The most beautiful islands of Raja Ampat

In total, you will find as many as 1,500 different islands in Raja Ampat. From tiny to gigantic coastlines. The most popular islands to stay overnight or visit are Gam, Kri, Fam Islands, Batanta, Misool and Mansuar.

These islands in Indonesia offer a nice mix of crystal clear waters, stunning coral and beautiful scenery. Whether you want to dive, look for tropical birds, take a kayak trip or visit a local village, it’s all possible here. These are the most beautiful islands of Raja Ampat.

Gam Island

Gam Island was definitely our favorite! Why? Think of a coastline so breathtakingly beautiful that you feel like you’ve walked into a postcard, stunning beaches, local villages and unique dive spots. This island is 190 square kilometers in size and has a coastline of 125 kilometers. You will find a total of 26 homestays. It the fifth largest island in the archipelago.

Gam Island is green, hilly and surrounded by a beautiful coastline, where you will find not only coral gardens but also mangroves and beautiful lagoons. We couldn’t get enough of it. Moreover, it is relatively close to Wasai and you can easily take day trips to other places from this island. If Raja Ampat is on your schedule, we definitely recommend spending the night here.

By boat from Wasai to Gam takes about 1.5 to 2 hours (depending on where you stay) and costs 700,000 to 1 million rupiah (40-60 euros) for the transfer.

raja ampat islands
raja ampat islands

Kri Island

Kri Island is one of Raja Ampat’s most popular islands. Despite its modest size – only 1.6 square kilometers in size with a coastline of 7.5 kilometers – it has more than 20 homestays. This is no surprise when you see the crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and lush jungle of this island. Moreover, Kri Island houses one of the most renowned diving schools in Raja Ampat, namely Soul Divers. Kri Island is definitely a gem, but its popularity also has its downside. All accommodations suffer from pests, especially rats and cockroaches. Of course we know this is part of the adventurous life, but it still made us sleep a little less soundly.

Kri islands
raja ampat kri
raja ampat kri

Misool

Misool is actually as exclusive as it gets! This island is a private island resort with a maximum capacity of 40 guests. But don’t let its modest size fool you, as Misool is among the four largest islands in the archipelago and is one of the world’s most unique diving destinations. The island is home to lush forests and vast mangrove swamps that stretch as far as the eye can see. The coastline is characterized by imposing limestone cliffs and an azure sea. Misool’s beaches are truly breathtakingly beautiful, with pure white sand and countless swaying coconut palms. If you ever want to spend the night at Misool, you have to get there early because the waiting list is about two years long. And cheap it certainly isn’t.

Fam Islands or Pam Islands

Near the famous viewpoint Piaynemo you will find the Fam Islands, also called Pam Islands. It takes a little more time and money to get here, but the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. It is the ideal place to visit Piaynemo, Rufas Islands, Melissa Garden and Star Lagoon viewpoint. It really is a paradise, although the homestays here are pretty basic and the choice is not huge. You can choose to book a few nights here, but a day trip from other islands is also possible. A transfer from Wasai costs about 3,000,000 rupiah (one way). Tip! If you are traveling on a smaller budget, you can also book a day trip at your homestay and share the cost of the boat with others.

pAM islands
faM islands

Batanta

Batanta is the smallest island of the 4 Kings (Raja Ampat), but is still impressively large with an area of 450 km2 and a coastline of 335 km. Although a bit more remote than islands like Gam and Kri, the island is best known for its unique interior. Indeed, the island is dense with forests and hilly terrain. From beautiful rivers and lagoons to waterfalls, you’ll find it all here. Because Batanta is more remote, the island is a bit less developed and you will still find numerous traditional villages. What makes Batanta extra special is the chance to spot manatees (dugongs). Because of the protected bays, many dugongs migrate to this area, especially as there is increasing boat traffic around Waigeo, Gam, Mansuar and Kri.

Mansuar

Mansuar is the big brother of Kri. With low tide, you can even walk there. Indeed, Kri actually has the name, Mansuar Kecil (little Mansuar). Still, Mansuar is not yet as popular as the neighboring island. Do we find secretly quite crazy, because you can find incredibly nice homestays here and the island itself is really beautifully green. You will also find a number of small traditional villages on Mansuar.

Arborek

Arborek is a tiny island. The island contains one large colorful village and there is a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. Above all, it is a fun place to visit for a day. Stroll through the village, relax on the beach or snorkel around the island. Arborek Jetty in particular is known for its unique coral and large schools of fish. Definitely a must-visit if you are in Raja Ampat.

raja ampat arborek
raja ampat arborek

Waigeo: The Starting Point of Your Raja Ampat Adventure

Waigeo, also known as Amberi or Waigiu, forms the largest island in the Raja Ampat archipelago. A ferry leaves daily from Sorong to this island, stopping at Wasai, the capital of Raja Ampat. With an area of 3000 km2 and a coastline of no less than 900 km, Waigeo is a true treasure of natural splendor.

This island is home to 34 local villages, making it a unique destination to discover the local culture. But it is best known for its impressive jungle and wildlife. Here you can spot snakes, turtles, collar lizards, giant monitor lizards, feathered herons and honeyeaters. And for diving enthusiasts, Wasai also offers excellent opportunities.

Although Waigeo has much to offer in terms of flora and fauna, we chose to skip the island. Our focus was primarily on snorkeling and diving, for which we looked elsewhere for better waters and accommodations.

But for those who do visit Waigeo, there are plenty of activities to do:

  • Spot various bird, animal and plant species
  • Make unique jungle treks
  • Explore beautiful Mayalibit Bay and Kabui Bay and Passage
  • Visit local villages and meet the friendly locals
  • Enjoy breathtaking coastal landscapes, especially in Kabui, Mayalibit and the remote West Waigeo area

Whether you choose breathtaking Gam Island, popular Kri Island, exclusive Misool, enchanting Fam Islands, unique Batanta, or charming Mansuar, each island has its own charm and unique experiences to offer.

Is your favorite Raja Ampat island still missing from the list? Then let us know in a comment or send a DM via Instagram.

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