Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

More than 1500 islands make up the sparsely populated Raja Ampat Islands, which are located near off Sorong. Raja Ampat is without a doubt one of the most beautiful island chains in the world with its exquisite landscape of steep, jungle-covered islands, magnificent white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons, eerie caverns, strange mushroom-shaped islets, and clear blue waters.

There are other factors at play here besides pure beauty. Raja Ampat is also teeming with wildlife, including a few varieties of birds of paradise that dance in the trees and a variety of marine life and coral reef systems that are a diver’s paradise (and fantastic for snorkellers and kayakers, too).

Scientists have referred to Raja Ampat as a biological hot spot and think that the reef systems here replenish reefs throughout the South Pacific and Indian Oceans due to the abundance and diversity of marine life found there.

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