The pontoon of Sorido Bay Resort and its blue hole in the middle of the coral. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.
The pontoon of Sorido Bay Resort.

Raja Ampat, my end of the world

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the strange sentences and the funny mistakes that could gave been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here PetitesBullesdAilleurs.fr

  Indonesia: Raja Ampat - January 2015

" So ? Tell! "Tell Raja Ampat, not so simple. I feel like coming back from the end of the world. I do not know where to start ...

Back to Papua

  Above, the spectacular viewpoint on the islets of Fam, emblematic of the Raja Ampat landscapes... We can see Otto, my super Papuan dive guide, and my buddy Sarah.

Raja Ampat are karst rock crumbs covered with primary forest in the middle of a sea of coral. It is an archipelago of Papua, ruled by Indonesia. It is a nature (still) preserved (but for how long?) Where the National Geographic comes to film sharks and manta rays. It is a biodiversity paradise for divers eager for underwater wonders.

I am back from it. This is my third trip there!

And I'm still not satisfied ... 😍

Island in the archipelago of Fam. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.
The reef is alive with life. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.

Learn more about Raja Ampat:

→ Practical information to organize your trip
→ My first trip of March 2012 (Raja Ampat + Bali)
→ My 2nd trip of July 2012 (Alor + Raja Ampat)

Rennes-Sorong: a very long journey ...

To reach the island of Kri, in Raja Ampat, I traveled 14,994 km exactly from Rennes, according to the site Tripline with which I drew the itinerary below. The end of the world.

 

In January 2015, nearly three years have passed since my very first trip to Raja Ampat. The archipelago is located in West Papua, in the far east of Indonesia. I dream of going back there. That's where I did the most beautiful dives of my life.

I take the plane a few days after the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher of the Porte de Vincennes in Paris. After the horror, I have in my line of sight two weeks of vacation and carelessness.

This departure makes me the effect of a balm after these terrifying events. There is something soothing to contemplate the Earth from above, to glide over the time zones at night, to leave one world for another. The iPhone is transformed into moment sensor.

It's a long journey, then. It starts in Rennes station, with the TGV that takes me directly to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. About 3 hours of travel.

First aerial section: Paris-Jakarta via Dubai on Emirates Airlines. About 14 hours in the air and a short stop in the middle. Upon arrival, I planned a night of rest near Jakarta airport before taking off again the next day for Papua.

Second air journey: Jakarta-Sorong via Makassar on Garuda Airlines. Nearly 6 hours in the air with a stop a little longuette in the middle.

I arrive in Sorong at dawn. There is only about a fifteen minute drive to the pier and an hour and a half of fast boat crossing to reach my goal: Kri Island.

I am often asked the question of the time spent in transport ... For this trip, ladle from Rennes, it is about 24 hours in all. With stops and if we agree a night of rest, it takes a total of two days to rally Raja Ampat from Europe! But it's worth it.

During the crossing between Sorong and Kri, a school of dolphins crosses our path, like a happy omen. When the familiar triangle of Kri begins to become clear on the horizon, I do not hold it anymore!

I'm going to find the island I've been dreaming of for so long months. I will see again the pontoon of Sorido Bay Resort and his incredible blue hole in the middle of the coral. And above all, this fabulous, extraordinary, unique profusion of life under water. Raja Ampat, finally!

Kri Island, Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.
The pontoon of Sorido Bay Resort. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.
The pontoon of Sorido Bay Resort and its blue hole in the middle of the coral. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.

  Above, the island of Kri and the pontoon of Sorido Bay Resort.

The Papua-Diving boat in the archipelago of Fam. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.
Traditional boat. Archipelago of Fam, Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia, January 2015.

A brief historical-political reminder: the western half of the island of New Guinea, once colonized by the Dutch, was annexed by Indonesia in 1963. The Indonesians acted as invaders and the army committed massacres. A Papuan separatist movement continues to take action and the Indonesian authorities do not hesitate to brutally repress any demonstration, even peaceful. Just recently, in 2017, almost twenty years later the Biak massacre (1998), the Indonesian military and police have carried out mass arrests in Nabire and Sentani, whilea petition for West Papua tries to make the voice of the Papuans heard on the international scene. I close the parenthesis, but when we go there as a tourist, we must be aware that the region is unstable and not quite a "paradise" for everyone ...

