When we are talking about visiting a tropical island in Indonesia for vacation, the common answer may be Bali Island. The combination of sunny weather all year round, beautiful beaches, mystical temples and unique cultures in Bali is certainly something you shouldn’t miss. However, many people are now visiting Bali, and this exotic Island becomes increasingly crowded. If you are someone that wishes to have a quiet vacation instead, try Raja Ampat. But if you’re already in Bali right now, you might be wondering about how to get to Raja Ampat Islands from Bali.
If you’re planning to go to Raja Ampat islands from Bali, you will have to prepare yourself. The journey will take a long time before you can finally arrive in this hidden paradise. This is because there is no direct flight from Bali to Raja Ampat. Therefore, you have to transfer to other airports first that serves flight to Sorong Airport.
How to Get to Raja Ampat Islands from Bali by Plane
If you depart from Denpasar airport (DPS) in Bali, you have to transfer to other airports first. There are five airports in Indonesia that serve flight to Sorong. Below are the detailed route and you can choose the fastest one or any place you like in case you want to stop by to other cities first. Below are the destination airports which also serve flight to Sorong.
- Denpasar (DPS) to Hasanudin (UPG) in Makassar: There are 4 flights available from Denpasar to Hasanudin Airport, namely Lion, Citilink Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, and Garuda Indonesia. It takes around 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes depends on the airline you choose
- Denpasar (DPS) to Soekarno-Hatta Cengkareng (CGK) in Jakarta: There are a lot more options of airlines for this destination. There are Indonesia AirAsia Extra, Indonesia AirAsia, Lion, Sriwijaya Air, Citilink Indonesia, Batik Air, and Garuda Indonesia. It takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes from Denpasar to Soekarno-Hatta Cengkareng Airport
- Denpasar (DPS) to Juanda (SUB) in Surabaya: You can also find a lot more option when you fly to Surabaya. There are Indonesia AirAsia Extra, Lion, Sriwijaya Air, Nam Air, Citilink Indonesia, Batik Air, and Garuda Indonesia. It takes around 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes from Denpasar to Juanda
- Denpasar (DPS) to Sam Ratulangi (MDC) in Manado: Only Lion serves flights from Bali to Manado. It takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes until you arrive at Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado.
From those airports, you can continue your trip to Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong. Below are the flights available to Sorong.
- Makassar to Sorong: There are 3 flights available, namely Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air, and Garuda Indonesia. It takes approximately 2 hours 10 minutes to go to Sorong.
- Jakarta (CGK) to Sorong: Batik Air and Garuda Indonesia serve flight to Sorong in a direct flight. It takes about 4 hours and 15 minutes to get to Sorong.
- Surabaya to Sorong: Batik Air serves direct flight to Sorong and it takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- Manado to Sorong: Lion Air and Nam Air serve direct flight to Sorong and it takes only around 1 hour 25 minutes.
Now with the flights’ information from Bali to Sorong Indonesia above, you can determine which flights suitable for you. However, the fastest way on how to get to Raja Ampat Islands from Bali will be flying to Hasanudin in Makassar and then continue to Sorong. Another way is by flying to Manado and then continues to Sorong.
From Sorong Airport to Waisai
Once you arrive at Sorong Indonesia, now you can continue your journey to Waisai. There are two options on how to get to Raja Ampat from here.
- By Plane
Waisai has a small airport called Marinda Airport. However, only a small plane with limited capacity can land here and it is organized by Susi Air Airline. The plane operates twice a week only on Tuesday and Thursday.
- By Ferry
It will be safer to continue to Waisai by ferry since they operate every day. There are three ferry companies you can choose from, Bahari Express, Marina Express, and PT. Fajar. They usually depart from Sorong Port at 9 am and 2 pm every day. However, you should always recheck the schedule with the officer since the ferry can be delayed or suddenly canceled.
If you think you want to arrive faster, you can rent a speedboat to Waisai. However, it will cost a lot more expensive and the ride is really bumpy. Don’t go to Waisai by speedboat if you easily get seasick.
Arriving at Waisai
Waisai is the first gate to Raja Ampat islands. From Waisai, you can only reach other islands here by sea. So if your resorts or homestay is not located in Waisai, you have to continue your journey again. Most resorts and hotel provide pick-up services. So you just need to inform them when you arrive at Sorong so that they can arrange a pick-up service for you.
The rate depends on the lodging policy, so ask about this cost when you book your room. Make sure the rate set by the hotel is the same as those requested by the driver. If not, report it later to the hotel management.
Transportation in Raja Ampat
It will not be easy if you want to explore Raja Ampat on your own. Some places sometimes require you to have a guide before you can explore them. Additionally, you will have to rent a boat every time you want to island hopping or going from one dive spot to another. It will cost too much doing this. One alternative you can do is by joining a diving package or tour package. Most lodging has this package to ease you exploring Raja Ampat Islands. So, you don’t need to worry about where to go, when and how you can get there.
Most packages provided by the lodging will take you to the best place in Raja Ampat. Some diving resort, for example, will take you to the most famous diving spots around. But make sure you have your diving certification since some dive spots have a strong current. However, even if you can’t dive, there are many other fun activities you can enjoy. You can go bird watching, hiking, laze around the beach, and many more.
Those are some guidelines you can take when you’re confused about how to get to Raja Ampat Islands from Bali. It will take longer time and more effort since Bali doesn’t have a direct flight to Sorong. But since you will enjoy the stunning tropical beauty with its calm atmosphere and pristine nature, we’re sure you won’t regret any effort you take to get here.