Duration: 14 Nights.
Ports: Maumere to Sorong.
The region of Raja Ampat, Indonesia is all about diversity - not only diversity of species, but also of dive sites. There are some areas where soft corals and sea fans dominate, others with an amazing range of hard corals, seagrass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs, drop offs, caves, black sand, white sand. Then there are the fish, lots of them, in more shapes and sizes than anywhere else in the world. Not only are there loads of fish, but all the levels of the food chain are well represented - from pygmy seahorses to top predators. In many places brightly coloured soft corals can be found close to the surface which, illuminated by natural sunlight, make these dive sites spectacularly colourful. The reefs in Raja Ampat just buzz with life! Manta Rays, Wobbegong Sharks and Epaulette Sharks can all be found in the waters that make up Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat is huge, 50,000 sq km, with hundreds of islands and an astounding diversity of habitats, which translates to wildly different diving experiences from pelagic drift dives to magic muck dives and even some habitats that are special to Raja Ampat such as clear water mangroves with corals growing right next to them! There are thousands of potential dive sites. Exploration is still continuing, and on every trip there are chances for new and amazing discoveries.
**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is just an example of the route taken and the order and dive sites are not guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.
Day 1- Arrive Maumere
Airport meet and greet, transfer to the port and board the SY Indo Siren. After boarding settle into your cabin and assemble your equipment with help from the friendly crew. The boat briefing is followed by dinner and then you're free to enjoy the rest of the evening, while the boat departs for Adunara.
Day 2- Adunara
Up to 4 dives at this narrow strait where large amounts of rich water pass through attracting and feeding many types of marine life. Small life such as pygmy seahorses can be found here, but it is the pelagic action that is perhaps most exciting. Sperm whales have been seen passing through.
Day 3- Pulau Soangi and Lamalera
Up to 4 dives at this location that offers some adrenaline packed dives, situated on the outside of Kawula, Lamalera is a world heritage site but is sadly one of the last remaining places where they still hunt for whales. The local people use the same methods as their forefathers did for generations and you can go on land between the diving to speak and learn of their way of life (only 3 dives if land visit is extended).
Day 4- Pantar and Beangaban
Up to 4 dives at this great spot for muck diving. Having spent the previous days looking for the larger species, you will spend time around the black sand and coral reef where we will look for Rhinopias, coleman shrimp, frogfish, dwarf lionfish and ribbon eels to name just a few.
Day 5- Pulau Pura
Enjoy up to 4 dives and meet the local community of Pura, a friendly community who welcome you as friends into their wooden houses to see their way of life. There are some good walls to dive on the south of the island and the coral and fish life is very good. In the afternoon and evening you go in search of the mandarin fish directly in front of the village (only 3 dives if land visit is extended).
Day 6- Gunung Api
Up to 4 dives around Gunung Api, which is known for the large amount of sea snakes. Olive and banded sea snakes can be found here. It is believed the sea snakes and jacks hunt together, quite a sight if you're lucky enough to witness it. There are many great dive opportunities here apart from the snakes with some very large sponges, sea fans and of course abundant fish life.
Day 7- Lucipara
Dive 3 times deep in the Banda Sea, the series of atolls make up this hotspot for pelagic encounters. Steep walls with very healthy corals are patrolled by tuna, mackerel, rainbow runners and wahoo. This site, when conditions are good, really is amazing and you can be surrounded by huge shoals of fish.
Day 8- Banda
Spend time ashore as the archipelago has much to see including sites such as the Belgica Fort and the old nutmeg plantations. Some of the most pristine and largest sea fans can be found in the waters surrounding Banda, but especially in Batu Kapal. An interesting dive you do is around the volcano that erupted back in 1988. The lava flow underwater has over the years transformed into a beautiful coral garden. Dive up to 4 dives (only 3 if land visit is extended).
Day 9- Manuk
In case you thought you had not had enough of pelagic encounters, spend the day 60 miles south of Banda and dive up to 4 dives. The amount of schooling fish and pelagic encounters can be jaw dropping. Barracuda form large impressive shapes as they cruise around interrupted only by passing sharks.
Day 10- Koon
This is a day for the explorer in you, as only a few sites have been recorded and frequently dived. Depending on conditions, you may well do some exploratory diving. The currents can be strong here, but the currents do attract the large shoals of fish and with luck pelagic encounters can be had. Dive up to 4 dives but conditions may mean fewer dives.
Day 11- Misool
Do up to 4 dives around this well known hot spot. Pulau Pele is the first stop where the reef is a kaleidoscope of colours. The combination of fans, soft corals, fish and dancing anchovies in the shallows will make the morning dive unforgettable. In Wayilbatan, the passage offers another spectacular dive. This passage, with mild to strong currents feeds the coral and attracts a large number of fish. Palau Boo offers schooling batfish and the topography here is perfect for photographers.
Day 12- The Fiabacet Group of Islands
Located in the area between the islands of Kalig and Boo are a number of rocky islets rising out of the water, dive up to 4 dives. With open sea down to the island of Ceram some 80 nautical miles away, the waters are home to some great diving and large animals can be seen here. Trevallies, jacks, mackerel and grey reef sharks are most certainly regular sightings. Tongka and Tugboat offer some seriously awesome diving with excellent hard and soft corals covering the majority of the sites. Bumphead parrot fish, Napoleon wrasse, barracuda and sharks visit the sites. Fiabacet (also known as Whale Rock), itself has world class corals that will please even the most seasoned of divers. Steeply sloping reefs of two islands connected by a saddle with a large bommie in the middle. This is a spectacular place to hang out secured by your reef hook when the currents are strong. Sharks frequent the area and reports of oceanic white tips have been made.
Day 13&14 - Misool and Farondi
Dive some of the most popular sites as Farondi has many channels that support fish schools and some good macro diving and healthy reefs. The Three Sisters can be one of the top dive sites in Raja Ampat and the marine life is nothing short of exceptional. The very large number of reef fish including snapper, sweetlips and batfish are a truly wonderful addition to the great coral on this site. The number of colourful soft corals is unbelievable. Farondi Arch, Razorback Rock, and Wagmab Wal can also be dived. The number of dives you do on day 14 is dependent on your onward flight arrangements. In the evening enjoy a BBQ on the boat and start planning your next adventure with blue o two.
Day 15- Disembark in Sorong
After breakfast say your farewells, disembark the SY Indo Siren and transfer to Sorong Airport.
Fantastic colourful corals, schools of snappers, trevallies, spanish mackerel and bumphead parrot fish. Ghost pipefish can be found in the shallow water and the "windows"- two rock formations with holes eroded through- is an awesome site for some dramatic photography.
Manta Sandy at Mansuar Island
At just 18m on a sandy seabed is where we divers rest and wait for the spectacular shows performed by the manta rays. Several mantas are regularly seen at one time cruising in the narrow channel and to two coral bommies to be cleaned or just get an up close look at a curious diver! The mantas' wingspans reach up to 5m, some are totally black whilst others have various white markings making them identifiable. A site not to be missed and we will often dive here more than once.
Sardine at Kri Island
Fish, fish and more fish.... over 970 different species have been recorded here. White tips, black tips and wobbegong sharks, turtles, morays and giant clams, Schools of big eye jacks and the occasional marble ray. This site has so much of interest that one dive here is not enough.