I Can't Believe Places Like Raja Ampat Exist

From the moment you arrive in Indonesia, there are photo opportunities galore. Whether you photograph people, wildlife, food, culture, or in my case; landscape - Indonesia has it covered. If taking photos isn't your thing, my guess is Raja Ampat will change your mind about that!

This time 6 weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit a very beautiful, secluded and untouched region of Indonesia in West Papua called, ‘Raja Ampat’.

Raja Ampat is globally regarded amongst the dive community as one of the best marine destinations in the world in terms of the reefs on offer and the diversity of the marine life. Not having underwater housing for any of my cameras, I took the opportunity to showcase Raja Ampat from 0+ metres above sea level. And believe me, there is just as much to see above the water as there is below!

Getting to Raja Ampat

It's all good and well getting caught up in the beauty that is Raja Ampat, but before you go booking in a holiday to the islands, be aware that it is a long journey ahead. Having said that, I would be lying if I told it wasn't totally, 100% worth it - because it certainly is!

Like most things in life, nothing good comes easy, and with a bit of time and effort you are greeted with an incredible reward! With a total travel time of approximately 24 hours from Sydney, I quickly forgot the numerous flights and layovers in Indonesia once I'd arrived at the tropical island paradise of Waigeo in Raja Ampat.

For a detailed description on how to get to Raja Ampat, please check out my friend from Honey Bird Travel's basic guide.

Fun facts!

  • In English, Raja Ampat translates to 'Four Kings'.

  • 75% of the WORLD's marine species can be found in Raja Ampat.

  • Raja Ampat is home to 540 types of coral, more than 1,000 types of coral fish and 700 types of mollusks, and that's only the beginning!

  • Raja Ampat is only accessible via Sorong, from there you must go via boat.

Storm chasing

There's something quite cleansing about the presence of a storm. And there is a presence even stronger, for me, when it comes to capturing the intensity of a storm.

As Raja Ampat is very much a tropical destination, storms are certainly not uncommon, especially in the wet seasons.

The days are warm and spent relaxing on the beach, snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, or in my case - chasing light, and the afternoons quite often bring a cooling relief thanks to the passing storms. Personally, I couldn't think of a better way to end a day! Maybe a drink or two with your travelling companions?

What also often makes it's appearance during a storm? A rainbow! Palm trees, turquoise water, white sandy beaches, oh and throw in a rainbow and you have yourself the type of scene that you'll find me constantly lusting over!

You won't find a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, but what you will find is something far more special.

Piaynemo

After a quick Google-ing of 'Raja Ampat' I was immediately convinced that if I only came away with one shot from the entire trip, THIS would be that shot! A quick 340 step ascent to the lookout atop the iconic Piaynemo, and you are greeted with this world class view. Honestly, I could have stayed up there all day. In fact, I reckon I'll be back up there before I know it!

So whether you're looking to spend your time in, under or around the water, you won't leave the beautiful islands of Raja Ampat disappointed. Just make sure you bring you sunscreen, mosquito repellent, swimwear and adventurous spirit, and a good time is practically guaranteed!

Head over to indonesia.travel to start planning your very own trip!

As always, I appreciate your thoughts on the images and destination, and if you have any questions about Raja Ampat, please leave them below! :)