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R aja A mpat
 
 
 
Raja Ampat, W. Papua - Indonesia
 
General Information
 

Raja Ampat, Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya is one of the world's truly remote destinations & the last unexplored underwater region! Papua is the western half of New Guinea ( Papua New Guinea makes up the eastern half). Mind blowing exploratory diving can be found in the Raja Ampat island group, made up of over 610 islands, which we usually cover in two different routes. The southern and the Northern Raja Ampat routes offer great virgin dive sites to even the most spoiled diver!

Diving > What you see is what you get ><(((º> ·´¯`·.><(((º>

Over 1,070 fish species - 537 coral species (96% of all scleratinia recorded from Indonesia are likely to occur in these islands), 699 mollusc species! It was in Kofiau, were Dr. G. Allen broke all fish diversity records, when he was able to spot over 283 species in a single dive at Kofiau Island. Because of its vast area, this region definitely has the most diverse and unspoiled marine life in the world. The confluence of the Pacific and Indian Ocean cause an overlapping of species between Asian and Australian species. This along with the rich geothermal activity and tropical climate are what provide this unique marine environment. Its proximity to the equator makes for calm seas, and the Islands are densely forested with sparkling white beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters. Native animals include red bird of paradise, hornbills, parrots, monitor lizzards, flying foxes and a small tree-dwelling marsupial called a cus cus.

Highlights include the innumerable war wrecks, both ships and planes (with new wrecks being discovered constantly), encounters with dolphins, Misool Island and the simplicity of drifting effortlessly over some of the most pristine and fascinating coral scenes imaginable.

Diving Raja Ampat is mostly drift dives due to the moderate currents prevalent in the area, which provide nutrients for the myriad fish and coral. The variety of marine life can be staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs.

Likely we will encounter large groups of "manta rays" and "turtles" in Manosuar. Napoleon wrasse, pretty rare now in most places around the world, are seemingly everywhere and very approachable in all of Raja Ampat dive sites

Raja Ampat offer the highest fish & coral species count on the planet! At the macro end of the scale, divers regularly encounter pigmy seahorses, bobtail squid, blennies, gobies, basslets and dottybacks! The whole spectrum of other coral fish species is equally common on the reef. Damselfish and clownfish live alongside cardinal fish, butterfly fish and angelfish to name just a few of the area's extraordinary range of species.

Thrilling encounters with both mantas and eagle rays or species like giant groupers, sharks, tuna and barracuda are all occasionally encountered.

 
 
Soft Corals
Green Sea Turtle-Chelonia mydas
 
:: CORALS > E. Indonesia 's colorful corals are extremely varied with Gorgonian sea fans, Tubastea & an endless diversity of soft & hard coral species. Sponges, anemones and bright hued algae all add to the variety of an typical Indonesian reef.

:: DIVE SITES of Raja Ampat > The following is a sample from the islands & sites that are typically incorporated into a Raja Ampat itinerary on board Adventure H2o dive journeys. Of course, wee have to keep some of our dive spots a secret !:)

 

:: Misool Island > Is one of the most unique & productive habitats on all of our itineraries. The “Blue Water Mangroves of West Misool” is a vast maze of mangrove lined channels some with hidden lagoons! The submerged mangrove roots host a variety of colorful photo subjects such as multi-colored soft corals & black corals. Images of these colors with a back drop of green mangrove leaves and blue sky are a “photographic quest”!.  Juvenal giant Queensland grouper, archer fish and diamond fish are also regularly seen in the channels of the amazing “Blue Water Mangroves”!

 
:: Wagmab and its beautiful swim-thrus > Overhangs and ledges , offer home to multi-colored lush soft corals, giant sea fans and massive schools of fish! When in this pristine area, just before sunset, AdvH2o offers guests our traditional " Jungle River Tour" with “Eagle Vale” Wine, cheeses & snacks! The vast maze of incredibly scenic limestone passages are a real highlight in Raja Ampat! Concluding the Sunset Jungle River Cruise in a hidden secluded lagoon > it feels just like Paradise! 
 

