I thought I had seen all the underwater world had to offer. After receiving my SCUBA certificate in Komodo, Indonesia, I have dived throughout Australasia, including world-class locations like Sipadan, the Great Barrier Reef, and southern Thailand. But of course, that was before I experienced the diverse islands of Raja Ampat. Set in the heart of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat is home to a beautiful array of fish, turtles, rays, dolphins, coral, and other marine life. I was fortunate enough to spend 12 days aboard a traditional Indonesian schooner that brought us into remote bays where we felt like we were the only people in the world! Each day we enjoyed snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and simply taking in the dramatic scenery of the surrounding limestone islands. At night, we relaxed on board, stargazing from the deck and recounting the day’s discoveries in this underwater haven. I can honestly say that snorkeling in Raja Ampat is among the best in the world and hope these photos will inspire you to visit this tropical paradise!
—Text by Asia and Pacific Specialist Carolyn Tallman. Photos by Carolyn Tallman and Trip Leader Bob Brunskill. Snorkeling Raja Ampat.