Raja Ampat is widely considered the top liveaboard destination in Asia because only a few locations worldwide can compete with the marine life diversity that Raja Ampat has to offer. The combination of beautiful coral reefs, a high amount of marine life, and every visit you make provide you with new and exciting dives. As a result, divers come back on a Raja Ampat liveaboard over and over again.
North and South best describe scuba diving Raja Ampat. With North Raja Ampat being more drift diving in nutrient-rich waters, it attracts masses of schooling fish. Barracuda, horse-eye jacks, and Marauding sharks are often seen on dive sites here.
The Southern region is more diverse and has more gentle diving. Here you look for coral gardens, slopes, seamounts, bommies, and pinnacles covered in beautiful soft corals and gorgonian sea fans. Also, throughout Raja Ampat, you will find cleaning stations for manta rays.
In conclusion, this is a beautiful liveaboard destination to see a significant variation of underwater life.
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In the coral triangle are more than 1400 fish species that you can find during your dive safari. This dive destination is an excellent place for macro as well as wide-angle photography.
On the stunning reefs, you can find besides the schooling fish lots of macro marine life, from pygmy seahorse hiding in sea fans to a tremendous variety of nudibranchs crawling around. Other species found in Raja Ampat are zebra crabs, pearlfish, several ghost pipefish species, mimic, and blue-ringed octopuses, name a view.
For wide-angle photographers, there is also a good variety of marine life on your diving holiday. There are several dive sites where you can find Whale sharks and manta rays, and with a healthy ecosystem, reef sharks are frequent visitors during dives.
Two other sharks that are famous at this dive destination are the wobbegong shark and the epaulette shark. These sharks are also known as walking sharks that are not observed in many dive destinations globally.
There are various dive sites to pick from in Raja Ampat, but here are our favorites.
Cape Kri has the largest number of species that you can encounter on a single dive. The diverse currents have created a flora and fauna that has an incredible variation. The beautiful reef and currents attract all kinds of sharks as well as large schools of fish. Also, macro enthusiasts have plenty to look for on this dive.
The seafloor is covered with sponges and soft corals, where you can find a wide variety of nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, and ghost pipefish. During your dive, don’t only concentrate on the reef as giant manta rays, reef sharks, and wobbegong sharks are frequently observed here as well. Due to the lack of current Melissa’s garden is great for beginner divers.
Blue magic is a cleaning station for the giant manta ray. You can pick a spot hook on and see these gentle giants glide straight over you. Besides Mantas, you can also expect to see barracudas, jacks, Napoleon wrasses, and even wobbegong sharks. The strong currents make this dive site more for the experienced divers.
Raja Ampat is generally known for its stunning reefs and wide-angle, but this dive site is a world-class muck diving site. Where the sandy, gently sloping seafloor treats you with an abundance of macro life. With sea horses, various nudibranchs, shrimps, and crabs, this dive site is great for day and night diving.
For the more experienced divers, there is “the passage.” This dive site is between the islands of Gam and Weigo and is a shallow channel that delivers some beautiful soft coral gardens where you can find plenty of macro life. The strong currents make this a challenging dive site.
The best time to go on a Raja Ampat dive cruise is in October and November because of the weather. If you cannot go in those two months, there is still great diving going on the rest of the dry season that runs from October to April. Liveaboard operators will make sure to make the best route for the time of the year.
There are still dive safaris in Raja Ampat in the wet season from May – October, but the weather is inconstant, and the seas can be pretty rough.
A Raja Ampat dive safari departures from Sorong in the West Papua province of Indonesia. The easiest way to get here is by domestic flight from Jakarta. Other options are Bali or International flights from Singapore or either Kuala Lumpur.
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