The Raja Ampat archipelago is an amazing holiday destination that offers visitors a wealth of things to do, see and experience. As part of the larger West Papua province in the easternmost region of Indonesia, this remote and relatively untouched area is one of the world’s last unspoilt travel destinations. It is the perfect destination for travellers who have already ticked off bucket list items like Big 5 safaris and want to experience a destination few others have.
Raja Ampat, which means “Four Kings” in Indonesian, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands and cays in the larger West Papua province on the island of New Guinea, Indonesia.
These islands in the Coral Triangle are renowned for their pristine reefs and marine biodiversity, and the region is considered among the most biodiverse on Earth. In fact, the Raja Ampat region is often referred to as the “Amazon of the Oceans” due to the staggering number of marine species found here.
For centuries, the region has been inhabited by Papuan tribes who have established unique connections with the land and the ocean. Their spiritual beliefs, intricate art forms, and sustainable fishing practices continue to shape the region’s identity, preserving both its cultural heritage and the natural wonders.
Planning Your Raja Ampat Holidays
From diving and snorkelling around the region’s clear blue waters to spotting unique marine life, island hopping on a sailing trip, or learning about local traditions and the region’s storied past, there is something for everyone considering taking a holiday to Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat is easily accessible from most parts of the world, but it takes some planning.
Fly to Sorong
The most common way to reach Raja Ampat is by flying to Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong, West Papua. This airport is well-connected to major Indonesian cities like Jakarta and the island of Bali. Once you arrive in Sorong, you can either continue your journey by sea or take a domestic flight to one of the smaller airports within the Raja Ampat archipelago.
Take a Ferry or Speedboat
From Sorong, you’ll need to take a ferry or speedboat to the various islands in Raja Ampat. Waisai, the capital of the Raja Ampat Regency, is a common destination. The ferry ride offers stunning views of the surrounding islands and is an experience in itself.
Getting Around Raja Ampat
The best way to get around Raja Ampat is by sailing. This lets you visit more remote and interesting destinations that you might not get a chance to see if you were only staying on one island. Jump off the boat and into the crystal clear waters anytime, and have a changing landscape view with each passing day.