Raja Ampat Islands is increasingly popular in the past years, especially for international travelers. It is not surprising since Raja Ampat is located far from ‘civilization’. It is relatively secluded and only sea travel can be relied upon to reach this islands. There is no Raja Ampat Airport, and the nearest airport is about 4 hours travel by boat. However, the beauty of this hidden paradise is waiting to be enjoyed.
The infrastructure development in Indonesia is indeed haven’t reached the furthest region. But thanks to the current government, they start to develop the infrastructure even though hasn’t optimally reached its furthest region.
Raja Ampat Islands are on West Papua province, located in Sorong Indonesia. Note that Raja Ampat Islands consist of hundreds of islets. Therefore, you will not be able to find Raja Ampat Airport. There is no commercial airstrip here, except for Sorong Airport, the nearest airport that serves regional and national flight routes.
You must be wondering on how to get to Raja Ampat. First of all, you have to go to Sorong Regency.
1. Going to Sorong Regency
There are a number of alternative flights from four airports in Indonesia to Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong Indonesia, they are:
a. From Jakarta
If you’re from outside Indonesia, it is possible that your flight will end at one of the two airports in the Indonesian capital. The two airports are Halim Perdanakusumah (HLP) and Soekarno-Hatta Cengkareng Airport (CGK).
From these two airports, you can continue your trip by searching for available flights to Sorong (SOQ). Some airlines that serve this route include Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, and Sriwijaya Air, for 7 days a week. Meanwhile, NAM Air provides flights to Sorong on Sunday only. It takes approximately 5 hours from Jakarta to Sorong. The ticket prices range from IDR 1.5 million to IDR 3 million for economy class flight.
b. From Surabaya
As one of the largest cities in Indonesia, Surabaya also has an international airport, Juanda (SUB). Many flight routes from Southeast Asia end at this airport, both direct flights and transit first in Jakarta.
Only one airline serves flight to Sorong Regency from this airport, it is Batik Air. The flight duration and tariff from Surabaya to Sorong is not much different from Jakarta airport. It is around 6 to 7 hours of flight and cost about IDR 1.5 million to IDR 3 million.
c. From Makassar
There are 2 international flight routes which stop at Hasanudin Airport, Makassar (UPG). You can use Silk Air if you want to fly directly from Singapore to Makassar, or Air Asia that departs from Kuala Lumpur to Makassar without transit.
The distance from Makassar to Sorong is relatively close and only takes about 2-3 hours. With a ticket starting from IDR 1 million, you can fly with Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air, Garuda Indonesia, or Xpress airlines.
d. From Manado
Another short-distance flight to Sorong is from Manado. Silk Air airline also serves the route to Sam Ratulangi Airport with flight code MDC that fly directly from Singapore. From Sam Ratulangi Airport, you can choose Garuda Indonesia, NAM, or Lion Air to go to Sorong. Like Makassar, Manado is also quite close to Sorong Regency, which is about 2 hours flight. You can get the cheapest flight rates starting from IDR 1 million here.
In addition to air travel, you can also go to Sorong by sea. You can try services from providers of sea transportation services from various ports in Indonesia, Pelni. If you want to check the schedule, visit their site at https://www.pelni.co.id/.
2. From Sorong to Waisai
Arriving at Sorong Airport, there are several transportation options to Waisai.
a. Air Route
The air route to Marinda Airport, Waisai, is only available twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was organized by Susi Air airline and only uses a small plane with a limited capacity. For further information about this flight, please contact +628112113080 or +628112113090 Email: [email protected] Susi Air Sorong +628112123934 Email: [email protected]
b. Sea Route
The distance between Domine Eduard Osok to Sorong port is quite close and it takes around 10-20 minutes. You can go by taxi with prices ranging from IDR 100,000 (USD 10), or pay a motorcycle taxi for IDR 20,000 (USD 2). That is not a standard tariff, so you better bargain the price with the driver to get the best price.
There is also public transportation in Sorong which cost IDR 6000 one way. You can find it on the nearest street a few hundred meters from the airport. Arriving at the port, there are 2 alternative rides, by ferry and speedboat.
3 companies serve ferry transportation to Waisai, the capital of Raja Ampat Islands which takes about 2 hours. You can choose one of three companies, namely Bahari Express, Marina Express, and PT. Fajar. Check the departure schedule in the information section of Rakyat Port, Sorong which is usually at 9 am and 2 pm every day. But don’t be surprised if the ferry is suddenly delayed or canceled due to one thing or another.
The ticket price ranges from IDR 100,000 for economy class. If you want to feel more comfortable, you can get a business class ticket by adding IDR 50 thousand. This cost also applies for returning trip from Sorong to Waisai.
A little advice for you, leave at list one day before the flight schedule back from Sorong Airport when you’re going home. You can also find a man named John
Urbonand ask for his advice. This man usually has the latest information about ferry sailing and other things needed.
The speedboat dock is approximately 200 meters from the ferry dock. This transportation serves a rent system, so it might cost more expensive. But if you leave in a group and a little bit rushed, it might be a good option as long as there are no passengers who have problems with seasickness.
3. From Waisai to Raja Ampat
As mentioned above, there are no direct flight routes from Raja Ampat Airport. From Waisai, these beautiful islands can only be reached by sea. Most of homestays and resorts in Raja Ampat provide shuttle facilities for guests. They will usually pick you up at Waisai port. So, if you come to Waisai by taking Susi Air plane, look for an affordable taxi to the port.
Inform the hotel everything about your arrival. Make sure they know about the ferry you use and its time of departure. Leave a message to the lodging management when you arrive at Sorong.
Obviously, this shuttle facility is not free. The rate depends on the policy of the lodging. You can ask about this information when you book the room, or when you make the shuttle arrangement. Make sure that the rate set by the hotel is exactly the same as those requested by the driver since sometimes you will find a cheating driver. If the driver set an unreasonable price and it cannot be avoided, you can report it later to the hotel management.
4. Transportation during Your Stay in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat Islands are connected by a relatively wide sea. Therefore, the cost of transportation between these islands in Raja Ampat is relatively expensive. If you really want detailed information, you can check the Raja Ampat map to determine which island you are headed for. Only the inn can serve your intention to go around Raja Ampat. Find further information about this at the reception desk where you are staying.
After reading the explanation on how to get to Raja Ampat above, you can start planning your own trip. It takes a long time and a lot of energy to reach Raja Ampat considering its remote location and the non-existent Raja Ampat Airport. But rest assured, all these efforts will pay off once you set foot in this hidden paradise.