Fam Islands are a group of islands in Raja Ampat of West Papua, Indonesia. The main islands are Fam, Penemu (Fam Besar), Inus, Yar. They lie northwest of Batanta island, in the straits between Waigeo and Batanta and New Guinea.
These islands are the very definition of paradise. Located about 1.5 hours boat ride from our homestay in Kri Island, Fam Islands has some of the most beautiful coral gardens and walls in Raja Ampat, combined with stunning viewpoints on land.
We took this excursion a day before we left Raja Ampat and I can honestly say that this should be one of your must-do activities when you visit Raja Ampat.
PIANEMO or PENEMU
During our trip to Pianemo, it was like infinite endless blue ocean. Several times we could see silhouette green hilly island, lush green forests, and birds swooping fly doing fish hunt. A couple of times, we were cruising with a group of dolphins not far away from our boat.
Under a clear blue sky, we cruised across lagoons where the sea changes color from light turquoise to dark blue nearing the horizon. Through its crystal clear waters the colorful corals at the bottom of the sea are clearly visible from the surface. It reminds me so much of El Nido in the Philippines.
From the jetty in the lagoon, there is a staircase leading up to a small mountain. On top of the mountain is a viewing platform where we have a fantastic view over the lagoon and the surrounding landscape of Raja Ampat. The view is breathtaking!
Most people remember Raja Ampat from Wayag photos – islands made of coral rocks scattered beautifully and clearly visible from the top of the hill. Apparently, Raja Ampat doesn’t have just one area of those coral islands, in the western area of the Gam island, you can find a “small Wayag” in Pianemo.
Still a bit further out east, two small rocks rising out of the sea mark the location of yet another great dive spots named Melissa’s Garden. Snorkelers can also appreciate a good deal of it, though the sea can be a bit choppy here.
On the way back, we stopped at Arborek Island. It is a model village in West Papua. The roads are clean and well maintained. There is a school, a church and a few shops on the island as well as the organisation Barefoot who is leading voluntary projects in the area.
Arborek Island beach was fine, white sand, fun to relax. The atmosphere is still quiet, can make you lose track of time.
Full day excursions starts at IDR4,500,000 for up to 6 people. It is a good deal for a whole day of snorkeling and island hopping with scrumptious lunch included (where there were a couple of monitor lizards hanging out). If you want to go diving instead of snorkeling, you make arrangements with your tour operator two days before the excursion. Each dive costs IDR450,000 per person on top of the boat cost. Tour operators usually require 50% down payment to reserve the spot.
Do you like island hopping? Which one is your favorite? Is it as beautiful as Fam Islands?