Magic Mountain – Bucket List Dive Site

One of our favorite activities aboard the private luxury yacht Samata is scuba diving. We are based in one of the world’s finest scuba diving locations, Indonesia. Throughout this vast country there are a number of dive sites that are considered “bucket list” dives. One of our favorites is the aptly named “Magic Mountain” in Raja Ampat.

Misool Magic Mountain
Misool Islands

“Magic Mountain”, also known as Karang Bayangan or “Shadow Reef”, is a submerged pinnacle in the Misool region. Raja Ampat is located in West Papua province and is one of the most rewarding cruising destinations in Indonesia. The southern most area of the region is known as Misool or Batanme, after the largest island in the area. With thousands of karst islands and islets in the area, it’s one of the most stunning locations in the world. The beauty of the islands is only rivaled by the even more incredible marine life. The Misool region is one of the top destinations on the planet.

Magic Mountain

Schooling Fish Magic Mountain
Schooling Snappers

Situated a few kilometers from the southern most island, Magic Mountain is a large submerged reef. The eastern side is a large almost round pinnacle lying 5 meters under the surface. The western edge features a long panhandle that just out from the main plateau. The end of this ridge boasts a few more reefs in the 25m and deeper range. Due to it’s location away from the islands, the reef receives the benefit of ocean going currents. These currents not only bring nutrients for the extensive corals in the area, they bring an abundance of fish. Magic Mountain is known as perhaps the fishiest dive in the region.

magic mountain soft corals
Soft corals

Fish here include the top predators of the reef marine ecosystem. Schooling barracuda, a large school of big eye jacks, schooling snappers, and more cruise the water column looking for food. While on top of the reef a mixed pack of giant trevally, moray eels, blue fin trevally, and Napoleon wrasse are often found hunting together. They cruise along the coral flushing out their prey and pounce on it. White tip and grey reef sharks are also frequently found here. The white tips will join the mixed pack of predators at dusk, while the grey reefs tend to cruise just off the reef. It’s also not uncommon to hear the high pitched sound of dolphins in the distance as they prey upon the innumerable fish in the blue water.

Manta Rays at Magic Mountain

manta rays
Reef Manta Ray

However, the biggest attraction of Magic Mountain are the manta rays. Not only do reef mantas show up here, their larger cousins the ocean mantas do too. The giant rays visit the reef in order to enjoy a cleaning of their skin. Small fish such as wrasse and butterfly fish will pick parasites from the mantas as they hover in place over a particular coral head. These majestic giants can be found either on the top of the main reef or at the end of the panhandle. This is one of the very few locations in the world where you can find both reef and oceanic mantas on the same site at the same time. It’s important for divers to remain calm and stay low while the rays go about their business. For lucky divers, sometimes a 4 meter wide ray can pass closely overhead and blot out the sun!

If this sounds like a dive site that you would like to visit then please let us know. Our Raja Ampat itineraries offer some of the most diverse and beautiful destinations in Indonesia. Our dive guides would love to show you the amazing Magic Mountain on your next visit on the Samata Luxury Private Yacht.

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