Diving in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is well-recognized as one of the world’s top dive destinations,
with its coastal waters having a wealth of superb
dive sites hidden within.

Marine Life Highlights in Raja Ampat

Ghost Pipefish | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Ghost Pipefish
Napoleon wrasses | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Napoleon Wrasses
Barracuda | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Barracuda

Dive Sites In Raja Ampat

Cape Kri | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Cape Kri

Probably the most popular of all the sites in Rajah Ampat, Cape Kri holds a world record of 374 species in a single dive as recorded by Dr. Gerry Allen, Marine Biologist and respected author of a number of marine reference books. Not only is it a haven for fish species for having the largest concentration of big fish in any site in Rajah Ampat, but also its coral growth is equally diverse being Sordio Bay’s house reef.

Located only 3 minutes away by boat from Kri Eco Resort and also offered on Liveaboard dive trips, divers can easily have interactions with whirling schools of Giant Trevallies, Dogtooth Tuna, Jacks, and Chevron Barracuda, and if lucky, even Queensland Groupers the size of a small car. At 38 metres at the base of the reef, is an old teared up anchor with a school of Banded Sweetlips, and at the reef top is a coral garden with Black tip Reef Sharks guarding the area and feeding Hawksbill Turtles on hard corals. Cape Kri has moderate currents but can also be very strong with a visibility of 10 to 30 metres and depths of 5 to 40 metres.

Access:
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Manta Sandy | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Manta Sandy

Manta Sandy, as the name itself promises, is a cleaning station on a sandy slope famous for its Manta Rays located South of Waigeo Island. It boasts one of the best manta diving in the world where divers can get a chance to see up to 10 mantas that are at least 4 meters wide, waiting to be cleaned by wrasses at 15 metres. Most of them are black mantas with white highlighted gills and some are of the white bellied type. Visibility around the area is around 5 to 15 metres with moderate to strong currents and average depth is 5 metres. Best season to spot Mantas are from mid-October to April by Liveaboard and the site can be explored by Novice to Experienced divers.

Access:
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Cross Wreck | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Cross Wreck

A Japanese patrol boat during WWII, the Cross Wreck was named after the land opposite the wreck where the first Christian missionaries to Irian Jaya put a cross to mark their landing. It now sits 18 metres on a sandy bed covered in corals now inhabited by Humphead Parrotfish, Lionfish, Huge Napoleon Wrasse, and critters especially those that are nocturnal and only come out at night. Currents in the area are Low to moderate with visibility that ranges from 10 metres to 24 metres and depth of 18 to 20 metres. Divers can still check out the front hold that controls the switchboard and ammunition, engine room, and communications room as they are still intact.

Access:
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

The Passage | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

The Passage

In between Gam and Waigeo Islands is a 30-metre wide channel described as a river flowing between two islands. This channel is known as The Passage that stretches out for 1 mile through pristine rainforest with reef habitat under water making it a unique environment for micro life. As it is a drift dive, it is only suitable for Experienced divers as currents are strong in this area with average visibility of 10 metres and depth of 10 to 25 metres. Not only can diving be done during the day where colorful Pygmy Seahorses, Sea fans along with vibrant Nudibranchs and the rare Picachu steal the show, but also at night where Bobtail Squid, Flamboyant Cuttlefish and Saron Shrimp can be spotted. The Passage can be accessed by a Liveaboard from the port of Sorong and is a 45 minute boat ride.

Access:
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Blue Magic | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Blue Magic

Located only 15 mins from Kri Island by boat, Blue Magic is popular among divers because of its many pelagics. This dive site is an underwater pinnacle with the top at 7 metres and goes down to almost 30 metres, with hard coral encrusted reef top along with other big coral heads and Acroporas. Currents are moderate to strong but be cautious as currents in this area can be tricky that made other divers abort their dive. As an effect, visibility is at 15 to 30 metres and is only accessible by Advanced to Experienced divers. Residents of Blue Magic are schooling Big Eye Trevallies, Large Barracudas, Wobbegong Sharks, Denise Pygmy Seahorses, and Green Turtles with occasional appearances of Black tips and White tips, along with Grey Reef Sharks.

