So great is the quantity and variety of marine life here that scientists have described Raja Ampat as a biological hot spot.

The sparsely populated Raja Ampat islands comprise of around 1000 islands just off Sorong. With their sublime scenery of steep, jungle-covered islands, white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons, spooky caves, weird mushroom-shaped islets and pellucid luminous turquoise waters, Raja Ampat has to be one of the most beautiful island chains in Southeast Asia. Pure, unadulterated beauty isn’t just what draws people here, though. Raja Ampat has good bird watching with a couple of species of birds of paradise present and what many call the best diving in the world. Little known until the last few years, Raja Ampat’s diversity of marine life and its huge, largely pristine coral-reef systems are a diver’s dream come true – and fantastic for snorkelers too. It’s like swimming in a tropical aquarium.