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Adventure trip to Piaynemo

Updated: May 20, 2023

Piyanemo Raja Ampat Fam islands
Piyanemo @Tim Noack

What to expect from Piaynemo adventure trip?

Piaynemo is a small cluster of islands within Raja Ampat and is famous for its iconic viewpoint known as "Piaynemo Island or Hill." Piaynemo view point is part of the Fam islands (also called Pam islands) and area has photographic views. Visitors often hike up to the top of Piaynemo Hill to witness a breathtaking panoramic view of the turquoise waters, karst islets, and lush green islands that make up the archipelago. It's a popular spot for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Other view point to visit is the Telaga Bintang, or Star Lagoon, gets its name from the unique shape of the lagoon that resembles a star when viewed from above. The crystal-clear waters of the lagoon, combined with the towering cliffs and lush greenery, create a picturesque and breathtaking scene. Both of the view point are super good for drone footage.

The adventure trip to Piaynemo is one of the highlights for many of the people diving with us. Not only because of the visit to the iconic lagoon, Piyanemo has breathtaking dive sites. Most famous one is Melissa's garden which is every divers bucket list when they come and dive in Raja Ampat. Melissa's Garden is renowned for its stunning coral reef formations and rich marine biodiversity. Divers can explore a vast area covered in a variety of corals, including soft corals, gorgonians, and sea fans. The site is known for its vibrant colors and is home to numerous reef fish species, as well as other marine creatures like turtles, reef sharks, and various types of invertebrates.

Adventure trip with Soul scuba divers

07:30 we meet at the Soul scuba dive center on Kri island with all the divers. Once everybody has gathered and checked their gear we are ready for the 45 minute boat ride, which to me is one of the best parts of the trip. It is a great opportunity to take in the amazing landscape and there’s a good chance of spotting dolphins and pilot wales.

When we reach the fam islands there are many wonderful dive sites to choose from but we usually start with Melissa’s garden.

As the name suggests, this site, which lies in between two small islands, boasts an unbelievable amount of corals covering every bit of the seafloor. The “grass-field” of branching corals, which houses tons of damselfish, contains some big bommies with colorful soft corals. This reef is home to a great variety of species: Sweetlips, Napolean wrasse and heaps of blacktip reef sharks to name a few.

After resurfacing we head to a small island nearby to share a much needed cup of coffee and all the stories from the dive. When we are done with the surface interval there is an important question to be answered: where are we going for the second dive of the day?

Depending on the current, tide and the input from the group the dive guides may choose to drift at fam wall in order to gaze at an absurd amount of soft corals and have a look at some pygmy seahorses, we might go to Rufas where we can take beautiful pictures in the swim-through to the lagoon with it’s backdrop of orange and purple seafans or go and check out new reef in search of some small and rare critters. Other good option is called Galaxy aka my reef, which is huge coral garden with massive schools of fishes and mind blowing coral garden. You really have the feel of Sardine or Cape Kri dive site.

Melissa's Garden Piaynemo Raja Ampat Diving
Melissa's garden @ Andre Moyo

With the second and last dive of the day in the books it is time for some lunch. Everybody can enjoy the lunchbox their homestay prepared for them with the view of the iconic islands of Piaynemo and once everybody is done and rested it is time for the climb towards the viewpoint. The well kept wooden stairs make for an easy hike but as it is still quite a ways up everybody arrives at the top on their own time. The fotoshoot that follows is a staple of every adventure trip to Piaynemo which often delivers some instagram worthy results. You don't need to have hiking shoes for this, flip flops does the job. When we get down there are some fresh coconut’s waiting for us near the boat and if we’re lucky the locals invite us for some karaoke.

Once the souvenirs have been bought and everybody is back on the boat we head back to Kri with the setting sun at the stern. We arrive at the dive center just in time for everybody to return to their respective homestay for dinner.

The Piaynemo trip is an adventure which nicely breaks up a week of diving around Cape Kri with some memorable views and amazing dive sites and it is diversity one of our most popular day trips.

Blog writing by our divemaster trainee Thjis from Netherland.

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