Diving in Raja Ampat

Diving in Rajah Ampat is every diver’s dream as it is a part of the “Coral Triangle” making its waters hold the richest variety of species, located in the West Papua province of Indonesia.

Marine Life Highlights in Raja Ampat

Ghost Pipefish | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Ghost Pipefish
Napoleon wrasses | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Napoleon Wrasses
Barracuda | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Marine Life in Raja Ampat

Liveaboard In Raja Ampat

MV Putiraja | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Liveaboard in Raja Ampat

MV Putiraja

Putiraja is a 34-meter long wooden Phinisi – a classic Indonesian wooden vessel which accommodates 12 guests for groups and 10 for individual reservations as full diving charter or individual bookings are accepted, in and around Raja Ampat. You can choose from Deluxe cabins with bunk style beds or the Superior cabin with a queen bed and private balcony, both are air conditioned cabins with comfortable and neat mattresses, en-suite bathroom with hot shower, luxuriant towels and toiletries. Guests can sunbathe during the day or star gaze in the night at the Upper deck while lying on the chaise lounges, browse through fish books and movies at the library, or socialize with other guests at the main deck while being provided with sumptuous meals from the hosts’ kitchen where she combines Indonesian and Western flavors.

Putiraja’s Scuba Area is furnished with high standard diving equipment that is connected to the dinghy platform where a dive guide is assigned four divers to ensure each one individual service. Putiraja cruises both North (Waigeo, Kawe, Wayag, Aljui Bay and Dampier Strait) and South areas (Misool, Kofiau, and Dampier Strait) of Rajah Ampat with mini trips in between dives by request to Wayag, Pearl farm, Papuan Village, Jellyfish Lake and even go Bird Watching.

Dive Sites In Raja Ampat

Cape Kri | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Cape Kri

Probably the most popular of all the sites in Rajah Ampat, Cape Kri holds a world record of 374 species in a single dive as recorded by Dr. Gerry Allen, Marine Biologist and respected author of a number of marine reference books. Not only is it a haven for fish species for having the largest concentration of big fish in any site in Rajah Ampat, but also its coral growth is equally diverse being Sordio Bay’s house reef.

Located only 3 minutes away by boat from Kri Eco Resort and also offered on Liveaboard dive trips, divers can easily have interactions with whirling schools of Giant Trevallies, Dogtooth Tuna, Jacks, and Chevron Barracuda, and if lucky, even Queensland Groupers the size of a small car. At 38 metres at the base of the reef, is an old teared up anchor with a school of Banded Sweetlips, and at the reef top is a coral garden with Black tip Reef Sharks guarding the area and feeding Hawksbill Turtles on hard corals. Cape Kri has moderate currents but can also be very strong with a visibility of 10 to 30 metres and depths of 5 to 40 metres.

Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Manta Sandy | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Manta Sandy

Manta Sandy, as the name itself promises, is a cleaning station on a sandy slope famous for its Manta Rays located South of Waigeo Island. It boasts one of the best manta diving in the world where divers can get a chance to see up to 10 mantas that are at least 4 meters wide, waiting to be cleaned by wrasses at 15 metres. Most of them are black mantas with white highlighted gills and some are of the white bellied type. Visibility around the area is around 5 to 15 metres with moderate to strong currents and average depth is 5 metres. Best season to spot Mantas are from mid-October to April by Liveaboard and the site can be explored by Novice to Experienced divers.

Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 15m
Average Visibility: 5m to 15m

Cross Wreck | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Cross Wreck

A Japanese patrol boat during WWII, the Cross Wreck was named after the land opposite the wreck where the first Christian missionaries to Irian Jaya put a cross to mark their landing. It now sits 18 metres on a sandy bed covered in corals now inhabited by Humphead Parrotfish, Lionfish, Huge Napoleon Wrasse, and critters especially those that are nocturnal and only come out at night. Currents in the area are Low to moderate with visibility that ranges from 10 metres to 24 metres and depth of 18 to 20 metres. Divers can still check out the front hold that controls the switchboard and ammunition, engine room, and communications room as they are still intact.

Average Depth: 10m
Maximum Depth: 20m
Average Visibility: 10m to 24m

The Passage | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

The Passage

In between Gam and Waigeo Islands is a 30-metre wide channel described as a river flowing between two islands. This channel is known as The Passage that stretches out for 1 mile through pristine rainforest with reef habitat under water making it a unique environment for micro life. As it is a drift dive, it is only suitable for Experienced divers as currents are strong in this area with average visibility of 10 metres and depth of 10 to 25 metres. Not only can diving be done during the day where colorful Pygmy Seahorses, Sea fans along with vibrant Nudibranchs and the rare Picachu steal the show, but also at night where Bobtail Squid, Flamboyant Cuttlefish and Saron Shrimp can be spotted. The Passage can be accessed by a Liveaboard from the port of Sorong and is a 45 minute boat ride.

