World’s best region for marine biodiversity, schools of fishes, macro and outstanding landscapes.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago consisting of four main islands—Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool—surrounded by over 1,500 smaller islands and reefs. This region is part of the West Papua province in Indonesia.
Raja Ampat certainly represents the world’s richest marine diversity, with the highest number of known species of fish, corals, and mollusks. Certain areas are known for their density of fish; one with groups of Manta Rays, the others with schools of barracudas, parrotfish, humpback groupers and the list goes on. Not to mention the best macro you will see everywhere. Photographers, please bring your full set of lenses: wide angle & macro will delight you equally.
The rich variety of reefs are also not to be overlooked with vertical walls, slopes, dry rocks, caves and lagoons; some covered with hard corals while the others with brightly colored soft corals. Also renowned as the center of pygmy seahorses and gorgonians, everywhere you go you will be amazed by the profusion of marine life that Raja Ampat has to offer you.
Raja Ampat also offer magnificent landscapes for you to explore—labyrinths of quartz islands, vast mangrove forests, deserted beaches and lagoons. You can also go for a tour to the small villages in search of the famous birds of paradise. Our 11 night scuba diving liveaboard cruises are one of the very few that visit all the Raja Ampat, up to Wayag on the North and down to Misool, with a selection of the very best scuba dive sites of all the area. Raja Ampat is definitely a must visit.
The sea water temperature is averaging around 29°C throughout the year.
The visibility is generally around 20 meters but might drop to 10 meters or less due to the concentration of nutrients in the water, tidal changes andor plankton blooms.
The best time to visit the entire Raja Ampat is from November to April. During the SE monsoon, the sea condition in Misool gets rough and the visibility tends to be poor. This period is also the driest, even though the climate remains equatorial with numerous showers throughout the year.
The currents are generally consistent with strong currents at about one-third of the dive sites. Divers are suggested to stay cautious about the depth and dive profiles due to the isolated location of the reefs and the currents of the area. * Level 2 or PADI Advanced with a minimum of 50 dives required. Less experienced divers can also participate with a specific supervision that has to be arranged before the cruise.
There is no clear separation between dry and wet seasons. The driest months are from November to March, but rain is possible at any time. The SE Monsoon from May to October might limit our access to the sites outside the Dampier Strait.
West Papua or Papua Barat, Indonesia is a province located in the western part of the New Guinea Island which covers an entire peninsula called Vogelkop ("bird's head") and the surrounding islands. The province separated from the Papua province (formerly known as Irian Jaya) in February 2003, with the name West Irian Jaya before changing to its current name in February 2007. There are approximately 643,012 inhabitants in this province.
Raja Ampat is located in the "Coral Triangle", the world’s center of coral biodiversity. This area has been claimed to possess the richest diversity of known coral species in the world—up to 75% according to The Nature Conservancy.
UNESCO plans to put Raja Ampat on its list of World Heritage as the area with the richest marine biodiversity on the planet. In 2007, the Indonesian government created seven new marine protected areas covering a total area of 9,000 km².