22 Reasons to go Diving in Raja Ampat
Indonesia, the world-famous archipelago, covers 1,919,443 square kilometers area with its 17,508 islands, totaling up to 54,720 km of coastlines. Being called a tropical paradise, the country lives up to worldwide expectation by having tens of thousands of remarkable sea creatures roaming underwater, mostly untouched by human civilization, as well as the current number of 70 million hectares of rainforests and palm trees, and not to forget the uninhabited islands and active volcanoes. The country’s land area stretches up to 1,826,440 sq km, while its water area 93,000 sq km.
Being also located at the Ring of Fire and a member of The Coral Triangle, it has everything nature can offer. Among all these marvels, Raja Ampat stands out as the most famous dive spot right now, offering more than 1,000 fish species and over 600 coral species, 75% of the world’s recorded coral species. Raja Ampat Liveaboard Indonesia had by far been the best catch to explore these beauties in a short amount of time.
So what are the 22 reasons to go to Raja Ampat for a dive?
You guessed it! Raja Ampat is located in Indonesia
The weather condition and warm water are just the right things needed for flora and fauna to flourish. The all year round nice weather add to the already perfect location. Raja Ampat Liveaboard Indonesia available all around the coasts of Raja Ampat would be the best choice for divers to explore the tropical gem. It will allow us to just spend days visiting various diving spots that cannot be conquered in a single day.
Raja Ampat’s Undiscovered Areas
Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau. Given its secluded location and various landscapes, Raja Ampat is quite hard to reach. That has made the reefs underwater immaculate from human touch. Despite its popularity, there’re relatively unexplored spots still, which is why Dive Exploration trips are being offered to curious divers.
The Spectacular Number of Fish Species and Coral Species
Raja Ampat (along with other members of the Coral Triangle) holds 75% of the world’s recorded coral species with its over 600 species. Also known for having more than 1,000 fish species, Raja Ampat undeniably worthy to be called underwater heaven.
The Coral Triangle!
The Coral Triangle is a roughly triangular marine area formed by at least 500 species of reef-building corals. It is located at combined tropical marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. The World Wildlife Fund considers the Coral Triangle as a top priority for marine conservation because the Triangle itself held 75% of global biodiversity.
Wearing less weight, thinner wetsuit, and little exposure protection definitely makes diving easier, more comfortable, carefree and fun. Warm water contributes to fish colors, hence more magnificent varieties compared to the ones with cold water. The temperature also affects visibility, although not as much as the wind flows.
Raja Ampat is located at the center of powerful deep-sea currents, blessed with warm water and strong wind, contributing to impressive water visibility. On low season only, the visibility could reach 80%.
Find the Fishes Specifically lives in Warm Water
Discover schools of barracuda, schools of batfish, the famous anemonefish, butterflyfish, cardinalfish, the dazzling dottybacks, cute Tail Spot Blenny, damselfish, and 1300 more gorgeous fish species Raja Ampat had to offer. If you carefully look through the reefs, you will get to see Raja Ampat’s Epaulette Shark. If you are wondering where to find unique frogfishes, Raja Ampat is your to-go place!
Blend in with Local Papuans
The locals can communicate well enough despite not speaking advanced English. They are quite accustomed to foreign visitors and are very friendly. However, Papua stays natural and not too many tourists due to transportation scarcity, keeping the sites splendid. A dive safari would offer such a chance to meet and interact with the friendly locals, as guests are moving to stay from one local accommodation to another.
Sea Creatures that can only be found in the Coral Triangle.
You will find large Tasselled Wobbegong Sharks only in Raja Ampat, while Flamboyant Cuttlefish can only be seen in Raja Ampat and Northern-West Australia. Meanwhile, Blue Ringed, Mimic Octopus will be found only in Raja Ampat and Sulawesi.
Pygmy Seahorse might be the most popular seahorse in the world of diving. Its peculiar shape resembles soft corals, its habitat. With their sizes (only 14-27 millimeters) and the resemblance to their habitats, Pygmy Seahorses are well camouflaged and hard to find. Chances are big that you are going to find them in Raja Ampat though, for 6 of the 7 types of this species can only be found in the Coral Triangle, especially Raja Ampat.
Huge Diversity of Sea Animals
Raja Ampat itself consists of about 2500 islands and is divided into 3 smaller areas to specify the exploration. The areas are Misool, Dampier Strait, and Northern Raja Ampat. The biodiversity in each these areas are different, altogether making Raja Ampat in total offers 1320 fish species and around 600 coral species. In the Dampier Strait area, you will find fish-filled seamounts, dramatic coral reefs, and unique areas to interact with manta rays. Misool, harder to reach, offers a chance meeting with bigger creatures such as whales and octopuses.
Meanwhile, the Northern areas are not very much visited, offering a staggering amount of unique fishes and stunning lagoons. Scuba Republic’s Raja Ampat Liveaboard Indonesia runs around the Dampier Strait with an occasional expedition to Misool with our Raja Ampat Budget Liveaboard. Along our trip, we have seen many different kinds of fishes. Large Tasselled Wobbegong Sharks, Maori Wrasse, Epaulette Shark, Flatworms, Moray Eels, Crabs, Anemonefish, are to name a few.
