Diving in Raja Ampat casts a spell on all who descend into its abundant waters – scientists, photographers, novice and lifetime divers alike.

Lying in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the Raja Ampat holds the prestigious title as the most marine bio-diverse place on earth – quite a title; but also fact. At its most recent count in 2011 the region of Raja Ampat was recognized to contain 1427 reef fishes, over 600 coral species (75% of the world’s coral species can be found here), not to mention the pelagic life that is abundant in the area.

To dive in Raja Ampat is breathtakingly spectacular, and truly unforgettable. Hard and soft corals compete for space on reefs that are bursting with life and colour. Swarms of small fish such as damsels, fusiliers and anthias mill about on the reef flats, while not too far away the large schools of tuna, trevally and mackerel congregate. Batfish, surgeonfish and barracuda aggregate around jettys and reef points, while angel and butterflyfish decorate both the reef flats and jagged coral towers that are home to abundant marine life. Large fish species include napoleon wrasse, bumpheads and giant sweetlips, and being in shark sanctuary not a day goes by where divers don’t spot one of the many species of reef shark in the area. And of course, there are the manta rays: reef mantas at nearby cleaning stations, the majestic oceanic manta in open water, and during the right season any given dive site may yield magnificent mantas gliding by.There are really no words to describe diving in Raja Ampat, it must be experienced and is truly unforgettable, and diving over 50 sites in the area we ensure all our guest visit all of the abundant highlights this region has to offer.

Located within 30 minutes of most of our dive sites, Raja Ampat’s spectacular underwater world is easily accessible by boat.

Highlights include:

Manta Point: 20 min Mike’s Point: 10 min
Cape Kri: 15 min Sardines Reef: 25 min
Mioskon: 25 min Blue Magic: 25 min
Odtima: 5 min Chicken Reef: 25 min
The Passage: 45 min Hidden Bay: 30 min

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Currents and Diver Experience Level

The waters of Raja Ampat are highly rich in nutrients, and the Dampier Strait (our location) is especially nutrient-rich due its fast moving currents. Nutrient rich water, and fast moving currents make the perfect environment for an abundance of marine life, including migrating mammals and pelagic species. However, such nutrient-rich water can mean low visibility at times (typically 15-20 m), and the majority of our dive sites will have current in varying degrees, from mild through to very strong, depending on the tides and moon. We recommend for you to bring a reef hook, as these can assist you during dives with stronger current.

Some dive sites are not suitable for beginners or anyone that doesn’t feel comfortable in currents. Our dive guides check the current direction and strength before the divers get in the water and change the dive plan or site if necessary. Our dive groups are maximum 6 people and we have a head dive guide and an assistant guide in each group.

We have a check dive for everyone and we make the groups according to the level of experience. We ease all divers into the currents by starting the dives with sites that get mild currents. There are enough sites with mild current to complete a week diving without going to the dive sites that get strong currents. However, you might also miss some of the highlights of Raja Ampat.

If you haven’t dived for 2 years or longer, we would recommend to get a refresher course to ease you back into scuba diving. We would also strongly recommend the Advanced Open Water Diver Course as it would enable you to dive to a bigger range of dive sites and maintain a perfect buoyancy to protect the pristine coral and marine life here.

Diver Safety

All divers are required to bring their own safety buoys and whistles with them when coming to our resort. It is mandatory for all divers to have dive insurance to be able to dive with Papua Explorers. Waisai (45 minutes from our location by boat) has a Hyperbaric Chamber, however costs for treatment and further transportation can be extremely high in case of an emergency. Therefore, all dives are planned and executed without deco stops and it is mandatory for all divers to use a dive computer. All divers are required to follow their guide and guide instructions while diving with Papua Explorers.