How to Travel to Raja Ampat

Once you know which route to take it will be easy to travel to Raja Ampat. In this blog post I will explain the easiest way to travel, what to watch out for, some secret layover spoils and show you the up-to-date ferry schedule for Waisai. Find out the details below

How to travel to Raja Ampat without any surprises

The west Papua and Raja Ampat diving region is located on the outskirts of the western Pacific Ocean and situated pretty much on the equator. Raja Ampat is located off the north western coast of Papua Island, north of Australia.

First you will have to make your way to Sorong, West Papua, before you can embark on the ferry to Waisai in order to indulge in your Raja Ampat dive resort holiday.

Easiest way to travel to Raja Ampat – Flight Info:

  • There are no direct International flights to Sorong. All international guest should fly via Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur into Indonesia and continue with a local aircarrier to Sorong.
  • There are no direct domestic flights to Sorong from Bali or Jakarta. All domestic flights to Sorong have to go via Makassar or Manado.
  • From Singapore you can also go 4 times a week directly with Silk Air to Manado and then continue to Sorong with a local flight operator.
  • From Makassar and Manado there are several daily flights to Sorong. The airlines offering this service are: Garuda Indonesia, Express Air, Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air/Wings Air
    Please note that flight times are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice. Therefor a travel insurance is HIGHLY recommended.

From the listed local airlines, only Garuda Indonesia excepts online payments with non-Indonesian credit cards. All other operators only except Indonesian debit/credit cards. Garuda Indonesia is also the most reliable airline in the country.

As an alternative to booking the local flights yourself after arrival in Indonesia, our expert reservations team would be happy to assist you with the booking! Booking any domestic flights in advance, you will prevent overnight layovers in Jakarta, Makassar, Manado or Sorong when you travel to Raja Ampat.

Why you should watch your baggage weight and pack with caution

Local airlines in Indonesia only allow a maximum of 20 kg and some only 15 kg luggage when checking in. Since vigilant divers usually travel to Raja Ampat with their dive equipment to save money on equipment rentals, it turns out to be a bit tricky to travel to Raja Ampat without paying overweight charges.

Have you heard of Sky Team Alliance?

The only way to avoid paying overweight charges on your travel to Raja Ampat is, to book your whole flight with a Sky Team Alliance member. The reason for this is, that Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia’s most reliable airline, is a member of that Alliance. When booking your international and domestic flights with any of their members, you will be able to check-in your luggage all the way to Sorong. Even when you have to change planes in Jakarta, Manado or Makassar. Only in this case will you be able to take 32 kg luggage with you, without paying penalty charges for overweight. That should be enough for most divers when travel to Raja Ampat.

Secret layover spoils for Jakarta – Makassar and Manado

Recommended if you have a layover in Jakarta

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport – CGK

If you already had a long day, and then to spend some more hours in Jakarta airport while travel to Raja Ampat, you could as well spend those waiting hours in comfort. Hanging out in the International airport building waiting for 6 hours or more you would easily spend $20 US at the airport restaurants and cafes. There are also several banks and ATM’s in each Terminal, where you should change or draw cash, Indonesian Rupiah, in case you haven’t done so before.

Find more hotel at Jakarta

You will have to change terminals when taking a domestic flight in Jakarta. Don’t transfer too early because there is really nothing to do at the domestic airport terminal. Be at the check-in 1.5 hours before scheduled departure.There is a free shuttle bus at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport which connects Terminals 1, 2 and 3. You will find those at each Terminal exit.

Recommended if you have a layover in Makassar

Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport – UPG

The airport Terminal is equipped with a bank, ATM’s, restaurants and cafes, bars, a VIP Lounge, duty-free shopping, mini marts, gift shops, travel agents, car rental, taxi service, First Aid service and a baby/parent room and WiFi. These will be able to provide the most essential if you decide to stay overnight in the airport. As mentioned, several ATM’s are available, from where you SHOULD get cash, Indonesian Rupiah, if you haven’t done so before.

If you are travelling via Makassar and have several hours of waiting ahead of you, especially during night hours, just walk to the Ibis Airport hotel. It is only 50 meters beside the airport exit. It really is worth it since the waiting area doesn’t even have comfortable seating where one could stretch out and lay down.


