Who wouldn’t like a full week spent at a tropical, green archipelago surrounded by pristine waters? Writing this makes me want to throw myself back to those worry-free 7 days (almost a year ago) of a sailing trip at one of the natural marine wonders of our planet.
This post comes all the way from the magnificent marine park of Raja Ampat in Papua.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago on the northern tip of the Bird’s Peninsula on the island of New Guinea or Papua, as it’s locally called. It belongs to Indonesian territory and is one of the easternmost provinces in the archipelago. Raja Ampat is a local language for Four Kings. In terms of history, Raja Ampat Archipelago in the 15th century was part of the reign of Tidore Sultanate, a great kingdom centered in Moluccas Islands. The Sultanate of Tidore appointed 4 local kings to rule the islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool, which are the four largest islands to this day. The term 4 Kings who rule the islands became the root of the name Raja Ampat.
We spent the whole week in Raja Ampat. We were a group of 6, sailing on a wooden boat to explore the archipelago. This is the best way to explore the area: since it is an archipelago, you need to spend most of your days on or in the water to get the best experience of Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat is claimed to boast the richest marine biodiversity in the world.
Right from the moment I arrived in the islands, I couldn’t stop my admiration of the beautiful surroundings – its breathtaking landscape and waters just blew my mind away.
Many locals claimed these islands to be a paradise on Earth, and I must agree with that statement!
We started from the central islands of the archipelago.
We were presented with a wide array of beautiful corals from the first days.
They were very colorful and in good shape
– encouraging to see that in the age when many coral reefs suffer from bleaching due to pollution.
The fish too were no less colorful, as if they were competing to win the best outfit.
Merely by snorkeling, you can see the best of Raja Ampat.
Yes, you need very minimal 😉 gear to enjoy all that extraordinary underwater world!
The next days were spent venturing northbound
to get to Wayag –
the jungle covered islets, that often appear in the internet as a classic example of ‘tropical paradise’.
Swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, fishing, are among the things you could enjoy in the sailing trips… In Raja Ampat, you can even feed sharks and swim with them too!
Well, they weren’t that huge, but at first it was scary and made me nervous… Soon enough though, I found myself mingle with those sharks at ease, which was quite fascinating.
There are lodges on the bigger islands, and some of them offer full packages, where you can do a lot of water activities. But for me, sailing trip seemed to be the best way to experience Raja Ampat, as it allowed to wander as far as we wanted.
It was also great to have some breaks from being on/in the water, and explore the islands – even hiking naked in the tropical forest!
While the rest of the group were not keen on disrobing, I managed to exercise some naturism, mostly away from the group. I must admit that I am a newbie to naturism, which prevented me from being myself and naked in the whole journey… but I still enjoyed a good portion of it in the buff! I still recall how nice it felt to be naked and let the tropical breeze sweep your skin.
It was definitely hot, but enjoyable. As many have said, the sun is the best treatment.
Best part? Of course swimming naked and snorkeling in the most beautiful underwater world!
If you are keen on spending some of the best days of your life in this paradise, I would surely recommend you to visit the islands. The authorities restrict the number of tourists visiting the islands, which is actually nice, as you can enjoy the islands almost all to yourself when you get there, especially, once again, if you take a sailing trip. The crew of the boat might be not too familiar with naturism, if you want to make it a nude sailing trip, but I think they’d be open enough if you could explain it to them.
text and imagery by Miko