prepared for paradise

raja ampat faq

how do you get to raja ampat?

​We wrote a blog post about planning a low budget trip to Raja Ampat with complete information. But here's the important things to know about transportation:

  • Fly into Sorong (SOQ) airport. There are usually direct flights from Jakarta to Sorong, but from other destinations around Indonesia there is usually a layover in Makassar on your way to Sorong. 

  • Once you arrive at the airport take a taxi to the harbor. It usually costs 100.000 IDR. Otherwise you can walk out to the main road to try to catch a yellow bus taxi that usually costs 5.000 IDR per person (ask to go to the “pelabuhan ferry Raja Ampat” and be prepared to either pay extra for the taxi to be able to enter the ferry road, or be prepared to walk from the entrance of the harbor road to the ferry).

  • Buy a ticket for the ferry from Sorong to Waisai at the ticket office just before the road leading out the ferry. It costs 100.000 IDR per person for one way. The ferries from Sorong to Waisai leave at 9 am and 2 pm. The same is true for the ferry from Waisai back to Sorong--it leaves at 9 am and 2 pm everyday. The ferry is consistent but we aware if you’re traveling on a public holiday there could be delays or cancellations--but normally this is not the case. 

  • Speed boat transfers from Waisai to Kri (or any other island in Raja Ampat) should be arranged before you arrive. Normally the homestay you book with will pick you up. The price Yenbuba Homestay charges is 600.000 IDR per boat per direction. So if you are able to share the boat with other guests it’s a better deal for you of course. If there are more than 6 guests, however, they ask 800.000 IDR per boat.

 

How can you pay for accomodation + activities?

  • Nearly all homestays in Raja Ampat only accept IDR cash. This is true for Yenbuba Homestay also.

  • There is a 1.000.000 IDR Marine Park Entrance fee that all tourists in Raja Ampat must pay. After exiting the ferry in Waisai you will be directed to the tourist information center where you will need to present your passport and pay the fee before receiving your Marine Park card. 

  • Speed boat transfers from Waisai to Kri is normally 600.000 IDR per boat per direction. So if you are able to share the boat with other guests it’s a better deal for you of course. If there are more than 6 guests, however, they ask 800.000 IDR per boat.

  • Our dive center does accept IDR cash of course. But we also accept USD cash, Euro cash, PayPal payments and bank transfers (we have bank accounts in the US and Europe)--but we ask a 3% charge for those forms of payment. 

  • Our dive center asks a 30% deposit for the dives you’d like to do. You can send it via PayPal or bank transfer. If you’d like to cancel we can refund the payment 100% one month before your scheduled dives, 50% two weeks before and not at all after that--unless, of course, in the case of an illness or emergency.

  • Money Changer- You should be able to exchange money at BNI or BRI banks in Waisai or Sorong. Just be aware of the bank’s hours, public holidays, that most banks are closed during lunch hour 12-1 p.m. and sometimes the banks run out of currencies or you never know what else. This is why we recommend getting quite a bit of money changed before you arrive in Indonesia (Jakarta Airport has money changers--the rate will be higher though). You may feel uneasy carrying so much cash on you but Kri is a very quiet island and we’ve never had any problems arise for any guests staying at Yenbuba Homestay or diving with us. 

  • ATMs- There are ATMs both in Waisai and Sorong. The issue some travelers run into is a daily withdrawal limit--whether the total you try to withdraw or the number of times you can withdraw per day. Most ATMs in Indonesia only dispense 6.000.000 IDR, and it’s true that most commonly people complain about only being able to withdraw 3.000.000 twice per day.

 


what should you pack? What can you buy in raja ampat?

 

​For in-depth information about what to bring with you to Raja Ampat, read our packing guide blog post! Otherwise, here are some of the most important things you'll need on the islands:

  • You can buy a Telkomsel sim card in Sorong or Waisai. Ask a taxi or ojek (motorbike taxi) to take you to a “kantor Telkomsel.”  It normally costs 150.000 IDR for a new sim card and 12 gb of data--which is more than enough for a month usually. We do get pretty decent 4g signal at Soul Scuba Divers on Kri.

  • Bring waterproof bags with you. You can get quite wet during boat trips or transfers between different islands.

  • Bring a reusable water bottle with you! There are water gallons at all of the homestay that make filling up your water bottle very easy. And we want to keep disposable plastic water bottles out of Raja Ampat!

  • If you want to buy beer, other drinks and snacks, we recommend going to Saga supermarket in Sorong. They sell boxes of 24 large cans of Bintang beer for about 835.000 IDR. In Waisai you can also find drinks and snacks but sometimes the shops selling beer is closed. The box of large Bintang beer in Waisai is usually 1.200.000 IDR. In the Yenbuba village, about 5 minutes away from Yenbuba Homestay by boat, a woman in her house sells beer for 60.000 IDR per large can. FYI: in order to avoid rats in your room please ask us--or whatever homestay you’re staying at--to store snacks in a plastic box to prevent rats from entering your room.

  • Please pack reef safe sunscreen with you. We ask our divers to respect is to only use reef safe sunscreen before diving with us. We have small bottles of reef safe sunscreen for sale, but please remember that our resources are limited. There is no type of sunscreen in Sorong or Waisai for sale.

  • Pack mosquito repellent and/or antimalarial medicine with you as there is malaria present in West Papua where Raja Ampat is located. 

  • Just remember that Raja Ampat is a really remote place; pack your own first aid kits and hygiene products as the variety and quality of products available in Waisai and Sorong are different from what you’re used to. FYI for women: there are no tampons available only sanitary pads. There are no “organic” or “bio” soaps or shampoos. The dive supply shops in Sorong and Waisai sell very expensive gear so we recommend buying it before you arrive. Or we have snorkeling and diving gear available for rent. 

questions about diving with us? Go to our diving faq page!

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