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Raja Ampat

Dive Map Raja Ampat Melissa's GardenThe PassageCape KriFak FakFarondi Island
On the remote north-western tip of Western Papau in the Halmahera Sea is the Raja Ampat islands, which fittingly means four kings.

Raja Ampat currently holds the prestigious honour of being the most biologically diverse spot known to science. The area is the world-record holder for number of fish species, number of coral species and number of mollusc species too.

In addition to Indo-Pacific marine life, distinctly Australian species, such as Wobbegong Sharks & Queensland Groupers are seen here, adding to the mix.
Glasseye Snapper Lionfish Moray Eel Diver Dive Map Raja Ampat
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Sponge Misool is one of the area’s many gems. Huge & almost constant schools of fish engulf divers as they drift along the reef, while hundreds of different corals & sponges compete for space and hide a myriad of smaller creatures, including various species of Pygmy Seahorse.

Farondi Island just to the east is one of Misool's top spots, with spectacular limestone walls and plenty of tunnels & caverns to explore.

At Mansuar, Turtle encounters are common and visiting Manta Rays bring even bigger smiles to diver’s faces. To the east of Mansaur, little Kri Island has excellent diving, while for big-fish encounters, Cape kri is a must. Schools of Snapper & Fusilier engulf divers, who are likely to encounter huge Queensland Groupers, Barracuda, Turtles, Sharks and maybe even Mantas on during their dive. Nearby, Mellisa's Garden is a beautiful shallow reef that is very popular with photographers. Lovely soft corals & tunicates abound, while Sharks & Groupers are often found resting on the reef.

To the north, The Passage is little more than a narrow crack separating two islands, but underwater it is spectacular. Mind-boggling numbers and varieties of fish call this narrow passage home, including many larger species. The topography is fascinating too, with boulders, caves & overhangs hiding all manner of life.

Further south, Fak-fak has recently sprung to prominence for its outstanding diving potential.
Whales & Dolphins frequent this area and can sometimes be seen from the boat, with the highest chance of an encounter around December & January.

Due to the remote location and lack of population pressures, the area has never been heavily or destructively fished and reef’s are absolutely pristine. The area can be dived all year round, with two mini peak seasons, around March & April and again in September to November. July can bring stronger winds and rougher seas.

  Pgymy Seahorse Manta Ray Angelfish Harlequin Shrimps
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It is possible to dive this region either by Liveaboard or by staying in one of island's eco-dive resorts.

Liveaboard trips generally leave from Sorong on mainland Papua, but there are also Liveaboards leaving from Ambon in the Banda Sea and finishing in Sorong. Liveaboard trips generally last 10 days to 2 weeks.
  • Sorong
  • Raja Ampat
  • Ambon

Dive Map SorongDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Sorong

Sorong, at the western tip of the Bird's Head Peninsula is the main jumping off point for Liveaboard trips to the Raja Ampat islands.

Dive Phuket  Dive
This area has become one of the hottest area's to dive in recent years and the local dive industry has risen to the challenge. High-end Liveaboards are generally the order of the day in Sorong. Most operators meet guests at the airport and take them straight to the boat.

It is also possible to make Liveaboard trips starting here and heading either north to Lembeh or south to the Banda Sea.

Travel Phuket  Travel
Sorong has an airport with connections to Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, plus Manado & Makassar in Sulawesi. Merpati Airlines currently make daily flights to & from these destinations.

Stay Phuket  Stay
Sorong is one of Western Papua's largest towns and finding a place to stay is less of a problem than in more remote parts of the region. Most dive opeerators will be able to recommend a good hotel for your stay.

Do Phuket  Do
Diving is obviously the main passtime here, but becoming aquainted with the local culture or taking in a little sight-seeing is also rewarding.

Dive Bases Map Raja AmpatDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Raja Ampat

The Raja Ampat islands or 'Four Kings', are now one of Asia's premier dive destinations, currently holding the title of most diverse region on earth.

Dive Phuket  Dive
While many people choose to visit the region by Liveaboard, there are also a few excellent dive resorts in the area allowing you to make daily dive trips and return to solid ground at night.

While they are not able to cover the whole of Raja Ampat, they are positioned near some of the very best dive sites of the region.

Travel Phuket  Travel
The area can be reached by flying to Sorong on mainland Papua, which has flights to & from Jakarta, Indonesia's capital and Manado & Makassar in Sulawesi. From Sorong, the resorts normally arrange for boat transfers for guests.

Stay Phuket  Stay
Currently there are three resorts in Raja Ampat, two on Kri Island and one on Misool further west. They are all eco-dive resorts, with a strong emphasis on conservation. Villas tend to be built in the traditional style on the beach or over the sea.

Do Phuket  Do
These islands are very remote. Aside from diving - taking in the sheer beauty & tranquililty of the surroundings, relaxing on the beach or trying a little bird-watching are as active as things generally get.

Map PhuketDirectory Find Dive Centres & Resorts in Ambon

The small island of Ambon sits at the northern end of the Banda Sea, 130km north of the Banda Islands. Its major town, also called Ambon, is the capital of the Maluku region.

Dive Phuket  Dive
The island currently has one dive shop, Maluku Divers, a well established operation that is partnered with Spice Island divers on the Banda Islands. They run daily trips to a wide variety of local dive sites.

Liveaboards also depart from Ambon to explore the Banda Sea. Some also head up to Raja Ampat, finishing their journey in Sorong on Western Papua.

Travel Phuket  Travel
To get to Ambon takes a little time, but is not too difficult. There are flights from Denpasar airport in Bali and from Jakarta in Java to Makassar in Sulawesi. From here, there are daily flights to Ambon.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There is basic accommodation attached to the dive shop and now some slightly more comfortable rooms as well. There are also a few other simple options, plus a luxury hotel on Natsepa Beach, the island's most visited beach.

Do Phuket  Do
Aside from diving, there are nice beaches to visit and some interesting cultural trips learning about the history of the islands, but not a great deal of touristy activities.

Banda Sea         
The Banda Sea is a deep sea ringed by islands in eastern Indonesia. While these islands may seem incredibly remote, they were once world famous as the Spice Islands. Nowadays, they are more famous for their plentiful underwater wonders & laidback island charm...

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We give you the lowdown on some of South-east Asia's finest Liveaboard trips, taking you to some of the most spectacular & remote diving destinations on the planet...


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