12 Days & 11 Nights to Raja Ampat
A cruise to Raja Ampat is a fantastic voyage through a natural and well- preserved paradise of 1,500 small islands hosting the highest marine biodiversity on the planet. The mushroom-like islands create a unique seascape to admire from your kayak, private sundeck on the boat or from different viewpoints if you don’t mind climbing a few hundreds steps. The coral reef in Raja Ampat is as lush as its tropical forest. Some dive sites such as Melissa’s Garden, Boo Windows or Air Borek Jetty are considered amongst the best in the world.
Waisai – Mioskon
Be picked up in style at your hotel or Sorong Airport and driven to the fast boat that will bring you to Waisai, the capital of Raja Ampat where the cruise starts. Settle in to your traditional Phinisi liveaboard that you will be calling home for the next few days. Cruise west and enjoy a swim, a check dive and relax, whilst contemplating the white sandy beaches of Mioskon Island and its famous sea mount, Blue Magic. Enjoy an evening drink as you watch the sunset ballet of fruit bats flying away to feed.
North Batanta offers shining waters and dozens of islets and sand banks where it is easy to find manta rays or even witness history in the form of a well-barnacled World War II Japanese aircraft. On land, take a short walk to a beautiful and refreshing waterfall. Finish your day relaxing and dreaming on the sun deck as you continue sailing south to Misool Island.
The Daram Islands are the easternmost island group in the Misool area. Thanks to a strict no-fishing policy, you will be able to see some of the most impressive sea fan forests and soft corals known to the world. With easy snorkeling and diving, sites such as Andiamo or Candy Store are truly psychedelic underwater wonderlands where barracudas gliding above the pygmy seahorses are a common sight.
South East Misool
Swim round the famous dive sites of Boo Window and Magic Mountain, with some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world, a true story of successful conservation, thanks to the talented and friendly local park rangers who are happy to meet you on the white sandy beaches of Yillet Island. South East Misool is one of these extremely rare places where dreams and reality merge, with scenery as lush and dramatic above the water as below.
Feel the love around you after climbing to get a bird’s eye view of the famous heart-shaped blue lagoon encircled by the vibrant coral reefs. Or take a speed boat tour or your kayak to get lost in the maze of rocks and channels of Wayil Islands. Here lie some of the most iconic and lush dive sites of Raja Ampat: Wedding Cake, Four Kings or Neptune’s Fantasea. End your day with your flashlight on to explore the dark side of the reef: night dive!
Balbulol & Farondi
Misool North Eastern line of islands is a natural labyrinth made of cone- shaped rocks, sheer cliffs and hidden pools. At the right time of year, some of the inner lagoons play host to thousands of stingless jellyfish, offering fantastic photo opportunities for undersea photo lovers. Explore the above and underwater caves of the area where nudibranchs, rare mollusks and crustaceans crawl on the rich soft coral cover.
At this Western tip of Central Raja Ampat, 3 internationally renowned dive sites are on the menu: Galaxy, Keruo Channel and Melissa’s Garden, where you can observe the most impressive shallow coral gardens on the planet. In between dives, you can also enjoy surface activities like kayaking, or walk up to the top of the hill above the Star Lagoon and look down on its hundreds of limestone rocks. Some hidden rock-pools are just waiting for you to float in them – sheer heaven!
Kawe & Aljuy Bay
South Kawe is one of Raja Ampat’s greatest treasures. Here, you will probably see manta rays grooming in one of their many cleaning stations or feeding on the surface of the channel between the two Eagle Rocks. There is also the opportunity to visit Alyui Bay where you can learn everything about pearl farming, from seeding to harvest. The Aljuy Bay waters are also perfect for seeing rare sea creatures and wonderfully rich night dives.
On the way to the Wayag Islands, we cross the Equator to the Northern hemisphere to reach the last paradise on earth, a large bay with hundreds of mushroom-like islets, white sandy beaches, black tip reef sharks and manta rays cruising in the turquoise-blue water. Spend a day gliding through this piece of heaven or climb the rocky Mount Pindito for a unforgettable view. Dive or swim around pelagic fish and the Figure 8 Rock and enjoy special moments on the perfect beach.
Continue your adventure with a day at Yanggefo and take the kayak out to the Mangroves for a change of scenery. The contrast of the lush green mangrove forest and the clear waters is breathtaking. This area is home to as many birds as fish. Colorful coral grows within the roots of the trees making snorkeling and diving in Citrus and Mangrove Ridge a unique experience.
Visit Airborek or Sawandarek Jetty and experience some world-class diving, probably watched by some of the local children! Then cruise on to more fish- rich waters like Sardine Reef or Cape Kri and enjoy a fantastic night dive at Batu Lima where you are likely to spot the elusive walking shark!
We will cruise back to Waisai for our last, scrumptious breakfast and check- out before noon. After sharing photos and farewells, our crew will arrange your transfer to your hotel or airport and your return trip back home, your head filled with unforgettable memories of the trip of a lifetime.
Alternatives & Longer routes
Even with shorter expeditions to Raja Ampat you will still discover plenty of this unique natural jewel:
- From 3 to 5 nights, we would focus on the best spots situated in the large area of Central Raja
- From 6 to 8 nights, we would suggest a cruise in Central & North Raja Ampat (Kawe & Wayag) or to Central & South Raja Ampat (Misool).
- For those who are not particularly fond of water activities, we can adjust our routes and propose bird (of paradise) watching, trails to waterfalls and cultural experiences in local villages.