Described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth’, Raja Ampat National Park straddles the Equator off the northwestern tip of Indonesian Papua, in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Raja Ampat is a globally-significant biodiversity hotspot, presenting a wealth of marine life, wildlife and exotic bird life, with hornbills, parrots, and many different bird-of-paradise species, as well as a vibrant culture and network of local villages. It’s not surprising that the famed naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, did extensive fieldwork here during the 19th century. Because of Raja Ampat’s size, the best way to see it is by ship, with the traditional wooden pinisi boats of Indonesia being the most popular for cruising the many islands of Raja Ampat. Many of the fish, corals and crustaceans that live in these waters are found nowhere else on Earth, making Raja Ampat an exceptional snorkelling destination. Dolphins, dugong, manta rays, whales and cuscus can also be seen, and the splendour of Raja Ampat’s rainforests, white-sand beaches, deep-water lagoons and underwater world is astounding.