Do you want to have the best holiday between October to April with perfect sunny days, bright blue sky, clear water, and lovely people that all wrapped up in superb natural beauty of remote islands? If your answer is yes, discovering the best spots in Raja Ampat, Papua, is the best solution for you!
Raja Ampat – The four Kings, is a slice of heaven that fell to earth with unspoiled splendors in West Papua province of Indonesia. Lots of people have dreamed to visit Raja Ampat, as it is one of the best destinations in the world. It is also known as a world-class aquatic paradise for divers. As cited from the article of Top 10 Dive Sites in the World by Torben Lonne, a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor, Raja Ampat is the number one dive site in the world that should be in the bucket list of divers around the world.
There are four big islands in Raja Ampat, which are Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool. The four big islands are surrounded by hundreds of islands. It is a perfect place to explore and dive for everyone who loves the nature and adventure.
No matter what kind of traveler you are, either a backpacker or a suitcase tourist, your lengthy journey to come to Raja Ampat will be paid off by the breathtaking landscapes, magnificent marine beauty and abundant biodiversity. It will surely pamper your eyes. It is so worth it!
First of all, before you book your flights, it is important for you to know that there is an entrance fee for the tourist to enter Raja Ampat Marine Park in order to Support Environmental Services in Raja Ampat. This entrance fee is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase and it can only be purchased in three authorized distributors of Raja Ampat Marine Park permit tags, which are located in:
- At the Raja Ampat Conservation & Tourism Information Center in Sorong.
- At the Waisai Port Office Ticket Booth
- At the UPTD KKPD Office in Waisai
Some Raja Ampat resorts will purchase them for the guests. However please be wary of any person who claims that they can sell you one.
If you’ve never dive or already know how to dive but wants to improve your skill, you can start your lessons here in Raja Ampat with certified divers from Scuba School International (SSI) and PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). Since you will travel to the most remote corners of the earth and diving equipment is limited, it would be better for you to bring along diving mask, and surface marker buoy.
For those of you who are not divers, you don’t have to be a diver to enjoy the fascinating things that Raja Ampat can provide you. Just bring along your sunglasses and sunscreen to accompany you in exploring Raja Ampat!
Now, let’s dive into the best points in Raja Ampat!
- Cape Kri a.k.a Mansuar Island – The most spectacular house reef.
Cape Kri is a beautiful island known with the richest reef population, fishes, corals, sea fans and brimming with macro sea life. In April of 2012, Dr. Gerald Allen, one of the world’s leading Ichthyologist and author of more than 33 books and around 400 scientific papers, discovered an astonishing 374 different species on a single dive, as counted by him at Cape Kri near the Sorido Bay Resort in Raja Ampat. He also said, “The count reinforced my belief that the Bird’s Head region is definitely the world’s richest place for fish diversity”. Here, You can stay at bungalows and have a bunch of opportunities to do snorkeling and scuba diving. You can also Dolphins and Wobbegong Sharks.
2. Mike’s Point
Mike’s point is named after the son of a pioneer, Max Ammer. Max Ammer is the founder of Papua Diving. He first came to the region over 21 year ago following his passion to search for submerged World War II aircraft. Mike’s Point is blessed with abundant marine biodiversity. There you can experience a fantastic underwater life and a chance to see the Birds of Paradise (Cendrawasih).
3. Blue Magic and Mioskon
Blue Magic and Mioskon are often dived consecutively as each is a short dive. Blue Magic is a small underwater pinnacle that starts around 7 meters and goes down to less than 30 meters. It has almost everything and famous for lots of pelagic attractions. Here, you will find all sorts of different fish species. Starting from the top you will find abundant tiny 2 cm Denise Pygmy seahorses, Acropora corals, bigger schools of fishes and larger predator fishes such as Wobbegong sharks, Giant Manta Rays, large Barracuda, Big eye Trevallies, Green Turtles, Black Tips, White Tips and the occasional Grey Reef Sharks. The magnificent dive ends with a blue water safe stop that drifts over and away from the reef.
4. Manta Sandy
Manta Sandy is located between Mansuar and Arborek islands. It is also known as Mata Mantra, the signature of Raja Ampat dive site. It has a number of huge Mata Rays that you can observe while they stay at the cleaning station.
5. Chicken Reef
Chicken Reef is located on the northeast of Cape Kri. Chicken Reefs is a cluster of reefs on the surface that have a strong current, hence it is so much fun when we are under the water. This dive spot is called Chicken Reefs because if you see it from a top, it looks like a flock of chicks. The chicks of underwater paradise!
There are many diving spots with fascinating sea life that you should know. However, besides diving, there are more activities that you can do in Raja Ampat, especially if you are not a diver.
For non-divers, you still can enjoy your time by doing activities like Snorkelling, Swimming, Island-hopping boat expeditions, Island and remote area sightseeing, Kayaking, Tour and Trekking on Land in Wayag Island, Piaynemo, Kabui Passage, Yeben Shallows, Melissa’s Garden, Snorkeller’s Paradise, Mangroves and Slope, Airborek Jetty, Manta Point, Nudibranch Mangroves and Reef, Yenbuba Jetty, Cave Lagoon.
See, so many great spots that you can go to and so many things to do in Raja Ampat. It would take forever and a day to discover all of the great places in this slice of heaven called Raja Ampat. For you who loves sun, sea and smile, you should definitely put it in your bucket list and visit Raja Ampat to make the best holiday ever with your love ones!