The Maldives do not hold exclusive rights to these amazing things. Situated in West Papua, the southern shore of Indonesia, Raja Ampat is frequently known as the last paradise in the world and is well-known because of its breathtaking (and sometimes bizarre) sea creatures along with biodiversity, spectacular islands having exquisite white-sand beaches and crystal blue lagoons, traditional villages with local tribes and unique traditions unlike everywhere else in Indonesia.
Briefly, Raja Ampat is more than just another fancy tropical heaven on earth with lavish water bungalows (though it’s possible to locate them too). This territory dominated by four major islands (Raja Ampat = Four Kings), namely Waigeo, Salawati, Misool and Batanta plus a network of thousands of islands, is much better compared to the Maldives in each and every way.
Swim with stingless jellyfish in Lake Lenmakana
How about swimming with tens of thousands of jellyfish? Another plus point – these will be stingless jellyfish. Therefore in Lake Lenmakana, nature provides you with an opportunity to get all tangled up without being stung. Lenmakana’s jellyfish lake is said to have been uncovered a few years ago.
Like most places in Raja Ampat, you will need a moderate fitness and scaling ability to get here. The location is quite remote so that the locals can guide you. A glove is recommended. The very best time to see is only after 1 pm when the lake is glowing with thousands of golden jellyfish drifting close to the surface. Swimming with them is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime encounter!
Explore the exotic Misool Island
You might happen to Bali, but have you heard of the stunningly beautiful island of Misool at Raja Ampat? Surrounded by colossal limestone rock formations, the scenery of Misool Island is charming, but owing to its sculpted geography, it will not have as many beaches as the islands from Raja Ampat. However, Misool features much spectacular nature draws, and these are only a couple.
The mysterious underwater cave: Goa Keramat
It’s called Goa Keramat or Holy Cave since this giant cave (approximately a few hundred metres long) is believed to be located at the centre of the ancient realm of Misool. Entering this cave can be quite challenging since the water is cold, and it’s pretty dark inside. Therefore don’t forget to take your underwater torch! There are almost no other living things in the cave unless bats. Little fish have been observed only in the area near its exit.
Don’t miss the star-shaped lagoon: Telaga Bintang
Located just approximately 5 minutes away by boat by Piaynemo is the renowned star-shaped lagoon — Telaga Bintang (“star lagoon”). To find this magnificent scenery, you have to climb an approximately 30-metre-high coral mountain that is aligned with neither stairs nor path, but only sharp stones. Because of this reason, you should be very careful as you lift up. As soon as you get to the top of the rocky hill, you’ll be greeted with a spectacular view of this star-shaped blue lagoon.
A Great view in Piaynemo/Pianemo
If you by chance have the newest Indonesian Rupiah IDR 100,000 banknotes, you will be acquainted with this magnificent view. Yup, that is an image of Pianemo on the note! Every bit of Raja Ampat is excellent, but Piaynemo is somewhat more amazing than everything else. To truly appreciate its beauty, you want to climb up into a vantage point at which you could find a fantastic view. Scale up the long flight of stairs (do not worry, there’s handrails on both sides) up to the view – it’s about 320 steps. And once up there, this view is merely surreal, using various colours of blue turquoise, and a breathtaking view of the myriad karst islands. Just do not forget to bring together sunscreen and water. Relax on the way down and enjoy some refreshing coconut water offered in the jetty.