Travel Indonesia: Raja Ampat - January 2015

  Indonesia: Raja Ampat - January 2015

  1. Whoa!
    Awesome, and all the more motivating as we leave Friday for Paris KL -Makassar-Sorong (the same flight Garuda) -Waisai - Kri - and a dozen days in a guesthouse to dive in the corner!

    Ben & Kayo

  2. Hello,
    It freezes in Normandy and by opening my computer I am transported in the fabulous world of Rajat Ampat, my dream for several years !! Your photos are always beautiful, because it is with fervor that I am in all your travels. Little question ?? (in which case?) when is the best time to go to Raja Ampat? Thank you for all the good times you give us in these difficult days
    Dominica

  3. Hello
    always faithful to your posts ,,,,,,,
    Rajat Ampat remains a destination that I want to discover (and that I will discover), because you gave me the virus, this year it was Rodrigues for us.
    I still keep waiting for your articles, to escape, in blue ... Thank you

  4. We are currently traveling around the world for 10 months with our two children (three and five years old). It is in a noodle shop in Burma, where we are now, that in talking with Spaniards we have learned the existence of this paradise.
    From links to links I fall on your blog, it's decided in May 2015 we will join Raja Ampat !!! Thank you for convincing us 😉

  5. That's it ! I decided to go! 🙂
    But why do, if not to practice diving? Well, that will obviously not be the case for me. 😥
    So, just to take a break, after a long trip I will make in Asia ... When? Euuhh ... 2020 or 2021, I will not work anymore !! 😆
    Pfff! Another 5 years to wait! 🙁

    1. @Didier: ah, ah !!! Convinced? 😉 Just snorkeling and snorkeling, you're going to hallucinate anyway. And then there are also the islands themselves, the villages, the jungle tours, the birds and other terrestrial beasts, and then the possibility of kayaking. For a nature lover like you, even private scuba-bottle, it will be necessarily top. Patience, patience ...

    2. No worries for non divers !!! I went there two years ago, in July, I'm not a diver, and I loved ... ..In snorkelling, I was able to admire manta rays and many other critters, the sound of birds, silence, strange noises, the landscape, the sunsets, the sky, a canoe trip, the idleness that makes sense there, you feel so far from everything ...

  6. Well, well, well ... well, that's a nice little morning window full of beautiful pictures ... 🙂
    We are flying to Jakarta with Emirates in April and are asking Raja Ampat or Sidapan ... 🙄
    As we embark our little guy of 10 years with us who dreams of only one thing: to be on a plane to do as many hours as possible 😀 and dive again ... Ok, that's 2 😉, it's true that I still hesitate for Sidapan - we had already talked about it and we finally chose Koh Tao for our first immersion last October, where we have also picked up the virus "bubbles" in family-
    In short, thank you for these beautiful images, thank you for these shared dreams ...

    And if not, with a pitchoun, Raja Ampat or Sidapan (we thought of the seaventure dive resort?)?

    1. @Catherine: Sipadan is easier to rally than Raja Ampat, and less complicated in terms of logistics (accommodation, travel time, etc.) with a small traveler, however fearless (and cheaper too, for a family trip). But Raja Ampat has a taste of adventure, wild paradise, end of the world really exceptional ...

      In Sipadan, I do not know the Seaventure platform, only from the outside. But I had good echoes. That said, with a child, maybe it's better to stay in Mabul itself, on the island, where there is the beach, the village, other children? ... The beach resort of Scuba Junkie can to be a good option.

    2. @ Corinne: thanks for your answer. Raja Ampat really makes us dream for a lot of good reasons ... now remains to make the budget 😉 For now we have the dry flight on Jakarta ...
      Go back to me - this is the case to say - on the different sites ...
      Our instructor in Koh Tao, told us about Seaventure and told us a lot of good in terms of dives ...
      In short ... I cogit, I cogitate ... What is part of the pleasure of the trip too 🙄

  7. no comment .... I like ......
    Like most here, I think everyone here appreciates this post that allows us to escape in the middle of February !!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you !!! We want more !!!

