Raja Ampat has been gaining popularity over the years among divers although it is still very unknown to non-divers. Located in New Guinea, the province of West Papua Indonesia, it comprises of over 1,500 small islands.
Why is Raja Ampat the dream diving destination for divers?
Raja Ampat is known to have the richest tropical coral reef bio-diversity in the world. It has over 1000 species of fishes, 540 species of hard corals, 4.6 million hectares of reef, seagrass, beds, mangroves and rocky coastline.
This great bio-diversity has attracted divers from all over the world.
Best way to explore Raja Ampat
With over 40,000km2 of land and sea, the best way to explore Raja Ampat is from a Liveaboard However, Liveaboard in Raja Ampat doesn’t come cheap. It is actually one of the most expensive liveaboard diving destinations in Asia due to its remoteness.
Getting to Raja Ampat
Getting to Raja Ampat is not the easiest as there is no direct flights due to its remoteness.
Sorong airport is the gateway to Raja Ampat. Most liveaboards if not all will embark and disembark in Sorong. You can catch a direct flight from Jakarta or Manado.
However, flying from Bali would requires two legs and an overnight stay after arriving from your international destination; first a 75-minute flight from Denpasar (DPS) to Makassar (UPG), and a two-hour-and-ten-minute fight from Makassar to Sorong on the next day.
When to go
You can literally dive in Raja Ampat though out the year. However the sea gets a little rough during July and September. Having said that, divers still flocks to Raja Ampat during this period.
Duration of trip
Most Liveaboard trips are between 6nights – 10 nights. However, you can find trips up to 14nights if you really want to explore Raja Ampat.
Misool Island is one of the four main island in Raja Ampat with a total area of about 2,034 km². The main town of this island is called Waigana. Misool offers an outstanding coral reefs and exotic flora and fauna. The sea around the island is houses many rare species of Manta Ray, turtle, harlequin shrimp and pygmy seahorses. Diving visibility is about 25m and depth ranges from 5m to 40m.