Raja Ampat Trip, The Comprehensive Travel Guide

The Raja Ampat archipelago is the quintessential Indonesian island getaway. There are many ways to explore this remote paradise, but only one guarantees a trip you’ll never forget. Greens and blues as far as the eye can see, deserted beaches, and an underwater ecosystem to delight even the most experienced snorkelers and scuba divers. Raja Ampat has recently become one of the world’s hottest diving destinations, and visitors can now choose between stylish resorts and breathtaking Raja Ampat trip adventures! But which of these options is best for you?

Karawapop, a heart-shaped lagoon in the cluster of West Papua island, Raja Ampat Indonesia

Raja Ampat Liveaboard Trip Adventures

Raja Ampat liveaboard provides the distinct advantage of being able to explore multiple locations within this vast region. And the best Raja Ampat liveaboard has multi-destination itineraries down to a science! Each day, you’ll probably dive three or four times in one area before sailing through the night to your next incredible island group.

This strategy allows dive boats to cover Raja Ampat’s vast distances while stopping at the most spectacular sites along the way. It also allows guests to visit many islands that would otherwise be inaccessible, making them ideal for hiking in virgin rainforests, trekking to see rare endemic birds, and snorkeling on some of Indonesia’s best-preserved reefs. You’ll also have the opportunity to follow the best conditions in search of exciting marine species, or to visit well-known locations where seasonal gatherings occur. 

So, if you want to visit Raja Ampat, you’re in luck. This is one of the most popular destinations for expedition-style sailing trip Raja Ampat itineraries on the planet. Consider joining a seasonal transition or “crossing” expedition for the ultimate adventure. These usually last more than 20 days and cover a large portion of Raja Ampat as well as the remote Banda Sea to the south.

Where to go during a sailing trip to Raja Ampat? 

Pianemo Trekking

Pianemo is Raja Ampat in miniature, with jungle-clad rock formations scattered in turquoise waters. There are sweeping vistas of green and blue all over the archipelago, but few compare to those on Pianemo. Trek up the 340 steps to the main island’s viewpoint for the best of the best.

Arborek is a great place to learn about local culture.

Arborek is a stilted village near Waigeo’s port where you can expect a warm welcome from the locals, complete with dancing, singing, and feasting on traditional food. Its coastline is well-known for its unspoiled beaches and snorkeling spots. Don’t leave without purchasing a locally made hat or noken (string bag).

Kayak through Kabui Bay

At this Gam Island nook, white-sand beaches and dramatic karst formations separate lush tropical greenery and the sparkling ocean. Kayaking is a popular activity in the bay, promising encounters with exotic fish, birds of paradise, and dolphins if you’re lucky. Goa Tengkorak, a cave containing the skeletons of the island’s ancient inhabitants, is also located in the area.

Manta Sandy Diving

Manta ray squadrons roam the waters of Manta Sandy, where diving is now regulated due to its increasing popularity. Only about twenty divers are allowed in the water at any given time, which makes for a far more intimate, not to mention sustainable, experience.

Mike’s Point offers a deeper dive.

This is a dive for experienced divers only. During WWII, the US Air Force repeatedly bombed Mike’s Point, mistaking it for a Japanese ship. The resulting blown-off chunks and caves have created a one-of-a-kind underwater landscape that is home to hundreds of marine species. Whitetip sharks, turtles, and sea snakes are among the creatures that call this vibrant coral garden home.