Scuba Diving Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is one of the most beautiful destinations on Earth. With hundreds of mushroom shaped islands spread over thousands of square kilometres, there is so much variety to explore. The beaches and snorkeling sites in the area are wonderful attractions but one of the main highlights is scuba diving Raja Ampat.
Diving Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is home to one of the highest species counts of fish in the world. In a recent survey, the Dampier Strait boasted almost 1000 different species in just one hour of diving. To put this in comparison, the Caribbean area as a whole is home to around 500 species of reef fish. This means the diversity of fish in Raja Ampat is incredible. Not only are the fish prolific, the number of corals are as well. More than 50% of the world’s coral species can be found in the Raja Ampat area.
Although it’s possible to explore a lot of this biodiversity while snorkeling, scuba diving is truly the best way to experience it. Experienced divers will love exploring the walls, reefs, and pinnacles of this world class destination. Guests who have never dived before can join a “discover scuba” experience with our crew who will happily introduce them to the underwater world. Careful though, once you experience your first diving adventure in Raja Ampat, it will be hard to dive anywhere else!
What Style of Dives in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat diving is as mixed and varied as the islands themselves. From gentle coral reef dives to high speed drifts there are dive sites to peak everyone’s interest. Some of our favorite sites are home to beautiful and shallow coral gardens. Sites such as Melissa’s Garden and Batu Rufus are home to incredible coral growth that is both fragile and full of life. These are great dives for new divers, advanced divers, and underwater photographers.
Wall dives are another impressive style of dive site found throughout the region. Steep walls covered in brilliantly colored soft corals surround many of the small islands in the Misool area. A drift along the wall with a bit of current is the best way to enjoy these dives as the current brings out the colors of the corals. The schooling fish become more tightly packed when there is current and predators such as trevally utilize this time to launch their attacks. Tiny treasures are often found on the walls such as the diminutive pygmy seahorse which lives on the branches of sea fans.
Diving an Oasis in the Desert
The most exciting dives in Raja Ampat are the sea mounts. These are sunken pinnacles that are located throughout the area. Sea mounts are similar to an oasis in the desert as they are the main source of shelter for many miles. This means that smaller fish live on these isolated reefs which in turn attracts predators. A wide variety of predatory species such as barracuda, sharks, and napolean wrasse call these reefs home as they are a great source of food. Manta rays often visit these seamounts to utilize the “cleaning stations” where small fish such as wrasse or butterfly fish will clean parasites from their bodies.
Sea mounts are not for the faint of heart however. These can often be home to strong currents, therefore we need to maintain an eye on conditions. When conditions are optimal the seamount dives in Raja Ampat rival any dive on the planet.
Of course there are so many activities while in Raja Ampat it’s hard to choose what to do next. Our expert crew have many years of experience in the area and know the best times for every activity. We will always discuss plans for the day and what the best dives are in each destination. We can’t wait to help you discover the magical underwater world of diving in Indonesia.