Raja Ampat is also known as The Last Paradise, and believe it or not, it isn´t because of its white sand beaches or it´s clear water. The main reason why it is ofently called that way, is because it may be one of the only places in the world that has not been destroyed by humans and still preserves most of its nature.
We have been able to visit many amazing places in our life, but we had never seeing something as wild and unique as Raja Ampat. Although it may not be the most affordable place to visit, or the easiest to access, a trip to Raja Ampat is totally worth it, and we can´t recommend it enough. Below you will find all about planning a trip to Raja Ampat islands in Indonesia, from how to get there, to the best islands to visit and much more!
Raja Ampat Travel Video
Where is Raja Ampat?
Before we get started, let´s just see how remote these islands are. Raja Ampat is a group of over 1500 small islands located in the eastern part of Indonesia, in West Papua Province. The northwest of New Guinea. Even though, when you look in the map, it doesn´t seem to be so far, the access is not easy at all or at least that´s what everyone says… These leads, to another question, that everyone should wonder when planning a trip to Raja Ampat islands.
How to get to Raja Ampat Islands?
Is it that hard to get to Raja Ampat? No, it is not. There are many ways to do it! The problem and the reason why it has that fame is that it´ll take you a lot of time. Depending on the kind of trip you want to have and what you want to spend, there are different ways of doing it. Here we are going to explain you in 4 easy steps, the most common way to make a trip to Raja Ampat islands:
- Fly to Sorong: Either from Jakarta or from Bali.
- From Sorong Airport, take a taxi, motorbike or a bus to Sorong Port.
- Take the public ferry from Sorong Porto to Waisai.
- A speedboat from your hotel will pick you up at Waisai port (contact them before the trip to make sure they do it!)
- Once you are Waisai, if you want to visit other islands (which you should) the hotel will usually offer you excursions. At least they will offer you the possibility of taking you to other islands.
Where to stay in Raja Ampat Islands
Now that you have figured how to get there, (if you still don´t, just let us know your questions in the comments) you can start thinking about which hotel of Raja Ampat you want to stay in. We stayed at D´Coral Paradise Resort in Waisai Island and it was great. We had an amazing view to the ocean, the food was good, but maybe a little bit repetitive and although the staff didn´t speak much English, they were trying all the time to be helpful. In general terms it was great, but of course there are many more options all over Raja Ampat. Before you book anything, we advise you to first figure out in which island you want to stay. Waisai is the best one for transportation and communication in general, but others are more exclusive. It is up to you!
Best places to visit in Raja Ampat:
Every place there is in Raja Ampat has its own beauty and it will amaze you. Even if you just take a boat and get lost through the islands, you will find some spectacular places. But unless you have a lot of time there and a lot of money, you might want to go see the best of the best first, right? If that´s your case, some of the places you can´t miss are Piaynemo, Teluk Kabui, Wayag Islands, Arborek…
Things to do in a trip to Raja Ampat Islands
One of the things we like the most about Raja Ampat, is that it´s impossible to get bored there. Other than visiting all the places and islands we told you before, there all kind of activities you can do in Raja Ampat. It doesn´t matter if you want to relax, or if you want some adventure time. Below you will find all the things to do and see in Raja Ampat.
Scuba diving and snorkeling in
Raja Ampat is considered by many expert divers as one of the best places in the world to dive. If you are a marine wildlife lover, you are in the right place. Unfortunately, during our trip through Raja Ampat islands, we didn´t have enough time to go diving, but we did a lot of snorkeling. Although we bet it isn´t the same thing, we can sure tell you that you will be surprised by the amount of things you can see when doing snorkel in Raja Ampat. Not just marine wildlife but also the seabed itself will leave you speechless. We got lucky, and were able to swim with a turtle, which has always been a dream for us! And we also spotted a family of clown fish (Nemo)!
Admire the sunrises and sunsets in Raja Ampat
Another thing you can´t miss when visiting Raja Ampat islands is admiring the sunset or the sunrise. Sunrises may not be for everyone as they are very early in the morning here in Raja Ampat, but if we tell you the truth, the sunsets were way more powerful! Most of the days, we got to see them while being on the boat and the feeling was amazing. Dolphins are ofently spotted here, so many times we would outside of the boat to try to see them. Meanwhile, we would go through all the small islands while the sky would change its colors. These are some of the best memories we have from the trip!
Meet and talk with the people of
Raja Ampat doesn´t have a huge population, but there are people living there and they of course have their own culture and way of living. Although we couldn´t understand each other perfectly, they were all the time smiling and happy! Raja Ampat isn´t only beautiful places but also its people. Therefore, if you have the chance, we totally recommend you socializing with the locals! Not every island is inhabited, but you will find locals in islands like Wayag, Friwen and Sauwandarek.
