Islands and Resorts in Raja Ampat is a series of four adjacent island chains and is located in the west part of the bird’s Head (Vogelkoop) of Papua Island. Administratively, this cluster is located under the regency of Raja Ampat, West Papua province.
The archipelago is now the destination of divers interested in the beauty of the underwater landscape. The four island clusters are named after the four largest islands, namely Waigeo Island, Misool Island, Salawati Island, and Batanta Island.
Origins and History of Raja Ampat Islands
The origin of the name of Raja Ampat according to the myth of local people came from a woman who found seven eggs. The four grains were hatched into four princes who parted and each became the ruling king in Waigeo, Salawati, eastern Misool and western Misool. Meanwhile, the other three eggs become ghosts, a woman, and a stone.
In the course of history, the territory of Raja Ampat has long been inhabited by the nobility and implemented the customary system of Maluku. In this system, the Society of human beings. Each village is led by a king. Since the founding of five Muslim sultanates in Maluku, Raja Ampat became part of the claim from Tidore Sultanate. After Tidore Sultanate from the Netherlands, the Raja Ampat Islands became part of the claim of the Dutch East Indies. People of Raja Ampat islands are generally traditional fishermen residing in small kampongs that are located far apart and different islands.
They are a friendly community that accepts guests from outside, especially if we bring souvenirs for them in the form of betel nut or sweets. This item becomes a kind of ‘ Indian peace Pipe ‘ in Raja Ampat. The event chatting with the betel nut is also called “Para-Pinang” often take turns each other throwing mob, local term for funny stories. They are Muslims and Christians and often in one family or clan there are members who embraced one of the two religions. This makes the people of Raja Ampat continue to be in harmony despite different beliefs.
Wealth of natural resources of Raja Ampat Island
Raja Ampat Islands is a potential place to be used as a tourist attraction, especially diving tours. The waters of Raja Ampat islands According to various sources, is one of the 10 best waters for diving sites around the world. In fact, it may also be recognized as the number one for the completeness of underwater flora and fauna at this time. Dr John Veron, an experienced reef expert from Australia, for example, in a site he revealed, the Raja Ampat Islands located at the westernmost tip of Papua Island, about 50 miles northwest of Sorong, has the best coral area in Indonesia. About 450 species of corals have been identified for two weeks of research in the area.
The expert team of Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Oceanographic Institute (LON) of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) had made a quick assessment of 2001 and 2002. As a result, they noted in this water there are more than 540 types of hard corals (75% of the world’s total species), more than 1,000 types of coral fishes, 700 types of mollusks, and the highest record for gonodactyloid stomatopod crustaceans. This makes 75% of the world’s coral species in Raja Ampat. None of the places with the same area have a number of coral species this much.
There are some areas of coral reefs that still very good condition with a percentage of the closure of live corals up to 90%, namely in the Dampier Strait (Strait between Waigeo Island and Batanta Island), Kofiau Islands, southeast Misool and Wayag Islands. The type of the coral reefs of Raja Ampat are generally reef edges with steep ramps. But it is also found the atoll type and burnt or taka type. In some places like in Kampung Saondarek, when the lowest tides, can be witnessed the expanse of coral reefs without diving and with its own adaptations, the corals can still live despite being in the open air and exposed to sunlight Direct.
The unique species that can be found on the dive are some of the horses of Dwarf, wobbegong, and Manta rays. Also there are endemic fish Raja Ampat, namely Eviota King, that is a kind of gobbie fish. At Manta Point located in Arborek Dampier Strait, you can dive with some tame Manta rays such as when you dive in Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan. If you dive in Cape Kri or Chicken Reef, you can be surrounded by thousands of fish. Sometimes the tuna group, giant trevallies and snappers.
But that is stressful if we are surrounded by a collection of Barracuda, although in fact it is relatively harmless (which is dangerous if we meet the solitary barakuda or alone). Reef sharks are also often seen, and if you are lucky you can also see turtles being silent eating sponge or swimming around you. In some places such as in Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo are also seen Dugong or mermaid. Due to its many islands and narrow strait, most of the dive sites at certain times have a strong current. It is also possible to do drift dives, diving while following the strong currents with very clear water while breaking through the fish group.
Prehistoric Relics and history Raja Ampat
In a cluster area Misool found prehistoric relics in the form of a stamp that is described on the wall of the rock. Uniquely, these handprints are very close to the sea level and are not in the cave. According to estimates, the age of these handprints was about 50,000 years old and became part of the directive series of human propagation from the western part of the archipelago to Papua and Melanesia. The remnants of World War II shipwrecks can be found in several dive sites, such as the Wai Island.
