Raja-Get There-Doubilet-Hayes

David Doubilet and Jen Hayes

RAJA AMPAT – GETTING THERE Raja Ampat is an archipelago that encompasses more than 9.8 million acres of land just off the northwestern tip of Indonesia's West Papua Province. The archipelago consists of approximately 1,500 small islands and the area is considered to be one of the most diverse and pristine ocean environments in the world.

Because of the remote location, Raja Amput and its rich ecosystem has benefitted from the lack of mass tourism. As the area becomes more popular with the dive community, flights, schedules and routes will probably improve, but for now … the best way to get there is to fly into major Indonesian cities like Jakarta, Bali, Manado and Makassar from connecting cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo or Singapore.

There are no direct flights from the U.S., and most trips start out from major U.S. hubs like Los Angeles or New York, flying into the airport in Manado (North Sulawesi), and generally require an overnight stay. From there, you can fly into Sorong (West Papua) by jet (about two hours). Sorong is a bustling port city from which most liveaboards depart.

Generally, it's a good idea to conduct an Internet search for Raja Ampat liveaboards or tour companies that specialize in dive trips to this area. Some may offer assistance in booking your travel arrangements, but be sure to investigate each operator and its itinerary carefully before you commit.


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