Wayag/Uranie Is
  – A remote uninhabited area dotted with hundreds of verdant limestone islands and slivers of white sand beaches.  The better dives in the northwest quadrant feature diverse hard coral gardens and sloping walls decorated with sea fans, soft corals and thick schools of anthias.  Grey reef sharks frequent a spectacular underwater cave just off the northeast tip of Uranie.
Photo: Burt Jones
Dive areas
Dive operators
Code of Conduct
More than diving

How to get there
Visa requirements
Health concerns

Introduction
FAQ for travellers
FAQ for tour operators
How to buy your tags
Where the money goes

Conserving Raja Ampat
Introduction
Photo: Sterling Zumbrunn
Photo: Mark Erdmann
Photo: Sterling Zumbrunn
         
Dive Areas  
 

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.

Browse over the map to see what each site could offer you!

 
  All photos by www.secretseavisions.com  
 


 
         
Books  
 


"Diving Indonesia's Raja Ampat"

  This book is written by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock. With over 140 dive stites, this is a must have for any diver visiting the area. The book is available at bookshops (Kinokuniya and Periplus), Amazon, and the Raja Ampat Tourism Management Team office in Sorong.

"Raja Ampat Through the Lens of ... "

  This is a unique coffee table book with photographs donates by some of the world's leading underwater photographers. The book has been organized by Papua Diving, who are planning to use the proceeds of the sales for the development of local homestay projects in Raja Ampat in an effort to improve the distribution of tourism benefits to local communities. The book is available from book store or your dive operator in Raja Ampat.

"Diving Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape"

  Home to more than 1600 fish species and three-fourths of the world's known corals, the Bird's Head Seascape, the global epicenter of marine biodiversity, is one of the world's premier dive destinations. This books is the only comprehensive guide to the 200+ sites where divers can observe this wondrous gathering of whale sharks, manta rays, secretive octopus, and never-before-seen fish. Detailed information on endemic marine life, the region's cultures, suggestions for land adsventures, and travel tips make this an indispensable guide for anyone traveling to this enchanted destination.

"Underwater Paradise: A Diving Guide to Raja Ampat"

  “Underwater Paradise” is the result of 8 years of pioneer diving in one of the more outstanding regions on the planet. The book includes a preliminary section on how to travel there, with useful tips such as “when to come”, “what to bring”, “addresses of interest” and “diving emergencies”.
Dive sites are grouped into North, South and Central areas of the archipelago, all supported with situation maps for clearer orientation. Every dive site is elegantly presented in a double-spread, including 3D maps, spectacular pictures of the area and insightful information on how to safely make the most of every dive.
With carefully researched notes on marine biology specific to the region – such as mantas, pigmy seahorses and saltwater crocodiles - scattered throughout the book, and a chapter on land touring, this is the perfect guide for anyone planning a trip to Raja Ampat.
The book is available at the Raja Ampat Tourism Management Team office in Sorong and www.ocean-focus.com

"Reef Fishes of the East Indies"

 

Stretching from the Andaman Sea to the Solomon Islands, the East Indies encompasses a vast array of marine habitats and unsurpassed marine biological diversity. It is home to approximately 2,600 species occurring on coral reefs and nearby habitats. Reef Fishes of the East Indies presents the first truly comprehensive treatment of the region’s reef fish fauna in nearly a century. This monumental three-volume set is richly illustrated with more than 3,600 color photographs. The informative text provides current information on the classification, habitat, and distributional range of each species as well as an overall synopsis for each of the 120 families covered. Many of the featured species have not been previously recorded from the region, nor have their photographs appeared in print. The book represents the culmination of the prolific careers of two dedicated marine biologists, Dr. Gerald R. Allen and Dr. Mark V. Erdmann, who have spent a combined total in excess of 60 years exploring and describing the piscene treasures in the “heart” of marine fish biodiversity.
Reef Fishes of the East Indies is an essential reference for biologists, naturalists, and scuba divers. This is the only reference that covers every known reef fish from the East Indian region. The book has been written to engender an appreciation of the region’s amazing biodiversity and the urgent need to conserve it for the benefit of future generations.
The book is available from University of Hawai'i Press.

 
 
  Kawe
  – The rocks and seamounts in this group straddle the Equator. Kawe is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to dive in both hemispheres without moving the boat! When the current is running, Kawe’s fish life is abundant, and feeding Manta Rays have been spotted on the southwest side of Eagle Rock.
  Aljui Bay
  – This bay penetrates the west side of Waigeo from west to east and offers an array of dive sites from soft coral-covered walls to excellent macro areas. Brilliantly colored fire urchins, many with pairs of commensal shrimp and crabs, flamboyantly -colored nudibranchs, and mantis shrimp inhabit the sloping substrate near Cendana Pearl Farm.
  South Waigeo
  – One of Raja Ampat’s most famous sites. “The Passage” lies between Waigeo and Gam Island. Soft corals and sea fans brush the often mirror-like surface of this flowing river of salt water while invertebrates, including a myriad of nudibranchs inhabit the Passage’s vertical walls.
  SW Waigeo
  – The main attractions in this area are two manta cleaning stations. Large black and white Manta Rays, some with wing spans exceeding 5 meters, congregate above large coral heads and wait to be cleaned by small wrasses. Divers must visit these sites accompanied by a knowledgeable guide or risk scaring the mantas from the area.
  Dampier Strait (South Waigeo)
  – The strait that flows between Waigeo and Batanta offers some of the most spectacular diving in Raja Ampat. Many of these sites were pioneered by Papua Diving’s Max Ammer who operates Sorido Bay Resort and Kri Eco Resort on Kri Island. Among the most popular sites are Cape Kri, Sardine and Mike’s Point. Divers who spend most of their bottom time at the current’s leading edge usually will be surrounded by a frenzy of wahoo, tuna, trevally, and fusiliers predating on millions of baitfish.
  Fam
  – Divers traveling around Raja Ampat often spend an entire day in the Fam area. After enjoying a morning’s snorkel or dive around Fam’s varied coral gardens it’s fun to take an afternoon kayak ride and explore the island’s lovely bays.
  Batanta
 

– This large island offers a variety of sites ranging from interesting critter dives along the north coast to excellent wall diving on the northwestern tip. Just off Batanta’s north shore a downed World War II American fighter plane lies at about 100’ beneath the waters of tiny Wai (Jerif) Island. Wobbegong sharks are some times sighted on the slope leading to the plane. During the darkest phases of the moon Wai’s trees glow with millions of fireflies blinking in unison, a truly spectacular sight.

  Kofiau
  – The islands in this area are surrounded by lovely patch reefs and hard coral bommies that host one of the highest fish populations in Raja Ampat. Underwater photographers often do multiple dives around Walo off the southwestern corner of Kofiau where towering coral heads rise from a white sand substrate through clear water.
  NW Misool
  – The group of mangrove islets surrounding Nampale Island make up Raja Ampat’s famed Blue Water Mangroves. A labyrinth of channels dissects this mangrove maze where flowing oceanic currents nourish soft corals and other invertebrates anchored directly to the tree roots. The Blue Water Mangroves fascinate snorkelers as well as divers, and dive tenders often take sunset trips around some of the larger lagoons.
  SE Misool
  – The small islands that run east and south from Misool are surrounded by reefs supporting some of the most majestic underwater scenery in Raja Ampat. From the submerged caves on the west side of Farondi to the fan-covered walls of Fiabacet and the soft coral-lined swim throughs of Boo Kecil, the ocean teams with schools of batfish, damselfish and fusiliers. Dense clouds of silversides drape the walls and swirl through the shallows attracting larger predators like trevally and schools of dog tooth tuna.