Raja Ampat is one of the booming dive locations in the world. Situated in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the waters of this region support an enormous amount of marine life. Over 75% of the worlds coral species can be found in the waters around Raja Ampat, with new discoveries being found consistently. It’s definitely on our bucket list and it should be on yours too!
Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo. The Raja Ampat archipelago is the part of Coral Triangle which contains the richest marine biodiversity on earth.
When you ‘Google’ paradise, turns out you may well be viewing images of some of the limestone cliff formations located in Wayag, or the infamous sea gypsies that base their homes on stilted wooden platforms, overhanging idyllic white sand beaches scattered throughout the region. When you dive in, you will find passing hammerhead sharks, majestic giant manta rays, graceful whale sharks, playful dolphins, the list goes on.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the reefs and corals, sponges, soft corals, shrimps, crabs and countless nudibranchs and hundreds other invertebrates. If all of those things don’t grab your attention, how does 75% of all coral species in the world sound? The highest concentration of marine life ever surveyed on one dive was here. There is really no equivalent in the terrestrial world.
This the heart of the Coral Triangle and there is nothing, anywhere, like this. This is it – the centre of marine biodiversity on our planet. Its tantamount to pioneer diving, where new species are being discovered regularly, and you could well be the first to view one of them. This is the end of the rainbow.
For more info on diving Raja Ampat, contact http://www.lagaligoliveaboard.com/