Raja Ampat is an archipelago located at the heart of the coral triangle in Papua, Indonesia. This pristine archipelago has been quoted by many as the diving’s final frontier. Its beauty has amazed anybody who has come to visit, be it divers, photographers, scientist, even tourist. This remote archipelago boasts an enormous variety of marine habitats, which make it impossible to resist for anybody who has the love for nature. People from all over the world have come to visit this place, and you can too. The first step you need to do is go to Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia since it is the easiest way to go to Raja Ampat. From there, the next step is finding a route to go to Raja Ampat. Here is how to get to Raja Ampat from Jakarta.
How to get to Raja Ampat from Jakarta
As many of you know already, Raja Ampat is located in a remote area in West Papua, Indonesia. One of the islands, Waigeo Island, has a small airport called Marinda airport. However, there is no direct flight from Jakarta to Marinda Airport in Waisai, Waigeo Island. Marinda Airport only serves small plane flights and from a relatively close distance such as Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong Indonesia.
There are two direct flights from Jakarta to Sorong every day. Both depart from Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Tangerang. You can fly with Batik Air that departs at 00:30 Western Indonesian Time and arrives at 06:30 Eastern Indonesian Time. The other flight is Garuda Indonesia that departs at 00:20 Western Indonesian Time and arrives at 06:35 Eastern Indonesian Time.
Sorong to Raja Ampat
Once you arrived at Sorong Airport, the next step is going to Raja Ampat Islands. There are two means of transportation available from Sorong to Raja Ampat, by air and sea. As previously mentioned, Marinda Airport in Waisai only serves a small plane with limited capacity. Susi Air serves flight from Sorong to Waisai and vice versa, but its schedule is usually uncertain. Therefore, the best way to get to Raja Ampat from Sorong is by sea.
Before you can take a boat to Waisai, in Raja Ampat, you need to go to Sorong port first. There are speed boats and ferry available to Waisai from Sorong port. If you’re a little bit in a hurry, you can take a speedboat to get you to Waisai. However, note that this means of transportation is usually more expensive than by ferry, but it is certainly faster and you don’t have to wait for too long. If you think you’re going to go to Waisai by speedboat, you can go in a group so that you can split the costs with your companion. Note that riding speedboat can be bumpy. So, if you easily get seasick, you might need to think twice before riding a speedboat.
The more comfortable ride is by ferry. There are three companies available that serve ferry from Sorong to Waisai in Raja Ampat you can choose from. The ferries sail to Waisai every day but only depart at 09:00 and 14:00 Eastern Indonesian Time. Make sure to check the schedule and ask the information center to make sure you get the timing right. Sometimes, the ferry can be delayed or canceled due to one reason or another.
Before you can enjoy your stay in Raja Ampat, you have to prepare retribution fee to get an Entrance Sign Card. It costs IDR 500 thousand for Indonesian and IDR 1 million for foreign people. It might feel expensive, but don’t worry, this ticket is valid for one year.
What to Prepare Before Going to Raja Ampat
Now you know how to get to Raja Ampat from Jakarta. But before you go there, it is wise to prepare everything you need first before departing. This place is located in a remote area and you will have to use a boat to move from one island to another which can be quite far. Therefore, these are the list of things you may need to prepare before your trip to Raja Ampat.
1. Money and Documents:
To visit Raja Ampat, you will need passport that valid for at least 6 months. Bring along your proof or return tickets and insurance documents. Also prepare some cash for Visa on Arrival if it applies to your country. If you’re going to dive in Raja Ampat, bring along your dive certification cards and dive log book. Some of the dive sites in Raja Ampat require advanced level skills of diving and certain amount of dive log. So, make sure to bring along these documents. Make sure you also bring some cash in Indonesian currency. While you can use cards (debit or credit) in some big cities, most of places in Raja Ampat can only receive cash.
2. Clothes and Protection:
Although it is a tropical country, the climate can get cold there, so make sure you bring along your jacket. Bring also your sun lotion and mosquito repellant, but make sure that it is ocean safe. The resorts usually equipped with mosquito net, electric mosquito repellant and will spray chemical mosquito repellant in the evening. But it’s good to take extra precaution, right?
Bring also long sleeved light clothes to avoid mosquito bite in the evening. Bring along your swimwear for you to swim, sun hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Sandals are the perfect choice for a walk along the beach, but make sure to bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes also in case you want to hike in the surrounding hills.
3. Diving gear
Don’t forget to bring along your dive gear along with the spare parts if you have any. You will also need a rash guard if you’re a snorkeler to protect you from the sun. Bring also your mask defog so that you can see clearly during your dive. A waterproof pouch or dry bag can be handy too to pot your camera when you go on a trip.
Now you know already how to get to Raja Ampat from Jakarta, and also what to prepare for your visit. Make sure you plan your trip ahead so that you can make the most of your vacation.