Diving in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.

Raja Ampat, the wild archipelago

  Indonesia: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012

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: 

Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. I'm there ! ! ! A real end of the world, still virgin, wild and beautiful, on land and under water.

Cruise-diving on the Black Manta

To sail from island to island, in the archipelago of Raja Ampat... a dream I had long ago, come true. I am taped by the beauty of this end of the world, still virgin, strewn with verdant islets covered with real jungle, in the depths of Indonesia.

→ All my articles on my dives in Raja Ampat: click here!

Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia.

Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia.

Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.

Here, the word "biodiversity" makes sense. Nature is exuberant, on land and under water. We follow in the footsteps of the British biologist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) who explored the Malay Archipelago and the East Indies in the 19th century, and discovered many unknown species ...

More modestly, with a small group of other divers tourists, I embarked at Sorong, on the Black Manta, for a short but fantastic five day cruise.

The Black Manta to Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia.
The Black Manta to Raja Ampat. (West Papua, Indonesia)

The Black Manta is a boat designed for scuba diving, able to carry up to 16 people, in addition to the crew. This kind of "cruise" (or "liveaboard" in English) obviously has nothing to do with cruise ships that sometimes run aground on the Italian coast ...

Incredibly rich seabed

I knew that Raja Ampat was an exceptional destination for scuba diving. But to see it with one's own eyes is something else ...

Diving in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.
Red Lionfish and schools of glass fish above the coral reef. (Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, March 2012)

What strikes, during the first dives, is the profusion. The usual underwater tropical fauna is there, of course, but the abundance and variety of species, both for fish and coral, is truly hallucinating.

Yes, really, the sites are exceptional! Very high level, quality diving issue. It's far, Raja Ampat, but it's worth it.

A picture is worth a thousand words ... So I post some photos, as a way to put in mouth, and I come back to tell you very soon, in more detail, these extraordinary dives!

Diving in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.

Diving in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.

Diving in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.

Turtle in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia. March 2012.


  Indonesia: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012

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  1. We wait for the continuation. Just a caveat, the Italian cruise ships, I imagine them well with 3000 divers aboard! I absolutely want to be part of the first palanquée !!!

    1. Thank you!!!! Yeah, I'm lucky to be here. I realize that. I continue to enjoy it, from the mainland, this time, in a resort in the heart of the best sites!!! 😀

    2. I leave Bali to Rajat early April, I have more compressor on board. Do you think I can rent one on the spot?
      Otherwise, for the good tips tjs takers. Then we will go to Palau.

    3. In my opinion, it will be rather complicated to find a compressor. Even the essence, here, it's all a shame to have some ... Inquire at the local diver resorts.

  2. Welcome back ! Thank you for sharing, and then I have sea water to the mouth at the first pictures .... See you soon Corinne

    1. Oh, but I have not come back at all. I'm still in Raja Ampat, but based on dry land, this time, in a resort where there is wifi ... Yes, I know, I'm a little lucky ...

    2. Hello,

      I have been traveling for a very long time in Southeast Asia.
      We did bunaken, micronesia and many other good memories in the Philippines and Indonesia. But we have Raja Ampat's project for September this time.
      By cons I am looking for a base on the ground because I am (unfortunately) sick boat.
      A nice spot on an island or beach, from which you can dive, like almost anywhere in the Philippines, even taking a boat but just for a short distance.
      Do you have addresses and emails to provide me?
      Thank you for the photos and enjoy we imagine pretty well.

    3. Do as I did: try a little Google search, you'll find... 😉

      On the other hand, prices are not like in the Philippines, here. Everything is very dear to Raja Ampat. Right now, I'm at Sorido Bay Resort, which is at the heart of the best dive sites. There is the Kri Eco Resort, which is more rustic. The infos are on http://www.papua-diving.com/

      Otherwise, there are quite a few other resorts in the area. But I'll let you look, it's not very complicated ...

  3. hello corinne,
    I dream of returning to rajah ampat, this time for the northern route, whose landscapes are as beautiful as those of the south. underwater, I ask neither more nor less than what I saw: mantas (3 dives), woobegongs, bump parrots ... if it interess, I post some photos on flickr (rajah ampat 2011)
    Congratulations for your blog, I found, I have the same concept as you travel and have dive almost to the same places you mentioned.
    by the way, I am no more trekker than you, but to go to Rinjanni in Lombok leaves me with a lasting memory. kelimutu, I think for a long time and your blog pushes me even more.

    1. Yes, Raja Ampat is truly an exceptional place. I intend to return to it. Same as you: mantas on several dives, and not just the mantas site, woobegong sharks very often, blackheads, humpback parrots, barracudas, turtles, and piles of usual tropical fauna in shambles ...

      I note for the Rinjani. As for Kelimutu, I highly recommend you !!! Short walk spectacular and very easy.

  4. Hello Corinne,

    I discovered your blog recently and I now enjoy reading you and watching your beautiful photos. I really like Southeast Asia also for going there several times.

