Kofiau Island is the smaller and least visited amongst the major islands in Raja Ampat, the world’s coral diversity bull’s eye. This island is comprised primarily of raised coral limestone and some volcanic hills covered in low lush rainforest, all offering a wealth of nature & beautiful scenery. If you ever wanted to go where few others have been, head this way.
Swimming and sunbathing on the beaches, snorkeling, diving and underwater photography in marine-rich coral reefs. Take care not to damage the coral anywhere in these areas which are more likely no-take zones. Exploration by dingy, shore hiking, beachcombing.
Take an adventurous hike to an inland lake opposite Deer Village. Hopefully if you’re lucky, somewhere along the way you may witness the dance of the dazzling red bird of paradise, or glimpse a slithering Kofiau Green-tree python, or catch the flapping of passing hornbills, or hear shrieks of the crested cockatoo. To the southwest of Kofiau Proper lie a group of flat sandy islands, including Walo where a couple of recognized dive spots await your exploration. There may even be more.
It takes six hours by flight from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia to Sorong in North West Papua. You may also fly to Sorong from Bali. At Sorong, join a tour by pinisi boat from there to Kofiau, or charter a boat or yacht from the Papua Diving Resort. Scheduled trips with full service (most on live-aboards) are organized for visiting the area.
Wayag Island is one of the islands within the Raja Ampat district in the province of West Papua. The island is known for its beautiful atolls and amazing underwater life covering a total area of 155,000 hectares, about 383,013.3 acres. Here, you find pristine beaches with unique Karst islands that look like mushrooms sprouting out from the sea. Along these beaches, tourists can see fairy tale panorama, more captivating than Leonardo DiCaprio’s getaway in “The Beach”. The crystal clear waters around Wayag Island appear like unreal windows to various types of flora and fauna that live underwater.
Wayag Island never ceases to amaze. Divers, especially, have been overwhelmed not only by the rich underwater displays, but also by the panoramic beauty of the island as they climb up to its highest platform and observe coves and atolls around. It is a dream come true, truly a dream fulfilled. The island is 10 km north of the equator. Liveaboards are the best choice for travelers with a love for adventure and romance. Social contacts with other travelers will only be a call away. Dive briefings are enriching, so that just being there with other divers and the exotic looking staff, you will feel as if you are already drawn into the depths of Wayag’s surreal beauty.
How to get around in Wayag Island actually depends on where you are staying. So, plan your trip carefully and decide where to stay. If you choose to stay in one of the resorts on one of the Raja Ampat Islands, you will need a boat to visit Wayag Island. But if you choose a liveaboard package, you just need to sit back and enjoy the breeze in your cabin and let the schooner pass the beautiful islands.
Liveaboard packages are a comfortable alternative, and you can find these boats in Sorong, or as far away as Bali which is their marketing hub and port for businesses offering dive packages. Some of the liveaboards are very luxurious, and some are unique and quite fantastic. The facilities are inclusive. Many agree that liveaboards are indeed the best alternative considering time and convenience. At around US$ 300 a day, this is actually good value for money. Liveaboards usually run 10 day cruises out of the port of Sorong, in West Papua.
It will not take a long time to travel around the unique beaches of Wayag Island. But it takes very good physical condition to enjoy the beautiful panorama from the top of an atoll, as you must climb the atoll’s steep walls for about 30 minutes.
A dinghy is probably the best means to go island hopping in a day. It is a beautiful interruption between your diving, sleeping and eating routine on your vacation in the Raja Ampat Islands. When hiring a speedboat as alternative, observe the surrounding islands and stop at the clear water to cool yourself after a long hour of the fast seafaring trip. Taking a speedboat is convenient as you can decide your own program.
Wayag Island is located in the West Waigeo area of the Raja Ampat Islands, northwest of the large island of Papua. Several connecting flights are needed to reach Papua. Then you must sail to Raja Ampat by boat.
First, fly to Sorong’s Domine Eduard Osok Airport, in West Papua. Sorong is the entry point and nearest city to Raja Ampat. There are several airlines to choose from Jakarta or Makassar to Sorong.
For sea transportation, ships calling on Port Sorong are the Dorolonda, Labobar, Gunung Dempo, Sinabung, and the Tatamailau. Upon your arrival in Sorong, you can take a fast boat from the Sorong Fishery Port to Waisai, the capital city of the Raja Ampat district. The journey takes around two to four hours. Then from Waisai you must take a longboat to Wayag which takes some six to eight hours. Rental of this longboat is about Rp 6 million (about US$ 550) per day.
