Indonesia has opened its borders after two years of pandemic closures and spectacular islands like Lombok, Sumba and Raja Ampat are welcoming guests again. If you are planning on traveling to the latter island chain, there has never been a better time to go as tourist numbers are low and local businesses are offering sizable discounts to lure in visitors. For the best place to stay in Raja Ampat, look no further than Raja Ampat Biodiversity.
They have an exclusive offer for stays booked until the 30th of September – a 20% discount through their website. Raja Ampat is considered to be “The Last Paradise” and being here without crowds (while keeping your savings well and truly intact) will make your vacation that much sweeter. Imagine gazing out at a sea of jungle-draped islands, going on adventures to secret caves and turquoise lagoons, and meeting the world’s happiest people.
This is what Raja Ampat offers in abundance, not to mention the rich wildlife and sealife that characterizes the archipelago situated off the coast of West Papua. Everything from unique birds to an array of colorful fish can be found across no less than 1,500 islands, cays and shoals. One such island is Pulau Gam and it’s here where you will find Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort nestled exquisitely on the shores of Yenanas Beach.
Why Biodiversity is the Best Place to Stay in Raja Ampat
Reviews don’t lie and hundreds of five-stars – earning the resort the prized Travelers’ Choice award with Tripadvisor – has made Biodiversity one of the most sought after accommodation options in Raja Ampat. The location, set on a gorgeous sandy white beach, is one thing but their nine cottages constructed in a typical Papuan style take an ordinary stay and turn it into an extraordinary one. Each cottage has its own connection with nature.
Three types of cottages can be booked: deluxe, superior and standard. No matter your budget, Biodiversity has a shelter perfect for you. Coziness and flexibility are also key features. The resort is small enough to make you feel at home with your new friends (a mix of happy staff and travelers) and large enough to create a sense of privacy. Check-in/check-out times aren’t set in stone and there is no minimum number of nights that you have to stay.
However, we recommend at least five nights to really unwind and discover the area. After all, Biodiversity sits at the entrance to Kabui Bay – the ultimate playground for explorers who wish to kayak to remote beaches and cliff faces. Another great spot nearby is Dampier Strait, known for its diving. From days spent chillin’ in a hammock to snorkeling in paradisaical coral reefs, you will cherish every moment at this Raja residence.
Different Types of Beach Cottages
Life doesn’t get any better than waking up in a beach cottage. Each one at Biodiversity is decorated in a Papuan style that seamlessly blends with the culture and nature. With only nine cottages onsite, not even for a split second will you think you are partaking in some type of mass tourism trap. This is boutique travel at its very best. All the creature comforts of modern life can be enjoyed as well like comfy bedding and furniture.
Every night you will be put to sleep by gentle waves lapping onto the shore and in the morning that heavenly sound will repeat as your natural alarm clock, with the added serenity of birds chirping. If you book a superior or deluxe cottage – the sense of tranquility is amplified as these have more room between each cottage, giving you greater all round privacy and seclusion. So let’s go into a little more detail around each type of cottage:
- Standard Cottage: Two units at the resort are classed as standard and both provide the basics at the best possible price for such an idyllic spot on the beach. Amenities include a private bathroom, terrace with sofas, pergola and sun loungers, fan, mosquito net and solar-panel generated electricity. These cottages can host up to three people each and can even be connected together – making them ideal for families or friends.
- Superior Cottage: Again, there are two cottages available under the superior category. With a total size of 46 square meters, rather than 42 under the standard category, you will have ample room to host up to three people. The see-through glass doors afford stunning views of the sea throughout the day and the amenities are plentiful: a desk, private bathroom, terrace with sofas, pergola and sun loungers, fan and more.
- Deluxe Cottage: Five units make up the deluxe cottages at Raja Ampat Biodiversity. Each one is 55 square meters in size and capable of hosting up to four people, so it’s a fantastic option for families of four. The decor showcases more color and Papuan decoration than the other two, while also boasting all the expected amenities – with the added bonus of hot water for those who like warm showers in the morning and at night.
