About Raja Ampat
Perhaps, every diver desire is to dive in Raja Ampat, a dive area recently known as one of the world’s best diving regions. Not only the as the pulse of recreational diving, Raja Ampat is now also becoming a marine laboratory. The limited facilities never stop people from diving in Raja Ampat.
In Raja Ampat, islands are spread over a vast area. Hence a mobile tourism facility is needed if one wants to explore the islands properly. There are 40 diving ships (Liveaboard) operating regularly in Raja Ampat providing full accommodation and service in exploring dive sites. But, if you need a firm ground to stay, there are resorts available around Waisai and Misool.
Diving in Raja Ampat, foreign visitor must pay IDR 500.000,- for a year permit and IDR 250.00 for domestic visitor. The amount charges is to finance conservation efforts and community projects. An information center where you can pay the entrance fee to Raja Ampat can be found in Sorong and Bali. You can also purchase your tag through any liveaboards or any land base dive operators.
Raja Ampat offers dive with mostly good visibility, minimum 20m and with underwater menu such as colorful school of fish, dense coral covers, and opportunities to meet exotic rare to find critters. In the north, sites with such description are scattered around Dampier Strait. Waisai is the capital city of Raja Ampat district and located just in the heart of Dampier strait. The dive resorts are mostly located in this area..In the south, Misool area is the center of the exotic dive sites providing underwater coral garden full of pelagic, mantas, colorful reef fish and sometime sea mammals.
If you wish to encounter schools of fusilier, jack fish, snappers, and anthias, do dive in Sardine Reef, Mike’s Point, The Passage, Cape Kri, and Mansuar Reef. Pigmy seahorses are normally hiding within the polyps of the gorgonians in the area. The shy wobbegong shark also can be spotted here. The wobbegong shark may look calm and easy to be approached but don’t disturb them as they can be quite dangerous and are likely to bite when they feel annoyed.
Saunek Island is the center of muck dive where in the shallow water under the jetty you can find wonderpus, the species of mimic octopus that mastered the knowledge of camouflaging into the form of several fishes in order to avoid predator. Here you can also encounter ghost pipefish, mantis shrimp, and crocodile fish
In the west, in Arborek Island’s water is the house of schools of Manta Rays. At Manta Point close to Arborek, the current runs swift such a perfect playground for the group and the strong current feed them with abundance of plankton.