Raja Ampat is undisputedly one of the world’s best diving destinations, outranking even the Great Barrier Reef among the best diving sites in the world by PADI. These breathtakingly beautiful, remote and almost untouched network of islands, tucked away in Indonesia’s far-flung easternmost corner are in the centre of a spectacular and most biodiverse underwater kingdom that is quite unlike any other.
Sitting in the heart of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat is surrounded by the highest concentration of incredible marine and coral reef biodiversity in the world. Over 550 different species of corals, 700 types of molluscs and over 1600 species of reef fish can be found here, all in the most beautiful and pristine turquoise water you’ll ever see. While exploring Raja Ampat’s underwater gardens, you can be sure of thrilling aquatic encounters with several different shark species, sea turtles, manta rays, schooling fish and reef-building corals. The possibilities are just endless and you can expect delightfully colourful surprises in many glorious forms at almost every turn.
Raja Ampat Diving Spots
Raja Ampat is massive. While largely made up of four main islands, it is actually an archipelago made up of over 1,500 islands, cays and shoals. Where would one begin to uncover the spectacular world that awaits underneath the waves? A plethora of dive sites are waiting to be explored with Mikumba Diving. We’ll take you to the absolute must-visit Raja Ampat diving locations. Let’s take a look at a few:
Misool is one of the four main islands that make up Raja Ampat. It’s the second largest and is located 44 miles from the tip of the Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua. It’s remote and surrounded by the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans, so you can imagine the number of marine creatures you’ll come face-to-face with here!
There are over 20 dive sites around Misool Island, most of which are easily reachable when you experience Raja Ampat from aboard our luxurious phinisi Jelajahi Laut. The waters here are teeming with marine life and spectacular reefs with colourful soft and hard corals. Popular dive sites in Misool include Nudi Rock, Magic Mountain, Yillet, Fabiacet, Farondi and Boo Windows.
Larger marine creatures, like whales, sometimes swim through here on their way to the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also see sea slugs, crocodile fish, seahorses, pipefish, and nudibranch, scorpionfish, camouflaged crabs, pygmy seahorses and punching shrimps. The dive sites here in Misool are protected by the Misool Marine Reserve so you can be sure of a thriving underwater world that’s improving with time!
An icon of Raja Ampat, Wayag Island is one of Raja Ampat’s 12 Marine Protected areas which sprawl across 155,000 hectares, known for its beautiful atolls and rich marine life. It’s famous with not only divers but also travellers who won’t miss out on a chance to climb Pindito Peak, the highest peak in the heart of Wayag for jaw-dropping views of the surrounding area.
Popular dive sites here include Eagle Rock, home to wild eagles circling the atoll above and under the waves, you’ll find wobbegong sharks, sweetlips, sardines, barracudas, tuna, bumphead parrotfish, reef sharks, and the occasional manta ray. At Black Rock, you’ll find soft corals blooming in all the colours of the rainbow.
Wayag’s Gate is another must-do dive site for more stunning underwater marine life and corals in calm waters with little to no current, perfect for underwater photography. At Selpele near Wayag, you could swim with baby sharks and endemic walking sharks.
The smallest island among the four main islands in Raja Ampat, Batanta Island is unlike other dive locations in the peninsula with their vibrant underwater panorama and colourful corals. Here you’ll find sheltered black sand bays, home to macros and critters hiding in the coral rubbles and algae patches. It may appear barren at first but we’ll show you where to look and how to spot critters on your dive.
Popular dive sites at Batanta include Black Beauty and Happy Ending. Both are filled with ghost pipefish, blue-ringed octopus, wonderpus and rare nudibranchs. The calm waters of the bay make these ideal sites for underwater critter photography.
Diving in Raja Ampat With Jelajahi Laut
By now, you’ll know that Raja Ampat dive sites are scattered in the most remote locations of the hundreds of islands there. The best and most efficient way to reach these sites would be with a liveaboard like Jelajahi Laut which would allow you to maximise your dive time, explore multiple dive sites even in the most remote areas and have a safe and comfortable space to return to with accommodations, meals, and other amenities all included.
Our new, luxury mid-range liveaboard Jelajahi Laut is built from the ground up by experienced divers. Jelajahi Laut – which means “explore the oceans” in Indonesian – can accommodate up to 14 guests with six cabins and ensuites with hot water and AC, a large sun deck with air-conditioned dining and living rooms. All meals are included as well as water, tea, coffee and soft drinks.
Now that we know all about Raja Ampat diving with Jelajahi Laut, it’s time to book a dive trip with Mikumba Diving Liveaboard. Contact us for more information or book your diving trip with Mikumba now!