Raja Ampat Indonesia is by far the most beautiful and biodiverse chain of islands in the world. That is quite a statement i make, yes. But for me, it is true. The hunderds of islands, big and small, many of them uninhabited, the stunning underwater world, the stunning landscape, sunsets, sunrises, land animals, etc.
Raja Ampat is unknown to the mainstream tourists and it should stay like that. If this place opens up for mass tourism it’s done with one of the last hidden natural treasures on the planet. So is it that beautiful ? Yes it is. And it will stay like that too. Why ?
This is why:
- Raja Ampat is extremely remote and undeveloped.
- Fuel costs in the islands are much higher than the Indonesian national mandated (and subsidised) price.
- Virtually all the supplies required for your stay must be imported over great distances.
- Local communities do not want to encourage the development of a cheap mass tourism market.
Local communities don’t want to see the development of cheap mass tourism on their ancestral lands. Their hopes for the future are expressed in the Homestay Association’s Vision for Life statement. A homestay owner perfectly captures local feeling about criticism of current Raja Ampat accommodation prices when he says “If we create opportunities for tourism such as in Bali, then this place will be destroyed. Several tourists have said to me the homestays are expensive… The way I see it, if you can pay, great. If you can’t, that’s also fine. So we limit the number of tourists who do not appreciate the environment.” (taken from the website: stayrajaampat.com)
More information: How to get there, what to do
I can type all the info that you need, but the website: stayrajaampat.com is an excellent website and offers you all the info you need to go there and stay there. Their info is so good because they also explain WHY things are expensive. And HOW things run. The section ‘Vital Information’ is darn good ! Read it, read it again and then read it one more time. Sit down and let it all soak up in your brain and understand what they write.
This place is not for everybody
If you are into a ‘Maldives style’ luxury resort, all-incl. holiday, forget it. Don’t go. Stay at home. Go to Maldives instead. Or go to another place, somewhere Caribbean. If you looking for stone bungalows on the beach with AC, with parties at night and getting drunk, if you looking for beach bars with nice ladies, etc. Go to Thailand. Raja Ampat will not be your place.
So for who is Raja Ampat then ?
Raja Ampat Indonesia is for the people who love underwater world, for the scuba diver, the snorkeler, but most of all: for the nature lover. The person who can stay in traditional Papua Indonesia style bamboo houses, the person who can feel happy with very little, the person who can live with just basics and be happy with it. The person who can enjoy boat rides in wobbly boats. The person who can appreciate and enjoy local culture and the preservation of that culture. The person who can appreciate the surrounding nature, the rainforest, the animals, the underwater life. Raja Ampat Indonesia is for those people.
Where is Raja Ampat ?
Raja Ampat is a chain of islands off the west coast of West Papua. Roughly, it’s the area between the Northern Maluku Islands and West Papua. Below on Google Maps.
Some more photos of this fantastic place.