Exploring: Raja Ampat
The islands of the Raja Ampat require traveling to one of the most remote places on the planet just to get your connecting flight. "During our tour we explore a place so remote you have to fly to Papua to get there," says Barbara Banks of Wilderness Travel. With over 1,500 small islands, cays, and atolls surrounding five larger islands off of the Papua New Guinea coast, you will want to give yourself more than a week to even start scratching the surface (as well as to get there).
Only a fraction of the islands are inhabited — roughly five percent — so the chances of being the first person to visit a certain spot are pretty good. But don't expect to be bored: You can sail, snorkel amongst 1,300 species of fish, dive in some of the most pristine reefs on the planet, paddleboard from isle to isle, hike to unnamed high points, orbuzz about in a high-speed inflatable boats. If you're not ready to do it on your own, Wilderness Travel offers a 12-day excursion aboard a 100-foot traditional Indonesian schooner.