Located off the northwest tip of the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands. With crystal clear waters and a rich marine ecosystem, it is no surprise that Raja Ampat is considered one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world.
Why Dive in Raja Ampat?
Raja Ampat is home to an astounding diversity of marine life, including over 1,300 species of fish and 600 species of coral. This makes it a paradise for scuba divers, who can expect to see everything from colorful schools of tropical fish to majestic manta rays and many sharks.
In addition to its abundant marine life, Raja Ampat is also known for its beautiful underwater landscapes. Divers can explore underwater caves, walls, and pinnacles that are teeming with life. The crystal clear waters allow for excellent visibility, making it easy to take in all the sights and sounds of the underwater world.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Raja Ampat for scuba diving is between October and April when the waters are calm and visibility is at its best. During this time, the weather is also relatively dry, making it easier to plan and enjoy your diving trips.
There are many excellent dive sites in Raja Ampat, each offering its own unique experience. Some of the top dive sites include:
- Manta Sandy: As the name suggests, this dive site is known for its resident population of manta rays. Divers can often spot these graceful creatures gliding through the water, as well as other marine life such as turtles and schools of fish.
- Cape Kri: Located on the east coast of the island of Waigeo, Cape Kri is known for its abundant marine life and beautiful coral reefs. Divers can expect to see everything from colorful schools of fish to giant clams and even the occasional shark.
- Friwen Wall: This dive site features a steep drop-off that is home to a variety of marine life, including coral, sponges, and anemones. Divers can also spot schools of fish, as well as the occasional turtle or shark.
- Boo Window: Located on the island of Boo, this dive site features a natural window in the reef that allows divers to pass through to the other side. The site is home to a variety of marine life, including colorful schools of fish, coral, and anemones.
Liveaboards in Raja Ampat
For those who want to fully immerse themselves in the diving experience, liveaboards are a popular option in Raja Ampat. These floating hotels allow divers to spend multiple days out at sea, exploring a variety of dive sites and enjoying all that the region has to offer. Liveaboards often include meals, diving gear, and other amenities, making them a convenient and comfortable way to experience the best of Raja Ampat’s diving.
Accommodations and Dive Resorts
There are a variety of accommodation options available in Raja Ampat, ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Many of the dive resorts in the area offer packages that include diving excursions, gear rental, and other amenities.
How to Get There
Raja Ampat can be reached by air or boat from the city of Sorong, which is located on the western coast of the island of New Guinea. From Sorong, it is possible to take a boat or ferry to the various islands and dive sites in the archipelago.