Raja Ampat (Indonesia)

Dec 2014

In December 2014, we made it up to West Papua (Indonesia) to dive into the pristine region of Raja Ampat. It is a bit of a struggle to get there as it is quite remote. We had to take a few flights starting with Garuda Airline (GA) 675 from Denpasar to Makassar (DPS-UPG) and GA 690 from Makassar to Soring (UPG-SOQ). When arriving in Sorong, it is a 2h boat ride to Mansuar Island.

Visa and Taxes

Indonesia has a confusing set of domestic and international airport taxes and you should exchange a minimum of USD 35 as well as plenty of Rupiah to pay for domestic and international airport tax + luggage surcharges if necessary. Important for your special West Papua Visa are 3 passport photos per person. Note that IDR 100,000 are approx. AUD 10.
  1. A Tourist Visa is required upon arrival into Indonesia for Australian, New Zealand, United Kingdom citizens. A 30-day Tourist Visa costs USD$35 per person payable in cash on arrival at major airports. Please bring 3 passport photos and 3 copies of your passport required for your Papua Travel Permit and registration.
  2. Not included is the Raja Ampat Marine Park Fee of IDR 500,000 per person for international visitors or IDR 250,000 for Indonesian citizens valid for one calendar year.
  3. A local International Departure tax is payable in cash at the Indonesian airport of departure as you proceed through immigration. IDR 150,000 ex Denpasar, Jakarta or Surabaya | IDR 75,000 ex other cities
  4. A local Domestic Departure tax is payable in cash at the Indonesian airport of departure. IDR 40,000 ex Jakarta | IDR 30,000 ex Denpasar | IDR 13,000 – 40,000 ex other cities.

The Island and Accommodation

Once arrived, Raja Ampat Dive Lodge (RADL) is simply stunning. It is a small lodge directly at the beach with just a few bungalows side-by-side along the beach. It almost feels like private access. The bungalows have a nice patio to sit outside in the evening and share dive photos. Usually, everyone gathers in the dining area for breakfast, dinner or just some tea and coffee. The food is delicious and mostly made from local resources/hunting. The staff is extremely friendly, they will provide you with boxes for you to put your dive gear in, which is picked up by the staff before every dive. Everything is mounted and ready to go, you only need to enter the boat.

Dive Site

Many of the breath-taking dives are just a short boat ride from the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge. For a detailed overview of dive sites, check out the dive sites I have visited: Dive Locations

Things To Do

There is also a chance to go to the remote area … where you can take scenic pictures of some island formations. This looks similar to Palau – a must-do although they will charge you for the gas, which is fair.



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