Did you ever imagine that Indonesia holds within its borders ancient rocks that have endured for hundreds of millions of years? Indeed, these remarkable geological formations reside in the Natuna Regency and are called Alif Stone Park, an area that has rapidly emerged as a beloved destination due to its unspoiled and breathtaking natural splendor.
Among Natuna’s many treasures, Alif Stone Park stands out as a crown jewel of tourist attractions. Nestled in the heart of Natuna Regency, specifically in the charming village of Sepempeng within the Bunguran Timur Subdistrict, this captivating site is conveniently located a mere 10 kilometers or a short 15-minute drive from the regency’s capital, Ranai City.
What distinguishes Alif Stone Park from other destinations is its dedication to preserving the raw beauty of the natural environment. Here, the landscape remains unaltered, a testament to responsible conservation efforts. The rocks, these geological relics, have existed since the dawn of time, an enduring link to the distant past.
As reported by Tempo, the guardian of Alif Stone Park, Enno Sudargo, provides a fascinating narrative of how this locale transformed into a premier tourist haven. Back in 2006, when Enno first set foot in Natuna, the region was predominantly recognized for its vast potential in oil and gas reserves, with tourism scarcely on the radar.
Enno’s keen observation revealed that numerous Natuna residents were gainfully employed in the quarrying of geopark rocks, these unique geological formations that have become Natuna’s signature. It dawned on her that this occupation was a vital economic lifeline for the local community. “From that point onward, we were determined to safeguard these natural wonders,” Enno remarked.
Simultaneously, others sought to sell this expanse teeming with rocks, the very area that Enno now meticulously oversees as Alif Stone Park. “Upon acquiring the property, our mission was to rejuvenate and rejuvenate,” Enno noted.
The renovation process, guided by an unwavering commitment to preserve the rocks in their natural state, steered clear of any alterations to the geological features. Notably, not a single rock bore the brunt of construction activities. Instead, the addition of small footbridges provided visitors seamless passage from one monumental rock to another, complemented by the inclusion of comfortable homestays within the precincts.
“We christened it Alif Stone Park for two compelling reasons: first, to introduce it to the global stage, and secondly, the term ‘alif’ originates from one of the rocks, bearing a striking resemblance to the Arabic character ‘alif,’ which symbolizes the inception of all things. Hence, our unwavering commitment to shield this natural marvel from any harm,” Enno explained with conviction.
Since its official inauguration as a tourist destination, Alif Stone Park has indelibly etched its name in the annals of Indonesian travel. It has become synonymous with Natuna, etching a lasting impression on travelers’ minds.
This mesmerizing landscape has since welcomed a plethora of tourists, attracting visitors from across the globe, including Australia, France, Germany, Russia, China, Singapore, and Spain. What lures these international explorers is the promise of luxury interwoven with the raw allure of nature, a harmonious blend that Alif Stone Park effortlessly delivers, as Enno eloquently attests.
The accolades and recognition showered upon Alif Stone Park have been nothing short of remarkable, with seven national and international awards adorning its impressive resume. In 2018, the park proudly clinched the coveted Pesona Indonesia Award (API) in the unique tourism category. Moreover, on the global stage, this breathtaking terrain has earned the illustrious moniker of ‘The Great Wall.’
In essence, Alif Stone Park is a testament to the enduring beauty of nature and the commitment of individuals like Enno Sudargo to preserve these priceless wonders for future generations. It’s a story of harmonious coexistence between mankind and the environment, where responsible tourism takes center stage, showcasing the delicate balance between conservation and exploration, a balance that Alif Stone Park proudly embodies.