Raja Ampat is all about diversity – not only diversity of species, but also of dive sites. There are some areas where soft corals and sea fans dominate, others with amazing diverse hard corals, seagrass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs, drop offs, caves, black sand, white sand…Then there are the fish, lots of them, in more shapes and sizes than anywhere else in the world. Not only are there loads of fish, but all the levels of the food chain are well represented – from pygmy seahorses to top predators. In many places brightly colored soft corals can be found close to the surface which, illuminated by natural sunlight, make these dive sites spectacularly colorful. The reefs in Raja Ampat just buzz with life!
Where to dive
Raja Ampat is huge, 50,000 sq km, with hundreds of islands and an astounding diversity of habitats, which translates to wildly different diving experiences from pelagic drift dives to magic muck dives and even some habitats that are special to Raja Ampat such as clear water mangroves with corals growing right next to them! There are thousands of potential dive sites. Exploration is still continuing, and on every trip there are chances for new and amazing discoveries. Even on a 12 day trip you will only have a chance to see some of what Raja Ampat has to offer.
More than diving
Raja Ampat is also known for its spectacular above water scenery. Sparsely inhabited, most of Raja Ampat still has pristine rainforests atop dramatic limestone cliffs, uninhabited bays with white sand beaches and all sorts of hidden treasures to greet the intrepid explorer. It’s a kayakers dream, an intricate coastline with caves, bays, gorges, hidden rivers—all buzzing with exotic tropical wildlife.
A birdwatching hike on Gam Island might take you through scenic forests, past fragile orchids growing from cracks in the stone, and finally to the unforgettable experience of witnessing male birds of paradise doing their elaborate courtship dances to attract females. For more information on bird watching trips
Caving will bring you an exciting look into an amazing hidden world through a breath-taking underground experience. Also, look out for exotic historical artifacts and interesting remnants from World War II, such as crumbling forts and sunken bomber planes.
The friendly people of Raja Ampat have largely been able to maintain their ancestral ways of life and traditional values, making it an interesting destination as well as an anthropological haven. There is a wide variety of community celebrations, which always include various types of music, dancing, singing performance and other fun.
Make sure to talk to your tour operator if you are interested in any land based or cultural activities!
Code of Conduct
Dive operators in Raja Ampat have committed to maintaining environmentally friendly operations. As part of this on-going process, they have helped to develop the Dive Operators Code of Conduct. All operators are asked to sign
and display this to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable tourism in Raja Ampat. As a concerned tourist, make sure to check that your dive operator has signed the Operators Code of Conduct and that they are following the rules!