Access:
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Melissa’s Garden | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Melissa’s Garden

Named after Max Ammer’s daughter for being the first to initiate diving in this area, Melissa’s Garden is located at the southeastern end of Penemu Island. As the name suggests, it features a garden of multicolored hard and soft corals on an extended flat top of an oval shaped reef. Macro photographers will surely be in awe as bright soft corals, sponges, Anemones, Nudibranchs and Crinoids amass between hard corals that is now home to an array of marine species. Visibility ranges from 10 to 25 metres with depths of 10 to 35 metres with only mild currents. A kaleidoscope of Anthiases, Pygmy Seahorses, Angelfish, and Lionfish are common at the shallows while deeper waters reveal Coral Trouts, Sea Snakes, Rabbitfish, and Wobbegong sharks.

Access:
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Boo Rock | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Boo Rock

Situated southeast of Misool Island, Boo Rock is marked by two separated rocks visible with two swim-throughs just below the sea surface that look like eyes, hence the name. Divers can swim through these round openings at the same time and then work their way along a colorful wall decorated with Barrel Sponges, Gorgonians, Dendronephthyas, and several forms of Acropora and Nudis. A variety of marine creatures is also expected in these parts such as Pinnate Batfish, Unicornfish, Blue Dash Fusiliers, Yellow Striped Grunts and Surgeonfish swarming around in large numbers while less common sightings are Banded Sea Kraits and Octopus that are usually lurking in the reefs. Medium currents around the area generate a visibility of 10 – 30 metres and depth is from 5 to 35 metres that requires Advanced to Experienced divers. Boo Rock is accessible by a Liveaboard and can be explored in just one dive as it is a small site.

Access:
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Liveaboard In Raja Ampat

MV Putijira is a 34 meter long wooden Phinisi, which can accommodate up to 10 guests on board, thus offering plenty of space for guests. Being a large vessel also means big cabins and wide decks to relax and socialize with fellow divers and guests.

Diving in Raja Ampat

Visiting Raja Ampat is like exploring and having a lifetime adventure in a magical place. This has so many stories to tell you and adventures to offer. The main thing that will attract the tourist is the crusty sea-salt alike feature Raja Ampat has. In the northwestern tip of the Indonesian’s Papuans is where Raja Ampat located. This part of the planet is so amazing because a wide variety of marine life exist. There are thousands of reasons why you should have a visit in this mystical island. Exploring this place is one of the best decisions you can have for a life time.

“The Four Kings” is what other call Raja Ampat by which you can somehow think how wonderful this place is. It can take you to wanders and make you realize how bounty and beautiful nature can offer the mankind. You can explore starting at the exciting spots in Wayag and Uranie. You can proceed to the depths of Mayalibit, Alijui and Kabui. You can also spend wonderful times in the channels of Kofiau and Gam which is surrounded with water of blue and mangroves. Seeing Misool and Dampier Strait will never be disappointed at all. You must know that these places are a home of the most amazing species of coral reef worldwide.

Preserving the natural beauty and making Raja Ampat a tourist spot is a big challenge for the Indonesian government to do. The high number of tourists can cause some damages to the marine life of the Raja Ampat. The tourism in Raja Ampat provides a sustainable economic option for the people instead of engaging in mining, logging and overfishing. This place does not only have a potent prospect to be the source of income for the people and the government but a host for many marine lives that needs to be preserved for the future generations. The management of this place is a noble example that the nature should not sacrifice when development wants to enter.

The scenic sites and the well-preserved beauty of this group of islands are not the only things that you should look forward in your trip. The diving spots in Raja Ampat are to-die for. Many had already explored and enjoyed these sites. Capekri and Misool Island are the best place to feed your eyes with the underwater world. Capekri is the home of shark snappers, napoleon wrasses, barracuda, dogtooth tuna and Meaty Quensland groupers. Misool Island in the other hand, can offer you sift corals and critters like ghost pipefish and seahorse. Have a trip in Raja Ampat and discover how magical this place is.

Best Diving Season: July to September
Weather:  Unpredictable weather especially with storms
Water Temperature: 28-30°C
Marine Animal Highlights:  Shark,  Snappers, Napoleon wrasses, Barracuda, Dogtooth tuna and Meaty Quensland
Recommended Thermal Protection:
Water Visibility:  10m-30m
Tipping:
Transportation: Lion/Wings, Express Air, Merpati and Bataria Air

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