Yacht charter in Raja Ampat Islands
Yachts Charter in Raja Ampat offers an exceptional vacation in a tropical breathtaking pristine paradise. Around 1600 mostly uninhabited and mysterious islands, shoals and bays have remained a firmly guarded natural wonder secret renowned – ‘the last paradise on earth’.
It is known as one of the most isolated groups of islands in the world. Typical almost hovering limestone cliffs around turquoise waters and pristine beaches can be seen in many travel magazines.
10 Reasons to visit Raja Ampat
- The massive total territory of 9.8 million acres over land and sea
- One of the most pristine and untouched places in the world
- You cannot find more species of marine life anywhere else
- One of the best dive sites on the planet
- Lots of prehistoric sites and ancient tribal communities
- 75% of all known coral species
- Six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles
- Easy jungle exploration and bird watching
- Paradise island settings
- Unspoiled beaches
About the area
The name Raja Ampat in Indonesian means ‘Four Kings’, because of the four major Islands in the northeast of the country, Batanta, Salawati, Misool, and Waigeo. A private traditional Phinisi boat gives you the privilege and flexibility to explore even the most remote islands and biodiverse places of Raja Ampat which is part of the Coral Triangle.
The whole area is a heaven for nature lovers, scuba divers, snorkelers, and bird watchers. Raja Ampat’s rich waters are recognized as the world’s most bio-diverse ecosystem and home to more diversity of marine life than anywhere else on the planet as well as 75% of all known coral species.
This is 10 times higher than the entire Caribbean area. In the waters, you will find lots of legendary Mantas gliding with the other 1200 fish species. Six of the world’s seven species of sea turtle are also possible to be found there. Above the water, the area also houses the largest number of freshwater bird species in the region and really rare plants
We also cannot forget the amazing jungles and diverse cultural heritage, with prehistoric cave paintings and relics and also some bunkers and wreckages from recent history. Traditional tribal villages, cultures, and communities add a dot on the “i” and point out how important it is to protect such pristine treasures.
Things to do on a Raja Ampat yacht charter
As mentioned above, the area is great for an unforgettable cruise and is suitable for people who just love to enjoy on the boat, do some basic water sports and have an outstanding and unique view every second, as well as for those who like to be active and take trips on land and islands.
Land of its many islands in that area also offers wonderful spectacle and encounters with wildlife.
Spontaneously, we mentioned some of the options already above, but yes options for also being active and adventures are really diverse. From exploring ancient ruins, caves, waterfalls, jungle trekking, traditional villages, snorkeling, diving with manta rays to the visiting of a pearl farm…
Snorkelling and Diving
As mentioned above, because the Pacific Ocean collides with the Indian Ocean in this area, this provides a huge number of underwater creatures which makes exploring the richest coral reef on earth possible. You don’t have to dive deep and most of the diverse marine life can be found in the first 5 meters of the sea.
According to the date newest and exact data, there are 553 species of marine corals, 1470 species of fish, 8 species of whales, and 7 species of dolphins which can be found in Raja Ampat waters. And we should not forget that divers can dugongs, sharks, turtles, mantas as well as other Indonesian endemic animals.
Raja Ampat has numerous diving sites so it would take quite a long time to try all of them. Please ask our agents and they can find you a great diving spot on almost every bigger island. Below please find our top list of diving spots in Raja Ampat suitable for all levels. Be brave and also take dive Courses.
Misool Island is one of the 4 largest islands in Indonesia and has so many amazing coral reefs around the island that we need to point it out. Here one of the most amazing colors can be found with many harlequin shrimp and pipefish.
They consist of a number of small islands and 4 larger islands – Fam, Penemu, Inus, and Yar. Around the main Fam Island, there are a few diving spots with amazingly colorful corals and sponges. The most popular dives are called Melissa’s Garden and Penemu Wall. You can see a lot here, from pygmy seahorses, sea rabbits, ghost pipefish, and the area is especially known for its huge special type of coral – gorgonian fans.
The Dampier Strait is located between the Batanta Island and mainland of West Papua and because of the large amount of water passing through the marine life is amazingly rich. Cape Kri, Arborek Jetty, Mioskon Bay, and Sardine Reef, are the most known dive sites in that area which is suitable for slightly more experienced divers. Here you can encounter turtles, friendly sharks, and of course, Manta Rays.