    I've never been scuba diving, but your photos allow me to appreciate the beauties of the underwater world. Wonderful!!! 🙂

    1. Thank you Mario !!! Maybe you will one day have the opportunity to introduce you to diving? If you take a liking, you'll see, after we get hooked !!!

    1. Glad you like it !!! 🙂 I've spent most of my days underwater lately, more than on the computer... I'll post the rest in a few days, when I'll have some time to sort my pictures.

      Raja Ampat is an amazing place for diving. Now N ° 1 in my little personal top sites in Asia!

  5. Hello Corinne,

    What I'm about to tell you is easy to say afterwards, nevertheless, I've been reading you for some time now and in myself I was surprised to see that despite all the dive sites you've done in Asia I couldn't find anything about Raja Ampat which is for me a must. I already wanted to ask you if you knew about this place but I told myself that if you didn't talk about it, it's because you had good reasons (not yet had the time, the opportunity, the means, etc, etc...) for not having been there yet. So yes, I'm glad you fell under the charm of this place, personally it's been 3 years that I'm going there, I didn't wait for the last Koh Lanta to discover it, I'm going back there next September, I have a weakness for Manta Point on Mansuar Island. Enjoy your stay in this idyllic place. 🙄

    1. Yes, absolutely, Raja Ampat was missing from my underwater journeys... 😉 I've been dreaming about it for a long time !!! I hadn't accomplished the trip yet, question of means, indeed... But I finally decided to a big piggy bank break, and I don't regret it. It is now the "must" for me too. Now No. 1 in my little personal top sites in Asia ... I just want to go back!!!!

  6. Corinne...Always wonders to share with us, me who is nostalgic for my last dives...hard hard...it's almost torture! 😉
    Your blog is pure pleasure, I immerse myself in reading as soon as I have a little time, your photos are always captivating ... I always dream of changing "gear", replace my compact + box by 1 DSLR + subwoofer + flash + ... + ...
    Good luck dear Corinne ... burst out !! Continue to enchant us ...
    Passionately diving,

    1. Thanks Corinne !!! 😉 It's true that the switch to reflex, for the sub picture, it changes everything... Nice to succeed in enchanting you through the screen of my Little Bubbles !!!

    1. Thank you, Marie-Julie! Must say that I had beautiful subjects, under water, Raja Ampat ...

      I would have liked to post more "live" stuff, but the internet connections didn't live up to expectations. I will wait until I am back in France to put more pictures (photos and videos) online. I'm flying back tonight... 🙁

  7. A lot of underwater flora obviously, I love it! And when there are corals there is fish, necessarily. Do the funds look like those of Komodo, same wealth or better? What do you think ?

    1. Ah, yes, Marie-Ange, I think you would like (love) a lot !!! The richness and variety of the underwater world, fauna and flora, is amazing, really.

      In my humble opinion, it's better than Komodo ... and maybe even more pleasant to dive (there are violent currents also at Raja Ampat, but I found it more manageable than at Komodo). And then, on the surface, the beauty of the archipelago is, according to my taste (I love the jungle, the exuberant vegetation), more pleasant than the dry landscapes of the Komodo islands.

      I shared my stay in two stages: a diving cruise, then a resort strategically located in the heart of the best sites. I preferred to be on the mainland, finally. Having good conditions of comfort, while being at the heart of nature, it was extraordinary, really. I come back to tell that very quickly!


  8. It reminds me of the week on Mermaid II in 2010, I still have eyes that shine.
    Same type of boat, same environment, same number of divers, unforgettable moments !!!!!

    Thank you for those dreams.

    1. I divided my stay in Raja Ampat in two parts: cruise, then resort. I preferred to be on the ground, all the same. To discover only the sites of the north, the cruise is not essential, I think ...

      In any case, each dive was truly unforgettable, extraordinary. I have only one desire, go back !!!

  9. @Corinne: "Right now, I'm at Sorido Bay Resort, which is at the heart of the best dive sites. There is right next to the Kri Eco Resort, more rustic "
    ➡ No, then I do not know what to say anymore. Everything fights the camp in this world!
    Pbda.fr, it was for me "How to travel and dive cheap with the backpacker Corinne". We had info on the best guest houses and restaurants at 2 rupees. We have seen some changes with Komodo and the Princess boat, but we were still reasonable, but there with this stay at Raja4, we reached the ultimate !!
    Not only do we pay for a cruise on the Black Manta, which I will disregard the price for decency vis-à-vis the needy classes who frequent this blog, but in addition we go down to the Sorido with its air-conditioned bungalows on the beach (hello summary carbon !!) instead of going right next to Kri (half price and same owner) that we find a little bit "more rustic" with its huts on the water in coir.
    If it continues Dame Corinne will become the ambassador of the chain Relay and Castles and advertise for a CB in platinum by dancing an asynchronous jitter in the company of our friend Matt !!
    Workers, workers, we spoliate you, we lie to you
    The rich have more than before
    Mélenchon president !!

    1. 😆 😆 😆 Yes, it's all gone!!! R4 is clearly out of price, that's for sure.

      But now the Troll breaks me all my suspense of princess varnished ...

