7 day north Raja Ampat trip

Barefoot-Mikumba

 

7 Day North & Central Raja Ampat trip itinerary

 

Day 1

We will meet you up at 7-7:30 am at Je Meridien Hotel and leaving at 8 am in Sorong and take you to the pier and we will take the ferry to the island of Waigeo we will arrive in the small town Waisai. We are going to start doing our check dive on the island of Mansuar dive site called Yenbuba Jetty. Stunning dive site and very easy to dive and where you can see everything from mantas to pygmy seahorses. We will be staying in the bay between Mansuar and Kri Island over the night.

 

Day 2 

We move to the other side of Kri island and dive the famous chicken reef (Karang Ayam). It’s a submerge stunning reef and is good for big stuffs, like tunas, Spanish mackerel, grey reefs sharks, white/black tip reef sharks, wobbegong sharks, and big schools of fish. It’s best to dive in when it has current bringing lot of hunting action. On the second dive, we’ll move closer to the world famous cape Kri, where schools of barracuda, jackfish, batfish, snapper, small reef fish, rays, sharks, turtles, and groupers, as well as the coral itself, are out-of-this-world. For the third dive, we move to west of Mansuar to dive the Jetty of the Sawandarek village, a protected dive site with stunning reef and good for pygmy seahorses, nudibranches, common octopus, and wobbegong sharks. Just under the jetty we can see schools of jacks. Next, we move to the west part of Dampier Strait to visit Arborek Island, in the Dampier strait between Gam and Mansuar. We will visit barefoot conservation to get information on where the mantas is hanging out so we know where to go the next day.

Day 3

We’ll only have about 15 minutes to manta sandy/manta ridge from Arborek Island. Manta sandy is one of the more famous manta dive sites in Raja Ampat, where you can see 4-5 mantas cleaned at the same time. We will dive manta ridge if the tide falls, to see a big amount of mantas hovering a couple of meters away, get fed by plankton carried by the strong current. We’re heading more west to Penemu and Fam Island aiming to dive the famous Melissa garden, you will see the best hard coral reef in Raja Ampat for sure. The site is named after the diving pioneer, Max Ammer’s daughter and is rich of underwater biodiversity: thousands of tiny reef fish, black tips, wobbegong sharks, pygmy seahorses, and much more. For the third dive, we move to Kerou Chanel which can be a great drift dive if we get a little bit of current. It features a very nice reef, huge sea fans, and wonderful soft corals which are very good for macro. Yet, some bigger stuffs can pass us out in the blue. Finally, we’ll trek to Bintan Lagoon viewpoint, after we are done we start do a 6-7h night crossing up to the north to Kawe Island, one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.

Day 4

We dive around Kawe Island, starting around the 3 famous island called Eagle Rock with their stunning reefs and, big fish soup, if you are lucky. The main reason to dive here is to see more Manta rays coming in to get cleaned in the cleaning stations around the rocks. On the second dive, we move over Black Rock, one of the best reef up in the north. It has nice soft coral reef and insane amount of different schooling fish, great for pygmy seahorses, turtles, black tip reef sharks. Going a bit deeper, we’ll see big marble rays and mantas can passing by in the shallow part. After the second dive, we move back to the eagle rock again. Normally, the current have changed by the time we get there and we can dive on different rock. After the third dive, we need to visit the village to get a permit before we mooring up inside the stunning Alyui Bay for a night dive at the famous pearl farm. Before diving here, prepare your camera and macro lens for a muck diving. The underwater view of Alyui Bay is arguably perfect for your macro and wide-angle lenses to capture diverse marine life like nowhere else.

 

Map Mikumba

 

Day 5

 

We’ll go for another wonderful dive in Alyui Bay, starting the morning dive at chanel #5., a dive site with nice swim throws among the big rocks, big schools of sweetlips, and fusiliers. White tip sharks sleep under the big rock, and pygmy seahorses are here and there. Here, we can also encounter dolphins, so keep out looking for them upon going up to do a safety stop. Then, we move to Yangeffo Islands for our second dive which was an exploration dive for our cruise director, when he worked for his old company. The site was so good, a great mix of macro and bigger stuff, that make us keep coming since that moment. Getting a sloping reef down to 15 meter, continue drifting until hitting the sand area where you can see flamboyant cuttlefish, robust ghost pipefish, ornate ghost pipe fish, decorator crabs, nudibranches, shrimps, and frogfishes if you are lucky. After a while, you’ll hit the reef again where you can spot eagle rays and manta rays on lucky days. After a stop around Yangeffo, we’ll continue the trip for our last dive of the day in Gam. The famous citrus ridge, a very fishy dive site to see stunning coral garden, yellow soft corals, schooling barracudas, sweetlips, tunas, Spanish mackerel, nudibranches, pygmy seahorses, frogfishes, and others. Next, we take a trip back to the east part of Dampier Straight, directly to Waisai to load up food and water supply.

Day 6

We will wake you up at 04:45 for small breakfast and take you with the boat around 05:00 to watch the birds of paradise. Then, we have a big breakfast and a break before diving the famous Blue Magic, close to the island of Mioskon. On good days, this submerged reef has 5 meters visibility because the whole dive site is covered with schools of fish. We can also encounter the oceanic manta rays here. For the second dive we move to Sardine reef with submerged sloping coral reef which should be dived in current. Otherwise, there is no fish around. It’s very good for big stuff as you’ll see school of fusiliers, rainbow runners, barracudas, sweetlips, giant trevallies, Spanish mackerel, grey reef sharks and much more. If there is current, you can get loads of hunting action and hear underwater thunder when the small fish move fast upon the tunas strike the bait ball. Then, we move down to Kri Island again to visit the homestay and trek the amazing viewpoint over Mansuar Island. You can just bring snorkel gear if you don’t want to do the trekking and later we do our third dive of the day, a night dive on the Yenkoranu Jetty. It’s a coral sloping reef with sand and bommies in the beginning and more reefs later which is very good for macro. There are pygmys seahorses, bobtail squids, pipefish, walking shark, mandarin fish, octopuses, cuttlefish, and even sleeping turtles on the reef to see there.

Day 7

We’ll have an opportunity for one dive in the morning. Since this is going to be our last cruise day, you’ll have time to dry your equipment on the way back home to Waisai. Normally our guest always wanna go back to blue magic again or different dive site around Kri Island. we will do a final briefing after the morning dive on whats gonna happen next, You will having lunch on the boat the last day and around 1pm we will take you to the ferry to Sorong. So exchanging emails and photos, and say farewells to the crew The crew will follow you all the way back to Sorong and organize transportation to your hotel.