Divers meet a barracudas bench at the Blue Magic site in Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Divers meet a barracudas bench at the Blue Magic site in Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)

Diving (again) in Komodo and Raja Ampat

  Indonesia : Komodo + Raja Ampat - July 2016

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

"So, you went diving again? ", I've been asked since my return... Yes! I even realized a dream, to combine in one trip two famous spots: Komodo and Raja Ampat.

Magic Blue

Of all the spectacles that nature has to offer, underwater life is the one that fascinates me the most. Diving, discovering what lies beneath the surface always gives me the exhilarating feeling of exploring another world... Immersing myself in the blue is magical! The proof...

Above, one of the sequences that I brought from the aptly named Blue Magic site, to Raja Ampat (some of you have already seen it, since I first posted it, as a in mouth, on the Facebook page).

Below, another magical moment during a dive in Komodo: the moving face to face of a freediver and a manta ray at the Karang Makassar site.

In Karang Makassar, the "manta point" of Komodo, we should rather rename "Manta Express" as these large majestic lines are many to scroll. (Indonesia, July 2016.)
Fascinating meeting in Karang Makassar, the "manta point" of Komodo. This site should be renamed "Manta Highway" as there are so many large and majestic rays to be seen. (Indonesia, July 2016.)

It is for these moments, so exhilarating, that I multiply the diving-trips, preferably where there are clear waters, warm and rather full of fish ...

In this month of July 2016, I flew to Indonesia (again). This immense archipelago, between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, is a fantastic destination for underwater photography! And I decided to strike hard, combining in one trip the two most beautiful diving spots I know in this part of the world: Komodo and then Raja Ampat.

Komodo AND Raja Ampat

Komodo, I had already been there in 2011. As for Raja AmpatThis is my fifth visit there since my first stay in 2012!

See also → All my trips

I quickly made a small Google Map below for you to see at a glance what it gives, question on-site trips to Indonesia. In red, the airports of JakartaBali, Labuan Bajo, Makassar and Sorong through which I passed. In blue, the archipelagos of Komodo (in the Small Islands of Sunda, near Flores) and Raja Ampat (in West Papua, all to the east).

Read more → Raja Ampat: practical information to organize your trip

The good thing about diving is that you can stay exploring the same sites during the same trip, or come back from one year to the next, never tired. Each new immersion is different because the conditions change constantly (weather, tides, phases of the Moon, time), the meetings under the water reserve their lot of surprises and the coral landscapes vary to infinity.

Some pictures are better than a long speech ...

Clouds of anthias wriggle over Batu Bolong's coral. (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Clouds of anthias wriggle over Batu Bolong's coral. (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
School of snappers at the Mioskon site in Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
School of snappers at the Mioskon site in Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
The exuberance of coral in Raja Ampat is always spectacular. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
The exuberance of coral in Raja Ampat is always spectacular. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
A school of squirrel fish in the shade of a coral potato, Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
A school of squirrel fish in the shade of a coral potato, Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Hello, turtle! (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Hello, turtle! (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Clownfish in their closed anemone, which reveals the bright pink color of its corolla. (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Clown fishes in their closed anemone, which reveals the mauve shades of its corolla. (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
The spots on the belly-mantas are unique for each individual, much like our fingerprints. It is their "identity card", which allows marine biologists to follow and recognize them. (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
The stains on the belly of manta rays are unique to each individual, much like our fingerprints. It is their "identity card", so to speak, that allows marine biologists to recognize them. (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Divers meet a barracudas bench at the Blue Magic site in Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)
Divers meet a barracuda school at the Blue Magic site in Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia, July 2016.)

I'm sorting through my photos and it's taking a little time. This time I brought back more than 6,000 pictures (land and underwater)... 😯 But I'll come back very soon in a next post to tell you the details of this new Indonesian escapade ! On the menu : bubbles (champagne) in the air, bubbles (air) underwater, a new princess boat, Balinese rice paddies, a blue hole in the middle of the coral (with the pontoon that goes well) and especially full of very fresh fish and wriggling ...

