Raja Ampat – the Center of Attraction in the Coral Triangle

Posted On February 11, 2010 

Discovered as recently as in 2001, the waters of Raja Ampat archipelago off Irian Jaya, an Indonesian Province on the northwest coast of Sorong, are often referred to as ‘the New Palau’ – courtesy its remoteness, reef system and a vibrant marine life.


Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, in fact lie in what is known as the coral triangle. This area includes reefs of northern Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea, between the Indian and the Pacific Ocean.  The Raja Ampat archipelago comprises over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals. The Misool, Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo and the Kofiau are the main Islands of this 40,000 kilometer square archipelago.

The largest Indonesian Marine National Park – the Cenderawasih Bay, is also a part of Raja Ampat waters.

Raja Ampat islands

When to dive here

The season here is more all less constant and favourable for divers throughout the year, with water temperatures around 27-30 degree Celsius. However, it’s best to time dive in here in the Months of April and May, September and October.

How to reach Raja Ampat

For avid divers, no diving site is far too remote to access. Similarly, the remoteness to Raja Ampat is defeated and tackled with in two simple steps. Get to one of the three Indonesian destinations – Manado, Bali, or Jakarta – which are all well-connected internationally. From here, you need to fly to Sorong on Papua Island and then begin your voyage to the diving paradise of Raja Islands.

Beneath the waters of Raja Ampat

The reefs of Raja Ampat have as many as 1,100 fish species that include many unknown ones too, about 537 coral species, 699 mollusc species and a rich marine life. One of the most abundant of the fish species here is the Damselfish.

The archipelago’s location contributes majorly for making it a rich source of marine life. This is at a convergence point of sea currents from surrounding areas, creating environment that are conducive for the marine life.

For the divers, there are war wrecks, dolphins, kart hills, underwater caves of Misool Island along extensive mangrove forests and deserted beaches. To the west of Misool Island, the “blue water mangroves”, off the Waigeo Island and the coral and fish drives of Dampier straight are absolute haven for divers.

Waigeo Island

Most of the lands you step on are actually coral skeletons and sharp coral shards are in abundance in on the sands here. To get most out of exploring the Island and the life beneath its waters, it would be a good idea for you to join a sailing party, or hire a larger boats and a local guide.

However, there are concerns for preserving the coral system and marine life here from human activities like bomb fishing or dynamite fishing. Efforts are on to device ways to help local fishermen with a more ecological ways of fishing.

Nevertheless, for now, for the divers and snorkelers out there, a trip to Raja Ampat should certainly be a priority.

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12 Responses to “Raja Ampat – the Center of Attraction in the Coral Triangle”
  1. bruce says:

    Stunning place to visit! So beautiful the world can be no one can ever imagine. God must really be crazy to make such things! Truly flawless!

  2. Cathy says:

    Coral triangle, consisting of Aus, Indonesia, Philippines and new Guinea! And also 1500 small islands situated between these regions.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Diver’s paradise! It has to be Raja. It’s a Hindi word which means KING. I had learnt it when I was in India.

  4. Eran says:

    what a wide variety and unknown of species to explore! This world can never end. Everyday there is a new invention.

  5. Fouz says:

    Scuba diving is not a piece of cake. Its one of the dangerous adventure. You have to prepared with equipments and first aid kit. A local guide is a must!

  6. Gomes says:

    The pics of this place is only so weird and haunted! Just imagine how can the place be! Very much thrilling!

  7. Howdy says:

    what a beauty! This is a place worth visit! People who are bored and tired of visiting same old place you must visit here. Total change and astonishing.

  8. Daniel says:

    perfect temperature of the water to dive and also for underwater!

  9. Ron says:

    Dolphins!! I just love dolphins! I am mad about them! This cruel world are killing day by day :(

  10. Malfoy says:

    that is really very sad for fishing. C’mon people bombing is not a way to fish! You don’t have any rights to do this!

  11. Greger says:

    seems to be a very good place to go but what are the accommodation and living facilities? If I plan my trip how many days would be feasible and the cost!

  12. vareeja says:

    The marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth.
    Diversity is considerably greater than any other area in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

    The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.

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