Dampier Strait – Raja Ampat
The Dampier Strait lies in the heart of Raja Ampat. This strait separates the mainland of West Papua from the northern island of Waigeo. Not only is it home to many of the main settlements in the area, it boasts many incredible attractions. Our Raja Ampat luxury cruises always feature time in the strait to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
The Dampier Strait is home to many of the well known areas of Raja Ampat. The town of Waisai is located on the coast of Waigeo. Many larger villages populate the area and the friendly locals are welcoming to visitors. We often encounter happy families cruising past the Samata who love to smile and wave. Local fishermen are a common site in their dugout canoes trying to reel in a catch for their evening meal.
Highlights of the Dampier Strait include a variety of natural attractions. One of the most rewarding is trekking to a large waterfall on Batanta island. Located on the north coast of Batanta, the trek to the waterfall is an adventure. Starting with a boat ride through the mangrove forest, the journey is a mix of walking on a trail and walking through a creek. A good pair of shoes is a must and the reward is a refreshing swim at the base of a large, cascading waterfall. A highly recommended adventure for the whole family.
Kayaking in the Dampier Strait
The Dampier Strait is home to a variety of excellent kayaking activities. Two large bays on the islands of Waigeo and Gam offer some of the best paddling in the area. A myriad of small karst islands can be found throughout these bays, the perfect area to explore. For those up for a little more adventure, there is a large inland mangrove “lake” on the southern side of Gam which is the ultimate kayaking destination in the Strait.
One of the more popular destinations in the Dampier Strait is the panoramic viewpoint on the island of Penemu. Located at the far western end of the strait, Penemu is a beautiful set of karst islands. Besides the wonderful snorkeling and diving opportunities here, there is also a stunning panoramic viewpoint. Located inside a picturesque lagoon, the viewpoint is accessed by sturdy stairs and a floating dock. A 10 minute walk up the stairs is rewarded with a glorious view to the east looking out along the Dampier Strait. Read more about the viewpoints on Penemu and elsewhere in Raja Ampat.
Diving in the Dampier Strait
The Dampier Strait is home to many of the most famous dive sites in Raja Ampat. Sites such as Cape Kri, Sardine Reef, and Blue Magic are all located in the strait. These reefs are all teeming with fish and healthy hard corals. Larger marine life like sharks and rays are also encountered frequently. The most rewarding encounter is with majestic manta rays.
Two of the best destinations to encounter mantas in Raja Ampat are in Dampier, Blue Magic and Manta Ridge. Blue Magic is a pinnacle near the town of Waisai that boasts cleaning stations that attract giant oceanic manta rays to this underwater spa. Manta Ridge on the other hand is also home to cleaning stations but its smaller reef manta rays that utilize this cleaning station. Pelagic and reef mantas are two distinct species and Raja Ampat is one of only a few places in the world to encounter both.
Dampier is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Raja Ampat. Although there is a plethora of incredible encounters in the Strait, a Raja Ampat trip will encompass a whole lot more. We look forward to introducing you to the incredible activities and sites of Dampier Strait and Raja Ampat. To join us on a trip to this special destination please Contact Us today.