Raja Ampat Islands are one of the most beautiful archipelagos not only in Southeast Asia, but also on Earth. Hence, it’s surely not too much if we highly recommend you to include this tourist destination in your bucket list, especially if you’re an enthusiastic, adventurous diving fan—the diving has been claimed as one of the world’s best by many authorities!
The Raja Ampat accommodation can be divided neatly into three categories. If you’re one of the beach bums, there are a growing number of homestays—Gam Island and Kri Island have so many options. Serious divers can opt for the dive resorts that also typically offer travel packages. And finally, for the ultimate choice, there are live-aboard dive boats, the floating dive resorts sailing sedately from one coral reef to the next. Often, some itineraries with those floating resorts also combine Raja Ampat with neighboring islands, such as Banda Islands of Maluku.
It doesn’t matter where you put your head under the water, Raja Ampat will awe you with the rainbow of glowing corals and fish. Expect to get up close with giant clams, huge manta rays, schools of barracuda, parrotfish, and fusiliers even on a single dive. Snorkellers can also observe many of those species from above with many reefs always accessible easily even from the beach. In general, though, Raja Ampat is better suited to experienced divers, although some dive spots are relatively ideal for novices too. Reputable dive operators will always require you to provide proof of dive cards and valid insurance.
So, when to visit Raja Ampat? It’s an all-year destination, though many diving spots take a break from July through September as the seas can become pretty rough. For the best visibility and calmest waters for diving, November to March is the best time to visit. Beware of the time between May and October since the region receives the heaviest rain. Plan carefully and enjoy your Raja Ampat travel!