Raja Ampat diving
If you are lucky enough to have the time and money to dive Raja Ampat then you are lucky indeed. It's the final frontier of scuba diving; pristine, untouched and with an unmatched marine biodiversity. Couple this with the jaw dropping topside scenery and you can understand why everybody is talking about diving Raja Ampat. It's bursting with marine life and yet one of the most remote locations you'll ever dive.
Daily you will encounter schools of fish so numerous as to be uncountable. Sharks, snappers, barracuda, tuna, trevally, and groupers are all present in huge numbers. Manta and turtle are common too and don't be surprised to find both walking sharks and wobbegong sharks having pride of place in your logbook after this trip. The coral reefs are vast, colorful, healthy and (up to now) suffer no human damage.
But don't just take our word for it. Take a look at this 5-minute National Geographic slideshow to see why now is the time to dive Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat Dive Lodge
If you prefer to dive during the day but spend your nights ashore then you'll want to choose Raja Ampat Dive Lodge. Staying at this tranquil dive resort you're at the very heart of the best diving in Raja Ampat with quality dive sites just minutes away. Nestled between a white sand beach and rich Papuan jungle it's the perfect place to settle down on your veranda and sip on a cocktail as the sun goes down. Enjoy a mix of Asian and European cuisine made from the freshest local ingredients and sleep easily in your cool air-conditioned room. Get yourself in the mood by watching this 8-minute video showing the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge and the kind of diving you'll be doing there.
Raja Ampat liveaboard
Prefer the life at sea? Take a liveaboard (LOB) trip and maximise your diving. For the time-poor divers the shortest LOB trip is 5 days / 4 nights and the longest is 14 days / 13 nights. With six or seven Raja Ampat LOB trips of varying length each month throughout the year you'll be sure to find something to suit you. Your LOB is a beautiful wooden traditional phinisi boat purpose-built for diving with full facilities for underwater photographers. You'll have an air-con cabin with en-suite hot water bathroom, a sundeck with awning to hang out, and a DVD library. The cuisine is a healthy mixture of Indonesian and Western.
I want it all!
Take our Raja Ampat Combo of 7 nights liveaboard plus 3 nights at Raja Ampat Dive Lodge.
How do I get to Raja Ampat?
It's called 'the last frontier' of diving for a reason. From Bali you first need to take a 2-hour flight to Ujung Pandang on Sulawesi island and stay overnight (we can arrange the hotel for you). The next day you'll take a 3-hour flight from Ujung Pandang to Sorong in Papua. It's not far from Sorong airport to the harbour but if you're staying at the lodge it's about 5 hours by speedboat. At the end of the liveaboard trip you'll spend your final night on the boat in Sorong harbour and then get transferred from the boat to Sorong airport after breakfast. If you're staying at the lodge you'll depart very early in the morning for the speedboat trip to the airport. Fortunately, the return trip from Sorong in Papua back to Bali can be done in one day with no need for an overnight stay in Ujung Pandang.
How many dives will I do?
Whether you are staying at the lodge or on the liveaboard you'll be able to take a day dive and a night dive on your arrival day. After that you'll be able to do up to 4 dives per day including night dives.
Who should dive Raja Ampat?
With the possibility of strong currents Raja Ampat isn't suitable for beginner divers. If you suffer from sea-sickness then better stay at the resort instead of taking the liveaboard. The resort is also more suitable if you are an inexperienced diver, a non-diver, or if you just want to relax and avoid a hard-core program of multiple dives each day.
How much does it cost?
Raja Ampat liveaboard: $265-$340 per night depending on when you go and on which boat.
Raja Ampat Dive Lodge: $1980 for an 8 day / 7 night package including 12 dives. We have lots of other packages too if you want to stay longer or shorter, and if you want to include more diving or have a non-diving package.
Raja Ampat Combo: $ 2,650 for an 11 day / 10 night program with up to 4 dives each day.
What's included in these prices?
Full-board accommodation (at the lodge or on the boat), all transfers from Sorong airport to the boat or lodge, guided dives, tanks, weights, weightbelts, and government taxes.
All prices are approximate: Return flight from Bali to Sorong ($500), airport taxes ($10), soft drinks or beer ($2-3), rental dive equipment (variable per item), conservation fee & port clearance ($100). There will also be an additional charge of $95 to $165 per night if you stay in a cabin on your own on the boat or take a single room in the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge. You'll also need to pay for your meals and hotel in Ujung Pandang.
Raja Ampat day trips
For non-divers staying at the lodge there is an optional trip to a nearby island for bird watching or a snorkeling trip which costs $50 (no charge for divers). You'll be accompanied by a wildlife ranger so will have a good chance of getting a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the legendary Bird of Paradise. If you're taking the liveaboard you'll have the chance too as long as everybody agrees and there'll be no charge for this. Papau is a unique part of Indonesia so it's worth taking the time to explore.
When is the best time to dive Raja Ampat?
Raja Ampat is good for diving all year through with water temperature 24 – 29 C and visibility usually 10 – 30 M. The best months are generally considered to be October to April. July to September can be rainy and windy with rough ocean conditions at some exposed sites. There are two rainy seasons: November-December and again in July-August though being almost directly on the equator don't be surprised to find rain at any time of year. Visibility is often reduced by plankton blooms from October to April though it's the best time to see large schools of manta.
What do I do now?
Fill in the form below or email us at email@example.com and we'll get back to you walk you through all the steps of planning your Raja Ampat diving trip.