prepare for paradise
raja ampat faq
Photo by John Haskew
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.
Where do i need to fly to come to Raja Ampat?
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.
How to get from Sorong Airport to the harbor?
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).
Where I can buy ferry tickets to Waisai?
Buy a ticket for the ferry from Sorong to Waisai at the ticket office just before the road leading out the ferry. It costs 125.000 IDR per person for one way. The ferries from Sorong to Waisai leave at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The same is true for the ferry from Waisai back to Sorong--it leaves at 9 am and 2 pm every day. The ferry is consistent but be aware, if you’re travelling on a public holiday there could be delays or cancellations--but normally this is not the case.
How to get to the islands from Waisai?
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 800.000 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 for 1.000.000 IDR per boat.
Do I need to pay fees to enter Raja Ampat National Park?
There is a 300.000 entry fee that you will pay for the Wasai office on arrival and
700.000 IDR Marine Park Entrance fee, which all visitors in Raja Ampat must pay. You can contact National Park directly or we can book this for you. You will contact National Park when you arrive and they will advise you for the Marine card collection.
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How I can pay for my accommodation in Raja Ampat?
Nearly all homestays in Raja Ampat only accept IDR cash.
How I can pay for my dives in Soul scuba divers?
Our dive center accepts IDR cash of course. The best way is to use Wise(Transferwise) application.
We also accept cash (USD and Euro - for a 5% fee), and bank transfers (we have bank accounts in Europe - for a 3% fee).
How do I make a booking with Soul scuba divers?
Our dive center asks for a 2.000.000 IDR deposit per diver, to secure your booking. You can send it via TransferWise or bank transfer. If you’d like to cancel, we can refund the payment 100% one week before your scheduled dives.
Where I can change money in Raja Ampat?
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, and 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.
Are there any ATMs on the Islands?
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.
How to prepare myself for the Raja Ampat trip?
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:
Which Teleoperator works in Raja Ampat?
You can buy Telekomsel sim card from the Airport. With foreign phones, officers will unlock your phone to be able to use it in Indonesia.
You can buy a Telkomsel sim card in Sorong or Waisai if you have a local phone. 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 a pretty decent 4g signal at Soul Scuba Divers on Kri.
Should I bring my own mask and snorkel?
Best to bring your own mask so you will insure that the mask is perfect fit for you. Most of the homestays do not have snorkel equipment for rental and our rental gear is very limited.
The dive supply shops in Sorong and Waisai sell very expensive gear so we recommend buying it before you arrive.
Is there a beer on the Kri Island?
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 are closed. The box of large Bintang beer in Waisai is usually 1.200.000 IDR. In the Yenbuba homestay sells Bintang for 75.000 IDR. 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.
Should I bring my first aid kit with me?
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.
Please remember to think environment before coming to Raja Ampat
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 homestays that make filling up your water bottle very easy. And we want to keep disposable plastic water bottles out of Raja Ampat!
Please pack reef-safe sunscreen with you. We ask our divers to respectfully only use reef-safe sunscreen before diving with us. There is no type of reef-safe 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.
Raja Ampat does not have organized waste management so please think of this while you buy snacks and bottles on the island.
Sundays we are close, please take this into consideration when you plan your dive holidays with us, read more about it from our Blog here