Imagine descending into the big blue, encountering a rainbow of colours in the vibrant, thriving reefs. Then the marine life comes alive, as if they know how special they are and want to share their secret. Schools of fusiliers and jacks duck and sway in the currents, bump head parrot fish chomp away on the corals, shy Denise’s pygmy seahorses hide among gorgonian coral, frogfish try to keep themselves expertly camouflaged and white/black tip reef sharks sweep and patrol effortlessly through the sea. Magestic mantas, rare wobbegong and epaulette sharks (walking shark) guarantee plenty of variety and with grey reef sharks, schools of big-eyed trevally and barracudas, they put on a spectacular show.
We put great importance to plan the best possible tour for their guests. When planning the route, many factors play an important role. The most important factor is the weather.
Since there can be storms in the tropics at any time, Pindito might change routes and itineraries at short notice.
There are basically two ways to navigate the Raja Ampat area.
One begins from Sorong, the capital of West Papua, to the south. We’ll do most dives around the island maze of Misool. On the return journey you’ll visit Dampier Straight and maybe Sele Pele or Kofian before you go back to Sorong.
The second tour leads north from Sorong. On this trip we’ll visit Wayag Island, which lies west of Waigeo. The dive areas are the Dampier Straight, Jef Fam, Sele Pele and Wayag. The tour ends in Sorong.
Typically, we schedule four dives a day depending on weather conditions:
- Early morning (around 7:30 AM)
- Late morning
- Afternoon (around 2:30 PM)
- After dinner – an exciting dusk or night time dive
More dives per day are available when the ship is anchored or moored safely over a calm reef. Inquire with your divemaster about when you can expect additional dive availability.
Diving in the endless maze of the islands of Misool is a very special treat for any diver. It is paradise for macro enthusiasts, but encounters with larger fish such as manta rays are often possible. Misool is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world with fish, corals, sponges, soft corals, shrimps, crabs and countless nudibranchs and other invertebrates. Huge shoals of sardines are a definite highlight. Soft corals and sea fans (diameter of 3-4 meters) in all sizes and colors dominate the underwater landscape.
A special feature of this tour is the crossing of the equator. This area has a fascinating landscape. Many famous Raja Ampat landscape photographs were shot here. On the north, on the island of Wayag, is the famous "Mount Pindito". From here you get a fantastic view of the many islands. Pindito on anchor in the middle of the Bay, completes the beautiful landscape. “Sele Pele” offers the opportunity to look at a pearl farm up close. Depending on the production stage you will be invited to witness the fertilization or harvest! A unique opportunity you cannot afford to miss.
"Jef Fam" is the name of a group of karst islands with great diving, lots of fish and colorful corals. Night dives at the "Red Wall" are always a special experience. In the sand under the pearl diving pier, a lot of special and peculiar creatures, especially wobbegongs and epaulette sharks (walking sharks) can be found. Countless nudibranchs, pipefish, seahorses, frogfish, scorpion fish cannot escape the well trained eye. A great highlight is the manta cleaning station near Mansuar.
The Dampier straight separates the “Birdshead” Peninsula from Waigeo and Mansuar. The name comes from Dutch colonial times. It refers to the shape of the peninsula on the map, but it is also a paradise for many rare bird species.
Here the Pacific Ocean meets the Halmahera Sea, with an explosion of marine life as consequence. With regular strong currents, big fish feel especially comfortable. Manta rays, reef sharks, different schools of mackerel, tuna and barracuda are seen again and again.