Sunday, March 24, 2024

Snorkeling and Watching Birds in Waigeo of Raja Ampat

The Waigeo island is a great place for visitors who are interested in seeing both the marine and rainforest environments. The coral reef is the habitat of anemonefish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, grouper, trevally, wobbegong and a lot more. Beautiful coral reef could be seen along the coastal area especially in the southern region where there are beach resorts and homestays. 

coral reef and rainforest
Raja Ampat has got beautiful marine and rainforest environments
The nearby islands such as Lesser Urai, Urai, Gam, Friwenbonda and Mioskon have got beautiful  coral reef that is rich of marine animals. Soft corals can be seen along the Friwenwall. The house reef at the homestay and beach resorts along the coast of South Waigeo and Gam Island is also in very good condition. 
coral reef and tropical fish
Reef fish at southern coast of Waigeo island

anemonefish in the waters of Waigeo island
Snorkeling Photo: Anemonefish in the waters of Waigeo island
For birdwatchers, birding activity could be seen almost everywhere. My favorite is still along the roads of Waigeo both near the beach and in the forest. There, we could watch Spice Imperial Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Eclectus Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Beach Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Torresian Crow, Helmetted Friarbird, Hooded Butcherbird, and etc. 

Extended Tour in Sorong City

After enjoying snorkeling and birdwatching in Raja Ampat, you could extend your tour in Sorong city by visiting interesting places such as Mangrove forest, Buddhist Temple, Doom island, traditional market and hill forest. This extended trip lasts for around 1 to 2 days. 

Interesting places to see in Sorong, Palua Barat Daya
Sorong City Tour

For visitors who are interested in taking a few days trip in mainland West Papua, a trip to see wildlife in the forest of Tambrauw regency can be organized. 

Traveling to Raja Ampat

Those who want to go to Raja Ampat need to fly from their country to Sorong city. Here is the flight routes from major cities in Indonesia served by Garuda, Lion Air, and Batik Air. 


Minahasa highland is a region in the Province of North Sulawesi. It is a great destination for visitors who love hiking and birdwatching. The forest, agricultural land, and paddy fields of Minahasa is the habitat of a lot of species of birds such as Warbling White-eye, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Sulawesi Cuckoo-dove, White-faced Cuckoo Dove, Crimson Sunbird, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, Black-faced Munia, Collared Kingfisher, Sulawesi Hanging Parrot, Sahul Sunbird, Chestnut Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Pale Blue Monarch, Eurasian Treesparrow, Slender-billed Crow, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Gray-sided Flowerpecker, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Sahul Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, White-browed Crake, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Purple Needletail, White-breasted Woodswallow, and a lot more. 

Birds of Sonder
Zebra Dove, Black-naped Oriole, Black-crowned White-eye, Brown-throated Sunbird, Sahul Sunbird, Sulawesi Cuckoo-dove, White-breasted Woodswallow, Sooty-headed Bulbul

Birding tour in Minahasa highland could be done all year round. The town of Tomohon and subdistrict town of Sonder is a highly recommended destination. It is surrounded by mountains, hill, wetland (paddy fields) and water streams. Ecologically, Sonder is a highly recommended destination for birding, and butterflywatching. 

butterflies of Minahasa highland
Blanchard's Ghost, Meyer's Jay, Blanchard's Wood Nymph, The Clipper, Lime Swallowtail, Gigon Swallowtail, Sacred Tabby butterflies

A visitor needs to bring a good pair of binoculars such as the ones with the size of 8×42 mm, 10× 42 mm or 10×50 mm. Usually birdwatchers buy the ones that are manufactured by Zeiss, Vortex, Swarovski, Nikon, Leica and etc. Nowadays more brands from Chinese manufacturers are available in the market with more affordable prices.

Farm Tour

While doing the walking tour through agricultural land of Minahasa to watch birds, visitors will be able to see various kinds of crops that farmers grow such as rice, corn, sweet potato, banana, taro, cassava, papaya, rambutan, durian, tomato, chilli, spring onion, aubergine, kangkung, cabbage, carrot, and etc. 

Agricultural commodity of Sonder, North Sulawesi
Some of the agricultural produce from Minahasa highland of North Sulawesi

Visitors can buy some of the agricultural produce directly from the farmers or local market and try cooking local cuisines at the homestay or lodge where they stay.

paddy fields in Minahasa
Paddy fields in Subdistrict Sonder of Minahasa regency

Minahasan farmers sell their agricultural produce to towns and cities in the Province of North Sulawesi, to eastern region of Indonesia such as Manado, Bitung, Ternate, Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura, Ambon, Balikpapan. 

Visitors who are interested in taking this hiking and birding tour in Minahasa needs to fly from their country to Manado city. There are daily flights between Manado and major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Makassar, Balikpapan, and Sorong served by Garuda, Citilink, TransNusa, Lion Air, Batik Air. 

There are also direct flights between Manado city and Singapore served by Scoot Air; and between Manado and Guangzhou served by China Southern Airlines.

highland destination holiday in Indonesia
Flight routes to Manado city

Arriving in Manado city, the trip to Subdistrict town of Sonder could be done by car. There are homestay in Sonder. Visitors could find accommodation in Tomohon town by using or

Hiking, farmland tour and birdwatching in Minahasa highland
Land Route from Manado city to the town of Tomohon and Subdistrict town of Sonder

Visitors could combine the trip to the highland of Minahasa with snorkeling and scuba diving tour in Bunaken, Siladen, Mantehage, and Lembeh Strait of the same North Sulawesi region. 


If you are interested in taking hiking and birding tour in Minahasa highland of Indonesia and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to:

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