Raja Ampat Liveaboard Diving
Coralia Liveaboard has different length cruises taking in all the various areas that are encompassed within the amazing destination of Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat is right in the centre of the Coral Triangle. According to Conservation International marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on earth.
Raja Ampat means ‘Four Kings’. In an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands there are four main islands or ‘kings’– Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta, Misool.
Fascinating Facts about Raja Ampat
- 600+ species of coral are found in Raja Ampat – the entire Caribbean Sea has only 58 species
- 1,669 species of fish have been recorded to date (December 2019)
- 374 fish species were identified during one 90-minute dive at Cape Kri in Dampier Strait.
- 42 fish species are native to the region.
- 17 °C temperature range – the corals in Raja Ampat are regularly subjected to variations in temperatures from 19 (66oF) to 36 (97oF) degrees Celsius. The coral seems to be naturally adapted to massive fluctuations in temperature than are far higher than the ones predicted by climatologists over the next 50 years.
Best Places to Dive in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is right in the heart of the Coral Triangle and has over 1,500 islands. Many scientists believe Raja Ampat has the most coral and fish diversity in the world!
Central Raja Ampat
Waigeo is a huge island and to the south is the famous Dampier Strait. Here you can expect to dive at some world class, adrenalin-packed dive sites such as Cape Kri, Chicken Reef, Mikes Point, Sardine Reef, Mioskon and Blue Magic.
Our guides can take you to places where the current meets the reef head on, where you can witness predatory fish like for Black Tip, White Tip and Grey Reef sharks, Giant Trevally, Spanish Mackerel and Dog Tooth Tuna hunting huge schools of smaller fish like Fusiliers and Big Eye Jacks. Sea mounts and long reefs offer this hunting action as well as sightings of bumphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, turtles and manta rays.
On special request we can arrange for a bird watching trip to see the enigmatic and endemic Red Bird of Paradise.
At the other end of the Dampier Strait is the island of Arborek with a great jetty dive. Lalosi is a drift dive completely full of fusiliers and with a chance to see Wobbegong sharks. The well-known manta aggregation sites of Manta Sandy and Manta Ridge are also in this area.
Sawandarek is on the island of Mansuar and the dive on the reef and jetty in from of the village is a fantastic dive. You can also visit Papua Explorer’s coral restoration project here. For those interested we can take a walk around the village at Sawandarek or Arborek.
On the western tip of Gam island is an island called Yangefo, which protects a sheltered bay. This small area has multiple world class dive sites. Famous ones like Citrus Ridge and Mayhem always amaze divers with their vibrancy and biodiversity. The area here is probably so abundant due to the surrounding mangroves.
Beautiful hard and soft corals grow under and among the roots of the trees, so a dive at Mangrove Ridge is truly enjoyable. And our crew will be happy to take you out in the dingy to snorkel in the mangroves in between dives.
North from Dampier Strait is Penemu. Famous Melissa’s Garden awaits us with its spectacular, healthy and wide-spread hard coral plateau in the shallows. At Keruo Wall we can admire large Gorgonian Seafans and lovely reef tops, and we might also explore Fam Wall and My Reef. A short hike to the viewpoint of Penemu offers a spectacular view of the lagoon and its surrounding islands.
North Raja Ampat
Wofoh has several unique dive sites easily reachable from one mooring point, allowing us to relax in this incredibly scenic area. On one side, we will have the backdrop of Wofoh and Taman Wofoh, two small islands with pristine white coral sand beaches and on the other side we can take in vistas of the forested mountains and valleys of West Waigeo.
The dive sites at Wofoh are famous for stunning black coral forests, where schooling fish are on the constant run from larger predatory fish. The walls are interesting with ledges and shallow caverns where it is not uncommon to find Wobbegong sharks. Wofoh has some very healthly hard corals in the shallows, where dense schools of anthias and damsels can be found.
An even more stunning panorama can be indulged at world-famous Wayag, which is in the very north and across the equator in the northern hemisphere. Uninhabited and incredibly picturesque, Wayag Island is an icon of Raja Ampat. Covering a total area of 155,000 hectares it is known for its beautiful atolls and extraordinary underwater life.
Breathtaking at every turn, in Wayag you will find pristine beaches and the unique Karst islands that resemble mushrooms sprouting from the sea. The dives at Far Out Rock and Figure of 8 are characterized by pretty sloping reefs where we look for nudibranchs, leaf fish and moray eels.
Kawe is back down in the southern hemisphere and can be combined with some dives inside Aljui Bay. Black Rock is a unique dive that is covered in miniature sea fans and home to big schools of fish. Soft corals bloom in a variety of colours from the rocky outcrops, always amazing us as Raja Ampat’s full abundance comes to life in a most vibrant display.
Eagle Rock is also at Kawe and is named for the majestic eagles circling above the small, rocky islands. Underwater, divers can encounter creatures like Wobbegong Sharks, Sweetlips, Sardines, Barracudas, Tuna, Bumphead Parrotfish and Reef Sharks, even the occasional Manta ray!
One Tree Island and Weka’s Wow make for splendid day dives, too. Our afternoon and night dive will be at Aljui Bay, where will be on a critter hunt. It is not unusual to find macro favorites like Toadfish, Octopus and and Ghost Pipefish. In this area, we could take a little tour to visit the pearl farm inside the bay.