Alternatively, you can hire a speedboat to take you straight from Sorong to Wayag for a five-hour journey. This will cost about Rp 9 million (about US$ 750) a day.
Wayag Island är en av öarna i distriktet Raja Ampat i provinsen Västra Papua. Ön är känd för sina vackra atoller och fantastiska undervattensliv som täcker en total yta på 155 000 hektar, cirka 383 013,3 hektar. Här hittar du orörda stränder med unika Karst-öar som ser ut som svampar som spirar ut från havet. Längs dessa stränder kan turister se sagopanorama, mer fängslande än Leonardo DiCaprios tillflyktsort i "The Beach". Det kristallklara vattnet runt Wayag Island ser ut som overkliga fönster till olika typer av flora och fauna som lever under vatten.
Wayag Island upphör aldrig att förvåna. Dykare, särskilt, har överväldigats inte bara av de rika undervattensskärmarna, men också av öns panoramautsikt skönhet när de klättrar upp till sin högsta plattform och observerar vikar och atoller runt. Det är en dröm som går i uppfyllelse, verkligen en dröm som uppfylls. Ön ligger 10 km norr om ekvatorn. Liveaboards är det bästa valet för resenärer med kärlek till äventyr och romantik. Sociala kontakter med andra resenärer kommer bara att vara ett samtal bort. Dykgenomgångar är berikande, så att bara vara där med andra dykare och den exotiska personalen, kommer du att känna dig som om du redan dras in i djupet av Wayags surrealistiska skönhet.
Ta dig runt
Hur man tar sig runt på Wayag Island beror faktiskt på var du bor. Så planera din resa noggrant och bestäm var du ska bo. Om du väljer att bo på en av orterna på en av Raja Ampat-öarna behöver du en båt för att besöka Wayag Island. Men om du väljer ett liveaboardpaket behöver du bara luta dig tillbaka och njuta av vinden i din stuga och låta skonaren passera de vackra öarna.
Liveaboard-paket är ett bekvämt alternativ, och du kan hitta dessa båtar i Sorong, eller så långt bort som Bali som är deras marknadsföringsnav och hamn för företag som erbjuder dykpaket. Några av liveaboards är mycket lyxiga, och vissa är unika och ganska fantastiska. Faciliteterna är inkluderande. Många är överens om att liveaboards verkligen är det bästa alternativet med tanke på tid och bekvämlighet. Vid cirka 300 US-dollar per dag är detta faktiskt bra valuta för pengarna. Liveaboards kör vanligtvis 10 dagars kryssningar ut ur hamnen i Sorong, i Västra Papua.
Det kommer inte att ta lång tid att resa runt de unika stränderna på Wayag Island. Men det tar mycket bra fysiskt skick att njuta av det vackra panoramat från toppen av en atoll, eftersom du måste klättra på atollens branta väggar i cirka 30 minuter.
En jolle är förmodligen det bästa sättet att gå på öhoppning på en dag. Det är ett vackert avbrott mellan din dykning, sömn och ätrutin på din semester på Raja Ampat-öarna. När du hyr en motorbåt som alternativ, observera de omgivande öarna och stanna vid det klara vattnet för att kyla dig själv efter en lång timme av den snabba sjöfartsturen. Att ta en motorbåt är bekvämt eftersom du kan bestämma ditt eget program.
Ta dig dit
Wayag Island ligger i västra Waigeo-området på Raja Ampat-öarna, nordväst om den stora ön Papua. Flera anslutande flyg behövs för att nå Papua. Då måste du segla till Raja Ampat med båt.
Först flyga till Sorongs Domine Eduard Osok Flygplats, i Västra Papua. Sorong är inkörsporten och närmaste stad till Raja Ampat. Det finns flera flygbolag att välja mellan Jakarta eller Makassar till Sorong.
För sjötransport är fartyg som anropar Port Sorong Dorolonda, Labobar, Gunung Dempo, Sinabung och Tatamailau. Vid ankomsten till Sorong kan du ta en snabb båt från Sorong Fishery Port till Waisai, huvudstaden i Raja Ampat-distriktet. Resan tar cirka två till fyra timmar. Sedan från Waisai måste du ta en långbåt till Wayag som tar cirka sex till åtta timmar. Uthyrning av denna långbåt är cirka Rp 6 miljoner (cirka US $ 550) per dag.
Alternativt kan du hyra en motorbåt för att ta dig direkt från Sorong till Wayag för en fem timmars resa. Detta kommer att kosta cirka Rp 9 miljoner (cirka US $ 750) per dag.