Relax and disconnect
Those who know us well, can tell that relaxing isn´t our kind of thing, and it´s totally true. We need to be distracted with activities to have fun and enjoy, but that doesn´t mean you shouldn´t! You are in paradise, so allow yourself to relax. Lay on the beach, listen to the sound of the waves, read a book or just do whatever you want to do! Be free! There is also a bonus here in Raja Ampat, which is that most of the islands don´t even have internet, so you won´t have to worry about work, social media or any other thing from the “real world”. Just enjoy!!
Don´t feed the fish
This one isn´t something you can do but something you shouldn´t do! Before our trip to Raja Ampat Islands, we also searched for things and activities to do here, and unfortunately, we found some blogs where they were talking about feeding fish. This is an activity that can be very bad for the environment and therefore, we want to advise you to not do it. Here, you will find all the reasons why it is so bad. But basically, it isn´t only bad for the fish itself, but for the whole ecosystem and even the corals. As we said at the beginning, Raja Ampat is one of the few places in the world that still preserves its natural beauty, so let´s try to do things right this time and let´s keep it that way.
Bird watching in Raja Ampat
Last, but not least, bird watching or just go explore; however, you want to call it. Raja Ampat isn´t only an ocean paradise, once you arrive there, you will soon find out how green the islands are. If you get inside the islands, you will feel like being in the jungle, hearing all kind of sounds and not knowing what they are. For those interesting in wildlife like we are, you might want to know that in some of these Raja Ampat islands, you can find animals like cuscuses, sugar gliders, scrub pythons and many more that you can find here. For bird watching, Raja Ampat is an authentic paradise, there are all kind of birds including some endemic that you will only find in this area!
More facts about Raja Ampat
Now that you have all the important information you need before planning a trip to Raja Ampat Islands, we are going to tell you other interesting facts you should know about this place:
Is a trip to Raja Ampat Islands safe?
In general terms Raja Ampat is safe, although there are some things you should have in mind. Malaria is present in some of the islands, so make sure you bring repellant and an appropriate clothing. There are also other animals you should be careful with, like snakes and spiders, but the chances of finding a very dangerous one and being bitten are very low so don´t worry! You could also find sharks and crocodiles, but don´t stress out. The sharks you will see in Raja Ampat aren´t aggressive, and the guides will usually warn you before you go swim to an area with crocodiles (it isn´t that common to see them). Although you may be scared now about all these creatures, stay calm, because being attack by any of them including mosquitos with malaria, would be very weird.
Weather and climate in Raja Ampat
As it happens with many other tropical destinations, you will have a lot of sunny time, but it can happen that suddenly it starts raining like crazy. It isn´t something very predictable, as they come and go. Therefore, rains shouldn´t be something important to have in mind before planning the trip to Raja Ampat. About the temperatures, it usually is warm all year long and very humid.
When is the best time to visit Raja Ampat?
There isn´t really a touristic season here in Raja Ampat, so you won´t have to worry about crowds. The weather can change suddenly, so it isn´t neither something you should think about. But what we would have in mind before planning a trip to Raja Ampat, is the Manta rays’ season. From September to April is the best time to see them. Even though we weren´t lucky with the mantas, from what we have heard they are spectacular creatures, so if you can choose, we would advise you to go during these months.
Raja Ampat Islands time zone
Indonesia has three different time zones. Raja Ampat (Papua) is part of the Eastern Indonesia Time. Just so you can have an idea it is +2 hours from Jakarta time zone.
In this time zone area, there isn´t a Daylight-Saving time. Therefore, if you are in a country where there is, the time difference may change.
Bring some cash!
We totally recommend you bringing money with you (if possible, Indonesian rupiahs). There are two main reasons for it. First, although food is always included in the resorts, you maybe need other stuff like excursions, renting dive year or whatever… The other reason is because during our trip, we didn´t see any bank in the islands, not even in Waisai, so just in case, bring it with you. Paying with credit card isn´t always possible and you never know what can happen.
Is a trip to Raja Ampat Islands worth it?
Now that you have all the information about Raja Ampat and now that you can prepare the trip, you might be wondering… is traveling to Raja Ampat worth it? Our answer is yes and one thousand times yes. If you head to our Instagram, you will see how much we enjoyed this trip and how fun it was. Raja Ampat is one of the most surprising places we have ever been too and there isn´t any place like it in the world. We couldn´t recommend it enough!