10x things to do in Raja Ampat

From diving with giant manta rays to spotting the bird of paradise in the jungle. Whether you want to explore the pristine underwater world, brave the lush green jungle, or just relax on vast sandy beaches surrounded by crystal clear waters, Raja Ampat has it all.

Curious about the best tips for Raja Ampat and the must-do’s you absolutely cannot miss? Read on quickly for our top 10 Raja Ampat sights you absolutely cannot miss.

#1 Duiken, duiken en nog eens duiken

It is not to be missed in Raja Ampat almost everything revolves around diving. From luxury dive resorts to simple diving sessions at homestays. It is known as one of the most breathtaking diving destinations not only of Indonesia but in the world. Not only because of the gigantic coral reefs you find here, but also biodiversity of life underwater. So you can spot manta rays, Wobbegong shark, Maderin Fish, Pygmy Seahorse and the walking shark.

What makes diving in Raja Ampat so special is the diversity of dive sites suitable for divers of all levels. From shallow coral gardens to deep drop-offs, such as Manta Sandy, Blue magic, Cape Kri and Aborek Jetty. Also read “Diving in Raja Ampat” for if you plan to dive here.

raja ampat sights
raja ampat diving

#2 Snorkelen

Rather not dive, but still explore the underwater world of Raja Ampat? Then go all out with snorkeling! At many homestays and accommodations you will find beautiful house reefs, allowing you to jump right into the water from your cottage. And believe us, you don’t know what you see! We saw turtles, blacktip sharks, whitetip sharks, giant schools of fish, barracudas, squid and more at Biodiversity’s house reef while snorkeling. And from the dock we even spotted a Dugong and nurse sharks!

You can also book snorkeling tours at your homestay or accommodation, to places like Melissa Garden or Arborek Jetty. Highly recommended!

raja ampat sights
raja ampat diving

#3 Op zoek naar de unieke paradijsvogel

Papua, including the Raja Ampat region, is known worldwide for its unparalleled biodiversity, especially in terms of birds. It is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, with an abundance of unique bird species found nowhere else. At most accommodations, you have the chance to spot the legendary bird of paradise. You may recognize him from the Earth Documentaries; that one bird who keeps sweeping his dance floor.

Step into the jungle with a local guide early in the morning. While searching for that unique bird of paradise, you can fully enjoy Raja Ampat’s lush rainforest and the most insane viewpoints.

#4 Verken de iconische Pianemo Islands

Surely Pianemo Islands is everyone’s image of Raja Ampat. Yes this is the viewpoint of the beautiful limestone rock formations in the most crystal clear water you have ever seen.

It is about 2 hours from the popular islands of Gam and Kri. Once you arrive at the breathtaking Pianemo Islands, it is a short climb (stairs) to the top. Here panoramic views include picturesque lagoons, stunning rock formations and turquoise waters.

If you are not staying near Pianemo Islands then getting here is quite pricey, about 250 – 300 euros per boat (round trip) or 150 euros per person for a day trip. We ended up opting for a day trip where we also visited Melissa Garden. It was really beautiful. For example, we saw dolphins several times along the way and the snorkeling was truly breathtaking.

raja ampat islands

#5 Maak een dagtrip naar Fam Islands

Pianemo Viewpoint is located at Fam Island and you can combine with other famous Raja Ampat sights, such as Rufas Island, Melissa garden, Fam Wall, Batcave, star lagoon and Batang Pele. You can book a day trip or book an overnight stay at Fam Islands. We ended up choosing a day trip because we didn’t really get excited about the accommodation options in the area (or they were already full) and for a transfer (which you then often can’t share because not many people go there) you quickly pay 300 euros for a round trip and then you have to book day trips from there.

#6 Bezoek een lokaal dorp

We knew Raja Ampat would be beautiful, but what made this place especially special to us was that everything here is so pristine. Time seems to have literally stood still in Raja Ampat. The locals live a simple and beautiful life and have a totally distinct culture and lifestyle. A visit to a local village in Raja Ampat is definitely not to be missed. There are a few well-known villages you can visit, but you can also ask at your accommodation if they have a tip for you. For example, Biodiversity works with several villages that they like to showcase.

Local villages in Raja Ampat that can visit are:

  • Sawinggrai Village on Gam Island is known for its beautiful houses on stilts above the water and offers the chance to see famous seabird species in the morning.
  • Yenbeser Village, located on Kri, is known for its friendly people and local crafts, such as making traditional mats and jewelry.
  • Arborek Village, on a small island near the Dampier Strait, charms with its white sand beaches, colorful coral gardens and popular snorkeling spot, the Arborek Jetty.
  • Saporkren Village on Waigeo offers a unique insight into the daily lives of local Papuan people, with opportunities to sample local foods, attend traditional dances and buy handmade crafts.
raja ampat islands

#7 Maak een kajaktocht

At both Beser Bay and Biodiverisity (and probably at several places) you can take to the water by kayak. We thought this was FANTASTIC! Sail into a lagoon and explore the beautiful surroundings of Raja Ampat. The sound of the jungle and the beautiful surroundings make this an absolute must do in Raja Ampat.

Tip! Are you staying at Biodiversity? Then sail to Blue River! You pay a small commission to the man who lives there and then get to go up this river. Truly a gem!

raja ampat islands

#8 Wayag Tour: ontdek west Waigeo

Wayag Island is located north of the main island of Waigeo. Because it is so remote, it is even more pristine here than other areas in Raja Ampat. It takes 6-8 hours to get there from Wasai and costs about 550 euros per day. So it does come with a hefty price tag. Most people book a boat trip to this area for a few days to explore the area.

This area is known not only for its stretched landscapes, most extraordinary diving and snorkeling sites and beautiful viewpoints, but also for its unique culture. They belong to the indigenous peoples of Papua and have a deep connection to the land and seas around them. Most residents of Wayag live by traditional fishing, hunting and farming, relying on the region’s abundant natural resources for their livelihood.

#9 Pasir Timbul, zandbank

Pasir Timbul, is a beautiful sandbank near Kri Island. The sandbar emerges at low tide.Walk across the soft, white sand and let your feet sink into the azure sea. Not only a very nice photo opportunity, but also a top spot for snorkeling to diving.

#10 GA NIKSEN!

Grab a book, chill in the hammock and take an occasional dip in the water. It is still vacations dear people! So enjoy the occasional day of doing nothing at all. Hear the jungle sounds, see sharks passing by from your dock, take a beach walk and enjoy the ultimate vacation feeling.

raja ampat islands

You can make Raja Ampat as crazy as you want. From a day trip every day to especially exploring the area around the island where you are staying! Both options are top notch, as all of Raja Ampat is fantastic. You certainly don’t have to cross all the sights of Raja ampat off your bucket list to have a great time. If you have any fun tips of your own that shouldn’t be missing from this list, let us know soon in a comment or send us a DM via instagram.

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