Raja Ampat Liveaboard

Raja Ampat liveaboard, is one of Indonesia’s best diving locations but one of the best of the world as well. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any diver especially for those who enjoy liveaboard diving.

Located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, in West Papua, Raja Ampat liveaboard diving is home to some of the world’s most diverse marine life and stunning coral reefs. With over 1,500 islands and a total area of 40,000 square kilometers, Raja Ampat offers endless opportunities for dive exploration.

Raja Ampat Liveaboard

Liveaboard Diving in Raja Ampat

What to expect on a Raja Ampat liveaboard

Diving in Raja Ampat is best done with a liveaboard, that is without a doubt. Diving in Raja Ampat liveaboard enables divers to visit all of Raja Ampat’s diving spots:

  • Raja Ampat North
  • Raja Ampat Central
  • Raja Ampat South

Expectations for diving in Raja Ampat are always high especially during the peak season of October to March when the weather is the best. That is the same time when almost all of the liveaboards in Indonesia sail to Raja Ampat generally moving from Banda Sea navigating for 11 days through Raja Ampat’s South Misool, up to Sorong.

Choosing your liveaboard is perhaps the biggest factor running the expectations of the trip. Some liveaboards are able to visit Misool, some boats not. Ultimately it’s all depending on which part of Raja Ampat you would like to dive in.

The main dive sites of Raja Ampat are of course located in Raja Ampat Central such as:

  • Blue Magic
  • Mioskon Reef
  • Sardine Reef
  • Cape Kri
  • Sauwandarek Jetty

By far, the most popular itinerary for Raja Ampat liveaboard is Raja Ampat North and Central as it covers all of the Central’s dive sites and the North’s:

  • Melissa’s Garden
  • My Reef
  • Rufus Wall
  • Eagle Rock

liveaboard raja ampat

Raja Ampat underwater

If you’re wondering how Raja Ampat is underwater, you can imagine it’s everything you’re dreaming of or when you see the advertisements. Of course, conditions vary day by day, week by week but even at its worst, Raja Ampat liveaboard diving provides the best of the underwater life: Reef Manta Rays, Oceanic Manta Rays, Wobbegon Sharks, White Tip and Black Tip Reef Sharks, Turtles, and the list can go on.

Coral reefs in Raja Ampat are simply stunning and once you see it, you will understand why Raja Ampat is home to the largest bio-diversity on the planet.

Top 3 Dive locations of Raja Ampat

1. Misool

One of the top destinations in Raja Ampat is Misool, a group of islands located in the southern part of Raja Ampat / West Papua. Misool is basically off the beaten tracks mainly because of the distance to reach the area from the central part of Raja Ampat; an estimated 15 hours sailing.

Misool is known for its vibrant coral gardens, crystal-clear waters, and impressive underwater rock formations. Divers can expect to see a wide variety of marine life, including schools of fish, manta rays, and sharks.

Misool is also home to some of the most colorful and diverse soft coral gardens in the world, making it a favorite destination among underwater photographers.

Another really famous diving activity in Misool is night dive and particularly Black Water Diving. Not all divers can enjoy such a special type of diving but Black Water Diving is mainly preferred by underwater photographers who prefer underwater macrophotography.

raja ampat liveaboards

2. Waigeo

Waigeo is the largest island in the archipelago of Raja Ampat offering an incredible array of dive sites, ranging from shallow coral gardens to deep underwater pinnacles. You should expect to encounter a diverse range of marine life, including pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, and reef sharks. One of the highlights of diving in Waigeo is the chance to witness the incredible spectacle of thousands of schooling fish… our favourite by far the schooling of Jack fish performing as an underwater fish tornado.

best liveaboard diving raja ampat

3. Mansuar

Located on the western side of Waigeo, Mansuar is home to some of Raja Ampat’s most popular dive sites. Underwater is simply amazing ranging from shallow coral gardens to deep underwater canyons. You should expect a variety of marine life, including schools of fish, sea turtles, and reef sharks. But by far Mansuar is known for its impressive underwater topography, towering underwater pinnacles and steep walls.

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Top Tips for Divers

Tips for divers anywhere around the world can never be enough. For Raja Ampat, above all make sure to choose a reputable liveaboard operator that is committed to safe and responsible diving practices with a good track record across their online reviews.

