Everybody loves Bali. From magnificent mountains to white sand beaches to volcanic hillsides, the island of the Gods is postcard pretty. But there's more to Indonesia if you're willing to venture out a bit.
A Indonesian friend recently introduced to me a breathtaking group of islands that are not run over with tourists. Raja Ampat has more than 1,500 islands and it lies in the Coral Triangle. From hidden islands to spooky caves and clear blue water, Raja Ampat has it all! I have collected 14 photographs that prove that Raja Ampat is the most underrated, untouched and beautiful archipelago in Indonesia, and it feels like it has come right out of the Disney movie, Moana.
1. The islands are a nature's gift to us.
Blown away by the hidden lagoons? Wait for it...
2. Deep blue waters are brimming with marine life.
You'd love to explore these and indulge in some fantasies.
4. The diversity of its marine habitat will surprise you.
Yep, there are dolphins on these islands.
5. Where else will you find a bamboo hut between some rocks? In Bay, Painemo Island!
Unimaginable beauty, that's what you'll see here.
6. You can go snorkelling here and discover the colourful reefs.
Getting my wetsuit, right now!
7. Raja Ampat has many islets.
Wayag Island is on the top of my list, for sure!
8. And the hidden islands continue...
They are sparsely populated, so you will have utmost privacy.
9. The Fam Islands have remote reefs.
The coral gardens here will make your eyes pop out. Make sure you climb the wooden stairs and watch the views of the lagoon.
10. I don't need any mansions, just a small hut at the White Sand Beach in Raja Ampat would do!
Yes, the sand is white.
11. Looks straight out of a movie!
This reminds me of the scene where Maui and Moana go on the long boat journey...
12. They have their own species of bird called the 'Blyth's Hornbill' which is only found in Raja Ampat and Guinea Islands.
So, you'll only see that bird there. Birdy, I'm coming!!!
13. The coral reefs here are breathtaking.
I wouldn't mind being a mermaid here.
14. Beach calling!
As you may have noticed in the photos, there is lots to do here: from surfing and kayaking to diving and bird watching. If you're like me, you'd be content with soaking the sun on the beach, with a cocktail in hand. If you're planning a trip just like I am, here are some details to help you start.
How to get there: You can fly to Sorong in Indonesia’s West Papua province.
From Sorong, take a taxi to Sorong ferry harbour anda ferry to Waisai (or you can fly if you prefer). There are timings for the ferries so keep that in mind and book your tickets!
Plan your trip between May and October. November starts the wet season here.