      Black Manta, I agree, it's not cheap. But when you find a promo with domestic flights offered and Nitrox gratos, my faith, we are tempted to break the piggy bank ...

      And then, when we also broke the piggy bank for a Kri Eco Resort, and we learn between two ploufs and two exchanges of SMS that the Kri is in maintenance and we will be "upgraded" for not a round more to the very comfortable Sorido Bay Resort next, well, we do not sulk his pleasure, and we think we're really a princess ... Especially when you're the only diver in the resort ... With his guide for her alone ...


    2. No I don't believe it 😯
      Did you have the Sorido resort for you alone?
      You're not going to tell us that there were more than 20 mantas at the Mansuar cleaning station and 500 barracudas in Cape Kri?

    3. Yes, the Sorido almost for me alone!!!! 😀 8) 😀
      And in the evening, around the table, we had the right to the incredible stories of Max, master of the place ... Sacred character.

      In fact, like other customers (also upgraded without cost of Kri), there was just a family of Dutch who were only snorkeling, kinds of missionaries for what I understood, who came to spend a few days of vacation right here. The rest of the time, they take care of a small school on another island of Papua ...

      And, yes, there were more than 20 mantas at the cleaning station ...

      I'm a princess. 😛

  10. What I do not like in luxury resorts, it happened to go, especially after spending a few days backpacker base perenthian in 89 (no electricity, shower with water drawn from a well containing tadpoles ...) .) they are people imbues themselves, snobbish (most of the time, they are not adventurous, and do not go to lost places like the R4). I do not think that's the case with Corinne. So, if she can afford dreams, why would not she be happy and please us at the same time? To have the means or rather to give some, and to leave the beaten ground are in no way incompatible.

    1. I did not meet any unpleasant characters in my super resort! Just a friendly Dutch family. And besides, I was the only diver ... A stroke of luck, again! I was upgraded from Kri Eco Resort, which was undergoing maintenance, to Sorido Bay Resort ... 8)
      I offered myself an exceptional trip, that's right. Because Raja Ampat is a really expensive destination, compared to the rest of Indonesia. But it was worth breaking the piggy bank and I'm ready to start again!

  11. Congratulations Corinne for this beautiful blog !!! He ends up convincing me that we must absolutely drag our palms in this beautiful region. We are used to cruising the Maldives and crossing a wide variety of species including Mantas and whale sharks. Enthusiasts of underwater images but also outdoors, I think it is a dream place !!! Have you ever been to the Maldives? The comparison ? If you have time I made some pictures including the mantas of night ...
    Thanks again for these stories and pictures.

    1. Guénot: thank you Yves! Yes, Raja Ampat, it's fantastic !!! I can't compare with the Maldives I don't know (yet), but it will come... 😉

      I had already spotted your video of the night mantas that I even "liked" a few days ago (I corrected the link you gave in your comment, which referred to clownfish). It's really spectacular !! 😮

  12. Hello, I am convinced by your report, I am watching the planes for December, it is a bazard from Jakarta to reach Manokwari ?? Where should I go? If you can help me would be nice ... Thank you

    1. @Guenot: you're not the first to ask the question, I have to write a paper "practical-practical" on Raja Ampat. I've already talked about it under this post, in response to comments:

      If it's Raja Ampat that you're aiming for, you have to join Sorong. The flights I know that serve Sorong take off from Manado (North Sulawesi) or Makassar (also called Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi). It is necessary to join one or the other city, from Denpasar (Bali) or Jakarta or Singapore, or another Asian hub.

      In general, on-site resorts or cruise ships can help you with domestic flights (the company most often recommended being Express Air). See at the end of this link, a lot of useful information:

  13. Hello, I was looking for comments from knowledgeable people about diving at Raja Ampat, and what a joy to find this link! We are going there in January 2013, we have been diving the last 2 years on the Similan with Black Manta and White Manta. Each of the cruises with bcp of pleasure.

    1. @Elaine: you will not be disappointed by Raja Ampat ... This is my big big blow of heart. I went there in March 2012 and returned in July 2012.

      I started to say that at the end of these links, where you will find a lot of pictures (but I'm very late in my stories, other posts are coming):
      March 2012 (already several posts) -> http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/voyage-raja-ampat-bali-indonesie-2012
      July 2012 (in progress) -> http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/voyage-alor-raja-ampat-indonesie-2012/

  14. I come back and I will return! How lucky I was to be able to dive and navigate this little paradise of beauty on the other side of the world ...

    Rich and wild both on land and under water ...

    Unforgettable encounters with Wobbegong and black manta rays ...

    I was on the beautiful aurora pinisi that I highly recommend !!!

    The archipelago of the four kings is engraved forever in my heart ...

  15. hi j pars for indonesia, qqun can give me a good pipe question price housing and diving raja ampat (email, site, ...) thank you

  16. Your underwater photos are superb (the others too), it is necessary at all costs that I show your blog to my friend who starts as a diving instructor, he will love and hallucinate!

    1. @Manon: we must admit that Raja Ampat is an exceptional region, the beauty and richness of the seabed exceed all that I could see elsewhere ...