  Indonesia : Komodo + Raja Ampat - July 2016

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  1. It's been six years since I returned to these corners, and I must say that by reading your article ....
    In short, we must act.


  2. I just came back from Bali and I'm pleased to find in your post the beautiful Indonesian corals and Manta princesses 🙂
    Keep us dreaming.

    1. @Karl: Yes, I have dived a little elsewhere than in the Indo-Pacific zone, notably in Mexico on the Caribbean Sea side, in the Maldives, in Polynesia, in the Red Sea... Nowhere else is the coral as beautiful, as exuberant, as rich and varied as in Indonesia. Really... 🙂

  3. I hesitated. "Incredible" or "Haaaan! Or simply "Thank you"?
    Can I suggest all three?
    Because these images are incredible.
    I despair (han) do not want to go back to Indonesia and one day try diving for real and thank you because it is always a pleasure to read your blog.

    1. @Fanny: and thank you for that nice little note! That's the problem with Indonesia: when you've loved it, you only want to go back there... Try to try to learn about diving to see, during a next trip. You never know, you could also catch the virus... 😉

  4. Always so exciting articles. I can not wait to see more pictures, before going back to plunge my fins very soon!

  5. Hello Corinne,
    We discovered your blog a few days ago while preparing our (second) trip to Indonesia. I must say that all your valuable information helped us decide for Raja Ampat. The plane ticket to Jakarta is taken since yesterday, the one for Sorong should quickly follow ... for a departure in only 15 days! No cruise for this time but we will choose a small diving hotel and also hope to try the adventure by kayak for a few days.
    These new pictures motivate us more!
    Congratulations for this beautiful blog where it is good to walk ...

    1. @Olivier : very happy to have been the inspiration for a trip to Raja Ampat... 🙂 I'm glad that you enjoyed your trip on my blog. Have a good trip and good bubbles!

  6. Always addicted to your posts, I only know Bali and Alor but the desire to put the head under the water there is always present ... .. before leaving there I want to try the Philippines ...... .to see thanks again.

  7. I made my first trip to Indonesia this summer, especially after reading your blog, and I was blown away by the abundance of life and the exuberance of corals in Komodo, I can not wait, to go back there !

    1. @Philippe: ah, I'm really happy to have encouraged so many readers to discover Indonesia underwater! People have trouble realizing, at a distance, the fabulous underwater wealth of the Indonesian archipelago ... That's why I go back there so often. When in addition we take the picture under water, it is a "playing field" really fantastic. Your blog post shows what you can expect in Komodo, between the currents and the profusion of life. I add it here, it could interest a lot of people:
      -> Komodo, pleasure in a pure state (by Philippe Jourdren)

    2. @Corinne: Indeed, it's interesting. thanks for this blog that I didn't know 🙂.

  8. Thank you for these beautiful pictures! It is always with pleasure that I go on your blog! Continue to make us dream! We need it right now!

  9. Hello Corinne,

    A big thank you for this blog, for the sharing of your emotions, for the beauty of your photos and of course for the precise and useful information that you offer us. Another thousand times "Thank you".
    After Flores then Sulawesi, I am very tempted by Lombock and Raja ampat, it falls well, you speak to us ...! but I can only leave in July and what you can write Raja Ampat in July is very windy, few cruises at this time. I see you went there in July, what was it?

    1. @Leclerc: I think I prefer the season in July ... Better visibility under water and fewer people. It must indeed be based on land, not too far from the sites, it's better.

      It happens some days that one can not go on the sites a little distant because the sea is a little formed, but that does not prevent to plunge, one falls back on the nearest sites. For this trip in July 2016, I had a wonderful weather with calm sea the first week, but more mixed and windier the second week ... And almost all the time a fantastic visit under water!

