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Penemu Islands, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat

With over 1,500 islands still unnamed, the Raja Ampat region is remote, undisturbed and relatively undiscovered. Largely off the tourist map, this last frontier is famous for those in the know about diving holidays, as the best underwater ecosystem in the world.

Offering fantastic diving below water, and pristine beaches, BBQ picnic lunches, massage in situ, and friendly tribal villages for the landlubbers, this region has enough appeal to send a shiver of excitement down the spine.

Whale Sharks,Cenderawasih Bay, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Cenderawasih Bay, Indonesia

A little more about Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is located off the northern tip of New Guinea in Indonesia’s West Papua province. The main islands are Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. Sorong is the gateway for many of the cruises to Raja Ampat and is accessed from Singapore, Bali, Darwin or Jakarta.

Currently, the way to see this region is aboard one of the sophisticated yachts sailing the waters of Raja Ampat. Many of these yachts can be privately chartered throughout the year. Operating in West Papua between October and March and then sailing to Komodo/ Flores for the summer months. Silolona and Si Datua Bua, Tiger Blue and Alila have all come on the scene in recent years, with more boats in the pipeline.

Coral, Cenderawasih Bay, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Cenderawasih Bay, Indonesia

North Star and Sea Trek Cruises

Adventurous expeditionary cruises also now operate in these waters, the most well-known being North Star and Sea Trek. The starting point is usually in North Australia.

You will find more marine species in the coral reefs of Raja Ampat than anywhere else on the planet – often referred to as the global epicentre of marine biodiversity. There are upwards of 500 coral species and 1000 coral reef fish species, in glorious multi-colour that is second to none on the planet. Although you do not need to be a diver to enjoy this region. Apart from the reefs, this area also has some of the most stunning top-side views in the world. Next, to that you can spot the dazzling birds of paradise, hear the shrieks of the crested cockatoo and the flapping of the wings of passing hornbills.

Alila Purnama, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Raja Ampat, Indonesia

When to go

Raja Ampat has an equatorial monsoon climate. It is pretty much the same all year round, with the exception of the windy season – June to September. Lying on the equator, this region enjoys a year-round day length of about twelve hours. For the driest time of year travel between October and November, then February to April.

Experiences

What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Rascal Conservation Voyages

Cruise with Rascal Voyages on one of their Conservation International adventures and journey to remote areas in the company of scientists and leading conservationists. Tag manta ray and embark on exploratory dives to aid research.

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Spot Bird of Paradise

Cruise Raja Ampat in search of Wilson’s bird-of-paradise with their curved tail feathers and dramatic courtship dance.

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Charter a Yacht

Explore idyllic and remote islands at your own pace by boat – charter a private yacht or join Tiger Blue or SeaTrek on one of their fixed departures.

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Wayag Lagoon

Explore hidden bays and coves and snorkel amidst the crystal clear lagoons of the Wayag archipelao.

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Accommodation

Below is some of the wonderful accommodation to include on your journey.

Aqua Blu £££££

  • Indonesia

Sailing between the islands of Komodo in the summer months before moving to Raja Ampat during the winter, Aqua Blu is a long-range explorer yacht with a strong naval heritage. Formally the British Naval Explorer HMS Beagle, Aqua Blu has been stylishly refurbished to offer sublime cruising throughout this compelling destination.

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Misool Eco Resort £££££

  • Indonesia
  • Beach and Island Escapes
  • Unusual
  • Wilderness

Misool is a world-class private island hideaway accessible only by boat. With stilted cottages and villas made from reclaimed hardwoods, featuring Balinese style bathrooms and views of either the lagoon or house reef, Misool offers exclusive adventure whilst redefining sustainable tourism. The core belief is to protect and conserve. Misool is back to nature at its most stunning best.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list. I also seek adventure; exploring the deep blue or hiking a peak often winning favour. Although it’s my time horse herding in Mongolia that I regularly want to relive.
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Deborah Brock-Doyle

My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …
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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes