Laze around in a warm tropical climate on a hammock, enjoying fresh delicious meals, and jumping into the clear blue ocean is a dream vacation for many people. Away from the bustling city and busy life, enjoying scenic beauty in tropical islands is something that will certainly refresh your mind and energy. And if you love diving, Raja Ampat diving is the perfect getaway for you. But if you don’t know much about Raja Ampat yet, maybe you will wonder where to dive in Raja Ampat since these islands is a really vast archipelago covering 40,000 square kilometers of marine territory.
Raja Ampat is popular among divers, due to its rich biodiversity. This archipelago located in the Coral Triangle which means this place is heaven for diverse coral growth. As many as 600 coral species, 1500 fish species, and 700 mollusks flourish in Raja Ampat islands. Amazingly, 75% of the world’s marine life species can be found in Raja Ampat along with species not found in any other place in the world. No wonder that this place is a dream diving spot for many divers.
However, this place is not exclusively for experienced divers only. Even if you can only snorkel, there are shallow dives you can explore. Those shallow spots are also rich with brightly colored corals and fishes hiding between them. And if you’re feeling like exploring the land, don’t worry because the lush green forest also exciting to be explored too. There are more than 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals you can visit and explore.
Where to Dive in Raja Ampat
With its huge area, no wonder that Raja Ampat has a lot of dive spots around its area with a lot of them yet to be discovered. If you’re planning to visit this paradise on earth, consider visiting these dive spots. The exquisite beauty and diverse marine life will leave you breathless (not literally, though).
Below are some of the best dive spots you can visit during your vacation in Raja Ampat islands. However, don’t just jump into the ocean, pay attention to the required level to dive into these dive spots.
1. Cape Kri
Cape Kri is arguably the most famous one of all five sites in Raja Ampat. This is because of the record-breaking 283 species recorded during a single dive in this dive sites. It has a steep slope with vast colorful gardens of hard and soft corals. Many fishes found here such as Manta Ray, Fusiliers, Damsels, Surgeons, Anthias, Dogtooth Tuna, Baraccuda, Mackerel, Black Tip Reef and White Tip Reef Sharks, and many more. Cape Kri spans from 5 to 25 meters depth. If you want to dive here, you have to at least an intermediate to advanced level of diving. The current around this area is mild to strong, so make sure you’re not diving here if you’re a beginner diver.
If you love challenges, you will love Arborek dive site, provided that you have an advanced level of diving skills. This site has a strong current, but definitely a photographers dream. Thousands of fish and school of jacks are easily spotted here. You might also spot a giant clams bigger than anywhere else. It is a difficult dive, but the experience you will get is spectacular. Not only have advanced open water diving skills, you should also have at least 30 dives experience in currents.
Ransiwor is dive spot good for all levels of divers. Its 25 meters depths are rich with colorful fish. There is impressive bump head parrotfish, cuttlefish, ornate ghost pipefish, and many more. This is a gentle drift dive with none to mild current.
4. Sardines Reef
Sardines Reef is a dive site not to be missed. It has an oval-shaped reef located in the middle of an open ocean. Many Fusiliers, Surgeonfish, Snappers, Damselfish and Butterflyfish will welcome you in this dive site. You might also spot another species like Barracuda, Spanish Mackerel, Giant Trevallies, several types of Jacks, also Grey Reef Sharks. You might also meet some less common species like Oceanic Triggerfish, Bumphead Parrotfish, and Napolean Wrasse. Due to its strong current, only intermediate to advanced level divers can dive here.
Mioskun is the right place if you want to spot Wobbegong Sharks. But remember to peer under the coral lodges when you want to see this creature. There is a good distance between the entry point around the current side of the island, and the best point on the southeastern side. If you watch around the coral carefully, you might spot Pygmy Seahorses around the coral rocks. It has 5 to 25 meters depth with mild to strong current. Beginner to Intermediate level of divers can explore this area.
6. Manta Sandy
As its name suggests, this place is perfect for you who wants to meet Manta Rays. Between October and April, Manta Rays can be spotted swimming around the shallow waters to feed. On a good day, you can see up to 20 Mantas in Manta Sandy. It has mild to strong current with 5-18 meter depths. However, this dive is good for beginner divers too.
Another spectacular dive site is Yenbuba which is home to many different species of fish. You can also spot turtles and schools of giant barracuda here. Staghorn and cabbage corals are visible as far as the eye can see. It has 2 to 30 meters depth with none to mild current. Therefore, this dive is perfect for all levels of divers.
8. Andrea’s Point
This dive sites have quite shallow water which range from 2-15 meters only. Due to its shallow nature, this site can only be dived during high tide. However, there are reef full of color and diverse schools of fish. The current is also none to mild current here, so beginner divers can explore this area easily.
Those are the location where to dive in Raja Ampat. If you stay in Raja Ampat dive lodge or Raja Ampat dive resort, you can join a diving package provided by the resort. They usually provide you with a guide that will help you to dive and find the best spots to dive. Another alternative is by joining a liveaboard cruise. This way, you can explore more places in Raja Ampat and also get more dives.
Now, you don’t have to wonder about where to dive in Raja Ampat anymore since you know the great place to start. So, when are you planning to visit Raja Ampat?