On a virtual tour around the world, we’re seeking to discover the most incredible places on Earth. But it wouldn’t be a Williams World Tour without a tender! That’s why we’re uncovering a selection of secret spots and hidden gems that are only accessible by boat.
If you’re looking to travel somewhere truly exotic this year as the summer season comes to an end, there really is no better place than Raja Ampat, Indonesia – one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful island chains. From October to December, the islands are blessed with glorious sunshine and still waters, making it the perfect destination for a tender adventure.
Comprising of around 1,000 breath-taking islets and situated just off Sorong, this hidden wander is peppered with flourishing jungles, scorching white-sand beaches, stunning lagoons and untouched caves.
To reach this idyllic hideaway, your adventure must begin at Sorong port before making your way to Waigeo by tender, the capital of the Raja Ampat regency. Dart between the islands’ luminous turquoise waters and crystal clear coastlines, taking in the sublime scenery as you go.
Catch a rare glimpse of Raja Ampat’s birds of paradise gliding above you. Or, if you want to experience the wildlife beneath the surface, pack your snorkel and fins to embark on some of the best diving you’ll ever encounter. The islands are well-known for being a ‘diver’s dream come true’, with an infinite variety of marine life and reef systems to discover.
If you’re looking to explore as many of the larger islands as possible, we recommend venturing between Waigeo, Bantana, Salawati and Misool. The Dampeir Strait between Waigeo and Bantana has some incredible snorkeling sites, with each of the islands offering its own scuba diving clubs, with lessons and equipment, if you want to challenge yourself to something more thrilling.
Moor your tender along the shores of the Salawati Island and prepare to take a step back in time. The underwater scenery is just as beautiful as what lies above, with many ancient bunkers left scattered along the coast from World War II. They’ve become some of the most interesting spots to dive, with many colourful, tropical fish, corals and crustaceans residing among them.
Back at shore, you can relax in one of the beach’s many swinging hammocks as you dry off under the evening sun. There are a host of homestays available on the island if you’d like to become part of the Papuan family, with all meals included throughout the day – a real chance to experience life as an islander.
Light a campfire on the beach and spend the night enjoying delicious, locally-caught fish and fresh, natural produce with your new Indonesian friends, chatting the night away beneath the stars.
If you loved learning about this beautiful sanctuary, keep your eyes open for the next adventure in our Williams World Tour, coming soon.