A biodiversity Hotspot, Instagrammable Macro Photography
Raja Ampat is the perfect stage for macro photography thanks to its incandescent biodiversity. The rich marine heaven will definitely turn your Instagram into an exquisite art gallery.
A Wall Diving, if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, is the best activity in our opinion. You will find the reef runs vertically and as deep as the eyes hardly can see. Going down following the reefs to the depth of the ocean, wondering what is next. Oh the feeling!
Giant Manta Rays
Get ready to be taken to wonder once you reach Manta Sandy. Manta Sandy is a cafe for giant Mantas, thanks to its rich plate of planktons, Manta Rays’ favorite food. Enjoy your dive while the friendly Mantas floating around you eating and chilling.
Raja Ampat is home to the unique Tasselled Wobbegong Shark and Epaulette Shark, living with each of their own peculiar nature.
Unique Ocean Creatures that You can’t Find Anywhere Else
Now, these corals might seem small in the picture, with no comparison standard around. When compared to the size of a human, however, (picture source: @drs_me) you can see how big this is! This coral is just one out of hundred similar-sized species, lingering underwater of Raja Ampat waiting for us to discover them. Everyone knows Raja Ampat has 75% of the World’s coral species, along with unique sharks and eye-catching schools of fish. You’re welcomed!
Join the Community, either with the Schooling Fish Underwater, or Above Water with Our Dive Masters
Diving is not just a hobby. It is a way of finding yourself throughout a journey of exploring other parts of the world, giving up yourself to the breathtaking nature, floating and diving deep in turn to discover the best things that could happen to you, redefine your inner self, and enjoy numerous marine biodiversity the world has to offer. Divers have a family by its own definition, as we travel the world, we leave our birth family behind and meet other persons that will dive with us, guide us, help us if necessary, and together enjoying the radiant ocean life. We might also meet the fishes and corals more often than meeting our own birth family, kidding or not! Join the community in Raja Ampat!
Its Surface is Worth Mentioning too!
Thinking of sunbathing and getting wet with seawater all day while enjoying the heavenly land view? Or taking this irresistible photographs?
Not only Diving. You can also Snorkel and Swim
If you ever feel like you are not in the mood for any more dive – not that it’s likely – the striking beauty of Raja Ampat diversity can be captured easily by the eyes even if you only snorkel or swim around. Even though it cannot be compared to the diversity deeper down, snorkeling or swimming in the water of Raja Ampat offers its own pleasure: sunshine. So put aside your dive equipment for a while, relax, and enjoy the perks!
Piaynemo, Wayag, and Jellyfish Lakes
If you ever wondered where this highly popular picture of Raja Ampat was taken at, the answer is Piaynemo and Wayag. The two islands are different and yet so much alike. Piaynemo is called the “mini” Wayag by many. They both consist of little islands that are still unavailable to reach by land, while it can either be seen from the above viewpoint (hiking will be required) or approached underwater by scuba diving. Going further southwest, you will find Jellyfish Lakes that belongs to Misool Regency. The lakes, Karawapop and Lenmakana, are famous for its harmless Jellyfish species. (Still, take caution!).
Bird-Watching: Cendrawasih and Kakatua
Papua, shaped like a bird itself, is home to a special bird species, Cendrawasih. More specifically, they can be found in Saporkren village, where Scuba Republic’s Dive Center sits nearby. The bird-watching event is held every day from 5 am – 6.30 am in the morning, and 3 pm – 4.30 pm in the evening. There will be a 30-minute hiking inside the rainforest to reach the spot, and on the journey, visitors will hear the birds’ voices while being encouraged to stay silent themselves. Visitors will also meet Kakatua (another unique Papuan species), and Bangkong. This event is only allowed on certain dates, as to not destroy these natural habitats. It will be on the 4th-6th, 15th-17th, and 25th-28th.
Raja Ampat Liveaboard Indonesia is Popular among Professional Divers
Liveaboards bring divers on a 7-day or a 10-day trip to visit diving sites where no human can go to if not by boat. Upon each day aboard, the boat visits 3-4 amazing dive sites, where divers can roam around and admire the stunning marine diversity living on-site.
Raja Ampat remains the top three best diving location in the world for its marine diversity that had been developing for thousands of years undisturbed thanks to its remote location. With a 7-day trip, there are already at least 20 dive sites visited, in the best diving spots everyone could hope for. Hence the popularity of Raja Ampat Liveaboard Indonesia.
Pictures on the article by: Wander Deeper
About Scuba Republic and Raja Ampat Liveaboard
Scuba Republic started almost 20 years ago with our expedition Liveaboard, JAYA. Since then we have explored most of Indonesia’s remote areas and opened a chain of dive operations. The year 2016, we brought all the products together under the same flag of Scuba Republic. Scuba Republic means the best value on the market, the highest level of professionalism, experience, safety, and fun. Our liveaboards are covering the entire eastern archipelago of South-East Asia and are suitable for divers of all experience levels.
Join the Republic today!