Passion Points: Active/Adventure
When you ask filmmaker and activist Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of legendary Jacques, where she dreams of going next, her answer is a small eco resort in the remote southern part of Indonesia: “Misool is an amazing project. They worked with the local communities, training the people and teaching them tangible skills, like English, so that they could work as staff. The resort is built entirely out of sustainable wood; they have solar power and compost, and the waters around the island have been protected, so there is no fishing allowed. And of course, it’s in one of the most incredible dive spots in the world, so it’s my kind of place.”
Misool has eleven guest cottages, some by the water, other higher up in the hillside with stunning views, and deluxe villas are in the works for 2009. Days center around several dives in the Raja Ampat area, home to the world’s richest reefs (in an area the size of two football fields, scientists discovered more than six times as many coral species as live in the entire Caribbean Sea). In 2005, Misool was able to establish a no-take zone around the island, meaning that all fishing, shark finning, harvesting of turtle eggs and shellfish are prohibited. Getting to the eco resort is a commitment: from Sorong, reached via a flight from Bali, guests are picked up with a speed boat; the ultra-scenic transfer to Misool takes between three to four hours. Serious divers and green-conscious travelers agree that it’s worth the trek. Mark Erdman, a senior adviser to Conservation International who has been diving in this part of the world for many years, raves: “I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the number of juvenile snappers, groupers and Napoleon wrasse on the reefs—a most encouraging result of the implementation of a community agreement for a no-fishing zone in the area. I salute Missol for their impressive efforts.” 11-night packages from €3,210 (includes transfers, all dives, accommodation and all meals).
Read the interview with filmmaker and activist Celine Cousteau
Read about the favorite properties of architect and eco-lodge specialist Hitesh Mehta
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