Cenderawasih Bay, a Sanctuary for Giants in the Largest Marine National Park


Let’s cast our sight to the beauty of the eastern part of Indonesia, Papua to be exact. Papua is known as an area with rich natural resources and wonderful pristine destinations. The most popular one is definitely Raja Ampat.

Whale Shark dancing in the water. via Instagram/dianapaboojianphotography

However, there are many other spots that are just as wonderful. One of the most beautiful area you can find in Papua is the Cenderawasih Bay. This large bay has many wonderful islands, and is still in a pristine condition. Here is what you need to know about Cenderawasih Bay, a wonderful place to visit in eastern Indonesia.


An island on the bay. via Instagram/tn.teluk_cenderawasih

If you are looking at a map, Cenderawasih Bay is located on the neck of the bird that is the Papua Island. The island does look like a bird with a head, a neck, a body, and a tail. Cenderawasih Bay is located on the neck, just behind the head. Geographically, it is situated on the northeastern part of the island.

The beach in Wondama Bay, a bay within a bay. vai Instagram/tn.teluk_cenderawasih

Administratively, Cenderawasih Bay is located in the two Papuan provinces; Papua and Western Papua. This bay is huge, to say the least. It is 300 kilometers wide and the coastal line from one end to the other is more than 700 kilometers long.

National Park

Swimming with the giants. via Instagram/nabirewhaleshark

The central government declared this bay a Marine National Park in 2002. Obviously not all part of the bay is included as some islands here are inhabited. However, this National Park covers an area of 1,5 million hectares, making it the largest natural park in Southeast Asia.

Beautiful beach. via Instagram/nabirewhaleshark

The park offers protection to an extensive coral reef and the many endangered species in this bay. Within its vast area, you will be able to find many wonderful small islands and rich underwater life.


This national park is a great tourist destination. via instagram/moelyadhiie

Cenderawasih Bay has a massive tourism potentials, mostly from its sea. Snorkeling and diving are mainstay in almost all of the waters. You can enjoy beautiful reef in its waters.

However, the most wonderful experience you can have in this national park is to interact with whale shark. Those gentle giants freely roams the park and didn’t shy away from swimming next to a human.

Island Hopping

There are more small islands in the bay. Via Instagram/moelyadhiie

In this part of the world, small islands are abundant. You can hop from one island to another, so long as they are all nearby. As the bay is massive, you probably need many tries to explore all of the island inside it. Depending on what you are looking for in an island, Cenderawasih Bay probably has it all. White sand beaches are the norm here.

Find your love for the ocean. via instagram/ridhozf

Cenderawasih Bay is not the easiest place to reach. However, you can nowadays go to Manokwari, Biak, or Serui by plane. This is one of the place where you can play with the sea ghost; whale shark. Make sure to prepare well if you want to go to Cenderawasih Bay.

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