It is a budget hotel but still offering full Ibis service. If booking online before your arrival you can get the room for around 350,000 IDR (around $25 US).

Recommended if you have a layover in Manado

Sam Ratulangi International Airport – MDC

If you have a layover for several hours or a whole night in Manado on your travel to Raja Ampat, it is not recommended to stay in the airport, even though it is open now 24 hours.

The seating areas in the passenger terminal are not made for sleeping in comfort, and there is no WiFi access. But the Terminal is equipped with a bank, ATM’s, restaurants and cafes, bars, a VIP Lounge, duty-free shopping, mini marts, gift shops, travel agents, car rental, taxi service, First Aid service and a baby/parent room. These shops will be able to provide the most essential if you decide to stay overnight in the airport. As mentioned, several ATM’s are available, from where you SHOULD get cash, Indonesian Rupiah, if you haven’t done so before.

Two sweet options for the night when staying in Manado.

Arrived in Sorong … And now what?

Then, once you arrived in Sorong, take a taxi from the airport to the ferry harbour (about 100,000 IDR). At the entrance you can buy a ticket for the express ferry for 220,000 IDR that will bring you within two hours to Waisai, where we will pick you up and bring you to our Raja Ampat diving resort!

If you have time between your arrival in Sorong and the ferry departure, please purchase the mandatory Marine Park tag in Sorong, at the Meridian Hotel, just opposite the airport exit. This tag is mandatory for ALL VISITORS, divers and non-divers alike.

Ferry departure times | Sorong – Waisai | Waisai – Sorong

DAY SORONG – WAISAI WAISAI – SORONG
MONDAY 09:00 14:00 09:00 14:00
TUESDAY 14:00 14:00
WEDNESDAY 09:00 14:00 09:00 14:00
THURSDAY 14:00 14:00
FRIDAY 09:00 14:00 09:00 14:00
SATURDAY 14:00 11:00
SUNDAY 14:00 14:00

*These are the official ferry departure times for 2016, but they can change without prior notice. All times mentioned are departure times. The ferry ride takes about 2 hours.
That’s it already! A real adventure in itself!
Once settled in your bungalow, come to our dive center, check in and reserve your spot on next days dive trip!

Watch out for Travel formalities – Visa on arrival – Visa extension

Visa on arrival – updated in 2016

Airport Immigration will check your passport

The Tourist visa you get on arrival is valid for 30 days and free of charge for most European,  American, Australian and many Asian travelers. But please consult the Indonesian embassy in your country for detailed information or check this website for Indonesian Visa regulations.

It may happen to you on arrival, that the immigration officer will ask you, to show your departure ticket, for a flight leaving the country within 30 days. It is mandatory to have such and entry can be denied if you can not prove that you are leaving within 30 days.

In addition to thatonwardflight ticket

  • Your passport has to be valid for at least 6 month
  • Your passport will have to have at least one free page for the immigration sticker

When staying at our resort, please bring a photocopy of your passport and one passport photo for your registration.

The best tactic for a fool proof visa extension

Indonesian Tourist visa extension

If you decide during your travel to Raja Ampat or Indonesia in general, that you want to extend your stay, you can do so. The procedure is easy and can be done in any immigration office. There is only one rule! It has to be done before your Visa runs out!!
The procedures do change and differ from district office to district office a little. To avoid any frustrations, be in an immigration office no earlier than 7 and later than 3 days before your visa expires. That can also be done in Sorong, which takes 3 days and cost about $50 US.
If for any reason you miss your due date and exceed your permitted time, be assured that the immigration office at the airport you are leaving from WILL NOTICE! Each day that you overstayed will be charged at 300,000 IDR per day.

Final thoughts

This blog post gives you a good overview with all you need to know when you travel to Raja Amapt. In case you have any further questions on how to travel to Raja Ampat, you can either follow this two pages where you will find plenty of usefull travel tips or just press the button below.

If you travel to Raja Ampat and are curious what dive sites Raja Ampat has to offer, you can download our FREE RAJA AMPAT DIVE SITES GUIDE just below. It is free of charge though, but if you enjoy the guide or found this article helpful for your travel planning, please click on the facebook like button below. For more information, special offers and regular updates please follow us on facebook. Thank you very much!!

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