Approach any experienced diver and mention to them the destination they dream about travelling to, their answer will very likely be Raja Ampat. If they haven’t as yet been there, it is surely number one on their bucket list. And if they have indeed indulged in those lush aqua waters, they’re no doubt fantasizing about the day they can return.

The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat lies in the Coral Triangle. This expanse of 40,000 square kilometers of marine territory and pristine reefs makes these waters a diving Eden. Reputed to be the most bio diverse marine habitat on Earth, it is home to many species not found anywhere else in the world. Experience these spectacular treasures and it becomes irresistible not to return to.

It may be difficult to imagine the breadth of Raja Ampat with its more than 1,500 small islands; however one of the region’s jewels is the smaller island of Gam, situated in the heart of the Dampier Straight, which rightfully claims some of the most famous dive sites in the world.

Traversing Gam, fortunate beachcombers encounter a long, breathtaking strip of white sandy beach known locally as Pantai Yenanas. The beach is home to the Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort, doubly favored by both nature and hosts. Imagine rising in the early morning and heading to your deck to be greeted by the morning’s sun rise, as it slowly awakens over the calm, crystal clear blue waters. 

Biodiversity Nature Resort was dreamt up and designed by Rey Andaluz and Patricia Sanz. Originating from Spain, the ebullient, charming couple holidayed in Raja Ampat some five years ago in what turned out to be a life-changing trip.

Biodiversity Nature Resort grew out of the passion that drives Rey and Patricia. They continue to consciously and environmentally build and invest to provide a holiday destination that encourages guests to explore and experience the heavenly environs of Raja Ampat. While they acknowledge that the island of Gam was selected for its beauty, it was also chosen for its proximity to Waisai, making the resort a destination that is both accessible and affordable. Daily ferries bring guests from Sorong to Waisai and then a relaxing 30 minute boat ride brings you to this idyllic getaway. This schedule offers great flexibility for travellers.

Every aspect of the resort is designed to connect guests with nature in this celebrated dive destination. From the range of accommodations and excursions, to the finger licking, delicious food and safe diving, to the engaging, caring staff, every detail has been planned to insure not only an amazing holiday, but to also provide a real taste for this area and Indonesia.

Entering the resort feels like entering a friend’s home meals are varied and delicious with emphasis on Indonesian cuisine with sprinkles of recipes adapted from Patricia’s Spanish roots. As much as possible the high quality ingredients are locally sourced. Fishermen arrive by boat to sell their daily catch (no reef fish) and villagers bring homegrown fruits and vegetables. Additional provisions originate in the markets of Waisai, where villagers come to sell their offerings.

Conservation goes beyond the kitchen. They have developed many eco- friendly ways to operate the resort, one being 100% solar power. They have a strong commitment to conservation that lies at the heart of this eco resort, extending to the community and together they work to improve the quality of life for all.  

Naturally, the most popular reason to visit Raja Ampat, while stunning above the surface, is for the magic that happens under water. Just minutes from the Dampier Straight, the area is home to nearly 600 species of coral, including 75 percent of all coral species known in the world, as well as at least 1,074 fish species. Imagine descending into the big blue, encountering a rainbow of colours in the vibrant, thriving reefs. These marine invertebrates live in colonies of polyps and create a kaleidoscope of unique formations that stun the eyes of the most seasoned divers.

Dive sites include Blue Magic, Sardine Reef, Cape Kri, Manta Sandy and the iconic Fam island, with marine rich dive sites and the Penemu lookout point where you see the famous “mushroom” islands from above.

But the time may come when guests feel water logged and seek other diversions. That is when the resort’s kayaks provide a different view of Gam and a trip to the local villages for a tour or a walk about. The area around Gam Island offers sanctuary for a wide array of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and plants. Indulge in a jungle trek and you help the resort give back to the local economy. These walks are led by guides from neighboring Yenbeser Village, whose depth of knowledge of the local flora and fauna are unmatched. But the main attraction is the Red Bird of Paradise in one of the few places in the world you are able to witness these amazing birds.

When reflecting on your holiday you will begin to realize why protecting this area is of vital importance to the communities as well as the environment. Raja Ampat is  the last paradise

  • Kaylee Jamieson
  • : I was born and grew up in South Africa. Once finishing school I have been living and working on secluded islands through out the world that focus on Ecotourism and developing rural communities. Coming from Africa this is a huge focus for me when choosing a place because it does not take much to help a community to grow so that they have the knowledge & skills to keep up with our ever fast developing world that we currently live in!
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  • : Ecotourism at its best!
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  • : This is the first time this story has been published.