RAJA AMPAT DIVING
Raja Ampat diving casts a spell on all who descend into its abundant waters. Scientists, photographers, novice and lifetime divers alike.
Raja Ampat lies in the heart of the Coral Triangle. It holds the prestigious title as the most marine biodiverse place on earth. Quite a title; but also a fact. At its most recent count in 2011 Raja Ampat was recognized to contain an abundance of marine life. 1427 reef fishes and 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.
What to see when diving in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat diving is breathtakingly spectacular, and truly unforgettable. Hard and soft corals compete for space on reefs that are bursting with life and color. Swarms of small fish such as damsels, fusiliers and anthias mill about on the reef flats. Not too far away the large schools of tuna, trevally and mackerel congregate. Batfish, surgeonfish and barracuda aggregate around jetties 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. 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. You can encounter reef mantas at nearby cleaning stations, the majestic oceanic manta in open water. During the right season any given dive site may yield magnificent mantas gliding by. This makes West Papua diving such an incredible underwater adventure. There are really no words to describe Raja Ampat scuba diving, it must be experienced and is truly unforgettable. We dive at over 50 sites in the area regularly. That way we ensure all our guest visit all the abundant highlights this region has to offer.
Raja Ampat Dive Sites
Located within 30 minutes of most of our dive sites, Raja Ampat’s spectacular underwater world is easily accessible by boat from our Papua Explorers Eco Resort.
|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
Raja Ampat Diving – 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 to 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 you to bring your own reef hook, as these assist you during dives with stronger current.
Some dive sites are not suitable for beginners or anyone who 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 levels of experience. Moreover, we ease all divers into the currents by starting the dives with sites that get mild currents. There are enough sites with mild current. So it is possible to complete a week diving without getting in strong currents.
If you haven’t dived for two years or longer, we would recommend getting a refresher course to ease you back into scuba diving. Additionally we would also strongly recommend the Advanced Open Water Diver Course. Firstly it will enable you to dive to a bigger range of dive sites. Secondly it will help you to maintain a perfect buoyancy to protect the pristine coral and marine life here.
Raja Ampat Diver Safety
All divers are required to bring their own safety buoys and whistles with them when coming to our resort. Further, It is mandatory for all divers to have dive insurance to be able to dive with Papua Explorers. There is a basic hospital in Waisai (45 minutes from our location by boat), however costs for treatment and further transportation to a hyperbaric chamber 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.
Although Raja Ampat scuba diving is very popular, it is the snorkeling that had put it on the map and made it famous in the first place. Many of the dive sites we visit with our daily boats are also suitable for snorkeling, as they have shallow, colorful reef tops with lots of marine species to see. We provide experienced snorkeling guides with you in the water. Surface currents are manageable, and we will drop you with the guide at the right spot, so you don’t miss the underwater attraction, and comfortably drift with the current. Our snorkel guides and boat crew will take care of you when you get tired or you want to have another look at the reef.