Raja Ampat is right in the heart of the Coral Triangle and has over 1,500 islands. Many scientists believe Raja Ampat has the most coral and fish diversity in the world! Raja means King and Ampat means Four – Four Kings. The four kings are the main islands in Raja Ampat – Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool.
Starting from Sorong in West Papua we head to the south of Raja Ampat’s the largest island Waigeo to the famous Dampier Strait. We will select the best dives sites for the experience of the divers and according to the current and weather conditions. Here you can expect to dive at some world-class, adrenalin-packed dive sites such as Cape Kri, Chicken Reef, Sleeping Barracuda, Sardine Reef, Mioskon, and Blue Magic. Our guides can take you to places where the current meets the reef head-on, where you can witness predatory fish like black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks, giant trevally, Spanish mackerel, and dogtooth tuna hunting huge schools of smaller fish like fusiliers and big eye jacks. Seamounts and long reefs offer this hunting action as well as sightings of bump head parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, turtles, and manta rays.
At the other end of the Dampier Strait is the island of Arborek with a great jetty dive. Lalosi is a drift dive completely full of fusiliers and with a chance to see wobbegong sharks. The well-known manta aggregation sites of Manta Sandy and Manta Ridge are also in this area. Sawandarek is on the island of Mansuar and the dive on the reef and jetty in from of the village is a fantastic dive. You can also visit Papua Explorer’s coral restoration project here. For those interested, we can take a walk around the village at Sawandarek or Arborek.
After a night dive in the Dampier Strait, we will travel to the south of Batanta. Here there are some great macro dives in the sandy slopes where will be on a critter hunt! We will spend the day here looking for the weird and wonderful such as octopus, ghost pipefish, juvenile batfish and barramundi cods and perhaps for the lucky ones, Rhinopias.
The next day, we will go to Dayang, on the northwest of Batanta, where there is a beautiful small sandy island home to a population of Coconut Crabs. Dayang is just at the entrance to one of Batanta’s many scenic bays and has a colorful reef with wobbegong sharks, schooling yellow snappers, and great macro-life, including pygmy seahorses and unusual nudibranchs. Dayang island also offers a great chance to encounter manta rays, the gentle giants, at their cleaning stations.
We will then travel to Penemu. Famous Melissa’s Garden awaits us with its spectacular, healthy, and wide-spread hard coral plateau in the shallows. At Keruo Wall, we can admire large gorgonian sea fans and lovely reef tops, and we might also explore My Reef and Batu Rufus. A short hike to the viewpoint of Penemu offers a spectacular view of the lagoons and their surrounding islands.
The following day will be spent on the western tip of Gam island, at an island called Yangeffo, which protects a sheltered bay. This small area has multiple world-class dive sites. Famous ones like Citrus Ridge and Mayhem always amaze divers with their vibrancy and biodiversity. The area here is probably so abundant due to the surrounding mangroves. Beautiful hard and soft corals grow under and among the roots of the trees, so a dive at Mangrove Ridge is truly enjoyable. And our crew will be happy to take
you out in the dingy to snorkel in the mangroves in between dives. Sunsets and sunrises are very special at our mooring point at Yangeffo: as the sun drops, the surrounding forested hills become alive with flocks of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo’s and Blyth’s Hornbills emerge to return to their roosting places.
The remainder of our adventure will be spent diving in the Dampier Strait. Our last day will offer two more action-packed dives in the Dampier Strait. We can also arrange for a bird watching trip on the last morning to see the enigmatic and endemic Red Bird of Paradise. After lunch, we make our way back to Sorong for hearty goodbyes.
Please note: This is a sample itinerary. Itineraries may change without further notice due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
The last dive will be on the penultimate day of the trip in the morning. Divers are recommended to wait for 24hours before flying after the last dive