Diving in Raja Ampat is done either by liveaboard or from a dive resort. There are many liveaboard boats operating in Raja Ampat with different itineraries offering the best opportunity to cover a large area and variety of dive sites. Both Mermaid Liveaboards and the Aggressor fleet are well-established liveaboard operations with several ships, routes and itineraries in Raja Ampat. For a more boutique experience, the Arenui is a traditional Indonesian wooden ship made by hand mostly from recycled wood and comes completely with wood carved details from Bali and Java.
Pick one of Raja Ampat’s many dive resorts if you prefer to stay on land and have more freedom to do other activities. There are resorts for different budgets, which allow you to tailor make your own dive itinerary. Local homestays offer the cheapest way to dive Raja Ampat, but extra care should be taken in to make sure your homestay or local dive shop operates safe dive practices. The Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort, Kri Eco Resort and Wicked Diving are all good options within the mid budget range. For divers with less of a budget restrain the Misool Eco Resort and Papua Paradise Eco resort are some beautiful boutique choices. Dive packages usually include local dives and a supplement is charged for dive sites that are further away.
The gateway to diving in Raja Ampat is Sorong, which has connections to Jakarta, Singapore, Makassar, Bali and Manado. Both Jakarta and Singapore have the best international connections. Domestic airlines that fly to Sorong include Sriwijaya Air, Express Air, Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air. Some routes will have a stopover in Manado.From Sorong there are both speed boats and slow boats to get to the islands of Raja Ampat, which take anywhere from between 1-4 hours depending on the location of the resort. Divers that book with a resort or liveaboard often receive free boat transportation on selected days. Before heading out to the dive sites, it is compulsory to get a permit from the local Papua police station.
It is all about making divers happy: Excellent selection and great variety of dive sites, engaged cruise director round the clock, each of the crew members very helpfull. Good mixture of diving and land excursions. Saw the first sun fish in our lifetime!
Stay away!!! Unprofessional, unsafe instructor and unacceptable staff behaviour. With a CMAS 2 and over 70 dives across several seas I have never lived such a bad experience with a diving centre that clearly has no respect for divers and worst for safety. Briefly summarised; cruel safety issues, lies seems to be common and we were finally mocked and threatened by the staff... Aware of difficult dive conditions around Nusa Penida (strong changing currents) we decided to change diving centre...
I did my PADI Open Water course with Manta Manta Diving, Bali. They were fantastic and offered a great course which was very well priced. My instructor; Stuart, was patient, reassuring and a great teacher who makes the course educational and fun. The instructors here are very knowledgable, experienced and enthusiastic. I will dive with Manta Manta Diving, Bali again and will recommend them to all my friends. Thank you Stuart & Manta Manta Diving, Bali.