Raja Ampat is home to some of the world’s most pristine and fragile coral reefs, so it’s essential to minimize your impact on the environment. Sustainable diving must also be on the top of the list of your chosen Raja Ampat liveaboard.

Next important top tip is to prepare your diving equipment. If you have your own, make sure to bring it because it will make a huge difference for your diving experience. Most liveaboards they offer diving equipment rental and you should inquire about it in advance but it also comes at a price that bites into your budget.

liveaboard indonesia raja ampat

Traveling to Raja Ampat

This is perhaps the only trick about Raja Ampat liveaboard because as it’s located in West Papua, this also makes it a little bit hard to reach. It’s not such a big deal to travel to Raja Ampat but you do need a couple of flights to get there.

Arriving in Raja Ampat will have you landing in Sorong, the capital city of West Papua and the main harbour for all the Raja Ampat liveaboards.

Traveling internationally, you will fly most probably through Jakarta from where you have available flights to take you directly to Sorong. Additionally, depending on the chosen domestic airline you might have to make a stop in Makassar but we would urge that you definitely use the direct flight from Jakarta to Sorong.

When traveling from Bali, there is no direct flight to Sorong so you still have to stop either in Jakarta or in Makassar. Generally we would prefer to travel to Jakarta as the timing fits better for reaching the liveaboard on time.

The best time to dive in Raja Ampat is from October to April

Like any other diving location, the best season for diving in Raja Ampat is depending on specific weather factors. For Raja Ampat liveaboard the best is from October to April and that’s when most of the liveaboards will be there as well.

During these months the weather is at its best, with low waves and the best underwater conditions. Visibility is generally at least 20 meters / 65 feet with water temperatures at approximately 28-29 degrees Celsius / 82 F

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Can beginners dive in Raja Ampat?

Diving in Raja Ampat is special and generally not difficult but beginners are not suitable if their experience is below at least 25 logged dives and not Advanced Open Water certified.

Primarily the minimum diving experience is because in some dive sites such as Blue Magic, currents can sometimes be strong or surprising in the middle of the dive with strong down currents.

Depth is also a consideration so diving with a Raja Ampat liveaboard is highly recommended to have this minimum diving experience.

Raja Ampat liveaboards vs Dive Resorts

It’s a question often asked and we believe it also depends on what you are looking to get out of your diving in Raja Ampat. There are a couple of dive resorts in Raja Ampat such as Raja Ampat Dive Lodge or Papua Divers but although their locations are fairly good, they are also limited to the number of dive sites they can visit.

Dive resorts mainly can visit the Central area of Raja Ampat while a Raja Ampat Liveaboard can reach the far North and South dive sites otherwise impossible for dive resorts.

Frequently Asked Question about indonesia liveaboard raja ampat

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Raja Ampat is an archipelago located off the coast of West Papua in Indonesia. It is known for its stunning scenery, rich biodiversity, and world-class diving.

An Indonesia liveaboard in Raja Ampat is a boat that takes guests on a diving and exploration journey to some of the most spectacular dive sites in the region, including Wayag, Misool, and more.

Activities on an Indonesia liveaboard in Raja Ampat mainly revolve around diving and snorkeling, as the region is famous for its diverse and pristine underwater world. Other activities may include island hopping, cultural visits, and water sports.

Raja Ampat has many world-renowned dive sites, including Cape Kri, Blue Magic, and Manta Ridge. These sites are home to a wide range of marine life, including schools of fish, manta rays, and sharks.

Accommodation on an Indonesia liveaboard in Raja Ampat ranges from basic to luxurious, depending on the boat. Most boats offer private cabins with en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning.

The number of people on an Indonesia liveaboard in Raja Ampat varies, but most boats can accommodate between 10 and 20 guests.

The food on an Indonesia liveaboard in Raja Ampat is typically a mix of Indonesian and Western cuisine, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Some boats may also cater to special dietary requirements.

The level of service on an Indonesia liveaboard in Raja Ampat is typically high, with a focus on personalized service and attention to detail. The crew may include dive guides, chefs, and other support staff.

You should bring appropriate clothing for the weather and any activities you plan to do, as well as any necessary medications. Many liveaboards in Raja Ampat provide diving or snorkeling equipment, but you may want to bring your own if you prefer.

When choosing an Indonesia liveaboard in Raja Ampat, consider factors such as the itinerary, the size and type of boat, the amenities, the level of service, and the price. It's also a good idea to read reviews and ask for recommendations from other travelers or travel agents.