The Beauty of Atlas Pearls, Pungu Island – Flores

Atlas South Sea pearls are harvested from five pearl farms extending through the Indonesian Archipelago to Raja Ampat. To reach their maximum potential, South Sea pearls require the truly pristine environment of remote areas such as the Indonesian Archipelago. Atlas Pearls operates five pearl farming operations throughout Indonesia.

A one and a half hour flight from Bali will take you to Labuan Bajo in Flores. Located in the eastern part of Indonesia, Labuan Bajo is one of the country’s trending destinations after Bali that is famously known for its pristine beaches and crystal clear water. Most tourists come to Labuan Bajo for diving and snorkelling or simply for island hopping as there are numerous breathtaking islands surrounding the area, one of the most popular being Komodo Island.

Among all the beautiful small islands surrounding Labuan Bajo, there is one that is unique as it is home to a pearl farm that produces world-class jewellery, Pungu Island. And a 30-minute speedboat from Labuan Bajo will take you to discover Atlas Pearls’ farm and their redesigned jewellery boutique. The view of small islands scattered around Labuan Bajo will feast your eyes as you journey to Pungu Island. Not far from the dock, there was a showroom where the latest designs of Atlas Pearls’ jewellery were on display for sale. Designed with floor-to-top glass windows, the showroom looks chic with a wooden deck.

They receive oysters from their farm in Bali.  Bali, the Pinctada maxima oysters – which produce high-quality South Sea Pearls – go through a seeding process where a delicate surgery is done to initiate the natural process of developing a pearl pouch with the help of a nuclei. The water in Pungu Island is considered to be warm for the oysters to grow and the location of the island is perfect for the oysters to live as the current from Pacific Ocean brings nutrients to the water and food like plankton for the oysters.

It takes four years for an oyster to produce a pearl, and within those four years, an oyster is touched 600 times to keep them healthy. But the unique thing about harvesting a pearl is that we will never know what kind of pearl the oyster will produce. Each oyster can produce a different type of pearl, from a Grade A (the highest quality) to an oval-shaped pearl, baroque or keshi, or even none.

The back deck of the showroom also displays posters that explain the process of producing pearls, from the hatchery to harvest time, and how it takes 3,000 committed hands at Atlas Pearls to produce world class stunning jewelry which you can see in their showroom.

And now you have all the more reason to visit as Atlas Pearls has just launched a number of new activities in their farm in Pungu Island, where you can swim in the shallow waters of the lagoon for a quest to find your shells and pearls.

Aside from their pearl farm in Penyabangan Village in North Bali and Pungu Island in Labuan Bajo, Atlas Pearls also has a farm in Lembata and Alor in East Nusa Tenggara and Raja Ampat in Papua. The “Treasure Hunt” activity is only available in North Bali and Labuan Bajo. Atlas Pearls in Raja Ampat offers “Treasure Chest” that provides a private viewing on visiting yachts.

How to get there

There are direct flights by Garuda Indonesia either from Bali or from Jakarta to reach Labuanbajo.  This small fishing village once quiet is now a booming small town which is also the gateway to Komodo National Park.

For more information and reservation write booking@topindonesiaholidays.com

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