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Explore raja ampat

Adventure trips

Photo by Dennis @freediver87

full day + half day excursions

When you come all the way to Raja Ampat it’s easy to be tempted to travel far and wide throughout the paradise islands that make up the archipelago. But for travelers that are short on time and cash it’s not convenient to do so. Transfer costs from one island to the next can be expensive and take up to three hours.

 

This is why we offer our divers adventure trips. While being based on Kri is ideal because there are the most dive sites concentrated in one area than anywhere else in Central Raja Ampat—we dive at nearly 30 dive sites within 15 minutes from our dive center—it’s also nice  to explore sites that are farther away from Kri. Raja Ampat also has a lot to offer on land, from stunning views of karst islands like Piaynemo or Wayag to breathtaking mangrove forests and waterfalls on Batanta. 

 

The beauty of our adventure trips is that you get to stay centrally located on Kri Island while also being able to dive at famous sites that are not so easy to get to, like Melissa’s Garden close to Piaynemo or Citrus Ridge nearby Pef Island. We also get to revel in the natural wonders that lie inland, like birds of paradise, waterfalls, viewpoints, bat caves and more. 

 

All of our adventure trips include two dives and stops to various stunning places above the sea. They are mostly full day trips but a few of them are half day.  Read on for a description of the adventure trips we offer!

Piaynemo

 

Full Day Trip | 1.900.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (Usually at Melissa’s Garden and Batu Rufas) 

 

The Piaynemo adventure trip is the most popular among our divers. If you google “Raja Ampat” you’ll likely see a view of countless small karst islands jutting out from beautiful clear water. That is Piaynemo, the cluster of islands that draws tourists from all over the world to visit Raja Ampat. Of course we love taking our divers to this breathtakingly beautiful viewpoint, but the dives that we do near Piaynemo are the real reason the trip is so spectacular 

 

We’re just going to say it: Melissa’s Garden is the most beautiful coral garden in the world. At least we think so, and so do many others. A healthy expanse of reef beneath three tiny little islands out in the blue but not too far from Piaynemo, Melissa’s Garden has remained intact and untouched. The biodiversity of corals and reef fish species there is mind blowing. 

 

The other dive sites we go to are Fam Wall,  Fam Slope, Ikan Party or Batu Rufas. We usually make a pit stop at Batu Rufas, a magical little island shaped like the outline of diamond with an emerald green lagoon in its center. Rufas Island has it’s own short hike up to a viewpoint of the lagoon and small neighboring islands. Diving at Batu Rufas is also quite the experience. Toward the end of our dives there we pass through an underwater arch and end up in a shallow coral garden that more often than not has black tip reef sharks cruising through it. 

 

Apart from the Piaynemo viewpoint or Rufas Island, we sometimes make pit stops to beautiful white sand beaches on the islands near Fam, Arborek Island or manta sandy to check if there are mantas to snorkel with. 

 
Gam Tour

 

Full Day Trip | 1.800.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (Usually at Mayam, Citrus Ridge or The Passage) 

 

Gam Island is pretty massive, relative to the majority of islands in Raja Ampat. So you can imagine there is much to see and do there. Our Gam Tour takes you all around the perimeter of Gam Island, starting from the western end of Gam called “Tanjun Putus” in Indonesian, which means “Broken Tip.” There we enter inside a scattering of small islands and dive at Mayham and Citrus Ridge, depending on what our dive plan is. 

 

Next we head to The Passage, a well known channel that makes up the border between Gam and another big island called Waigeo. From the surface The Passage almost looks like a river because the current strong enough to make the water flow quickly. The Passage is definitely unique in that you don’t dive there due to the high variety of marine species, but you dive there for the interesting underwater topography and to experience flying in a strong current. At one point during the dive at The Passage we surface inside of an underwater cave.

 

After The Passage we enter into Kabui Bay, which is well known for its small karst islands and beautiful views of limestone cliffs. We also hike up to a viewpoint of Kabui Bay before heading home to Kri. 

 
Batanta 

 

Full Day Trip | 1.800.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (Usually at P-47 Plane Wreck, Manta Wai or Arefi Reef)

 

Batanta is a long island located South of Kri Island. On our journey to Batanta there is a small island called Wai, where just off the island you can find the wreck of a P-47 American Fighter Jet that went down during WWII. The wreck is laying down slanted on the reef between 28 and 35 meters, which makes for an interesting dive because while descending to and ascending from the wreck we can swim along a nice reef, whereas many wrecks are out in the blue with not much to look at when not not he actual wreck. The plane wreck is fairly small but is intact and covered with soft corals and home to schools of fish and other marine life. 

