If you are looking for a trip, especially a scuba diving trip in Indonesia, Raja Ampat is probably one of the most suggested destinations. Located at the northwestern tip of West Papua’s Bird’s Head Peninsula, this region is famous for its incredible underwater biodiversity and has been called “the most diverse marine ecosystem on earth”. If you’re planning a dive here, read on to find out what awaits you!
Where and how to go?
In Raja Ampat, usually the routes are divided into three destinations, North, Central and South Raja Ampat. North Raja Ampat includes Waigeo Island in the northwest, Kawe Island and Wayag Islands which is a limestone karst formation famous for being the icon of Raja Ampat. Central Raja Ampat is the easiest to get to and has some of the most nutrient rich waters in the world. While South Raja Ampat is the most remote of the three and where Misool is located, the only places in the world where biodiversity is thriving and not in decline.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of destinations and decided on a route, it’s time to consider how you’d like to explore on your trip. If your goal is to dive every day for a week, that’s obviously not the same as someone who wants to travel around Raja Ampat exploring the area by land and sea. The same is true if you’re looking for something more exotic than just diving – if an island-hopping adventure is what excites you, then a land-based trip with fewer guests might be right up your alley.
Also, liveaboards offer 3-4 depending on the length of their itineraries and offer different types of dive sites – some are close by while others are further away. Expect other cruise groups when visiting popular dive sites.
Raja Ampat is one of the most popular destinations in Indonesia, but it might be a bit of a pain to get there due to its remote location. You will need to fly into Domine Eduard Osok Airport, Sorong and if you are coming from Jakarta or Bali, you may find more flight options. Direct flights are cheaper, but it really depends on the airlines and the time you choose. Ideally, plan and book your flights in advance.
Most travel operators will provide a pick up (and drop off) service at the airport and take you by boat to Raja Ampat. Once you’re there, it’s all about having fun! You could just spend your days jumping into the sea or just relaxing on board.
Get ready for a photo marathon!
The diving in Raja Ampat is out of this world. With over 1,300 species of fish, 600 types of coral and 250 species of nudibranch, it’s only natural that you want to spend a lot of time underwater. Liveaboards offer camera station space for your photography equipment. Makes it easy to recharge your batteries and keeps all your gear neat and tidy while traveling.
You will be amazed by the beauty of the underwater world. The coral reefs are simply stunning with their colorful corals, sponges and anemones. You will also see many: parrot fish, butterfly fish, lion fish, snapper, sharks, manta rays and much more!
A good camera is essential for your trip as it allows you to capture all those beautiful moments. You will be diving with a group of people and it is likely that you will learn something new from each other every day.
Prepare to get seasick and take care of it!
Seasickness is a common problem for people on cruises. It’s not uncommon for people to get seasick in the first couple of days, and some even experience it during their entire trip. If you’ve never sailed before or have suffered from seasickness in the past, it’s important to be prepared.
If you think you might get sick when you go out on the boat, take anti-nausea medication at least 30 minutes before setting off on your boat trip. These drugs help prevent motion sickness. The effects usually last around 6 hours, so take them 30 minutes before departure and then again as needed during your trip as directed by your healthcare professional. Do not take these types of medicines if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless prescribed by your doctor; use only over-the-counter alcohol-free versions as this will cause drowsiness and dizziness.
It may not be cheap, but it’s worth every penny!
Cruises to Raja Ampat, Indonesia can be a little pricey, but it’s totally worth it! It’s a completely different experience to any other vacation spot, one of the best dive sites in the world.
You’ll want to plan ahead if you want to go on one. The average cost is about $400 per night per person (not including flights and national park admission), but prices vary on different cruises. You can also find cheaper options by choosing different cabin types, smaller cruises or look for some promotions. This is definitely an experience that will be worth every penny and should definitely still be on your #bucketlist.
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