A tropical archipelago promising paradisiacal scenes, think jungle-clad islands and ribbons of white sad, Raja Ampat is known as one of the best places for diving in Indonesia. Made up of 1,500 small islands, with pristine coral reefs and some of the most biodiverse waters in the world (75 percent of the world’s known coral species).
Yes, Raja Ampat is Indonesia’s dream dive destination. You will swim with huge manta rays, playful dolphins will stop by and you’ll see turtles while gentle whale sharks here are happy to swim alongside you. Not only are you in the coral triangle, you are exploring some of its best bits, so it is worth trying a liveaboard to take in all the variety – some divers have reported seeing up to 300 species of fish in just one dive at some sites. Then add in World War Two wrecks, amazing macro and ‘frontier diving’ the term invented to describe these remote dives seemingly at the ends of the Earth, and you have an amazing experience.
Year-round diving is available at Raja Ampat, but the best months are the dry season of October to April, when you can see huge quantities of manta ray at once feeding off the plankton.
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Wildlife in Raja Ampat
Here you have around 200 dive sites to choose from, meaning you are spoilt for choice at Raja Ampat. It is just coral of startling beauty that will take your breath away, but swarms of manta rays, fearless whale sharks and serene turtles. Huge tuna, toothy barracuda and cuttlefish abound as do tiny colorful nudibranch and pygmy seahorses. This is after all one of the most richly biodiverse marine regions on earth, where you can swim with white-tip sharks and Wobbegong carpet sharks, spot glinting glassfish and brightly-colored mantis shrimps, it is a veritable playground of marine life.