Diving Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Outside Editors' Choice

Coral-covered bommy at one of Misool Eco Resort's local dive sites (Photograph by Jurgen Freund)    

There's an archipelago in the Coral Triangle so dense with sea life it's often called "the epicenter of marine biodiversity," a place where a scientist once discovered 283 new species during a single dive. Welcome to Raja Ampat, a cluster of 600 islands off the northwestern tip of New Guinea and one of the least fished, least populated, least bleached scuba destinations on the planet. You'll find pygmy sea horses, elusive walking sharks, technicolor nudibranchs, and some 1,200 species of fish. Raja Ampat is blessed with more than 600 species of coral; the Caribbean has fewer than 70. If diving is your sole prerogative, go with the Seven Seas liveaboard (from $374 per person per night; thesevenseas.net). For a more relaxed experience, book a week at Misool Eco Resort's private island and take day trips to their 164-square-mile reef. Seven nights, from $2,035; misoolecoresort.com

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