The ultimate Raja Ampat itinerary

A trip to Raja Ampat had long been on our bucket list. In 2024, the time had finally come, from Bali we flew to West Papua! In 2 weeks we slept at different homestays and resorts and visited the most beautiful islands of Indonesia. Whether you go for 1 week and visit 2 islands or want to island hop for 3 weeks, we will help you! From Waigeo, Kri, Gam to Misool! Discover our Raja Ampat itinerary and tips!

Island hopping or staying on one island?

The perfect itinerary for Raja Ampat depends on the number of days, budget and interests. For example, you can visit 4 different islands in 2 weeks or spend 2 weeks on one island and take day trips from there. In 2 weeks we stayed at 3 different accommodations, ideal for our first time in Raja Ampat. We mainly spent time on Gam Island and took several day trips.

Raja Islands
raja route
raja ampat route

Which island is the best place to stay in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat has over 1,500 islands, yup that’s quite a few and can make planning your itinerary a bit overwhelming. The most famous islands are Waigeo, Gam, Kri, Mansuar, Arborek, Misool, Batanta and Waiag. Check out the article“The most beautiful islands of Raja Ampat” for more information about them.

Homestays and resorts are often located in remote bays or even on the water and can only be reached by boat. Therefore, it is not always possible to do activities directly from your accommodation itself, except snorkeling at the house reef or taking a kayak trip if possible. This is not true of all homestays, but it is true of most. Therefore, it doesn’t matter exactly where you stay, because you still have to take a day trip to attractions such as Manta Point or the bird of paradise trip. Of course, day trips to these places are cheaper if your homestay is nearby.

Gam, Kri, Arborek and Mansuar are close together, so you don’t necessarily have to stay on all those islands.

Fam Island you can possibly visit for a day trip, but if you want to see more of the area then you can definitely add Fam Islands to your itinerary as well.

Batanta, Waiag and/or Misool are separate destinations, so to visit any of these islands it is smart to book at least 2 or 3 nights on each island.

West Papua trip

What is the best itinerary for Raja Ampat?

All the islands on Raja Ampat are beautiful! Wherever you stay, you really do feast your eyes. However, we did like to stay at least 3 nights in 1 place. Also because you often don’t do much on the arrival and departure day and already lose quite a bit of time because of this. In addition, we felt that a nice accommodation was more important than the island hopping itself. Thus, we stayed 2 nights on Kri Island because we thought it would be a must for our itinerary. But in retrospect, we didn’t necessarily feel this was necessary. Indeed, Kri, Gam and Mansuar are very close to each other and are all beautiful. So if you have found a fine accommodation, you can easily visit other islands from here. If island hopping just seems like fun to you, then we say go for it! So the best itinerary for Raja Ampat depends very much on your own wishes.

Also, if you want to watch your budget, it is cheaper to stay a little longer in 1 place and book day trips from here. In fact, for day trips, it is easier to get more people to join you through your homestay, which is more difficult for a transfer boat.

Based on our own experiences, we have put together a number of different itineraries for Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat: 1 week

If you have 1 week for Raja Ampat then this is a good itinerary to follow. If you have a few days for this part of Indonesia, then these Raja Ampat islands should definitely not be missing from your itinerary.

  • Day 1: Sorong (should you arrive very early, you could possibly take the afternoon ferry to Waigeo to add an extra day to Raja Ampat)
  • Day 2 – 4: Gam Island, Kri or Mansuar (we liked Arborek as a day trip).
  • Day 5-6: Fam Islands
  • Day 7: Sorong

If you want to travel less or mainly dive, you can also stay on 1 island from days 2-6 and take a day trip to the Fam Islands from here.

Raja Ampat: 2 weeks

If you’re looking for a two-week trip in Raja Ampat, you could possibly add Batanta to your itinerary or stay a little longer in the Gam and Kri Island area. This 2-week itinerary has a nice combination of beautiful dive sites, secluded beaches and breathtaking views.

  • Day 1: Sorong
  • Day 2-5: Batanta
  • Day 6-9: Gam Island
  • Day 10-13: Fam Islands
  • Day 14: Sorong

You could also possibly skip Batanta and add a few more nights at Gam, Kri or Mansuar. Especially if you want to do a lot of diving, we recommend staying a little longer in this area. For example, on Kri Island you will find Soul Divers, one of the few PADI-certified diving schools in Raja Ampat that does not belong to a resort.

Raja Ampat: 3 weeks

During a 3-week journey through Raja Ampat, you will have the chance to discover the breathtaking beauty of this paradise in West Papua. From exploring the beautiful underwater world to hiking through lush jungle and meeting the friendly locals, there is so much to see and experience. An adventure never to be forgotten!

  • Day 1: Sorong
  • Day 2-6: Gam Island
  • Day 7-11: Fam Islands (possibly add Waiag).
  • Day 12-16: Kri Island
  • Day 16-20: Batanta
  • Day 21: Sorong
Raja Ampat islands
West Papua Islands
raja ampat route
Raja Ampat trip

On the off chance or arrange everything in advance

It is possible to travel to Raja Ampat and arrange accommodations locally, but chances are that popular accommodations will be fully booked. We therefore decided to take care of some things in advance. We never actually do this, but in Raja Ampat we were incredibly glad we did. Although homestays are always available, the choice is not huge. So we slept 2 nights on a very thin mattress in a shack full of cockroaches, fine for 2 nights, but we were VERY glad we had some better accommodations planned for the remaining nights.

Accommodations can be booked through and some through

Raja Ampat islands
raja ampat
raja ampat itinerary

Raja Ampat archipelago

For us, Raja Ampat was an experience never to be forgotten. Absolutely one of the most beautiful places in the world. The last paradise on earth is a slogan this archipelago in West Papua has more than earned! It seems as if Mother Nature has gone completely wild in this area. From the most colorful coral, a diversity of birds, beautiful scenery to the most extraordinary dive sites! Raja Ampat archipelago has it all!

To learn more about Raja Ampat, read also:

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