      All information to organize your stay in Raja Ampat are compiled in this article:

    2. Corinne thank you for this information and following your message, I think it's gone, we will make a nice trip to Raja Ampat, we will now expect July 2017, it's far, but the dream, the wait, the preparation, are part of the trip.
      Bigbizh. Thierry

  10. Hello Corinne,
    Like you this year, we went back to KOMODO at the end of July but with the Divine Diving club. It is always a wonder with magnificent landscapes and breathtaking underwater. (but a little less visibility than the other years.
    And like you, we returned to Europe with an upgrade to Business Class but Emirates. Like you we have loyalty cards from all companies, and like you we registered online. What a pleasure to enjoy this return in luxury and in addition we were a family of 4. Why this upgrade? to retain customers? to encourage us to advertise? Finally we do not care and we took advantage ..
    Make us dream again, we follow your blog and we try to make the same sites as you.
    If you go back by bali, you can try to rest at "la casa meena" on Sanur. You will not be disappointed with the place or your hosts (see on Facebook)
    We may meet one another

    1. @Patrick: thank you for taking the time to leave a note! Very happy to inspire you for your dive sites ... Top the upgrade !!! Not easy to guess what is worth such a favor on the part of the airlines ... But it is always very fun !!!

  11. Hello Corinne,

    I wanted to thank you for your blog. I discovered it a couple of years ago and it took me to some fabulous places. I was largely inspired by your adventures to organize my honeymoon...we just came back from 3 weeks of holidays in Sorido and Komodo it was fabulous...thank you for this inspiration and I wish you many more trips to continue to make us want to discover the world 🙂 Finally I'm a little jealous of your photos/videos...mine don't look at all the same... :s do you use a lightning also for your videos ? See you soon 😉

    1. @Benjamin: how happy I am for you! Really, it really makes me very happy to inspire other divers. I was also at the Sorido Bay Resort for this new trip in July 2016, I will talk about it in the posts to come ... This is my 4th stay there! I do not get enough…

      For details on my photo gear, here it is:

      And for videos, no, I do not use lighting, but I'm trying to do a pretty good white balance before I start shooting. Often, I photograph sand or sometimes a white plastic bag that I have in my stab pocket to make it ...

      Thank you for leaving a note, see you soon! (I'm trying to publish a new article, which will focus on Komodo, very soon ...)

  12. Hello Corinne,

    For us, these are 2 dream destinations! We are going on family with 3 one-way trips to Bali on March 5th, we hope to have the opportunity to spend there!
    Thank you for these beautiful pictures .. and for all others!

    Good continuation 🙂

  13. Hello
    Beautiful early!
    I have to make a choice between komodo and raja ampat at the end of June, what would be the spot that you would recommend between these 2?
    Thank you

    1. @Nicola: if you have the time and the budget, I would recommend Raja Ampat ... As I write somewhere higher in the article, I place Raja Ampat at the head of my personal top dive spots in Asia, in front of Komodo and Sipadan !!!

  14. Hello Corinne,
    First of all a big thank you for your great blog so passionate, exciting and generous! With my family, we took a ticket to Kuala Lumpur this summer in August. We are not divers, but snokelers confirmed and you gave us very want to go to test your favorite spots. We have 3 weeks. I know you're not a travel agent, but what would you recommend between Raja Ampat and Komodo as snorkelers? If you have other ideas, do not hesitate ... Thanks in advance

    1. @ Helen: sorry to have delayed responding ... You should be able to find your happiness in Raja Ampat as in Komodo. (You are well advanced!) Both can mix pleasant bathing and land discoveries.

      The archipelago of Komodo is preferably mini-cruises because the sites are a bit far from Labuan Bajo, but there are also more and more people to do day trips anyway (especially to go swimming with the mantas). And then, there is not only Komodo, there is also the island of Flores to discover ...

      Raja Ampat asks for a bigger budget, I think, but the landscapes and the seabed are exceptional. I think there must be a lot of spots well suited to snorkeling (I do not realize, because I'm rarely in fins-mask-snorkel).

      In both cases, you will have fun ...

      Otherwise, you can also aim for North Sulawesi, which has a lot to offer ... Good preparations!

      PS. From Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) where you land, it is quite easy to reach Indonesia, where are the spots that interest you. But Malaysia also deserves the detour ...