Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Best Snorkeling Spots in Manokwari

Snorkeling is a healthy water sport that can improve your body metabolism and widen your knowledge about the marine environment. Manokwari, the capital of West Papua province of Indonesia, has got several  snorkeling spots that are suitable for anybody who wants to explore the natural beauty of the underwater world of tropical sea. As a tour guide, I frequently accompany tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling along the coastal areas of this town. Here are some of my best spots:
Anggresi - located at the foot of Arfak mountains, the coral reef of Anggresi is a world class snorkeling and diving destination. It takes around 40 minutes to reach the spot by a motorized outrigger boat. The marine environment in this spot is still in its pristine condition. Because of its remoteness, very few people have snorkeled in Anggresi. Hard corals and ornamental fish such as the striped surgeon fish, butterfly fish and parrot fish can be seen at depths between 1.5 to 7 meters. If you do the snorkeling or diving in this spot, you need to equip your camera with flashlight. Flashlight can improve the quality of your underwater photographs. Don't snorkel too close to the beach or high swell will push you into the hard and sharp rocks of the corals.
Asai - Go to this place if you want to relax for several days or weeks in Manokwari. Here, the sea is your front yard where as tropical rainforest is your back yard. From hiking in the jungle to snorkeling in the coral reef, you  can enjoy them both in Asai. I really like this place because its seascape is really beautiful. There is a wooden house overlooking the blue sea.
A Dutch family who owns the house has provided two rooms for visitors who want to rent them. The rate per night for two people is Rp. 300,000. The owner plants a lot of tropical flowers around the house including hibiscus, heliconia golden torch. In the morning, when the sky is clear and the sunlight hits the fresh flowers which have just bloomed, butterflies, and bees come to collect the nectar. Visitors who are interested in taking a hiking tour in the jungle will be able to see dendrobium orchids and other tropical flowers along banks of the Asai river.
Raimuti - this is also a nice spot for snorkelers who want to see colorful reef fish that thrive just outside Manokwari town. The reef extends from north to south for around 500 meters from Raimuti island parallel with the beach of Arfai towards Arfak mountains. Pristine coral reef can only be accessed by boat.
Mansinam Island - this is relatively a nice snorkeling spot for travelers who are traveling on a budget. Bring your own snorkeling mask and fins. To go to the island, just take a water taxi in Ketapang boat harbor of Kwawi. The normal rate for each passenger of the boat is Rp. 3,000. The best snorkeling spot in Mansinam is along the southern area of the island. Coconut trees, pandanus and beach hibiscus flower plant grown near the white sandy beach of Mansinam. I also see some flower plants that look like canna.
Manim islet - you need more efforts to reach this spot. First, you have to go to Numfor island (by airplane 20 minutes or by ferry boat 5 hours). Then you need to continue your trip to Warido village where you can rent a boat to bring you to Manim. From Numfor to Manim, you will spend 1 hour. Bring extra batteries if you want to take as many pictures of fish and coral reef in the island as you like. Beautiful tropical birds like to perch on the branches of trees that grow in this tiny island.
Manim's waters are rich of marine life. by Charles Roring