West Papua or Western New Guinea was annexed by Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1969 and is the western half of the island of New Guinea and smaller islands to its west. The region is administered as two provinces: Papua and West Papua. The eastern half of New Guinea is the country of Papua New Guinea. The population of approximately 3.6 million comprises ethnic Papuans, Melanesians, and Austronesians. The region is predominantly dense forest where numerous traditional tribes live such as the Dani of the Baliem Valley, although the majority of the population live in or near coastal areas. The largest city in the region is Jayapura. The official and most commonly spoken language is Indonesian. The main industries
Raja Ampat is a paradise on earth. Untouched and absolutey gorgeous, Raja Ampat and its majestic islands put their spell to everyone who visit. Located on the northwestern tip of Papua, Raja Ampat stands for ‘Four Kings’ in native language. These kings are the beautiful islands of Waigeo, Misool, Batanta, and Salawati. More than 600 smaller islands are scattered around the larger ones. Raja Ampat lies in the center of the coral triangle, the most bio-diverse marine region on earth. Above water, the landscape of Raja Ampat is exceptionally stunning. Under water, it is as captivating if not more. The diversity of marine life in the area offers endless exploration. Raja Ampat is home to 1,430 species of reef fish, 10 times the number of hard coral species found in the entire Caribbean, 75% of all known coral species in the world, and 700 kinds of mollusk. Diving here is an experience unsurpassed by anything. Fish and other marine animals crowd the water, following divers, or just simply being nonchalant and just keep on with whatever they are doing. Manta rays, green turtles, even whales are regular sightings here.