  8. I can not believe it, Corinne is at her 3rd stay at the R4 while I'm at my 2nd. Yet I started going well before her ➡ life is really too unfair 😡
    Our "luxury backpacker" has not usurped her nickname when I compare her cozy night in Jakarta and her resort **** with my nonstop trip and my hut in braided palms on stilts ❗
    I think that the R4 are not easy to access, but this is what has allowed so far to preserve them from mass tourism. Enjoy it because visibly with the speed with which the resorts and airports are built, the charm of this beautiful province may suffer and as a friend says "soon there will be hordes of English watered beer by train to watch first league games on giant screens »😥
    About the political context of West Papua ➡ I AM PAPU !!

    1. @Alimata: Hey, hey ... Did not start by giving me the idea to go 😈 For the rest you know that it's been a while that I play it "cozy adventurer" and I do not hang around backpack! I must believe that I am less Indiana Jones than princess with peas ... 😀
      Joking aside, the difficulty of access is undoubtedly the best protection, for the moment, Raja Ampat. Not sure it lasts a long time.

  9. Like everyone else I will thank you for making us dream! Thanks to you I dived in Sipadan which is, for the moment and by far my most beautiful diving trip !! 😉
    In March, I go to the Maldives for a diving cruise and I think Raja
    Ampat will be my first destination in 2016. will have to start preparing this trip !! 😀

    1. @Loscarinho: yes, Sipadan manages to stay spectacular over the years. Good diving in the Maldives, then. As for Raja Ampat ... I already said a lot of things in the article above !!! 8)

  10. Another wonderful invitation to travel ... After following your "bubbles" to Perhentians and Sipadan, how not to want to enjoy all these tips by admiring these images!

  11. Hello Corinne

    Thank you for this beautiful post ... ..I was there from January 25 to February 8 or I went on a 12-day cruise, I did not know but it was a dream of a diver and my dream is realized to have gone in many countries to dive I must say that this trip took me to the guts and to this day remains the most beautiful diving trip of my life and today I have only one desire it is to return! What does it matter if it is far to make the Raja Ampat more important? What counts is to be aware of having admired a nature still intact 🙂
    I have a question Corinne to dive to Komodo? before returning to Raja Ampat I would like to try a cruise to Komodo! Thank you

    1. @ Gisèle: thank you for that little word. This is exactly my feeling: I too have dipped into a lot of places, but this one is really different, incredibly preserved ... Yes, I've already been diving in Komodo. Exceptional too. See here the articles published during my trip to Flores in July 2011:
      http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/voyage-flores-bali-indonesie-2011/
      It is magnificent and abundant, like Raja Ampat. But the currents are formidable.

  12. Hello

    Super your accounts makes you want.

    I have three weeks end of April beginning of May holidays. I wonder if it's not too late to go to raja ampat in terms of weather at risk of me stir for dives ... what do you say?

    1. @Nuse: I can not predict the weather !!! So I can only answer you that I do not know at all ... It depends on where you are. If it's close to dive sites, it will not make much difference in case of wind or swell if it is the case of 5-10 minutes of travel. For my part, I already stayed at Raja Ampat in July, where there could be very windy days, it did not prevent me from diving.

  13. I dreamed with "little bubbles elsewhere" several weeks before leaving for Raja Ampat and here is ...... ..the return was done yesterday, already!
    But the dream of several months has changed in reality ... everything was there ... the landscapes, the diversity, the intense life under water, my first turtles, mantas, ... .the color, the benches of carrangues, of barracudas , ... to unimaginable proportions, the encounter with a swordfish! , and the surprising Ghost Pipe Fish already crossed at Lembeh!
    Home smiling in villages despite the language barrier ...
    It was surprising, magical, majestic ... to live!
    Do not hesitate ......... thanks to "little bubbles elsewhere" for future dreams that will change I hope in reality.

    1. @Nicole: thank you for this small enthusiastic message! Delighted to have helped turn the dream into reality !!! It must be recognized that Raja Ampat is a place apart ... I would be almost jealous, I have not managed to cross swordfish, me! 😀

  14. Hello Corinne,

    First of all thank you for your site which is really great and exotic !!
    It really makes you want to do a special diving world tour 🙂

    For Raja Ampat, I wanted to have if with a Padi Open Water we could do lots of dives given our "depth limit"?