At Dayang, on the north-west of Batanta, there is a beautiful small sandy island home to a population of Coconut Crabs. Dayang is just at the entrance to one of Batanta’s many scenic bays and has a colourful reef with Wobbegong Sharks, schooling Yellow Snappers and great macro-life, including Pygmy Seahorses and unusual Nudibranchs. Dayang island also offers a great chance to encounter Manta rays, the gentle giants, at their cleaning stations. In the south of Batanta there is some great macro dives in the sandy slopes.
Sunsets and sunrises are very special at our mooring point on north Batanta: as the sun drops, the surrounding forested hills become alive with flocks of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo’s and Blyths Hornbills emerge to return to their roosting place.
Misool – South Raja Ampat
Misool’s small surrounding islands are soft-coral-paradise and another area of Raja Ampat that you can visit with Coralia. With its abundance of stunning dive sites and the natural beauty of karst limestone, jungle clad islands, this area invites us to linger for several days.
Misool can be divided into many areas where we can spend the whole day at a selection of amazing dive sites. Daram is in the very east of these islands and has inviting names such as Candy Store, Andiamo and Warna Berwarna (meaning Colourful Colour!) The sea fans forests here have to be seen to be believed!
In the iconic areas of Boo, Fiabecet and Yuliet we look through the iconic Boo Windows, with tonnes of fish surrounding us. We explore fabulous dive sites like Shadow Reef (aka Magic Mountain), Nudibranch Rock, Batu Kecil, Whale Rock, Boo West Corner and Yuliet Kecil. And if we are lucky, we see the majestic Giant and Reef Manta rays around here. Admire large coral heads covered in soft corals, maybe spotting the famous Santa Clause Pygmy Seahorse, while schools of Barracudas and Batfish might pass by. Our eagle-eyed dive masters will look for a ‘Walking Shark’ (Epaulette Shark) on a night dive at Romeo.
Sagof, Wagmab, Farondi offer us stunning underwater walls, overhangs and cave structures plus amazing macro, such as Nudibranchs, Flatworms, Anemone Crabs and all kinds of shrimps. In this area, we have the opportunity to visit the wonderful Lagoons, a must- see place, with its iconic bee-hive-shaped karst limestone formations and hard coral colonies at the bases of these amazing geological structures. If the tide is high enough our crew will take you to the secret bay right at the back!
There are also lagoons at Wayilbatan, including the Love Lagoon. The hike up the steep stairs is well worth the view. A drift dive through a channel covered in sea fans at Neptune Fan Sea is the perfect place to cool off after the hot walk. Wedding Cake and Barracuda Rock are other stunning dive sites in this area.
Raja Ampat Liveaboard Diving Highlights
- Dive with the schooling fish of Dampier Strait
- See the amazing wobbegong shark
- Dive at Misool’s famous dive sites, completely covered in colourful soft corals
- See both giant manta rays and reef manta rays
- Climb the viewpoint for a view over the lagoon and limestone karsts
- Common sightings – pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, crocodile fish, turtles, schooling fish, anemone fish, reef sharks
- Special sightings – wobbegong sharks (also a common sighting but they are special so go in this list!), ghost pipefish, frogfish, octopus, manta rays
How to Get There
Coralia’s cruises in Raja Ampat depart from Sorong. Sorong is in West Papua. There are direct flights from Jakarta. The airport codes is SOQ for Sorong. Jakarta international airport is CGK. It is also possible to fly from Bali (DPS) via Jakarta or Makassar (UPG).
Garuda runs flights on all the above routes. At the time of writing, Garuda offers an extra 23kg per person for dive gear. Be ready to show your diving certification and that your extra baggage is made up of dive equipment.
At the end of the cruise you can arrange for a morning or afternoon flight back to Jakarta or Bali. Please remember that if you fly in the morning then you might be restricted on the number of dives you partake in the day before. Usually, on the last full day on board, we will do two dives in the morning. Finishing by around 1pm.
You can take an international flight into Bali or Jakarta to connect with your domestic flight. We recommend arriving in Bali or Jakarta at least one day before your domestic flight. We also recommend you book your return international flight for one day after the end of the cruise.
Useful Raja Ampat Liveaboard Cruise Information
- All divers and snorkelers can join a Raja Ampat cruise. Raja Ampat is one of the best destinations in the world for snorkeling.
- Transfers to and from the airport are included. From Sorong airport to the harbour it is around a 10 minute drive. You will then be transferred by a short speedboat ride to Coralia.
- Water temperature – it is warm all year round, about 27°C and 30°
- Visibility is usually very good, ranging from 20-30 metres.
- Raja Ampat is part of Indonesia. The currency is Indonesian Rupiah or IDR.
- The official language is Bahasa Indonesia. Although there are over 300 different native languages spoken in Indonesia.
- If you would like to bring gifts for the children of Raja Ampat, we would have the opportunity to distribute them during the cruise. Most useful are things like pencils, pencil sharpeners, books, crayons, clothes, hair bands for girls, etc. Please do not bring items wrapped in plastic as this plastic will not be disposed of appropriately. It is also best not to bring plastic toys or balloons.
- Other on board options include treks to viewpoints, kayaking, paddle board, beach visits.
Visit Raja Ampat with Coralia Liveaboard Indonesia !
Please have a look at Coralia’s cruise schedule to join us on an unforgettable diving adventure.
Also, please feel free to CONTACT US in case you have any questions. We look forward to assisting you.