise. The vast Indonesian
skies are bright and blue reflecting on gin-clear waters which wash up on long stretches of uninhabited white
sands beaches. How does that sound?
Raja Ampat Region