    Thanks again 😉
    Have you done dives over 18 meters each time or not?

    1. @Yoann: yes, you can dive to Raja Ampat with only the Open Water. The guides adapt the profile of the dives according to the level of the participants. You will not go far beyond your prerogatives, simply. There are even beginners who spend their Open Water there (damn lucky, they'll have a hard time finding dive sites as well, then).

      For my part, yes, I was doing dives over 18 meters on almost every site, since I have the experience and the level to do it. It is not because you are limited to 18 meters that it forbids you to dive on the sites where you can go deeper. You will stay at the depth that suits you. Most sites in Raja Ampat are suitable for all levels of diving.

    2. Thank you for your answer.

      I confirm, we spent our PADI in Mexico ... (hard to find such beautiful dives after 🙂)

      This is good news anyway if there are still dives to do while staying under 18 meters

  15. Hello Corinne,
    apparently I was in Kri at the same time as you, but in homestay (in Yenkoranu). This is my second stay and it was you who convinced me to go there last year, thanks to your excellent post Raja Ampat practice. If I had known, it would have been an opportunity to pay you a drink to meet you and especially thank you (but the Sorido is a bit far from Yenkoranu and above all, there is a barrier on the beach in front of the Kri eco resort that prevents passing).
    Good in all cases, these are for me also the most beautiful dives that I made, even if I did not have the chance to see the ocean mantas at Blue Magic while they were in the corner. But for the rest, everything was there. And just a little snorkeling on the reef in front of the island is already better than the best dives of some places on earth (or sea elsewhere).
    Thank you again for making me discover this paradise. Something tells me that I will return, hoping it does not grow too fast (the expansion of Sorong airport makes me a little scared) ...
    Looking forward to reading your blog
    Muriel

  16. Hello Corrine,
    still a mind-blowing journey of beauty. Your photos are absolutely beautiful and your passion communicative. I do not get tired of consulting your travel diaries.
    Congratulations again and thank you. Thierry

  17. Hello Corinne,

    That's it I'm decided !! I am convinced that it is good to raja amp that I have to go. I'm trying to organize, I understand, you're not a travel agency but I do not know much about this region, I have to leave in May. weather question, what do you think? the rest I have the information, I will not bother, I promise!

    thank you and have a nice day

    1. @Mohela: I do not know at all ... I never went there in May. This is the period between two seasons, it seems, although the seasons are not very marked in Raja Ampat. The weather on this archipelago of West Papua, as I explain in the post "Practical information to organize his trip to Raja Ampat" is something very difficult to predict for me who lives in Rennes in Brittany ... The information I have available are compiled right here :
      http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/2013/03/03/voyage-raja-ampat-infos-pratiques/
      The best thing is to ask people who live there (the resorts all have a "contact" page or an e-mail).

  18. Rajat Ampat ... ..what a dream destination! Fortunately you're here to give some consistency to my dream because I do not think I can go one day (not at all in my budget 😥)
    By the way, I'm glad to have crossed you on the forum of the training of the animal photographer! 😉

  19. Hello, your trip looks great I plan to go this winter for cons the hotel you mention "Sorido Bay Resort" looks great against I find the price aberrant more than 2000 euros per person for 7 days Or more than 4000 to two. Is this really the price or is there something less expensive at this hotel?
    Thank you

    1. @ Julie33: there are cheaper options than the Sorido Bay Resort in Raja Ampat. This is actually the most luxurious place possible in Raja Ampat. The resort is ideally located in the Strait of Dampier, minutes from the most interesting dive sites. The same owner (Papua Diving) also has the Kri Eco Resort, on the same island (Kri Island), more affordable. Otherwise, for tighter budgets, there are also other hotels and resorts that I list in this article, as well as "homestays" managed by locals, around 500.000Rp Indonesian (sometimes more), including accommodation and 3 meals a day:
      http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/2013/03/03/voyage-raja-ampat-infos-pratiques/
      Check out the StayRajaAmpat website, which I give the link in the article for cheap accommodation options. Good preparations!
      🙄

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