Raja Ampat Islands
Raja Ampat is a group of islands in West Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) and consists of 610, mostly uninhabited islands. The four largest islands are Waigeo in the north, Salawati (southwest of the second largest city in West Papua, Sorong) Batanta (north of Salawati) and Misool in the southwest. The name Raja Ampat is also based on these four islands and literally means "the four kings.
Raja Ampat is a relatively unknown area in Indonesia, but this destination among divers enjoy great fame. This is due to the large supply of various species of fish and amazing coral reefs, ranging from hard to soft coral. But the islands themselves are impressive. The Raja Ampat islands have hidden lagoons with crystal white sand and water that varies from bright green to bright blue colors.
The Raja Ampat islands are so well known among divers. Some lovely dive sites are:
The coral reefs around this small island off the north coast of Batanta home to rare species such as the recently discovered Raja epaulette shark, wobbegong shark, crocodile fish and great mantras. Also here is an old American fighter plane wreck from World War II.
Between Waigeo and the smaller island of Pulau Gam are many small jungle islands of limestone. The Nudibranch Rock is definitely one of the highlights of this location, as this rock an overwhelming population lives on ... brightly colored nudibranchs.
This location between the Gam and Mansuar Islands is a paradise where rye. In this area, swimming is more than 15 different species of Ray, some even get a wingspan of 5 meters! Remarkable is that this location is like a washing station for manta rays. The Rays are going on the coral and are then "cleaned" by small wrasses.
The Raja Ampat islands are accessible from the city of Sorong. The airport of Sorong has a direct scheduled flight to Bali, Manado and Jakarta. Subsequently, Mega Express fast passenger boats you in 2 hours of Sorong's Usaha Mina port to bring Wasai. There is a sailboat named Gracelia which, although less rapidly (in 4 hours), but a lot 'lighter' of Sorong's Pelabuhan Rakyat to Wasai shipping. There are also special Raja Ampat boats that various routes around the islands of Sorong sail. For questions about the departures it is best to visit the ports of Pelabuhan Rakyat and Usaha Mina.
Culture & Religion
In eastern Indonesia, where the Raja Ampat islands are situated, Christianity is the most common religion. This is surprising since 88% of Indonesian population is Muslim. On 1 of the four main islands of Raja Ampat, Misool is still a large proportion of the population is Muslim. In general, the islands are sparsely populated. Most residents are professional fisherman and live in small villages along the coast. Were used by these residents made regular forays to other islands, including to the Moluccas. It is believed therefore that since the name comes from Papua, the Moluccas Papwas negative designation. But Papoes in Malay means "people with shiny black curly hair, so it could also be that Papua is derived from there.
In Sorong and Raja Ampat islands, most rain falls in the period May to September, but the climate is very unpredictable. Anyway, there is rarely more than a couple of days rain.
Although the Raja Ampat archipelago, famous for its diving opportunities, there are other adventure activities. Here are some fun activities:
West Papua is also the most rugged and unknown province of Indonesia called. The rainforests, mangroves and mountains in the interior are often difficult to access and most rivers are navigable. In the jungle of the interior are still waiting for plants, animals and even very primitive tribes on their discovery. A well-known Peninsula in West Papua is the Bird's Head. On this island grow more than 2,700 species of orchids, various medicinal plants and lianas. There is also plenty to explore here than during intense jungle tours
This may not sound exciting, but the Raja Ampat islands are beautiful paradise bird watching, as the Red Bird of Paradise and the Paradise Wilson. The Red Bird of Paradise has a spectacular mating dance in which he spread his wings and shake rapidly back and forth like a butterfly. It is a question of an early start, because most birds show themselves at sunrise.