:: PELE > A great way to start off a perfect day in Raja Ampat, is by diving the majestic swim-thru at Pele. With a bit of luck, you may also see here the Epaulette Shark, as previously discovered around BHS. Look out for plenty of the "plucked chicken pygmy sea horses” and fully grown wobbegongs along the soft coral and sea fan drenched walls! Enjoy shallow limestone caves, where nudibranchs of all kinds & colors are ready to be photographed!

 
:: Kri Island > Lagoon provides a great starting point for many cruises. One dive site off the island holds the record for the most fish and coral species recorded on a single dive site. Truly pristine reefs will make you want to repeat dives on the sites surrounding this remarkable island.  The night diving here is also spectacular.

 
:: Waigeo Island > group boasts the beautiful Yellow Wall, which gains its name from the large amount of yellow soft coral covering its surface. The night dive against this backdrop is an unforgettable experience. Just off shore from the island there is an excellent dive site that offers the opportunity to see some large species like manta and eagle rays.
 
:: Kawe Island > Is located directly over the equator. The stop here is typically a five-dive day, affording a chance to really explore this world class dive region. Divers generally encounter an enormous array of fish life and the island itself is extremely beautiful.
 
:: Waiag > Marks the most northerly area of the Irian Jaya itinerary. Many of the islands in this area remain unnamed, as this is a remote, rarely visited region. From mild sloping coral gardens with huge coral rocks and colourful soft corals, to steep walls and schooling fish, the Waiag region is truly spectacular. From here you can hike to view the breath taking island scenery. Fantastic night dives with wobbygong sharks are one of the highlights of the diving here.
 

:: Manosuar Island > Boasts the famous Sardine Reef along with three other incredible sites. The fish life in this area is prolific and the topside scenery is outstanding.

 
 
Tasselled - Eucrossorhinus dasypogon
Coleman Shrimp-Periclimenes colemani
 

:: Fabiacet & Batbitiem Islands (20 km of Misool) > Fabiacet is diving reefs with fish life as prolific as nature intended!! The surrounding waters around these pinnacles and islands are very deep and clear. Here you'll find some of the best visibility in Raja Ampat - up of 40 m The marine life is truly excellent, so bring your wide-angle camera lenses. "Great hammerhead sharks" can be found here, as well as wobbegongs and a variety of rays and giant Queensland grouper . The outerwall shallows are dominated with cream , black and white striped angelfish, surgeonfish, beige & brown leather soft corals and many sponges. “Neptune's FanSee” at Batbitiem Island is a very unique divesite with the vertical cliff walls of the Island creating a channel plunge straight down from over 150 m to the surface of the channel, which continues underwater for more than 30 m.

 

:: Warna Ember Island(~300 m from Fabiacet & Batbitiem) > Means “many colors” in Indonesian and it surely does reflects its name. Huge table corals act as hosts, which attracts massive congregations of fish. Yellowmask surgeonfish, humpback snapper and Napoleon wrasse mill around the area, while yellow tail barracuda and mackerel chase after double-lined and blue and yellow fusiliers!

 

:: Pristine waters > Rich in marine life as giant fusiliers, slender fusiliers and schools of Batunas. Green & golden Sea fans, followed by big eye trevally. The shallows offer large porites corals with orange fairy basslets, encountering the spectacular palette surgeonfish & bumphead parrot fish!

 
:: Batanta Island > Is home to the Red Bird of Paradise. A Jungle trek affords the chance to hear the giant hornbill or see cockatoos flying by and maybe hear the mesmerizing song of the Bird of Paradise. Bantata diving offers anything from wobbegong sharks to pigmy seahorses, also ghost pipe fish and nudibranchs
 

:: Wai Island > Is home to the wreck of an American plane that crashed here in 1940. The wreck is fairly intact with excellent coral cover. The guns are also visible on this fascinating dive. Wai Island provides the chance to see the resident Cassowary bird.

 

:: Best weather conditions for diving > May be found February through June and again during September and October, which are the operating months of Adventure H2o luxury Dive cruises in & beyond of Raja Ampat.

Great for: Awesome Reef life, large & small animals, UW photography, beginners & advanced divers ….and fantastic scenery, culture and nature!

Depth: 5 - 40m
Visibility: 10 - 30m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface Conditions: Calm
Water Temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience Level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: Unknown, but 200 ++ and we do keep some of them a secret!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Adventure H2o

PO BOX 3824 Denpasar, Bali 80038 - Indonesia