Raja Ampat is scuba diving heaven and a seriously special place for those of us wanting to practice our mermaid skills snorkeling and trying to talk to the fish. But what about for those who don’t like wet salty hair? Thankfully there are plenty of fun, Facebook profile pic enviable activities for those of us who are more beach babes than mermaids. That’s the beauty of Raja Amapt’s islands, they are so diverse, rich in wildlife and easily accessible that you don’t have to be a scuba diver to enjoy yourself here.
Confession time- I’m not a huge salty hair kind of beach babe. Well I am in the style of sitting on the beach with a book and enjoying the chill out time kind of beach babe. Unlike James I don’t particularly enjoy the beach hair result that comes from a playful session in the sea and I’m a terrible swimmer. So when I happily agreed to come along and explore Raja Ampat as part of the #WonderfulIndonesia familirisation program I was a bit dubious as to what us non-divers could do. As we’ve previously written in Top 10 Things to do in Raja Ampat, a lot does revolve around water and being wet.
Explore one or two of the 1,500 islands
Raja Ampat has more islands on offer than you can ever explore in one day trip. Many of these islands are small, unnamed and play host to a variety of birds and bats. Any choice of half or full day boat trip will see you off exploring these islands.
Be a beach babe and explore all the beaches
Even if you hate swimming you can easily become a beach babe and explore the beaches. Depending on where you are staying and the time of day you can walk along a pristine, golden sanded beach and take a look at the coral and little fishes hanging around. For a few hours every day the coral reefs and sand flats emerge from the ocean and can be explored with ease and dry hair.
If you’re feeling up to an adventure why not head out and explore the Kri Floating Island. Located within 20-25mins of the main resorts you’ll find it easy to arrange even a half day trip out here. It’s a popular snorkel and scuba dive location.
Visit a village
Villages like Arborek have well and truly embraced eco-tourism. Thankfully Arborek is the main tourist village and is considered a pioneer in tourism development in the area. Arborek has a coffee shop, local hand made crafts for purchase, tables under the shade of trees for visitors to luncheon and a few small shops selling treats like coke and toothbrushes. You’ll find the small village brightly coloured and well developed for the tourist. With a population of approx 197 it is a pleasant place to stop at for an afternoon on your way to see the manta rays. As you walk around the town you might notice that the women here are busying creating souvenirs for you to buy.
For a less developed village ask your resort or guide for suggestions.
Take a hike-
It’s not very surprising that there is ample jungle trekking and wildlife observation available if you are that way inclined. If you’re up for an amazing adventure why not try an extended trek and overnight camp through the jungles of Batanta or the vast Waigeo interior. Almost every village has local guides who are happy to show you the hidden wonders of their island home. To organise a trek ask at your homestay or resort.
Raja Ampat is also famous for the abundance of bird life. Most famous is the Cendrawasih bird, more commonly known as the bird of paradise. Considered to be the most beautiful of all birds and the Papua mascot, this bird rarely touches the ground and prefers to land on branches to show off it’s beauty. Or so the story goes.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go exploring the islands on foot. It’s definitely on my to-do-list when I return!
Kayak around the islands
Again, another activity I had planned to do on my free morning but alas a city tour got in the way. The waters around the islands were so soft and so still it looked perfect for sea kayaking. On a side note Raja Ampat would be perfect for Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
Many home-stays and resorts will have kayaks available to hire by the hour. If you’re really keen on exploring the islands than check out Kayak4Conservation
There’s a lot to see and do in Raja Ampat, but at the same time, I don’t think that you could pick a better place to get away from it all. With no wifi, limited mobile phone coverage, the jungle’s dawn bird chorus and nothing but the calm passing of another day, you can happily find yourself lost in a tropical island paradise.
Want to know more? Leave a question below in the comments and you shall receive an answer. Or sign up to our newsletter. It’ll be fun I promise.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I am planning to visit Raja Ampat in January 2020 and will spend there about 8 days. Can you please recommend places to stay? I am solo traveler and non diver. I want to chill and do kayaking and snorkeling,
We recommend Raja Ampat Dive Lodge. Enjoy!
