If you are into wild remote islands, you gonna love this. The Raja Ampat Islands (“Four Kings” in Indonesian) are among the wildest and most remote regions I ever had the chance to explore. Here are the first panoramas of the Raja Ampat Islands that were published on the internet and on Google Earth. Hope you enjoy them!
At the tip of the island of New Guinea, the far-off Indonesian province of West Papua is still largely undeveloped. The Indonesian government only began to launch development plans of this province as an attempt to secure their authority, so faraway from the capital Jakarta.
The main town of the Raja Ampat Archipelago, Waisai, was still nothing but a lush rainforest only a few years back. It is located on Waigeo Island.
Being based in Waisai, it was not so easy to get around the other islands. Well, it’s not that it wasn’t easy, but it was rather costly… We just had to ask our hotel’s staff to give us some solutions to get to see the islands, and they recommended us someone having a tourism agency. This man came over to our hotel to meet us and discuss what tour we could choose from him.
The panoramas below were taken during a full sailing day all around Pulau Gam (Gam Island) with a friend who had joined me in Indonesia. We sailed across Teluk Kabui (Kabui Bay), along the north of Gam Island until Pef Island, then south to Arborek and Kri Islands.
This private boat rental (with two really cool young guys driving us around) cost us $200. Sure, the place is exceptional, we did this in a totally private way, and $200 shared in two is still quite affordable. But bear in mind that when you are in Raja Ampat on a tight budget like me and my friend were supposed to be, your budget is very likely to explode!
It is absolutely stunning how untouched this archipelago is. You get lost in endless labyrinths of mangroves along snaky island coastlines, on a shallow, transparent, turquoise water. From the boat, I saw a stingray, then a baby shark, then a sea turtle. In about 2 minutes. Later during the day I saw something big suddenly jumping out of the water. It was a manta ray.
You sail by huge isolated eroded rocks covered with a small patch of jungle, in the middle of the sea. A bit further, you disembark on a beach, with a sand that looks like flour and waters filled with coral and shoals of fish. Of course, all along your your journey, there is no one but you. Pure wilderness.