(#wanderlusttips #Rajaampat #seadiving) The mesmerising beauty under the sea of Raja Ampat tranquil beach will make it the must-come attraction for tourists, especially divers who love to explore the colourful undersea life.
Located off the Northeast of Bird’s Head Peninsula in New Guinea in the West Papua Province of Indonesia, Raja Ampat or the Four Kings is an archipelago with over 1,500 islands scattered around the four main islands Misool, Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo, and a smaller island called Kofiau. Raja Ampat Islands are part of the Coral Triangle, home to the greatest biodiversity on earth. It forms part of the new West Papua Province, which was formerly Irian Jaya. This area is mainly made up of docking ports for cruise ships.
With its pristine landscape and impressive ecosystem, Raja Ampat is among the world’s most beautiful diving spots. Diving enthusiasts need to visit this underwater paradise at least once in their lifetime. According to scientific research, the biodiversity in West Papua is greater than in other areas of the Coral Triangle stretching over Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
With more than 1,200 species of fish, 600 types of coral and 700 species of molluscs, the underwater world of Raja Ampat is incredible. Visitors will feel as if they have travelled to an ancient time when diving freely between inhabited islands and enjoying nature in its purest form. The amount of creatures you encounter during a diving trip is overwhelming. In some areas, there are giant schools of fish, as well as sharks, rays and turtles. In areas close to the shore, you can wear goggles, go snorkelling and play with dolphins, and if you are lucky you might even meet a whale.
Due to the strong currents, scuba diving in Raja Ampat is not suitable for beginners. It is a spot for experienced divers. There are a few spots though inexperienced divers can go to with a diving coach. There are several famous diving spots: in the north there are Kri, Sel Pele, South Penemu and Waigeo island, in the centre is the Jef Fam Group of Islands and Manta Ridge, in the south of the archipelago there are Boo, Fabiacet and Farondi island.
Tourists do not have many choices when it comes to accommodation in Raja Ampat, because of its small population. The most common option is a cruise tour, with prices ranging from 2.800 USD (5 days) to 4.400USD (10 days), which includes a full range of services such as dining and diving training. You can choose from a selection of famous cruise tours including SMY Seahorse, Waow Indonesia, Mermaid I or Raja-Ampat Aggressor. Tourists can also book accommodation at resorts that offer diving courses such as Agusta Eco, Hamu Eco, Wicked Diving, Waiwo or Alter Native Stay. Prices range from 50 – 300 USD/night. The food offered here is mostly seafood and other Indonesian dishes.
Diving season in Raja Ampat lasts from October to April when weather conditions are favourable and currents weak. From Vietnam, tourists can fly to Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, and then fly or take a boat to Sorong Harbour. From here, the cruise or resort that you have booked will pick you up to begin a wonderful journey to Raja Ampat.
Minh Hang | Wanderlust Tips | Cinet