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West Papua is a region of Indonesia covering the western peninsula of the island of New Guinea. The province covers the “Bird’s Head Seascape” and the surrounding islands of Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat is a group of islands, located in the northwestern tip of Indonesia’s West Papua. The incredible island group lies in the heart of the coral triangle, the most bio-diverse marine region on earth: a Mecca for scientists, photographers, novice divers and crusty sea-salts alike. Misool Island is one of the larger islands in the archipelago of Raja Ampat. The reefs around Misool offer a breathtaking kaleidoscope of colour and a nice contrast to all the big stuff on other dive sites. The soft corals are unbelievable, all kind of colours and at all depths, you will not be disappointed by the underwater experience. Papua has a huge diversity of habitats to explore, whether your preference is for macro photography or for action packed big fish diving, you will be well served. Indeed, Macro enthusiasts can see Blue Ringed Octopus, Mimic Octopus, numerous types of Pygmy Seahorse, Ghost Pipefish, Frogfish, Mandarin fish and a huge variety of strange and wonderful molluscs and crustaceans. Whereas big fish lovers can encounter giant Mantas, Mobula rays (in large numbers), large schools of Barracuda, Jacks, Mackeral, as well as Wobbegong sharks, Tawny sharks and many others. According to a serious survey, Raja Ampat has the highest biodiversity of both fish, and coral species. Moreover, the findings showed more species diversity than any other area previously surveyed worldwide. The Raja Ampat islands offer some of the most breathtaking diving opportunities. Marine tourism has the potential to play a key role in the conservation of Raja Ampat’s spectacular underwater realm, while also creating real benefits for the local communities.
Dry season - October - april Rainy season - May - September, but this is unpredictable and seldom falls for more than a few days at a time in any case. Northwest monsoon - November - April Southwest monsoon - May - October Air Temperature - 27 / 32°C all year round, hot and muggy climates on the coasts. Water temperature - 27°C Best time to dive - October - April (more wind and rain in the rest of the season).
Raja Ampat can be divided into different parts with the same surprising underwater - Kri Island and Misool Island area where you can stay at Kri Eco Resort, Sorido Bay Resort (Kri Island) or Misool Eco Resort (Misool Island). Here is a non-exhaustive list of the dive sites - Sardine reef Cape Kri Mike’s Point (Dampier strait) the Passage (or Alley) Melissa’s garden Blue water Mangroves Manta point Lalosi Mios Kon Chicken Reef Kofiau Aljui Bay Waigeo All those dive sites will allow you seeing over 3000 fish and 400 coral and sponge species.
Macro divers and big fish lovers will see - Dolphins, dugongs, green leatherback turtles, fusiliers, giant trevelly , packs of bluefin jacks, spanish mackerel, batfish, schooling bannerfish , bumphead parrotfish, grey reef sharks, blacktips, whitetips, wobbegong, colourful species of dendronephya soft corals pygmy seahorse. As well as, schools of big-eye trevelly, barracudas, banded sweetlips, snappers, clown fish, tomato anemone fish, Harlequins, surgeonfish, mantas,ancient giant clams, butterflyfish, archerfish and many others.
Spectacular diving and snorkeling Kayaking in the shallow bays, especially in the Mangrove forests Cruising to the stunning land scenery Bird spotting - find the Bird of Paradise from the water Hiking into the forest to experience the diversity of birds and animals Fishing - unexplored fly-fishing for bonefish or deep water trolling for marlin and sailfish.
Sorong and other larger conurbation do have a decent selection of restaurants but shopping and nightlife are restricted.
Sorong is the main gateway to the rest of Indonesia. Sorong Airport has a regular flight service to / from Manado, Bali (Denpasar) and Jakarta. All visitors to Raja Ampat are required by law to purchase an entrance tag valid for one year. All proceeds are administered by Conservation International for management of Raja Ampat’s marine protected areas.