Diving has become one of many popular activities for a lot of people today. The good news is, Indonesia has many fun spots to enjoy the underwater scenery. Some of the most visited locations by domestic and foreign tourists are Raja Ampat and Komodo Island. If you are planning to visit one or both of these locations, it is a good idea to read these reviews about Raja Ampat versus Komodo diving to make sure you have the best diving vacation ever.
What You Need to Know About Raja Ampat
Before you come to these famous islands in Indonesia, you must have enough knowledge of both. Although they are equally beautiful, Raja Ampat and Komodo Island clearly have different characters. Raja Ampat is located in West Papua, in the western part of the island’s bird’s head (Vogelkoop) to be exact. Administratively, the Raja Ampat islands are located in Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province. Meanwhile, Komodo National Park is located in West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
Broadly speaking, Raja Ampat has four large islands, namely Waigeo Island, Misool Island, Salawati Island, and Batanta Island. Aside from those four, there are at least 2000 small islands, with more than 70 stunning diving sites in Raja Ampat. But the problem is, the distance from one island to another is generally quite far. Therefore, you will need a speedboat or pickup service for islands hopping. Consequently, transportation costs are also quite expensive, ranging from IDR 3 million to IDR 7 million.
This price does not include other costs, such as entrance fees, lodging, food, etc., that may drain your wallet. Additionally, first-time visitors usually become an easy target for some people to reap profits. Therefore, first-time visitors should directly use a vacation package from a trusted agency. Not only safer, your comfort is guaranteed by the agency.
For those of you who only have a short vacation time, you can directly visit resorts around the islands that also provide Raja Ampat diving packages. One of them is Misool Eco Resort which offers a complete experience of enjoying the stunning beauty of Raja Ampat. Misool Eco Resort is a private island that will allow you to enjoy adventure and amazing experiences in a pristine nature. There are also many other locations you can visit for relax and close to nature. Wow, it sounds fun, isn’t it? But first, do you know how to get to Raja Ampat?
How to Get to Raja Ampat?
If you are not from West Papua, the fastest way is to take a flight to Sorong. But if you take the air route, it might be a little bit expensive. If you fly from Jakarta, the flight ticket is at least IDR 4 million. You can also go to Raja Ampat via sea trip to Sorong Port since whatever means of transportation you are going choose, you still have to go through this port.
From Sorong Port, it will take about four hours to Waisai in Raja Ampat, and then the adventure begins. You can choose whatever you want to do, where and when you want to do it. A little tip for you, you might want to consider exploring Raja Ampat in a group consists of some people. As mentioned previously, the transportation cost to explore Raja Ampat can reach tens of millions. If you travel in groups, you can divide the cost evenly with the member of the group.
Raja Ampat versus Komodo Diving
After understanding the conditions there, it’s time to compare Raja Ampat versus Komodo diving. Basically, the two of them are not really different. Both are known to have the best diving sites in the world because of the beauty and natural underwater scenery. The main attraction of Raja Ampat is the biodiversity of the ecosystem. The sea is inhabited by 75 percent of the world’s coral species and at least 1000 different species of fish. Meanwhile, Komodo Island is attractive because of its location which is a natural habitat for Komodo dragons. In Labuan Bajo you can see these exotic animals live freely in the wild.
However, it does not mean that the underwater panorama of Komodo Island is not amazing enough to explore. There are some well-known underwater sites in Labuan Bajo, one of which is called Gili Laba. There are also several locations considered as the best diving sites in Labuan Bajo, including Bidadari Island, Seraya Island, Kenawa Island, and many others. You can also explore the Gili Islands which consist of three small islands, namely Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Every one of them has an extraordinary underwater beauty that is worth exploring.
In terms of the cost between Raja Ampat versus Komodo diving, the trip to Komodo Island in Lombok will be far more affordable. That is because compared to Raja Ampat, Komodo Island is indeed easier to reach. Of course, you have to rent a boat or fast boat to go to the diving location, or if you want to try island hopping. If you have a limited budget, you can rent a boat that costs around IDR 1.5 million. If you want to try a more comfortable and luxurious trip, then rent a fast boat which price can reach IDR 8 million.
One thing you need to pay attention to when diving is to make sure that you really can dive. Apart from the large variety of natural underwater beauty that many people describe, Raja Ampat and Komodo are basically have strong underwater currents. In Komodo island, the current strength might be a threat to beginners. Not only it is strong, the current can spin and suck the diver to the seabed in a certain condition. Even worse, many people are unaware of the strong currents that dragged them down because they are too absorbed in exploring the beauty around them. Therefore, everyone who dives in the Komodo Island must really master the terrain and landscape well.
Where Should You Visit?
In terms of current, Raja Ampat is indeed better compared to Komodo Island. Even though it has strong currents, at least there are some calm and shallow diving sites which are suitable for beginners. The locations we talk about here are Arborek Island and Yenhuba Village. Its underwater scenery is no less amazing to other diving sites. Meanwhile, for those of you who want to dive in Komodo Island, you can visit Sebayur Island which has a perfect view of coral reefs. And if you are lucky, you can also enjoy the sunny and perfect weather in January and February.
Both locations turned out to be equally fun to visit. The natural and stunning view of the underwater landscape and the pristine waters are clearly the main attraction that will make you excited. But of course, before visiting the location you need to know all the details to avoid unpleasant things during the holidays. So, Raja Ampat versus Komodo diving, which one is your next vacation choice?