Wayag Peaks – Adventurous Views
When heading out on an adventure, there is always a climax to look forward to. In Indonesia, we are blessed with so many adventures to explore there is always a new one around every corner. In Raja Ampat, it’s hard to choose the climax of adventure as every activity in the area is so impressive. Although a hard choice to make, we think Wayag Lagoon is possibly the most visually stunning area of the archipelago. Yet Wayag itself is not the true highlight of a visit. Instead, the true climax is viewing this incredible location from the peak of the islands.
Wayag is home to two distinct panoramic views. The original, Mt Pindito, is one of the highest peaks in the lagoon and commands an impressive view over the western side of Wayag. The second peak is further inside the lagoon and overlooks the large middle portion of Wayag with its beehive shaped islands. Both of these peaks offer 360 degree views and incredible photographic opportunities. However, in order to enjoy the climax, it requires hard work before the reward.
Two Stunning Views of Wayag
To enjoy the treks it’s best to either depart first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon. This alleviates the heat present in the middle of the day. Good footwear is a must as the treks are certainly not easy. In fact, we suggest that these are limited to folks who have a good level of physical fitness and have no fear of heights. We can’t stress how important it is to understand that the treks are not for the feint of heart. There are no safety bars or ropes on these hikes so it’s certainly a “trek at your own risk” activity.
Mt Pindito is the original hike, pioneered by Edi Frommenwiler of the Pindito, the first ship to regularly explore Raja Ampat. It starts from a beautiful white sand beach surrounded by healthy hard corals. The well marked path begins on the beach and winds through the forest before beginning the ascent. At first the way is easy with a few sharp rocks to clamber over, however, as the trail goes higher it becomes more necessary to hold on to rocks and trees as you make your way. At around the 3/4 mark, the trail ends and there is a short section of around 50 meters which requires climbing up the rocks. There are plenty of handholds along the way so it’s not technically difficult but it’s not for those nervous of heights.
Once at the top the view of Wayag Lagoon is stunning. A few minutes rest is always needed to cool down from the short hike. Take this opportunity to fill your eyes with the landscape. The contrast of the blue sea and the green hills is perfect for landscape photography. Peer over the edge and it’s possible to spots sharks and schools of fish in the shallow waters.
Depending on where the Samata has anchored, it may be possible to take a photo of the boat from above. Once finished with the view take great care on the way down. The first section is the most demanding so a slow and easy pace is required. Once at the bottom the white sand beach offers the perfect place to slip off your shoes and jump in the water to refresh. A swim in the lagoon is an absolute must after the strenuous climb.
Wayag Lagoon Hike
The second hike offers a beautiful boat ride through Wayag as an appetizer. Located deep within the lagoon, we need to wind our way through the intricate channels on the way. This climb is located on a large “mushroom shaped” island with no beach as a landing spot. Instead the landing requires scrambling off the bow of the tender directly onto the rocks. This climb is somewhat shorter than Mt Pindito but no less physical. There is no dirt path at the beginning so the entire route requires climbing over the rocks. Thankfully, these rocks present innumerable hand and foot holds to pull or push your way up.
The top of the island gives a wonderful panoramic view of Wayag in every direction. It’s possible to spot Mt Pindito as well. The large lagoon to the west boasts a series of large islands that look so much different from above than they do from sea level. The unique vantage point is the climax of the strenuous hike and it’s well worth the reward! Once again, take great care and attention on the way down as there is no rush. The best part awaits at the bottom because the best way to get back into the boat is simply to jump in the water from the rocks! A great adventure always ends well with a cool and refreshing dip in the ocean.
How to Prepare
When climbing to the viewpoints we always suggest to bring plenty of water, a bit of mosquito repellent, good shoes, and a camera. The best idea is to bring a small backpack to carry your gear as you will need your hands free for a few sections of both hikes. This truly is one of the most exciting adventures in Raja Ampat, however, it’s not for everyone. If you are uncomfortable with hikes, don’t have proper footwear, or don’t have a reasonable amount of physical fitness then these hikes are probably not for you.
Not to worry though, Wayag is an incredible destination that boasts a variety of other activities to interest everyone. Scuba diving, paddle boarding, swimming, snorkeling, boat tours, beach walks, and more are the perfect way to spend a day or two. If you are interested in visiting this incredible location please let us know, we hope to visit once again in 2022!