By attending the massive Baliem Valley Festival, visitors will have a rare chance to learn and experience firsthand the different traditions of each tribe participating in the Festival without having to make the difficult trek to their compounds deep in the hinterland of West Papua. During the festival, have your camera ready. Very often you will come across unique moments that you never want to miss.
A number among the more than a thousand war participants, do want to keep abreast with the outside world, so they adorn themselves with local regalia, while sporting flashy sunglasses: a personal ad of a trendy look meeting age-old tradition. Ask them politely to pose for you. It’s an unusual anachronism not to be missed. All you need to do during the festival is just observe and enjoy the mock war. The longer it gets, the nearer the spears and arrows get to hit the opponents. The closer the miss, the louder the roar from the hundreds of spectators. They have participated in these battles every year so that participants do get better each year.
After the Festival, visitors can go sightseeing to the Dani Market in Wamena, and visit the traditional Wauma Village that can be reached by car from Wamena. In Aikima see a 250 year-old mummified village chief, or, after a 2-hour climb, see the salt springs, where Dani women have, for centuries, made salt in a simple manner.
For your own safety, when intending to trek alone into the interior, you are advised to first report your itinerary to the Police upon arrival at the airport. A number of travel agencies regularly organize tours to the Baliem valley.
Take a flight from Jakarta, Makassar or Bali to Jayapura, capital of the province of Papua, then, a connecting flight to Wamena will take you to the heart of Baliem Valley within the very same day.
Yellow Rice: A Fortune in a Plate of Rice
Rice is a staple food for the majority of Indonesian. It holds an important place in the country’s culture. A typical Indonesian meal consists of steamed rice and one or two main dishes. Steamed rice or plain rice is known as “Nasi Putih” or literally White rice.
Experiencing the local culture is a huge part of travelling and trying traditional food is a good way to taste a small part of that culture. Talking about Indonesian food seems to be no end in sight. Fried Rice is indeed famous but variety of rice dishes make Indonesian food is one of the world's greatest cuisines.
Yellow rice or nasi kuning is a method of cooking rice in turmeric. The main ingredients come from shallot, garlic, lemon grass and coconut milk. Sometimes clove and bay leaf are added to give more tastes. The simple way to make Yellow Rice is processing a fresh turmeric in a blender and get the extract juice by strain through a sieve. Put rice, turmeric water and all ingredients in a heavy saucepan or rice cooker. Stir in a lower heat and cook until the rice is done.
Yellow rice commonly a symbol of Indonesian celebrations. It is often served during festivals or other occasions in Indonesia: wedding, birthday, anniversaries, new baby born, house warming. Yellow is a symbol of good fortune, wealth and dignity. The yellow rice is usually stuffed into a cone-shape mold, accompanied by various side dishes such as vegetables, fried chicken, tofu, tempeh, shredded omelette, and beef. These package popular as Nasi Tumpeng (rice cone). Nasi Tumpeng is not a recipe, but instead a symbolic account of a traditional ritual feasts, symbolizes joy and gratitude. The practice to use of Nasi Tumpeng became popular among Indonesians as what is known pre-requirement in any ritual. In Indonesia, each region has their own varieties. People in Manado, North Sulawesi, served yellow rice with spicy shredded tuna while in Kalimantan served with animal protein (egg/chicken/fish/beef) in red sauce made from dried chili called bumbu habang. And when you off to Bali, make sure to try yellow rice served topped with a fried egg or satay (skewered chicken or pork grilled in peanut sauce).
However, it doesn't mean that you have to attend some kind of festivity to get the Yellow rice. You can easily find yellow rice in some local “warung” or street food stall or cart, which typically eaten for breakfast. If you looking for something new to enjoy rice, Yellow Rice will make a big difference in a plate of rice.
The Amazing Wasur National Park
Situated at the most eastern end of Indonesia, directly bordering Papua New Guinea, the Wasur National Park forms part of the largest wetland in the province of Papua and is recognized as the least disturbed by human activity. Playing host to a large number of flora and fauna, the natural park is dubbed “The Serengeti of Papua” for its astonishing high value biodiversity.
Part of the Trans-Fly biome that straddles the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, Wasur is a low lying area of savannahs, swamps, forests, and slow moving rivers that inundate much of the land during the wet season. The dominant plants here include mangroves, Terminalia, and Melaleuca species.
The park provides habitat for a large variety up to 358 bird species of which some 80 species are endemic to the island. Fish diversity is also high in the region with some 111 species found in the eco-region and a large number of these are recorded as originating in Wasur. The Park's wetland also provides habitat to various species of lobster and crab as well. Highlighted with various species of birds including Trans-Fly specials and many Australian migrants, the national park is an absolute paradise for bird watchers.
