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Have you heard of The Passage? It is one of Raja Ampat’s most famous and sought-after dive sites, The Passage is an incredibly rich, narrow body of water with a thriving ecosystem that separates Gam Island and Waigeo Island. It’s one of the most beautiful and unique locations in Raja Ampat, with banks lined with mangrove trees and rainforests, and both sides punctuated by soaring rocky karst limestone cliffs. Underneath the surface, The Passage boasts its own marine ecosystem, with a plethora of corals, rock formations, critters and marine creatures.

Measuring 25 metres wide, The Passage Raja Ampat is not your ordinary dive site with wide open sandy bottoms. There are underwater caves, tunnels, grottos, and mini passages to explore. It’s a unique, wet and watery terrain, with a wealth of marine life that is thriving thanks to the dense, nutrient-rich, mineral-filled waters that are constantly flowing through The Passage.

What Critters Are in The Raja Ampat Passage?

pygmy seahorses

The constant flow of nutrient-rich water, filled with plankton, provides a continuous food source for the underwater creatures living in The Passage. While diving, divers and snorkellers will encounter a wide variety of marine life including the giant trevally, bumphead parrotfish, oriental sweetlips, lionfish and scorpionfish. There are also schools of fusiliers, archerfish, moray eels, schools of jacks, cuttlefish, cardinal, batfish, sponges and even wobbegong sharks hiding along the fringes near the mangroves.

In the open waters, with the moving currents, large pelagic species are swimming about like tuna, barracuda and trevally, and blacktip reef sharks. You might also come face-to-face with sea turtles, manta rays and stingrays if you’re lucky.

When it comes to critters or macro life, The Passage will exceed all of your expectations. Underwater photographers will find their haven here and macro lovers can look forward to spotting pygmy seahorses, mandarin fish, colourful nudibranchs, shrimps, flatworms, octopuses, colourful sea fans, toadfish, gobies, blennies and crustaceans.

The Passage is a haven for fascinating critters, showcasing the incredible biodiversity of the Coral Triangle. To learn more about this extraordinary marine region and its unique ecosystems, delve into our article on the Coral Triangle.

What is Interesting about The Passage Raja Ampat?

The Passage is much more than just a channel, although some have referred to it as a strait. It resembles a river flowing between the two islands, creating a strange and distinctive feeling of diving in a jungle river, thanks to the dramatic underwater landscape, the rock formations and the proximity of the mangroves and the tree line to the water.  The walls of The Passage are steep and lined with colourful coral formations that begin just below the surface and descend all the way down to a 35-metre depth.

When diving in The Passage, be aware of the strong currents. The tide will come rushing into the channel, creating the perfect environment for a drift dive. Rock formations underwater sometimes create quiet nooks where you could rest before continuing on your dive. You’ll start at one end of The Passage, and exit on the other side.

The strong currents can make navigating The Passage challenging; dives here would be best suited for experienced divers who have the confidence to navigate their buoyancy and handle their equipment, with the experience to stay on course and avoid being swept away. 

There’s also limited light after midday; the narrow channel and steep walls can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the bottom, which makes visibility lower, requiring divers to have proper lighting equipment and familiarity with diving in such conditions.

Which Months are Best for Diving in Raja Ampat?

The best time of the year for Raja Ampat diving would generally be the “dry season” between October to May when there is minimal rain, milder winds, calmer seas and better visibility. Having said that, it’s important to note that Raja Ampat doesn’t have an “off” season per se, so you can expect warm & sunny temperatures and amazing underwater visibility all year around.

The “wet season” in Raja Ampat generally falls between June & September, but take note that it may or may not rain every day or not at all during the dry season. Raja Ampat is huge and each island and area would have its own microclimate, so whether it’s rain or shine would depend on which part of the archipelago you’d be in!

When Raja Ampat diving during the wet season, be aware that the seas can get rougher than usual, with challenging underwater currents to navigate and strong wind for an interesting sail at sea.

Dive The Passage Raja Ampat with Mikumba Diving

Jelajahi Laut Mikumba Diving Indonesia

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind diving and sailing adventure with Mikumba Diving, as we set sail to explore all of Raja Ampat’s must-visit dive sites like The Passage aboard our luxury mid-range liveaboard Jelajahi Laut

Built from the ground up by experienced divers, Jelajahi Laut – which means “Explore the Sea” in Indonesian – can accommodate up to 12 guests (14 guests for a full charter) with six cabins and en-suites with hot water and AC, a large sun deck with air-conditioned dining and living rooms.

Don’t forget to check out Mikumba Diving hot offers page for unmissable deals and discounts. Go through to our website for more information and book your Raja Ampat diving trip with Mikumba Diving now!