This blog is truly useful to convey overhauled instructive undertakings over web which is truly examination. I discovered one fruitful case of this truth through this blog. I will utilize such data now.
That bird is stunning! I had no idea the bird of paradise was an actual bird. I know it is a flower and now see why it is called that!! They look alike! We always travel with the kids and they would love that tidbit.
Great ideas as I am also a non diver. Love the photos I wish I could just swim in the ocean right now. I must plan a trip to the Pacific Islands.
I can’t believe there are 1,500 islands there! I’ve never scuba dived before (I’ve always had a slight fear of water, which I’ve been trying to conquer over the years), but looks like there’s plenty to do here besides scuba or snorkel. I would love to visit a village like Arborek and meet some of the locals from the village. I’m always down for a good hike too. Would love to visit here one day. 🙂
Raja Ampat in Indonesia sure is a paradise, the colour of the water is perfect for photos. It would take a long time to explore the 1500 Islands but in that beauty it would be worth it. I see why the Cendrawasih is called the bird of paradise, because it lives on these 1500 islands in paradise. It must be exciting when you see one of these birds in real life.
To tell you the truth, I am a water baby and would love being in the water the whole day. But in spite of that, I would definitely want to try visiting few of the places you have mentioned. Island hopping sounds like a fun activity and I would also love to go to the villages to observe local life. That bird is so gorgeous and I would love to spot it too.
These islands look like paradise on earth! With so many activities to do, it seems like there’s never a dull moment there. You can enjoy the beauty of the ocean without even going into the water, if you want! But I myself don’t mind beach hair 😉
OMG..the bird is so beautiful! It is such a great shot. I cannot think of going to Raja Ampat and not diving…or snorkelling…I would be in the water…always 🙂 I would also like to enjoy kayaking…that pic makes me want to pick up the paddle!
As a curly-haired girl who hates washing her hair, I’m totally down with getting some sea-soaked locks. That being said, I’m not too much of a beach bum on the account of my skin lobstering out even on the most dreary overcast days. The kayaking and ecotourism options are much more up my alley, and I appreciate you looking for cool alternatives for all travelers. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I love going places like this with limited WiFi and phone service. It forces me to get away and truly relax. That water looks inviting, even if you aren’t big on the whole salty, wet hair look. 🙂
This place looks incredible. I love diving although I haven’t been for a few years. Most of my diving experience is in England in a dry suite haha. So diving somewhere like this would be the dream! Looks like I’ll have to add visiting Raja Ampat to my list!
Firstly, your pictures are stunning! I want to get my PADI this year and experience scuba diving in amazing places like this!
I’m so glad you wrote this post. I love the beach and water activities but hate the idea of scuba diving! I’m always nervous going to famous diving destinations in case I have nothing to do there. I would love to see the other islands and go stand up paddle boarding!
I do love it in the sea but I also like it on dry land to. A nice mixture of both is good for me. Looks like an amazing place. So beautiful. I would love to spend hours walking along the beaches there.
Would love to kayak around these islands! I want to visit Raja Ampat because I’m a scuba diver, so it’s a natural choice for me, but I love all the other things to do as well. And not everyone dives, and sometimes you want something else to do, so great post!
From what you wrote, I would much rather spend a day doing some or all of these things than to dive! Raja Ampat sounds like my kind of place and your pictures definitely make me want to go! Hopefully I’ll be heading to Indonesia soon. 🙂
I am a scuba diver, and these look like great options for non-dive days (the day before flight or a rest day between dive days). I would be up for a hike and swim!
Wow, looks like a beautiful place to visit & lots to do, too!
Just popped over from the Venture Link Up! 🙂
This place looks amazing! Especially for someone addicted to water like me….
It certainly is your kind of place James. Perfect to swim with all the fish