During August to November, the national park experience the arrival of thousands of migratory birds from Australia and New Zealand, such as gray storks, pelicans, ibis, Royal Spoonbills, and more. This is a special feature of the park since it only occurrs once a year. Other fascinating rulers of Wasur’s skies include the Southern Crowned Pigeon, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Dusky Pademelon, Black-necked Stork, Fly River Grassbird, Greater Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, and more. The national park is also home to at least three species of wallaby, nocturnal cuscuses, sugar gliders, cassowary, Papuan fresh water crocodile, saltwater crocodiles, and more.
To reach Wasur National Park, you can take airplanes from Jakarta to Merauke, at the southern-most part of Indonesian Papua near the border with Papua New Guinea. From Merauke to the entrance of Wasur National Park takes a 2-3 hours drive on the Merauke-Jayapura main road. Alternatively, the town of Merauke is also accessible by a 1.5 hour flight from Jayapura’s Sentani Airport, capital city of Papua Province.
Um Island, A Unique Environment for Relaxing Getaway
Um Island sits right across the the Malaumkarta village in Makbon, a short distance away from Sorong in West Papua. Makbon is an inland lagoon, located north of the Bird Head Peninsula. Um Island is known as the habitat for bats and seagulls. Bats on this island look for food during daylight, while seagulls fly out at night. Quite the opposite of what we are familiar with.
Um Island is a unique getaway if you are staying for a couple of days in Sorong, gateway to Raja Ampat. The town of Sorong was once a bustling town for oil companies, but most have left since oil supply here has depleted. Therefore, the town is more cosmopolitan compared to other towns in Papua.
To be on Um Island is most relaxing if you have the whole day to drift into an environment filled with living creatures, above and below the glittering sea. Within a couple of hours you will find new friends among the Moi tribe, find new sensations swimming close to a sea cow (or dugong), dive by an underwater World War II wreck, or be plain exhilarated to catch your own lobster.
It will take only around 15 minutes to walk along the beach that encircles the island, where you will find that you are probably the only person or couple there. If sandals are too much to wear, get rid of them and feel the fine pristine sand between your toes.
As you stop over in Malaumkarta Village, you realize that you would have missed many interesting aspects if you chose to go around on a motorized vehicle. Ask around and sit with the warmhearted natives, who are eager to practice their English. Although not too good at the language, they do make excellent buddies to share your smiles and laughter with under the shady coconut palm trees. An experience that you don’t come across too often at home.
To get to Um Island it is best to start from Sorong. You may want to learn a tad about the town of Sorong. From Sorong, you have several alternatives. Angkot or locally called bemo or taxi is convenient for a daytrip to Um Island. The distance to Malaumkarta Village at Makbon is around 40 km, taking between 2-3 hours drive. The normal price is Rp 15,000 one way. Make sure you book the angkot for your return journey to Sorong if you do not plan to stay overnight.
From Makbon, hire a longboat for Rp 300,000 to cross the sea to get to the island. From the boat, you can see Um Island covered with lush beautiful trees. This is a small island, which you can circumnavigate within only 15 minutes. Though small, yet it is rich in the number of species living here peacefully. Ask the longboat owner to wait if you wish to return the same day. Please note that prices can change without prior notice.
Pombo Island Atoll, Enjoy the Simplicity of Nature in Uninhabitant Island
Pombo is a small, uninhabited little island surrounded completely by a rocky, coral atoll, which is a circular shaped reef. Pombo Island Marine Recreation Park encompasses an area of 1,000 hectares of nothing more than a stretch of sandy, white beaches and chunks of coral, sheltered by lush, green foliage. Flocks of exotic birds of all shape, size and color perch in the trees’ branches, while rare fishes and molluscs roam freely about the coral-studded ocean floor. The far-out location of the island, coupled with its protected state only enhance the allure of this natural, virgin environment.
Travel to Pombo Island is primarily for outbound activities, and of course, marine tourism. As the island is a protected conservation land, permanent residents are not permitted, and there are no accommodations or public housing. There are however, a few crops that are grown here, adding to the natural greenery of the already inviting surroundings. Although the island is off-limits to occupants, camping is still allowed for those who enjoy the simplicity of nature and the wild adventure of the great outdoors.
The crystal clear sea is filled with all types of ocean-life make diving and snorkeling a definite must for visitors to Pombo Island – though the waters have enough clarity to allow you to see straight to the bottom, before ever diving under. The soft, sandy sea bed is generously carpeted in swaying seaweed and colourful corals. Large schools of fish travel in unison across the waters, glistening in the rays of the tropical sun shining through the water.