Access to Raja Ampat Islands
Visiting this archipelago is not very difficult although it is time consuming and cost is quite large. We can use the airline from Jakarta or Bali to Sorong via Makassar or Ambon and Manado for approximately 6 hours flight. From Sorong, a pretty big city with a fairly complete facilities. To explore Raja Ampat There are two choices, take a tour with a pinisi boat or stay in the resort of Raja Ampat Dive Lodge.
Although most tourists who come to Raja Ampat nowadays are divers, this location is also interesting for non-diver tourists because it also has beautiful white sandy beaches, fascinating karst islands and Uniquely endemic flora such as red Bird-of-paradise, the Cendrawasih Wilson, Maleo Waigeo, various parrots and parrot, the Cuscus Waigeo, and various types of orchids.
Amazing 10 Beautiful tourist destinations in Raja Ampat
1.Explore Beauty – Misool
In Misool, you hit Raja Ampat. Yes, your journey and adventure in eastern Indonesia can begin. Dive into each of the aquatic niches of one of Raja Ampat’s four large islands and discover not only extraordinary but also special views. It’s hard to describe one of Raja Ampat’s most popular tourist destinations, so you should head straight to the place!
2.Beautiful lagoon in an extraordinary place – Star Lagoon
Yes, there is a star-shaped lagoon in Raja Ampat, precisely on the island of Pianemo. The view of the coral reef alone illustrates how beautiful this place is. But to clarify what the underwater panoramas are in Star Lagoon, why not dive directly into. Guaranteed not to be disappointed!
3.Iconic Natural Monument – Stone Pencil
The imposing reef, and alone in the middle of Kabui Bay, has become its own icon. I was so famous that Stone Pencil has always been a destination of choice for photos. You can’t miss this place when you go on holiday to Raja Ampat!
4.Raja Ampat Icon – Wayag
Wayag is also one of Raja Ampat’s icons. The green-clad coral stripes in the middle of a blue sea with extraordinary panoramic views make Raja Ampat such a vast world. It’s not hard to get memorable moments at Wayag. Posing with a fantastic décor has become a necessity.
5.Tourist village and dive location – Arborek Village
If you want to meet local residents while enjoying a magnificent panorama, definitely visit arborek Island. Almost all its citizens have hospitality and a broad smile, ready to welcome with open arms all those who visit their village. A warning to those of you who want to visit the village of Arborek: don’t get robbed, because the citizens are sincere. So sweet!
6.White sand island – Raised sand
The incredible nature of Raja Ampat is added to the special miracle, the sand appears. This place was eventually transformed into a sandy island, located near Mansuar Island. Like other sandy islands, the island of one of Raja Ampat’s most popular tourist destinations will display its white sand if the seawater recedes. It’s a good time to go berselfie and set foot before the island disappears washed away by seawater at high tide.
7. Local Wisdom and Joyful Sincerity – Sauwandarek Tourist Village
Another Raja Ampat tourist village that you can visit – the village of Sauwandarek. The local wisdom shown by its citizens probably makes you lazy to go home. In addition, around the village of Sauwandarek, there are a variety of entertainment places to enjoy the coral reefs typical of Raja Ampat. Even in dermaganya, underwater landscapes are very special.
8. See Cenderawasih – Sawinggrai Village first hand
Well, for those of you who want to see native Papuan animals, Cenderawasih birds, in their natural habitat, go directly to the village of Sawinggrai. But you have to be ready to get up early and prepare pants and shoes and not be noisy to be lucky while watching this bird of paradise.
Even if you can’t see this bird, don’t be disappointed, as there are many fun things you can find in Sawinggrai. Not only the natural panorama, but also the kindness of its citizens.
9. Have fun enjoying the panorama of Raja Ampat – Pianemo
Do you just want to enjoy the natural landscape of Raja Ampat from a height, Pianemo is the right place for that. Groups of corals and blue sea can be seen from a height.
Because of the potential offered, many also call Pianemo as a Mini Wayag.
10. Refreshing air conditioning – Batanta waterfalls
Batanta Waterfall is another surprise to Raja Ampat. This waterfall is also proof that the natural beauty of Raja Ampat is not achieved solely on the side of the sea. Not only offers fantastic views of the waterfall, the feel and freshness of the water are also special. Batanta Waterfall can also be an air conditioner after a day of soaking in salt water.