5 Best Experiences & Tours at Biodiversity
Having a nice place to rest your head at night is wonderful, no doubt, but you haven’t come all the way to Raja Ampat just for a comfortable bed. The Last Paradise is all about immersing yourself in nature – whether it be swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking or bird watching. There are so many awesome things to do in Raja Ampat and the team at Biodiversity offer some pretty cool experiences that you can book throughout your stay.
In addition to what is on offer at the resort, Biodiversity can tailor-make activities for you in order to keep your days full of fun. With their help, you will be able to create a travel itinerary that combines leisure with adventure. Below are five experiences that we highly recommend everyone do. Even if you don’t consider yourself a super adventurous traveler, this is your chance to try something new and surprise yourself along the way.
1. Learn How to Dive
Beginners to this sport/hobby might find it overwhelming but with a little practice you will be enjoying every moment underwater. You can learn how to dive in Raja Ampat by booking intro courses with Biodiversity. They partner with only the best in the industry – PADI and SSI – to help you gain scuba diving certification. The dive sights in Raja Ampat are considered some of the best globally, so there isn’t a better place to learn.
2. Go on a Snorkeling Adventure
This is an activity that everyone can enjoy. The Dampier Strait is brimming with coral reefs and colorful sea life to explore – and it’s here that you have access to arguably the most incredible snorkeling in Indonesia. There are several snorkeling excursions that you can book with Biodiversity, taking you to a range of islands further away from the resort. Or you can snorkel close to your cottage at the coral garden located just off shore.
3. Join a Kayaking Tour with Biodiversity
Kayaking in Raja Ampat is a great way to get some exercise and take in unique views of the island chain from the water. Biodiversity offers two epic itineraries which you can join. One takes you to Batu Lima and Kabui Bay, while the other ventures to remote inlets, islands and villages. The first trip lasts for half a day and is centered around nature. The second trip combines both nature and culture, for a duration of three or four hours.
4. Trek through the Jungle to See Colorful Birds
Gam Island and the nearby Waigeo Island are teeming with birdlife, none more breathtaking than the Red Bird of Paradise. Seeing a male perform a dance in order to attract a female is quite the sight, or just seeing them fly from one tree to another is just as satisfying. The jetty deck at Biodiversity is where you can spot these lively birds in the treetops. For a more intrepid experience, go on a trek in Gam Island to see Red Birds in larger numbers.
5. Visit the Famous Pianemo Island for the Views
Pianemo is probably the most photographed place of Raja Ampat and one that makes it onto the most postcards. There is one viewpoint here which looks out over a series of small green islands, creating quite the visual. The limestone islands of Pianemo can be seen on a tour with Biodiversity which leaves in the morning and lasts a whole day. Included on the tour is transport, lunch, two dive or snorkel sights, and the famous viewpoint.
Tips for your Visit to Raja Ampat
If you are reading this and the 30th of September has passed, don’t fret. With or without the discount, this nature resort will still be here waiting for you. You can’t put a price on an experience this special anyway. For those now in the stages of planning a trip to Raja Ampat, there are a few things to keep in mind before you go. The Last Paradise is a paradise for a reason – it’s remote – and so getting here is the first important consideration.
Your arrival into Indonesia will most likely be Jakarta if you are flying from overseas. From Jakarta you can fly to Sorong and then take a ferry to Waisei (Waigeo). The other option is to book a flight from Sorong to Waisai. But that might be one flight too many for some. Bali to Raja Ampat is also a possibility, however you might need to take a connecting flight on the way. Planning your route will largely depend on your travel plans and budget.
The best time to visit would be anytime before September 30th to secure that discount with Biodiversity. That being said, the most popular months are between October and November for sunny, clear skies. During the wetter months (July and August), the clouds hang around for a few short hours per day with the chance of a brief shower before passing quickly. The temperatures are warm all year round due to the location near the equator.
Our last tip is to travel to Raja Ampat with an eco-friendly mindset because this precious paradise needs to be protected with all the love and care that we can muster. Be cautious around the corals, always use reef-friendly sunscreen, pick up any litter you see (even if it’s not yours) and make sure you book with operators that are 100% committed to sustainability. Luckily, Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort ticks all the boxes in this regard.