It is a perfect small shallow channel that separates the Gam and Waigeo Islands long about 25 meters and looks like a river from the sky. Many lives can be found here including cuttlefish, octopus and flatworms and cuttlefish. Citrus Ridge there offers one of the best coral gardens in all of Raja Ampat. Sound of the exotic birds is also very distinctive and resounding.
The islands of Wayag, in the north of the country, come with raw natural beauty and feature massively in Indonesia’s promotional material. A lot of people and tourists consider Wayag archipelago the most beautiful place in Raja Ampat.
It is translated as five rocks because five rock formations stick out of the water here. Beautiful corals can be found only a few meters from the surface with plenty of colorful fish as well. Many times also blacktip or whitetip sharks can be found in that area.
If Wayag Islands are a little too far away for you, you can get a similar view also closer to the Sorong town and more accessible islands. From the top of Piaynemo Island, you can get one of the most popular photo spots in this part of Indonesia and an amazing picturesque view. Small dock on the island is perfect for the crew to disembark you and you can use the 318 steps to see an iconic karst landscape.
Don’t miss sunsets and sunrises
As you cruise through the amazing islands, do not forget to get up early from your comfortable beds on luxury sailing yachts, set alarm, and catch the right time to enjoy the amazing sunrises. You can go to different points from where you can watch the sunrise. You can, of course, do that on the deck of spacious Phinisi or go and hike up to the nearby hill or sit on smooth white sands and wait for the sun to burst into many shades of red and orange. Don’t miss that in Indonesia!
Cenderawasih Bay is mostly accessible on more than one-week charters because it is quite far away from Sorong and requires a lot of navigation. Anyway there you can be rewarded with the highest chance of seeing whale sharks.
It is the smallest of all 4 main islands and because of its modest size, she is the least visited and most untouched. With terrain and incredible viewpoints, it was one of the first places in Indonesia that were designated as a natural reserve. Here hike to a waterfall is possible and for diving enthusiasts Manta cleaning station and pinnacles and wrecks to explore.
In addition to the villages, there are lots of prehistoric sites, relics of the era of the Four Kings, jungle groves that still shelter bamboo containers used in pre-Christian rites, World War II remains – there’s a lot to see.
Wander the villages on tours
Even if you are more restrained and shy as a person and don’t like to meet new people, you still shouldn’t leave some islands before walking through the villages and meeting the friendly locals. Their lifestyle is modest, and people are smiling all the time and are cheerful. You may find groups singing traditional songs and dancing, children playing traditional games, and artists working on their beautiful crafts.
They will also show you fishing practices don’t forget to buy some souvenirs also, such as bags, hats, plates, accessories, and blankets. Most villages have guides who can introduce you to the traditional kampung life and in the finalization stage, we can also help you design custom itineraries for village tours. One great village to point out is Arborek Village with a small population of fewer than 300 people.
Visit a pearl farm
On Waigeo island, the Aljui Bay hides the Pearl Farm. Fjordlike entrances and sheltered waters offer unique conditions for farming these jewels of the sea. If you are interested you can have a tour and demonstration, how people with the help of pearl oysters and lots of time and care produce quality pearls.
Bird lovers will enjoy in this paradise
Raja Ampat has long been renowned for its Birds of Paradise, the ancient trade was very popular and right now over 250 avian species have been described in the islands, including many endemic species. Some of these species can be easily seen during land jungle excursions and no matter where you are, you’ll also be hearing birdsong on your Phinisi.
Waigeo Island offers some amazing rainforest trekking and tour packages. In addition to hundreds of rare bird species, you will through jungle trekking see incredible landscapes and also endemic fauna and flora. You will easily see some of the jungle’s larger inhabitants, but if your eyes will be open you will also see thousands of smaller representatives.
Not missing, of course, lots of waterfalls, crystal clear rivers, ancient burial grounds, and the remains of jungle lots of abandoned villages. If you want to wander into a deep jungle don’t do that without the guide.