Average Depth: 10m
Maximum Depth: 25m
Average Visibility: 10m to 25m

Blue Magic | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Blue Magic

Located only 15 mins from Kri Island by boat, Blue Magic is popular among divers because of its many pelagics. This dive site is an underwater pinnacle with the top at 7 metres and goes down to almost 30 metres, with hard coral encrusted reef top along with other big coral heads and Acroporas. Currents are moderate to strong but be cautious as currents in this area can be tricky that made other divers abort their dive. As an effect, visibility is at 15 to 30 metres and is only accessible by Advanced to Experienced divers. Residents of Blue Magic are schooling Big Eye Trevallies, Large Barracudas, Wobbegong Sharks, Denise Pygmy Seahorses, and Green Turtles with occasional appearances of Black tips and White tips, along with Grey Reef Sharks.

Average Depth: 7m
Maximum Depth: 30m
Average Visibility: 15m to 30m

Melissa’s Garden | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Melissa’s Garden

Named after Max Ammer’s daughter for being the first to initiate diving in this area, Melissa’s Garden is located at the southeastern end of Penemu Island. As the name suggests, it features a garden of multicolored hard and soft corals on an extended flat top of an oval shaped reef. Macro photographers will surely be in awe as bright soft corals, sponges, Anemones, Nudibranchs and Crinoids amass between hard corals that is now home to an array of marine species. Visibility ranges from 10 to 25 metres with depths of 10 to 35 metres with only mild currents. A kaleidoscope of Anthiases, Pygmy Seahorses, Angelfish, and Lionfish are common at the shallows while deeper waters reveal Coral Trouts, Sea Snakes, Rabbitfish, and Wobbegong sharks.

Average Depth: 10m
Maximum Depth: 35m
Average Visibility: 10m to 25m

Boo Rock | Diving in Raja Ampat | Dive Raja Ampat | Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Boo Rock

Situated southeast of Misool Island, Boo Rock is marked by two separated rocks visible with two swim-throughs just below the sea surface that look like eyes, hence the name. Divers can swim through these round openings at the same time and then work their way along a colorful wall decorated with Barrel Sponges, Gorgonians, Dendronephthyas, and several forms of Acropora and Nudis. A variety of marine creatures is also expected in these parts such as Pinnate Batfish, Unicornfish, Blue Dash Fusiliers, Yellow Striped Grunts and Surgeonfish swarming around in large numbers while less common sightings are Banded Sea Kraits and Octopus that are usually lurking in the reefs. Medium currents around the area generate a visibility of 10 – 30 metres and depth is from 5 to 35 metres that requires Advanced to Experienced divers. Boo Rock is accessible by a Liveaboard and can be explored in just one dive as it is a small site.

Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 35m
Average Visibility: 10m to 30m

Diving in Raja Ampat

Rajah Ampat is every diver’s dream destination as it is a part of the “Coral Triangle” making its waters hold the richest variety of species, located in the West Papua province of Indonesia. “Four Kings” which is the meaning of its name, came from a local mythology that tells of a woman who found seven eggs and four of them hatched and became King that occupied the islands Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo while the other three became a ghost, a woman and a stone. Likewise, the four main islands is where all the dive sites are, that made Raja Ampat known as the cream of the crop in world diving.

Diving in Raja Ampat mostly takes place during the months of October to April where most Indonesian Liveaboards operate, but there are still a few boats available all year. There are two rainy seasons in Rajah Ampat that is prevalent to the rest of Papua provinces – November/December and July/August. Moderate to strong currents are common in the island with a visibility of 15 to 30 metres and depths of 10 to 40 metres which is more suitable for Advanced to Experienced divers.

Due to moderate currents, the waters of Rajah Ampat receive a lot of nutrients resulting to a healthy and lush biodiversity of big animals, hard and soft coral gardens and amazing macro life. It is home to 75% of the world’s known coral species and has been recognized when Dr. Gerry Allen, had a record of 374 fish species in a single tank dive. Sea Sanctuaries and conservation areas contain a wide range of habitats from steep walls and fringing reefs to mangroves and lagoons. To preserve its natural beauty, Rajah Ampat provides a sustainable economic option for the people, choosing to save as many marine lives as possible for the future generations.

With its location as the center of the Coral triangle, Rajah Ampat is blessed with a myriad of pelagic and the main underwater attraction is the Manta Ray. All three types of Manta Rays can be found here: the Black Manta, Oceanic Manta and the Reef Manta along with different kinds of other species like Sharks (Wobbegong, Walking Shark, Black tip and White tip), migrating Whales, Turtles, Napoleons, and smaller creatures like Pygmy Seahorse and Orangutan Crab. Others lurking the area are Schools of Barracudas, Queensland Groupers, Dogtooth Tuna, and Ghost Pipefish.

Best Diving Season: July to September
Weather:  Unpredictable weather especially with storms
Water Temperature: 28-30°C
Marine Animal Highlights:  Shark,  Snappers, Napoleon wrasses, Barracuda, Dogtooth tuna and Meaty Quensland
Recommended Thermal Protection:
Water Visibility:  10m-30m
Transportation: Lion/Wings, Express Air, Merpati and Bataria Air

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