Tomolol – Amazing Anchorage Indonesia
One of the best cruising experiences in Indonesia is anchoring the boat in incredible locations. With more than 17,000 islands across the country, there are plenty of places to choose from. Although we visit many areas throughout the archipelago, Raja Ampat is home to some of the most picturesque locations. One of our favorite anchorages is in the Tomolol area of Misool in southern Raja Ampat.
The Tomolol area is home to some of the most incredible karst landscape in the world. The Samata has several anchorages in the area depending on conditions. However, all of these feature beautiful limestone cliffs and hills soaring out of the sea. The sheer number of islands in the area means a calm area can be found even during windy conditions. A seemingly endless amount of lagoons offer the perfect spot to place an anchor.
Of course having beautiful surroundings are an important part of any good anchorage, but there must be activities as well. This is where the Tomolol region truly excels. There is a wide variety of different things to do in the area, enough for two or even three days of entertainment.
Following are the top adventures to experience in the Tomolol area.
Walk to the Lookout
The lookout in Tomolol is one of the most magnificent in Raja Ampat. A well build stairway wraps around a tall karst pinnacle over 100 meters high. The climb here can be considered somewhat strenuous and is best done either early in the morning or late in the day. Those with a fear of heights may want to sit this one out as parts of the walk overhangs the cliff. However, for those who have no issues with vertigo, this peak offers an incredible view. The stairs end on the top of the pinnacle and there is a clearing here which offers an almost 360 view of the surroundings. This is the perfect place to see the intricate bays and idyllic lagoons that the Misool region has to offer.
Swim in a Jellyfish Lake
There are at least two accessible marine lakes in the area with stingless jellyfish in them. Both lakes do take a bit of a climb to reach but the rewards are surely worth it. There are not many areas in the world that can boast such an amazing experience. The mastigias jellies that are found in the lake have been stuck there for thousands of years and no longer have a dangerous sting. It’s possible to swim in the lake with hundreds of these beautiful looking creatures. We do ask that guests don’t bring fins on the excursion in order not to damage the fragile jellies.
Visit Tomolol Cave
One of the features of karst limestone is the fact it’s highly porous. This means that karst landscapes are often dotted with a high number of caves. The Misool region is no different and there are a large number of caves in the area. Perhaps the most magnificent one in the area is termed “Tomolol Cave”. This giant amphitheater runs through a high cliff and is dotted with a number of stunning stalactites.
The cave itself is a water cave and it’s possible to paddle through with a kayak or paddle board. For those who enjoy a swim in the dark, it’s also an option to swim through to the other side. It’s important to bring a good light in order to see the beautiful stalactite chandeliers inside the cave. There is a large opening at the far end of the cave as well so there is only a short stretch inside that doesn’t offer sunlight.
Spend Time at the Beach
For those who love the beach, the area offers many small sandy coves. However, the vast majority are lost during high tide. One small island offers a wonderful beach that is accessible all day long. This is a great spot to bring chairs and an umbrella or to host an evening BBQ. The warm waters are perfect for swimming and many guests enjoy time away from the boat to feel the sand beneath their toes.
Explore the Area by Kayak and Visit Ancient Cave Paintings
One of the most interesting and relaxing activities in the area is exploring by kayak. The calm lagoon waters offer dozens of small beaches to visit. The charm of a kayak is that it can go where it’s difficult to reach with a speedboat. The other advantage is the silence. The sound of the birdlife is truly magical with local inhabitants such as the cockatoo or hornbills. Kayakers can hear these bird calls while not having to listen to the sound of an engine. One of the coolest lagoons in the area features a series of cave paintings that are thousands of years old. The primitive drawings of animals and the tracing of hand prints have survived since the stone age. Luckily for us, these incredible art works lie only a small distance from sea level and are easy to spot.
The Tomolol area is one of the highlights of every visit to Misool. Although there are no great dives in the immediate area, there is wonderful snorkeling. However, with such a variety of other interesting activities, diving is hardly missed for a day or two. This is one of the best places for the whole family to enjoy as many of the adventures are something that everyone can enjoy. What’s even better is the fact that the area is so visually stunning. This truly is one of the finest anchorages, not only in Raja Ampat but in Indonesia as a whole. We look forward to introducing you to this wonderful area on your next adventure on the Samata luxury yacht.