Sample Itinerary: Raja Ampat (Misool & Dampier Strait)
8 nights - from: Sorong, to: Sorong
Please note: this is a sample itinerary. Itineraries may change without further notice due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
Starting from Sorong in West Papua, we do a nice check dive in the eastern part of the Dampier Strait, after which we set out to Batanta. At Dayang, a beautiful small sandy island and home to a population of Coconut Crabs, lying just at the entrance to one of Batanta's many scenic bays, colorful reefs with Wobbegong Sharks, schooling Yellow Snappers and great macro-life, including Pygmy Seahorses and unusual Nudibranchs, await us. Dayang island also offers a great chance to encounter Manta rays, the gentle giants, at their cleaning stations.
After Dayang, we head further southeast to the soft-coral-paradise of Misool and its smaller surrounding islands. With its abundance of stunning dive sites this area invites to linger several days, indulging in the natural beauty of karst limestone, jungle clad islands.
Diving around the small islands Daram and Yelliet we admire large coral heads covered in soft corals, maybe spotting the famous Santa Clause Pygmy Seahorse, while schools of Barracudas and Batfish might pass by. Here it is worth visiting the ranger station with a nice snorkeling opportunity and plenty of small Black Tip Reef Sharks. Our eagle-eyed dive masters may well find the fascinating Pom Pom Crab or the Walking Shark (Epaulette Shark) on a night dive at Romeo Rock.
In Boo area we look through the iconic Boo Windows, with tons of fish surrounding us. We explore fabulous dive sites like Magic Mountain, Nudibranch Rock and Yelliet Kecil. And if we are lucky, we see the majestic Oceanic and Reef Manta rays again around here.
Wagmab, Farondi and No Contest offer us stunning underwater walls, overhangs and cave structures plus amazing macro, such as Nudibranchs, Flatworms, Anemone Crabs, all kinds of shrimps, and Electric File Clams. In this area we have the opportunity to visit the wonderful Balbulol Lagoon, a must-see place, with its iconic bee-hive-shaped karst limestone formations and hard coral colonies at the bases of these amazing geological structures. If the tide is high enough our crew will take you to the secret bay right at the back of Balbulol.
Next, we make our way north to Penemu. Famous Melissas Garden awaits us with its spectacular, healthy and wide-spread hard coral plateau in the shallows. At Fam Wall we can admire large Gorgonian Seafans and lovely reef tops, and we might also explore Fam Wall and My Reef. A short hike to viewpoint of Penemu offers a spectacular view of the lagoon and its surrounding islands.
The remainder of our adventure we spend diving in the adrenalin-packed Dampier Strait. We can choose from world-class sites like Cape Kri, Chicken Reef, Mikes Point, Sardines Reef, Mios Kon and Blue Magic. Our guides can take you to places where the current meets the reef head on, where we can witness predatory fish (like for example Black Tip, White Tip and Grey Reef sharks, Giant Trevally, Spanish Mackerel and Dog Tooth Tuna) hunting huge schools of smaller fish like Fusiliers and Big Eye Jacks. Our last day will offer 2 more action-packed dives in the Dampier Strait and we can arrange for
a bird watching trip on the last morning to see the enigmatic and endemic Red Bird of Paradise. Eventually we make our way back to Sorong for hearty goodbyes.
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