Explore enchanting emerald islands in Raja Ampat where ancient cultures live on the frontier of the most extraordinary marine habitat on Earth.
Immerse yourself in thriving rainforests and learn the ancient ways of tribes in sync with nature. Plunge into the the depths where the Pacific collides with the Indian Ocean to discover what National Geographic calls ‘Ultramarine’ and a Raja Ampat diving experience second to none.
The earliest record of visitors to West Papua is from a Portuguese navigator’s notes in 1526. Over subsequent centuries, as the Spice Trade boomed, ships continued to sail through the Raja Ampat islands. However, despite their natural splendor, the beautiful landscape lacked natural resources for colonization and fortuitously remained untouched.
Local people have since maintained their ancestral ways of life, offering visitors the opportunity to witness a close version to what the first naturalists discovering the islands would have experienced. Re-trace Sir Alfred Russell Wallace’s steps to catch a glimpse of the crimson bird of paradise. Try kayaking along the intricate coastline buzzing with exotic wildlife and discover ancient drawings in natural grottos decorated with stalactites.
Raja Ampat’s hundreds of islands stretch over 40,000km2 which is about the size of Switzerland. Countless dive sites vary from underwater alien worlds where soft coral grows in mangroves to cave systems and underwater peaks that gather swarms of pelagic fish in fierce currents.
This is the heart of the coral triangle, the most biodiverse marine region on earth, where Raja Ampat divers observe wildlife ranging from the smallest pygmy seahorse to the largest whale shark and everything in between. Even for snorkeling, one can find brightly colored soft corals close to the surface that when illuminated by natural sunlight make for a feast for the senses.
Cruising through Raja Ampat’s fabled islands one’s eyes are bound to wander to the bright white shorelines caressed by hues of the turquoise sea. Framed against rich green backdrops of lush rainforest teeming with exotic wildlife, the landscapes are straight out of a pirate story where buried treasures await on shore.
Set up a private beach club for the day and enjoy the sensation of a castaway on a paradise island, but with a full bar and music. As sunset approaches, prepare for a BBQ of epic proportions and enjoy the show as the sky lights on fire in a display of fantastical colors.
Sorong is the logistics hub for West Papua’s oil and logging exports as well as the growing marine tourism industry including liveaboard charters and a few small resorts.
The bustling port city has little to offer thrill-seeking or conservationist-minded adventurers, but is an access point to some interesting cultural excursions in the surrounding regions of the Bird’s Head Peninsula. The domestic airport is a short ride from the port, from where you’ll connect with your charter and depart for the treasures awaiting in Raja Ampat.