By Dian Hasan | July 9, 2010
Many travelers who visit Raja Ampat come back with a common story: “If paradise existed on earth it must be Raja Ampat”! Such is the breathtaking beauty of nature that astounds any one who ventures the enormous distance to get there.
It is said that none other then Jacques Cousteau was responsible for discovering Raja Ampat decades ago, identifying as part of The Coral Triangle.
The Coral Triangle is a geographical term referring to the tropical marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste that contain at least 500 species of reef-building corals in each ecoregion. This region encompasses portions of two biogeographic regions: the Indonesian-Philippines Region, and the Far Southwestern Pacific Region. The Coral Triangle is considered to be the global epicenter of marine biodiversity,  and a global priority for conservation. For this reason, WWF considers the region as a top priority for marine conservation, and the organization is addressing the threats it faces through its Coral Triangle Program, launched in 2007. ~ wikipedia
Located on a private island in Raja Ampat, Misool Eco Resort is fringed by powder-white beaches and protected by stunningly clear lagoons and abundant reefs. This truly eco-friendly resort has only nine deluxe water cottages and a brand-new beautiful villa, all built with indigenous materials by local artisans. Every single piece of construction wood and all the furniture was milled or carved from salvaged driftwood and free-fallen timbers, thus creating a living art gallery for all visitors and staff. While eco-friendly, the accommodations are luxurious with natural stone flooring, ceiling fans, air-conditioning (the walls are insulated and plastered to keep the cool in), full bathrooms, large verandas with inviting hammocks, and lovely views over the ocean even from your bed.
Misool’s location is perfect for the discriminating diver – Raja Ampat is home to over 1,200 species of fish and 700 species of mollusk, not to mention all the corals, smaller critters and pelagics such as the “walking” epaulette shark commonly seen on night dives on the house reef. Misool has worked with the local villages and in 2005 reached an agreement that protects 400 square kilometers of ocean around the resort from fishing and harvesting. Diving and snorkeling here is a treat for anyone making the journey – and the house reef exceptional and should not be missed. Raja Ampat is famous for its diversity and abundance, and the coral covered walls, reef flats, caves, sea mounts, lagoons and pinnacles are teeming with life for you to see. Misool’s lovely accommodations, gorgeous surroundings, great food and excellent service are other reasons you should not overlook this tropical haven.