(Meta description: What makes Misool Island a special place that you must visit, at least once in a lifetime? Check out this place while you are in West Papua.)
“Orang bilang, tanah kita tanah surga.” (People say our land is the land of paradise.) This part of the song lyric to “Kolam Susu” (The Milky Pond) sung by Indonesian band Koes Plus makes much sense. There are plenty of accurate descriptions of nature in Indonesia. One good is example is in Misool.
Misool is one of the four major islands in Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua. What is so special about this island, especially West Papuan tourism?
The Beauty of Misool
This island is off the west coast of Papua’s main island and is directly adjacent to the Seram Sea. Seram Sea is a lane for many large sea creatures, for example, whales.
This island consists of hills, dense forests, and mangrove swamps. A maze of limestone jutting out into the blue sea can be seen on the east and west sides of Misool Island. With 2,034 km2, Misool is the home to ancient cultural sites. There are some petroglyphs found on cave walls throughout the island. They are about 5000 years old.
Clusters of karst rocks also decorate this island beautifully. As a part of the world’s coral triangle, there are various types of ornamental fish living in the waters of Misool. There are also turtles, stingrays, and corals.
What else can we find in Misool?
It is where you can find stingless rays. (Yes, they do exist here.) After thousands of years of isolation, many sources have cited that this habitat had run out of predators. The rays had then evolved into stingless rays.
Lenmaka Lake is situated in the middle of the sea, surrounded by large karst rocks. Visitors must prepare themselves physically and wear safety gear since the track to this lake is rather extreme and dangerous. The steep hills are always a greater risk for a slip and fall, so hiking shoes are highly recommended.
Still, the trip is worth it. Once you are there, you get to enjoy the lush green trees around the lake and a sense of peace around it. You get to swim or go snorkeling with the rays without having to worry about getting stung.
Karawapop “Love” Lake
This lake is hidden in the middle of the forest with the same name. It is also known as a ‘love lake’ because its shape resembles a heart. No wonder this lake in West Papua is also known as ‘Love Lagoon.’
Like the previous lake, you will have to climb up the steep hill for at least 30 minutes first. You also need to be extra careful since it is as steep as 90 degrees to descend. Once you are on the top, you get to enjoy the beauty of Karawapop Island. Large karst rocks decorate the scenery. Seram Sea looks blue and clear.
To get to Karawapop Island, go from Sorong Port to Yellu Port in Misool for four hours by express motorboat. From there, you can go to Karawapop by speedboat.
Not far from Karawapop Island, this place has a name which is an acronym from the names of two residents, Harun Sapua and Fatma. They own Harfat Jaya Inn, which is located in Harapan Jaya Village. They are also the people who first discovered the summit.
The track to the summit is also rather steep. You might need about 30 minutes to climb to the top. Once you are there, you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the clear blue sea waters of Misool and some unique plants called ‘pitcher’ (kantung semar).
Harfat Summit is famous among local and international visitors. To the residents, this summit is known as ‘Dapunlol.’
There is a visible lagoon you can see from the corner of the shore. This lagoon is why Namlol Beach is also dubbed “The Pond of The Sea.” You can guess the depth of the water from the darker shade of the blue among the rest of the lighter blue around it.
You can still go snorkeling here since the rest of the water is quite shallow. The currents are also not that hard.
It is the place where you can see piles of large karst rocks shaping like a Christmas tree. The laguna’s name is derived from the word ‘balbul,’ which means “octopus,” and ‘lol,’ which means “a lot.” Rumour has it that there are plenty of these sea creatures underwater.
You get to choose the shallow part of the lagoon for snorkeling with the fish. There are also beautiful coral reefs underwater.
Now you know what makes Misool Island so special and worth a visit. While in West Papua, you get to experience this once-in-a-lifetime bliss. Getting in touch with nature while restoring your sense of peace can be a dream come true here.