Getting a chance to dive in Raja Ampat is probably on every diver’s dream list. Raja Ampat is an area that is jammed full of life partly due to its remote location making it harder for commercial fishing and an onslaught of eco-tourists. You can see this as soon as you go underwater. The visibility isn’t the best as there is a lot of food in the water but that’s exactly what gives so much life to the waters.
Why Raja Ampat?
Living in China we see way too many people on a daily basis. Naturally we wanted to go to a place that was remote with as few elbowing and spitting people as possible. Our original plan was to dive in Papua New Guinea, unfortunately the only airline that flies to Port Moresby has a monopoly and it charges way too much money for a flight. Getting to Papua New Guinea would have cost us over 1600 USD each, not to mention the flights within the country. So we decided to postpone PNG until we earn more money. PNG was scratched off the list but we still wanted to do world class diving and we thought, “Why not Raja Ampat?” Yes, we were in Indonesia recently but Indonesia is a country that deserves more than one trip. Each island has its own flair. So we were off to Raja Ampat after our marathon trek through Sulawesi.
Diving in Papua New Guinea costs an arm and a leg, Raja Ampat isn’t cheap either. As the world gets more and more polluted and congested with travelers, one has to pay more and more money to get to more remote places of the planet. Getting to Sorong isn’t too bad as internal flights in Indonesia are affordable, but your dives and your stay will rack up the bill. We approached this with the thought that we will never get this chance again.
Raja Ampat Biodiversity
We stayed at a resort called Raja Ampat Biodiversity which has four huts, two dogs and more staff than it does patrons. The island just has the resort and a lot of loud birds. The tiny island also the home to the Red Bird of Paradise and a friendly couscous. I really recommend staying at Biodiversity, the Spanish couple that runs the resort are incredibly nice and helpful. They are what I look for in a dive master. They are very patient and do not make the whole group come up if one eager diver sucks air like it’s going out of style. They are also very good at pointing out the little things. At a place like Raja Ampat, it is the little things that make the difference.
I won’t bore you with saying things like “diving in Raja Ampat is unlike anything else”, because it is everything you expect it to be and more. The best way to demonstrate how awesome Raja Ampat is with pictures. The sheer varieties of nudibranchs here was amazing, not to mention the sharks, mantas, and giant schools.