Raja Ampat Islands are one of the most beautiful archipelagos not only in Southeast Asia, but also on Earth. Hence, it’s surely not too much if we highly recommend you to include this tourist destination in your bucket list, especially if you’re an enthusiastic, adventurous diving fan—the diving has been claimed as one of the world’s best by many authorities!
The Raja Ampat accommodation can be divided neatly into three categories. If you’re one of the beach bums, there are a growing number of homestays—Gam Island and Kri Island have so many options. Serious divers can opt for the dive resorts that also typically offer travel packages. And finally, for the ultimate choice, there are live-aboard dive boats, the floating dive resorts sailing sedately from one coral reef to the next. Often, some itineraries with those floating resorts also combine Raja Ampat with neighboring islands, such as Banda Islands of Maluku.
It doesn’t matter where you put your head under the water, Raja Ampat will awe you with the rainbow of glowing corals and fish. Expect to get up close with giant clams, huge manta rays, schools of barracuda, parrotfish, and fusiliers even on a single dive. Snorkellers can also observe many of those species from above with many reefs always accessible easily even from the beach. In general, though, Raja Ampat is better suited to experienced divers, although some dive spots are relatively ideal for novices too. Reputable dive operators will always require you to provide proof of dive cards and valid insurance.
So, when to visit Raja Ampat? It’s an all-year destination, though many diving spots take a break from July through September as the seas can become pretty rough. For the best visibility and calmest waters for diving, November to March is the best time to visit. Beware of the time between May and October since the region receives the heaviest rain. Plan carefully and enjoy your Raja Ampat travel!
Menjangan Island is situated just off the northwestern tip of Bali. This small island is also located in the Bali Barat National Park, a protected marine reserve. Surrounded by acres of wonderful coral reef garden where a wide diverse of eco biology shelters there, this island has become popular especially among the divers and snorkelers. The island’s south side is a famous place for tourists and local people alike to dive for coral reef exploration. With Bali Barat National Park surrounding, the 12 dive sites are always protected.
The popularity of this tourist destination has made Menjangan Island a paradise for tourists with so many Menjangan Island resort areas built. For the divers and snorkelers, there are no dangerous currents this area to contend with, so it’s relatively safe to dive and snorkel any time of the year. And aside from the high diversity of beautiful coral species and tropical fish, you can also observe the different kinds of shorebirds and sea birds that frequent the small island. Plus, you can also spot the Hawkesbill Turtle that frequents the area.
The name ‘Menjangan’ itself means ‘deer’ in English. That is why this small island is also often referred to as Deer Island. The reason is that the island also happens to provide a shelter to the Barking Deer, which is also known as Muntjac.
To reach the island, hire a motorboard from Labuhan Lalang or Pemuteran. Labuhan Lalang is located at the main road towards Singaraja, accessible by minibus from both Singaraja and Gilimanuk. You can also travel by private car from Singaraja to Labuhan Lalang or Pemutaran. If you travel by minibus, the travel time may be double at least, considering the waiting times and stops on the way. Needless to say, when you go to Bali Island next time, be sure to visit Menjangan Island for all the attractions it offers, including Menjangan Island diving!
Tanjung Puting National Park was initially a wildlife preserve before gaining its park status along with an international reputation. Now, this national park has become Kalimantan’s most popular tourist destination. Accessible via direct flights from Jakarta and Surabaya, it seems like there’s no reason not to visit Tanjung Puting, especially considering the wonder and adventure you can enjoy and experience from one of natural wonders in Indonesian archipelago.
Sign up for the tour. With many options to choose from, pick one which Tanjung Puting tour price will adjust to your budget. The Park itself is best viewed from a two-leveled live-abroad boat called klotok which travels up Sekonyer River to Camp Leakey. Lounge on the deck during the day to observe the lush tropical jungle with binocular or watch for the colorful kingfisher that flashes quickly. In the evening, spot the sight of proboscis monkeys seeking for protection amidst the treetops. During your tour, take the opportunity to sleep outside as the boat is tied up on the river, enjoying the hum of the rainforest to lull you.
Orangutans, however, are still the best known animals in this national park. Here, you can find this endangered ape roaming freely. There are also Malaysian sun bears, clouded leopards, civers, barking deer, sambar deer, mouse deer, and banteng live there. In addition to that, Tanjung Puting also hosts more than 230 species of birds, including the famous bird lakes—the seasonal rookeries for half a dozen threatened species of waterbirds. The Park also has dozens of frogs and snakes, two species of crocodiles, and numerous endangered species including a fish known as the Arwana.
The trip is also a great introduction to the rainforest, especially the trip with a klotok, which will easily make the most memorable experience to have on Kalimantan Island. Fortunately, some klotok now are already outfitted with freshwater tanks, which definitely will let you enjoy your Tanjung Puting tour.
Kelimutu National Park is a must-visit tourist destination when you travel to Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Here, you can find the famous Mount Kelimutu, the main tourist attraction, where the three volcanic lakes are naturally carved at the top. The mineral lakes will change color following the change of light, which makes it really popular. From time to time, the lakes change their color completely—there’s a table of what color they were for every year going back 20 years in the national park.
Even so, the Mount Kelimutu lakes are not the only attraction the Park offers to its visitors to see. There is an official feeding ground you can find on the way down the volcano where you can go to feed the wild monkeys. Even so, you have to be really careful since those monkeys are sneaky buggers—after all, there’s always a risk of getting scratches or bites when you’re interacting with wild animals! And to get you unwind; visit the hot springs near the entrance of the Park. For a picnic, go to the waterfall.
You don’t need to worry too much about accommodation since it’s plentiful. Your hotel may arrange transport for you too in the public cars. However, you’ll have to pay the price of a full route although you’ll get on only in Kelimutu. Hence, to reach Kelimutu, it will be cheaper to flag a bus or car in Kelimutu once you’re ready, although this also comes with some downsides too—it might take a longer time and only a little to no guarantee that the car would arrive on time.
Getting around Kelimutu, you can use ojek or rent a motorbike. The cars that are licensed to carry the public transport passengers are those with yellow-colored plates and will let you on anywhere you stop them. Alternatively, you can hike down to Ende from Kelimutu on foot, which isn’t so difficult considering how the hike goes down and the light forest. Plan carefully and make many memorable moments during your Kelimutu tour!