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Raja Ampat - Is It Worth It?

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by svb, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. svb

    svb Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: London
    Hi All,

    My friend and I are heading to Indonesia this summer for some good diving. We have been to Sipidan, Bunaken, Lembeh, and Komodo before and LOVED them all. The question is whether to go to Raja Ampat next.

    We have looked into and and are very excited at the prospect but we arent sure if it is worth the huge additional expense when we could go further out in Komodo or try Ambon etc instead.

    We arent put off at the expense of Raja Ampat, we just wonder if we could get diving which is as great else where?

    Just found ScubaBoard and would love to know what peoples thoughts / experiences are.

    Thanks very much!
    giulian likes this.
  2. sonar

    sonar Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Netherlands
    been going over the same question and decided it was too expensive.. From what I read about it must be one the top3 spots worldwide but komodo, sipidan etc. are also rated high.. It will cost you approx twice the money while the dive is pbb 20% better..
  3. highdesert

    highdesert ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Welcome to the Board, svb -

    I've never been anywhere with the overwhelming richness and variety of marine life as Raja Ampat. Tons of dense fish life in the North, soft coral and gorgonians on steroids in the South. About the only thing you won't find is big blue-water pelagics, with the exception of mantas.

    I think you should make room on your list for Raja Ampat ... the cost and trouble are worth it.

    Does February 2012 work for you? We have a Scubaboard party of five on a liveaboard to RA, and room for more ... join us!

    Go here ...


    ... and follow the links. PM me with any questions, and hope to see you aboard!

    I'm sure you'll hear from others who've dived Ambon before the day is out ...
  4. Luko

    Luko Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Paris, France
    Ambon is great but don't go to Ambon in summer!!! it's monsoon time likely to rain A LOT.
    Not sure it's good for Raja Ampat either in summer...on the other hand if you have the budget to go, then don't hesitate.
    I won't go myself because the budget for 1 week would cut short my 3 weeks holidays, plus for me I don't think it's worth going with non divers. I am accompanied with non divers, I therefore think the price would be too steep for not diving :D .

    @sonar : I don't know what is "20% better" in terms of diving, in what sort of unit are you counting? Also what is the price for "1% better"?
    I think it's a problem of trade off rather than a % count : you must ask yourself how much you could personally pay for a week in R4? Otherwise the reply is mundane, stay home and dont dive, it costs nothing.
  5. Shasta_man

    Shasta_man Loggerhead Turtle

    Short answer: yes it is worth it.

    However, you could have very good diving in Komodo. I'd just say that it was even more intense than Komodo.

    The only thing you save by not going to Sorong is the additional domestic flight.
  6. sonar

    sonar Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Netherlands
    what I mean is that the dive pbb a bit better but twice as expensive; there is no math behind it :D

    If you got the money & time it's easy. If you have to choose between 2 weeks of excellent diving and 1 week of the best dives ever it's a serious decision; I went for the first option :)
  7. highdesert

    highdesert ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    If you require a gold-plate liveaboard or a very pricey resort operation, then yes, Raja Ampat is expensive. There are very decent liveaboards that are reasonably priced available in RA. I agree with Shasta_man ... aside from the additional flight, you can control your costs and have a week's worth, or in many cases ten or eleven days' worth, of great diving.
  8. ben_wilson3301

    ben_wilson3301 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Silvis, IL, USA
    Never been, but just as a bystander, every amazing picture I seem to be completely blown away by seems to always come from RA. Just sayin... Its on my list.
  9. frogfish

    frogfish Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Geneva
    Definitely worth going to R4 - Been to all the places you mentioned, and R4 was some of the best diving I have done... Going back in May :)

    Cost wise, look around and you can find some decent pricing (budget operators, or last minute promotions) - For instance my May liveaboard is costing US1800 for 8 nights out of Sorong. That's the same price as diving Sipadan in one of the nicer resorts if I recall
  10. Magrone

    Magrone Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maui
    Just got back from Raja Ampat and can say it was the best diving I have done by far. In the north there was 12 mantas at manta point, 15 sharks at Sardine Reef inc 4 different kinds and an excellent macro night dive at the Pearl Farm Pier. In the south Insane reefscapes at Nudi Rock + Kaleidiscope+ Boo with huge schools of Fusiliers, Barracuda even in no current.

    Definately my favorite place to dive over Komodo, Palau, Tubbataha. I was quite surprised to see so many of the things that I thought would be rare sightings. We saw maybe 12 Wobbegong sharks on the whole trip, 6 walking sharks and Baramundi Cod on almost every dive including juveniles. Mantas on three different dives in the North and 2 dives in the south (though far off). Eagle Rays, a Marble Ray that swam really close and sharks on four different dives in the north . Huge schools of snappers that went on for days, schools of bumpheads Batfish, etc. on and on.

    Though our guide said our trip was the best one in the last 6 months because of the visibility (100 ft at Boo!) and pelagic sightings, even if the vis was half of what it was and we saw no pelagics, the amount of fish in the water is insane. Nowhere that I know of, even Komodo, rivals Raja for this. Nudi Rock in the south was my favorite dive of the trip because of the huge Gorgonians/explosions of soft corals mixed with schools of barracudas, fusiliers, batfish, unicorn fish, etc.

    It is worth it. Everyone who loves diving should go there.
    Evie G and Krazytomdiver like this.

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