Low tide coastal exploration
Tides in Raja Ampat have a maximum range of about two meters, which can uncover a big amount of reef and sandbank in some areas that are not accessible at high tide. We can suggest great sandbanks on Kri or Mansuar Island, some coral pools near Sawinggrai village on Gam Island, and freshwater springs near Saporkren village and Warimpurem Homestay on Waigeo Island that exposes during the low tide.
Tour of a sea turtle rookery
Depending on the route and your wishes Phinisi yacht can take you to the more remote islands where you can have an amazing land adventure. Turtles come ashore almost every night of the year, in the largest number between March and June. You will be able to see Hawksbill and the Green Sea Turtle on the sandy beaches of Piai and Sayang Island.
Explore caves and rock art galleries
Island is a must! One entrance is protected by local Muslim people because it is sacred, but you can explore the cave trough the other entrance via the river that flows through it. Tours are done on rubber boats and rings. On the walls nearby you will be able to admire rock art galleries that are between three and five thousand years old and some “newer” cliff burial sites with ancient residents’ skeletal remains.
How to get to Raja Ampat
Sorong is the logistics meka for areas around Raja Ampat. Great domestic airport SOQ is only around 20 minutes away from the port, where your yacht will wait for you and depart towards the highlights mentioned above. The bustling port city does not have much to offer but yes is a great starting point. Sorong Airport is accessible from Jakarta and Singapore.
Our favorite route in Raja Ampat area
Day 1: Sorong – Batanta Island (rainforest and reef)
After arriving at Sorong airport we will help you with the transfer to your yacht. After check-in procedure and meeting your lovely crew you will go towards Batanta Island where you will spend the first night on the anchor. The smallest of Raja Ampat’s four main islands is the perfect introduction to the beauty of the reef and mysterious rainforest.
Day 2: Fam Islands (secret lagoons)
The second day you will continue your cruise towards the beautiful Fam Islands to enjoy sheltered turquoise bays and hidden bays. Use paddleboards and kayaks onboard your Phinisi and also dive to see one of the most beautiful coral gardens in the region. Sunsets here are amazing and in the evening take a hike on one of the peaks and admire amazing panoramic views.
Day 3: Kawe Island (manta ray sightings)
Kawe Island offers spectacular white sandy beaches and beautiful waterfalls on the western side of the island. She is one of the nearest islands to the equator in Raja Ampat area. Here are also great diving and snorkeling spots with great coral formations and fishes and many times you can also swim with manta rays here.
Day 4: Wayag Islands (archipelago views)
As mentioned above in the post this is the jewel of Raja Ampat with the region’s most iconic scenery. Choose your favorite island peak and enjoy breathtaking views of the stunning karst landscape. Here paddleboard activity is one of the most amazing things because limestone islands give you the feeling of being small on and on a different planet.
For most of our groups and on most vessels, crews here find a perfect beach and do the barbeque/cocktail thematic evening.
Day 5: Wofoh Island (sundowners & sand)
Wofoh Island offers a mix of hard coral, barrel sponges and soft corals teeming with colorful fish. The calm surrounding waters are ideal for relaxing watersports and white – sand beaches just adds to the unforgettable paradise vacation and the “life is good” statement.
Day 6: Kri Island (world-class diving)
The waters near Kri Island are the best diving spots in all of Raja Ampat. The spectacular reef there holds the world record for the number of fish species recorded in a single dive. Lots of giant trevallies, tunas, barracudas and you can also spot rare wobbegongs. If you don’t want to dive you can just lie and relax onboard or on a long white sandbank nearby.
Day 7: “The passage” – Matan Island (ocean labyrinth)
Set alarm a little earlier, enjoy the spectacular sunrise and head ashore for a 30-minute trek into the jungle to spot the magnificent red bird of paradise. When you will already be here it is definitely worth taking a look at the passage mentioned above, where you will feel as if you are crushing on an Amazon river. Here rainforest meets the reef in a labyrinth of limestone teeming with wildlife and on paddleboards you can connect with the rare birds. Before the evening you will go towards the small sandy Matan island and overnight there.
Day 8: Sorong (check-out)
Take a swim in the morning after a delicious breakfast and go towards the Sarong where we will help you with the transfer.