 

Not far from Wai Island there is a manta ray cleaning station called Manta Wai, so during the months of manta season (usually mid November through April) we enjoy diving there. Arefi Reef is a nice underwater sea mount filled with macro life and a healthy reef. After diving at one of these sites we head to the mangrove forest. Snaking our way through the brackish water river through the tall mangrove trees, we eventually arrive at a small jetty that will lead us to a hiking trail through the jungle. At the start of the trail there is a small but beautiful waterfall. After about 40 minutes of hiking we arrive at a very tall and stunning waterfall.

 

 

The Passage

 

Full Day Trip | 1.700.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (At The Passage and Friwen Wall, Batu Lima or Nudibranch Rock )

 

As mentioned above in the Gam Tour trip, The Passage is a well known channel that makes up the border between Gam and another big island called Waigeo. From the surface The Passage almost looks like a river because the current strong enough to make the water flow quickly. The Passage is definitely unique in that you don’t dive there due to the high variety of marine species, but you dive there for the interesting underwater topography and to experience flying in a strong current. At one point during the dive at The Passage we surface inside of an underwater cave.

 

After The Passage we enter into Kabui Bay, which is well known for its small karst islands and beautiful views of limestone cliffs. We also hike up to a viewpoint of Kabui Bay before heading home to Kri. 

Gam Bay

 

Full Day Trip | 1.700.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (At Odima and Beser Bay)

The two dive sites we usually dive at during our Gam Bay Trip are very nice dive sites. Odima is an underwater sea mount between Mansuar and Gam and it tends to be really fishy and home to turtles, cuttlefish, and wobbegong sharks. The school of sweetlips at this sight is truly memorable. Beser Bay is located in front of Beser Bay Homestay just outside Gam Bay and is great site for searching for macro life and seeing large schools of fish, sharks and other creatures that inhabit the reefs around Raja Ampat.

Once inside the bay, we do various on land activities to explore Gam. We visit a bat cave hidden away inside of a tiny island,  hike to a beautiful viewpoint and swim with stingless jellyfish. We usually stop by Sawingrai Village to visit a local shop and say hi to the locals. Our friend Jonas has set up a learning center there called Child Aid Papua.  

Birds of Paradise

 

Half Day Trip | 1.600.000 IDR | 2 dives (At Batu Lima and Friwen Wall )

 

What draws naturalists to Papua, if not its underwater flora and fauna? That would be it's incredibly rare populations of birds of paradise. Throughout all of the Papua, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea the birds of paradise have been stunning twitchers for decades (by the way, the term for a bird watcher seeking out rare birds is twitcher). So come all twitchers, the birds are ready for you. Raja Ampat is home to a few very rare and very beautiful species of birds of paradise: Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise.

 

The trip we usually plan is to Gam, near the Dore Atri Lagoon, to see the Red Bird of Paradise. In order to see them we have to be at the right spot at sunrise. We wake up very early and leave the dive shop around 4:30 am. At Dore Atri we meet our local bird watching guides leave the speed boat and get into a long boat to go up the Dore Atri bay. Upon arriving at a small dock we get off and hike up about half an hour to a small clearing at the top of a hill. There we see the Red Birds of Paradise. The males are the flamboyant ones with beautiful long feathers and interesting behavior. They hop around and call out in an effort to attract the attention of the, admittedly less flashy, females. The trip back down through the Dore Atri Lagoon in the early morning light is spectacular.

 

After the bird watching portion of the trip is over we head to Batu Lima and Friwen Wall for some amazing dives before heading back to Kri around lunch time. Batu Lima means five rocks in Indonesian and this site earned the name thanks to the five rocks positioned in an interesting formation in a relatively shallow coral garden. After diving along a slope with coral reefs brimming with reef fish and other creatures, we head to the five rocks to weave in and out and enjoy the interesting topography. Friwen Wall is a nice easy dive along a small island named Friwen. There aren't too many walls in Raja Ampat compared to sea mounts and slopes, so Friwen is a nice change up in your dive itinerary. The stunning sea fans of all shapes, sizes and colors ornamenting the wall throughout the dive will solidify your love for this site. 

