Are you planning to visit Raja Ampat? Have you even heard of it? Don’t worry if you haven’t, you won’t be the only one…
Raja Ampat is an archipelago comprising more than 1,500 small and four major islands situated in West Papua, Indonesia, and is one of those very rare places in the world that is almost impossible to believe really exist.
The Raja Ampat Islands are relatively unspoiled, a far cry from big cities, crowds, pollution and mass tourism. It possesses extraordinary natural beauty with crystal clear water, rich marine life, lush vegetation and exotic fauna, making the area perfect for general unwinding, going on photographic safaries, bird watching, swimming, snorkeling and diving. In fact, Raja Ampat is renowned as one of the best places for diving in the world.
I totally fell in love with Raja Ampat during my visit in February 2017 and it immediately became one of my favorite places in the world.
As one of my blog’s missions is to inspire you to travel more, let me show you some of the reasons to visit Raja Ampat.
20 Pictures to Inspire you to Visit Raja Ampat
1 – Having this amazing crystal clear green water right in front of your hotel.
2 – Deserted beaches
3 – Watching the dolphins playing in front of the boat.
4 – Visit Pianemo, one of the most beautiful Raja Ampat islands.
5 – Be in awe of nature’s perfection
6 – Visit the enchanting Arborek village
7 – You don’t even need a mask for snorkeling in Raja Ampat
8 – Live life to the fullest
9 – Endless stunning beaches
10 – Exciting marine life
11 – Swim with mantas
12 – Be amazed by the beauty of Pasir Timbul
13 – See the bird of paradise, one of the prettiest birds I’ve ever seen.
14 – Visit a local village
16 – Go diving in Raja Ampat and see its rich and exceptional marine life
16 – Explore the neighborhood
17 – Make new friends
18 – Learn how to fish without bait and still catch dozens of fish
19 – Go bird watching
20 – Master your travel photography skills.
These are just 20 pictures to inspire you to visit Raja Ampat; and I will still write a longer post about the days I spent in this magical place and my diving experience.
Stay tuned and safe travels !
* If you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia you may also be interested in:
- A guide for Traveling to Raja Ampat on a Budget
- 7 Unmissable Places to Visit in Bali
- Komodo National Park, Indonesia
- 7 Best Things to do in Bangkok
Watch the preview video of Raja Ampat
Visiting Raja Ampat
- Where is it located?
Rampa Ampat is located off the Northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province (check map here).
- Getting to Raja Ampat
You can get to Raja Ampat by plane or ferry.
Since December 2016 there are direct flights from Manado to Waisai, the capital city of Raja Ampat. The only company currently operating is Lion Air, a subsidiary of Wings Air.
Another option is to fly to Sorong. There are several flights departing from Jakarta, Bali and Makassar, and some the companies operating are: Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia, Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air.
You can book your flights with Skyscanner or Momondo, which are the websites that I use and trust.
* By Ferry
From Sorong you can take a ferry to Waisai with PELNI, the Indonesia State Ferry. But ferry schedules are subject to change without notice and the best thing is ask your hotel to provide up to date ferry information.
Once in Waisai you need to arrange a pick-up with your hotel.
- Best time to visit
You can visit Raja Ampat all year round, but being a tropical environment, there are no days of the year where it can be guaranteed not to rain.
The wet season is from June to September, so there is less chance of rain between October and April. However, heavy rain can sometimes fall in December and January.
If you’re planning to dive in Raja Ampat, the best time is from mid-October to mid-December when the sea is very calm, there is little rain and light to zero wind. Avoid mid-June to mid-September because it can have strong winds and horizontal rain.
I visited Raja Ampat at the end of February and arrived there in a very heavy downpour. The next day it also rained in the morning, but the other three days the weather was good.
- Where to stay in Raja Ampat?
I stayed at Raja Ampat Dive Resort, and if you’re looking for accommodation my recommendations are:
Budget: Raja Ampat Diva Homestay and Kakatua Hostel.
Great Value for Money: Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, Alternative Stay and Augusta Eco Resort.
Luxury: Waiwo Dive Resort and Cove Eco Resort.
- Travel Costs
* Five months travel insurance: US$ 256 with World Nomads
* Raja Ampat Marine Park Entry Permit (PIN): 1,000,000 IDR (US$ 75)
* Ferryboat from Sorong to Waisai / Waisai to Sorong: 260,000 IDR (US$ 20)
* Taxi from the airport to the pier/ pier to airport: 200,000 IDR (US$ 15)
* Four nights at Raja Ampat Dive Resort with full board included of two people: 9,200,000 IDR (US$ 690)
* Boat trip to Pianemo: 6,000,000 IDR the boat for 8 people / we were four, so my part was 1,500,000 IDR (US$ 112)
* Two DSD (Discover Scuba Dive) dives in the jetty: US$ 156
* One DSD by boat: US$ 100
* Bird watching: 400,000 (US$ 30)
– I highly recommend purchase a travel insurance to get you covered in case of any problem.
– Confirm the boat schedule with your hotel before booking your flights.
– Avoid arriving in Raja Ampat on Sundays, once Sunday is a day of rest and religious traditions for the Christians in the islands.
– Make sure to have enough time from the airport to the harbour and vice-versa.
– Ferries are constantly delayed at least 30min.
– The only way to navigate from an island to another is by boat and the oil is quite expensive over there.
– Raja Ampat is not a cheap destination, so if you travel with a group of friends you can share the costs of the boat trips with more people.
– Another popular and terrific place to visit is Wayag, but it’s a bit far from where I stayed.
– If you need more information to visit Raja Ampat, check Wonderful Indonesia, the official website of Indonesian Ministry of Tourism.
- Book Your Flight Find deals on airlines on my favorite search engine: Skyscanner. Be sure to read my How to find cheap flights article.
- Rent A CarRental Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal.
- Book AccommodationBooking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. But Hotels.com and Hilton Hotels have very interesting reward programs. If you prefer to rent locals’ apartment, the best option is undoubtedly Airbnb. Here is US$ 30 credit towards your fist booking.
- Protect Your Trip Don’t forget travel insurance! I always use World Nomads for short-term trips and SafetyWing for long-term ones. Find out why Travel Insurance: Much More Than a Precaution, a Necessity.
- Book Tours in Advance Book unforgettable experiences and skip-the-line tickets with GetYourGuide or Viator .
- Book Ground TransportationBookaWay offers a stress-free experience with secure payments and no hidden fees. You pay online and receive your itinerary by email.
- Luggage Solutions Rent your luggage with Cargo or if you need to drop off your own luggage and enjoy your time without dragging it all over a city, find a LuggageHero shop here.
- Get a Travel CardRevolut Card is a pre-paid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries. I’ve been using my Revolut Card for over a year and never paid foreign-transaction fees again. Get your Revolut Card with free shipping here.
- Packing Guide Check out my How to Pack a Carry-on Luggage For a Five-month Trip to help you start packing for your trip. Don’t forget your camera, chargers and other useful travel accessories.