Raja Ampat - World Class Diving in Papua (Indonesia)
Where to start writing about one of the most beautiful places in the world? How to express the beauty and exclusivity of this paradise? It is incredible what you can see on a single dive, countless marine species, colorful fish and soft corals everywhere! WOW!
It is diverse, it is loaded with fish and the visibility has been great on most of my dives here (even in off-season). Just go here!!!
Since we went here in July (off-season) the sheltered waters between Kri and Mansuar and Gam and Waigeo were our best options. The north shore of any island is protected from the winds at that time. We had sunny days and actually could have used some wind, especially during the nights a breeze would have been nice... so do not worry too much about off-season!
Each dive center, or lets say the dive guide, organizes the dives its own way. It all depends on the number of divers, their experience and wishes - combined with the availability of guides, boats, tanks and equipment.
What I really loved about diving with Cedric from Wobbegong Dive Adventures were the long explanations and briefings about the dive plan beforehand. He likes to dive in a sporty way, against the current and deeper every now and then.
Enzo is the owner of the (newish and well maintained!) dive equipment and guiding the dives from Kordiris Homestay. He has been taught by his father who was a dive instructor in Italy and he grew up learning everything about diving. Costumer service and experience is high on his list to make sure you dive the way you like it. Before every single dive he does a current check by jumping in the water and making an exact dive plan together with the skipper that has been on these waters all his life. There were no negative entry dives here but I have to say the current was not that strong either.
|Dive area name||West-Papua, Raja Ampat|
|Dive center||Wobbegong Dive Adventures
Kordiris Dive Center
|Famous for||Highest marine diversity in the world, pelagic and macro, soft corals (basically everything :))|
|Price||Various package deals available, check the websites above|
|Hotel recommendation||Royal Mamberamo Hotel (Sorong)|
10 dive sites of Raja Ampat
Mansuar JettyThe reef around the jetty of Mansuar was nice, the bottom was overgrown with Lettuce corals and a lot of sponges and anemones. On the sandy bottom there where Whitetip reef sharks resting. There was a light current pulling us over the top reef. A nice and easy dive to start-off the Raja Ampat adventure!
Dive site Mansuar Jetty in Raja Ampat, Papua
Cape KriCape Kri is one of the famous dive spots of Raja Ampat! Even-though we had a mild current the changes in direction are challenging and you need a lot of focus here. Bumphead Parrotfish and reef sharks were the reward as well as an amazing bed of colorful soft corals and Redtooth Triggerfish everywhere in the blue.
Dive site Cape Kri in Raja Ampat, Papua
Kri House ReefRight in front of the homestays at the Northern part of Kri there is an amazing reef without a lot of current. Many Whitetip reef sharks and Bat fish swim around as well as Turtles and many Antias on the Table and Staghorn corals. This place is awesome for snorkeling too! We dove in between Yenkoranu and Korany Fyak Homestay.
Dive site Housereef Kri in Raja Ampat, Papua
Blue MagicBlue Magic = Blue Magic, the name could not have been picked better. Look in the blue and see the magic! There are too many fish species to name out but the school of Barracudas was really impressive. It was high traffic down there! Schools of fish from all directions using the current in different ways, what a show! The reef had a lot to offer as well, many Anemones and Clown fishes around! We even spotted a Pygmy Seahorse!
Dive site Blue Magic in Raja Ampat, Papua
Sardine ReefSardines I have not seen here but this is the place where I saw my first Wobbegong Shark! Laying on the floor bed we could only see his body and tail but check the amazing pattern on his skin! The reef is healthy and colorful. It is hard to take a really great wide-angle shot with a small digital camera but WOW!
Dive site Sardine Reef in Raja Ampat, Papua
Melissa GardenOn our Fam trip we did a dive at Melissa Garden. The garden is filled with hard corals, it must be meters deep. I loved it to slowly swim along the corals to spot all the animals living inside and colorful fish around it. The highlight was a Wobbegong Shark cruising by - like a flying carpet!
This was our last dive with Cedric of Wobbegong Divers, we thought the last dive of our trip - but we got an extension!!!
Dive site Melissa Garden in Raja Ampat, Papua
FriwinSince we arrived last minute at Kordiris Homestay with only a few dives possible Enzo arranged a boat dive for us in the afternoon straight away. It was one of the best even though the visibility was not so good! After all the current dives I really loved a nice and calm dive to take some macro photos. I saw many lovely nudibranch along the way. The changes in bottom structure made it a really interesting dive, from a slope to a wall with overhangs and a 'big blue' viewpoint with schools of fish just around the corner.
Dive site Friwin in Raja Ampat, Papua
Mike's PointMike's Point was one of the 'highlights' we missed on our first trip, even-though you can dive one dive site multiple times here easily. Soft corals where everywhere and the reef was just filled with marine life!
Dive site Mike's Point in Raja Ampat, Papua
Chicken ReefThis was my favorite overall dive. The colors where amazing, reef life was great and the current just moved us along the reef in a pleasant way. From the surface this site looks like an atoll, a huge ring of reef with a bright blue lagoon in the middle. The visibility was superb and especially at the shallow part around 5 meters I could have spend another hour.
Dive site Chicken Reef in Raja Ampat, Papua
MioskonBat island or Mioskon is a small inhabited island in Raja Ampat with countless bats. It is a lovely place to have lunch on the beach in between dives but it is also a really nice dive site. Different kinds of sharks, schools of fish and again plenty of soft and hard corals to brighten-up the dive site with all their colors. A lovely dive site without a lot of current, perfect to finish our trip.
Dive site Mioskon in Raja Ampat, Papua
Comparing dive destinationsClick here for more information about comparing dive destinations.
|Bottom structure||Reef structure||Pelagic
(big stuff in the blue)
(bigger stuff on the reef)
(small stuff on the reef)
|Flat bottom with bumps/big rocks/pinnacles||Hard corals tree-shape
|Slope (going down slowly)||Soft corals tree-shape
|Rays||Eels/snakes||Sea horses and pipe fish||Small
(you can easily swim against it)
(steep but you see the bottom)
(you can swim against it for a little while/higher air consumption)
(steep and you can't see the bottom)
(you cannot swim against it)
|Sponges||Sardines/herrings||Puffers||Shrimps||Pumping/washing machine/OMG/hold your regulator
If you like to know more about Raja Ampat, visit my travel blog and learn about where to go and how to organize your trip (on a budget)!
Click here for paradise on earth: Raja Ampat!
Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
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