Plane wreck + Manta Wai

Full Day Trip | 1.700.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (At Manta Ridge, Manta Slope or Manta Sandy)

One of the only wrecks nearby is a WWII American fighter jet that crashed during the war. It landed on the slope of the reef fringing along Wai Island, facing upward, between about 30 and 36 meters.  As it's been underwater nearly 80 years, a great deal of corals, reef fish and other sea life has settled on and around the plane. Swim alongside the sunken jet and schools of fish and then zig zag your way up along the healthy reef of Wai Island. If Open Water divers would like to join this trip they will have to dive just the reef of Wai Island as they can only go to a depth of 18 meters maximum. 

Everybody loves seeing manta rays underwater, but usually you can only do so during manta season. However, we tend to see mantas more frequently, even before and after the true manta season in Central Raja Ampat, at Manta Wai. It is a cleaning station for manta rays off of Wai Island. Check out the adventure trip below for more infomation about diving with manta rays in Raja Ampat.

Manta slope + Manta ridge

 

Full Day Trip | 1.700.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (At Manta Ridge, Manta Slope or Manta Sandy )

Scuba Diving with manta rays in Raja Ampat is popular for a reason. You will never forget the first time you see a manta ray underwater, and soaring alongside those gentle giants that can reach up to five meters (15 feet) wide is nothing short of spectacular. Manta season in Raja Ampat is generally from December through mid March, though there are other manta sites you can see mantas at nearly year round (see "Plane Wreck + Manta Wai trip above).

 

The manta rays are attracted to the nutrient rich waters that arrive in Raja Ampat during those months. The sites we select to see them at are actually cleaning stations for the mantas. Big boulders and massive corals covered with more corals, plants, algae and other marine life including cleaner fish, such as cleaner wrasse, make up these cleaning stations. The mantas arrive to the station, circle around while cleaner fish clear away particles and even potential predators such as parasites from the skin. As divers we don't want to to interrupt his natural and important process, so we kneel down a safe distance from the cleaning station to watch the show. Manta rays are very curious and intelligent creatures that can sometimes circle close to your head as if to say hello, and they supposedly remember individuals. Some of our guides tell us that the same mantas they visit week after week begin to recognize them and always swoop in to say hello to them first before greeting the others.

Manta rays are harmless filter feeders without teeth and a completely harmless tail. With that said, it is forbidden to touch or otherwise harass a manta ray. We stay out of their way and just marvel at their greatness with respect, and ask all of our divers to do so. Manta Ride is our favorite manta site as it has a beautiful reef along much of the site, but it is only for advanced divers. Manta Slope also has a higher variety of coral structure to enjoy and is an easier dive. The calmest site, though you can experience current there at certain times as well, is Manta Sandy.

arborek

 

Full Day Trip | 1.700.000 IDR all inclusive | 2 dives (At Arborek Jetty, Manta Sandy, Manta Slope, Manta Ridge or Citrus Ridge) 

Arborek Island is a charming little island about 30 minutes away from our dive shop on Kri. It is unique because the village of Arborek is located on the island, allowing visitors to check out a local village. There are various dives we can do  nearby Arborek. The most famous sites are theManta sites just off of Arborek, but there are other highly regarded sites nearby such as Citrus Ridge, Mayham and Arborek Jetty.  After two dives we stop by Arborek Island to explore the village, hang out on the jetty (an amazing sunset spot), browse local shops, buy a old soda or beer, snorkel around the jetty or relax on the beach. 

 

wayag

 

Full Day Trip | 1.800.000 IDR all inclusive | No diving, snorkeling only

Wayag is le creme de le creme of Raja Ampat. It is simply the most stunning panorama found in Raja Ampat or anywhere in the world, according to many of those who have seen it. The trip itself is unique to the others we offer partly because it's up to a three-hour boat ride to get there, by far our longest trip. Because of that we don't do any dives during the trip. However, we stop at some nice reefs for snorkeling as well as a jetty brimming with black tip reef sharks. 

To get to Wayag we head up north past Pele Island. When we finally make it to Wayag we are met with an incredible, deserted white sand beach. After taking a dip we hike up one of the two hikes available. Although the hikes aren't the easiest, we hire a local guide and our team is available to give an extra hand. This hike is certainly doable for average hikers, though you will be a bit winded when you get to the top. 

The work is certainly worth it, though, because what awaits you at the top is a view that will take your breath away. Wayag is like Piayenmo on steroids. The expanse of tiny karst islands in a 360 degree view is utterly unique. We love greeting guests when they just get back from their journey to Wayag to see the still awe-struck looks on their faces and the comments that, without hyperbole, are along the lines of "That was the best day of my  life." 

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