The quickest route to Pombo Island is through the Pattimura Airport, about 36 km from Ambon City. This is a domestic only airport, with flights available from Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Kupang, and several other less frequented destinations. If travelling from an international destination, it would probably be best to route through Jakarta, as it is the capital city of Indonesia.
From Ambon, continue by road to Tulehu Port, in Waii, a small coastal village on the outskirts of Ambon. A speedboat can be rented to take you from Tulehu Port to Pombo island. Pombo is approximately 30 minutes from Tulehu. Visitors should be advised that there is not much on this island that is not purely natural, so be sure to bring enough food and drinks for your trip as well as any other immediate essentials.
Ngurbloat Beach, Exeptional Beach in Maluku
Picture yourself on an exotic beach surrounded by enchanting natural splendors with nothing but vast stretches of white sands as soft as flour underneath you. No, this is not some imaginary beach on a fantasy land; this is what awaits at Ngurbloat Beach at the Ngilngof Village, Southeast Maluku Regency, on Kei Island, in the province of Maluku. Ngurbloat Beach is also known by locals as the Long Sands Beach, since it goes on and on for 5 km from Ngurbloat Beach in Ngingof Village all the way to Ngursamadan Beach in Ohilir Village, Kei Kecil District.
This swathe of white sand is also what makes this beach so exceptional. The sands are so smooth and soft that the National Geographic dubbed it as: the softest beach sands in Asia. Rows of coconut trees decorate the shores over the indulging sands overlooking the vast blue sea, creating a truly magnificent sight. One will truly find oneself embraced by the beauty of every inch of beach. The soft sand also make this a perfect place to play beach volley, football, build sandcastles, or simply lay back and soak in. Its beauty under the tropical sun.
You can also observe from afar how local fishermen cast their nets. As day slowly turns into night, and the sun sets on the far horizon, nature presents some of its best artworks at Ngurbloat Beach. The turning colors of the sky from deep blue into golden yellow with shades of orange is a truly magnificent sight. If you are armed with camera, this is truly the one shot you should definitely not miss.
To Get to Kei Island in the Maluku Province, you must first find your way to Ambon the capital city of Maluku Province. From Ambon you can take a flight by small carrier to the town of Tual, the capital town of Southeast Maluku Regency. The 20 km flight will take a little over an hour and a half. From there you can continue to Ngurbloat Beach by renting a car or take a public transport from Ohoijang Market. The overland trip will take about an hour. You can also take the PELNI ship from Yos Sudarso Port in Ambon to the Tual Port which will take about 18 hours.
Tolire Lake, the Beautiful Panoramic Lake Surrounded with Legends
A brilliantly blue volcanic lake, Tolire Lake is set in a crater at the foot of Mt Gamalama, on the island of Ternate, North Maluku Province. The Lake is comprised of two lakes, roughly 200 meters apart: Tolire Lamo, The Greater Tolire Lake, and TolireIci, the Small Tolire. The Great Lake is almost perfectly round, somewhat resembling a giant pan. Its mystical waters change colors with the seasons, from a bright blue during the summer, to a dark green or brown throughout the rainy season.
About 50 meters below the lip of the crater where in it lies, Tolire Lake spans about 5 hectares, yet its depth remains unknown. Some believe that it leads directly to the Ternate Sea. The lakes are freshwater, and home to many species of birds and fish. Due to the belief in invisible crocodile inhabitants, however, it is used for neither hunting nor fishing. Nevertheless, a relaxing stroll from atop the crater to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view is a lovely way to spend your time in Tolire.
As with many a volcanic lake, Tolire is surrounded by many legends. One such legend tells of a man who impregnated his own daughter. In their fury for such a deed, the gods cursed them, transforming the father into the Great Tolire Lake, and his daughter into the lesser one. Local folklore tells that the bottom of the lake is covered in treasure belonging to the bygone Ternate Kingdom.
Others believe that the lake is inhabited and guarded by invisible crocodiles, measuring a dozen meters in length, as well as an even larger, white crocodile, which only occasionally makes an appearance. According to local belief, you can try to throw a stone into the lake, but no matter how hard your try: it will never touch the surface of the water. Stones are sold around the area, at about 5 stones for Rp 1,000. That way, visitors to the area can try their luck at throwing stones into the river and see if any can reach the surface before being devoured by the lake’s invisible guardians.
The Babullah Airport on Ternate has available flights from Jakarta, Manado and Makassar. From Ternate, simply rent a car or motorcycle, or venture out with public transport, as Tolire Lake is just 10 km from the city.