Raja Ampat is the diving destination the most coveted ofIndonesia and is undoubtedly in the top 10 world ! Like many people, I thought that a Raja ampat diving cruise it was unaffordable for my little instructor wallet. But by looking well, there are actually other possibilities than cruises and it is possible to dive in Raja Ampat cheap, or in any case well cheaper than you think (20-25 € per dive)! I explain everything in this article.
Context : Raja Ampat is part of my 3 month trip to Asia during which I wanted to do all the best spots. I stayed 15 days in October 2014 and did 20 dives.
ARTICLE GUIDELINES # The solution to dive cheap in Raja Ampat # Find your cheap accommodation in Raja Ampat # How to get to Kri Island # My diving review
In this article I dedicate myself only to the part "HOW TO DIVER CHEAPER AT RAJA AMPAT". Other articles on Raja Ampat: > FULL presentation on Raja Ampat > Dives at MISOOL > Dives at DETROIT DE DAMPIER
THE SOLUTION TO DIVE CHEAP AT RAJA AMPAT
Budget of the stay in Raja Ampat cheap
15 days on site, 20 dives = 900 € Diving (20), meals and lodging (15 days), entrance to the park (50 €), Fam Islands day (90 €), return transport Sorong-Kri / Gam (30 €), so I do not count plane tickets to get to Sorong.
A liveaboard diving cruise to Raja Ampat is not compulsory!
- Before I went, I thought Raja Ampat was off budget for me, who should have necessarily make a on liveaboards to go there, but in fact, necessarily!
- If we do well, there is a way to pay much less.
- These very expensive cruises are of course exceptional, but they are not not required to discover and enjoy Raja Ampat.
The Raja Ampat area is very large!
Raja Ampat is a marine park and there are 3 major diving areas:
- NORTH Raja Ampat : the area of Kawe and the area from Ayau / Asia.
- CENTRAL Raja Ampat : Dampier Strait, including the island of Waigeo, the fam island (Penemu), Kafiau and the Boo islands.
- SOUTH Raja Ampat: Misool.
The solution to dive from the center of Raja Ampat without a cruise!
- In the center (Dampier Strait), there are several small islands where you find accommodations (homestay simple and cheap at the hotel very comfortable) with each their dive center).
- They are all accessible from Sorong (city of the nearest airport).
- Which is not the case Misool where it is much more complicated to access and where there is no housing.
This is the solution I chose: find a cheap homestay on the island of Kri and dive to the maximum in the center of Raja Ampat at a reasonable budget !
FIND YOUR CHEAP HOTEL IN RAJA AMPAT
Several islands, full of accommodation
- In the Strait of Dampier, there is full of small islands (Kri, Gam, Arborek, Waigeo, Mansuar…)
- There are now all types of accommodation: cheap homestay, nice hotels or dive resorts luxury!
- I have updated this part in 2020, because when I went there in 2014, it was still super complicated to find and book accommodation in the Strait of Dampier!
- Before we had to look for them on the net, then try to make a reservation by email, it was not easy, with the lack of internet on site, their lack of responsiveness…
- Now it's easier, most of the accommodation is on Booking.com !
- I recommend those on Kri, Mansuarbut you also have Gam, Arborek, Waisai or even Fam islands !
- Just click "indicate on map" to have all the latest accommodation in the area up to date.
All accommodation, even the cheap ones, are now on Booking.com !
My experience in Kri island and Yenkoranu
- Again, thanks to good advice, I finally went on Kri island.
- There is a ten dwellings, from homestay to comfort hotel to very luxurious.
I went around on Kri island and I made my choice among the homestays with diving center and I took Yenkoranu :
- Already they are super nice, it counts!
- Choice between single room (without bathroom at 20 € / night) or comfortable bungalow by the sea (30 € / night).
- 3 meals included and the food is good and varied (which is not really the case for other homestays ...)
- The framework : space, a ping pong table, a hammock over the water ...
- They take the blue card (There is no distributor, the closest is to Waisai!)
- 10 dives purchased = 1 free!
- A well organized dive center and divemasters who find pygmy seahorses in the blink of an eye !!
- Equipment was in good condition when I went (but this info is only reliable at a moment T ...).
- Plan your trip from Waisai to Kri with themthey will come and get you!
Advice for Kri island (valid for other islands): Reminder: no village, no shops, no restaurants, no distributors ... there is NOTHING! > Withdraw a lot of cash in Sorong (no distributors on Kri or Gam) and few homestays take the blue card (check before coming) > Plan everything you might need (hygienic products, toothpaste, sunscreen, mosquito repellent ...)! > Buy a local phone card (I recommend telcom cel) and put in phone and / or data credit: to use the internet cheaper, contact the homestay ...
This information is valid in 2014, things are likely to change ...
HOW TO GO TO KRI ISLAND IN RAJA AMPAT
Land in Sorong
- To go to Raja Ampat, it will take land in Sorong in Papua.
- For that, there are direct flights only since Makassar (the most used), Manado and Jakarta.
- If you are in Asia, you have a lot of connections that will take you to Makassar: Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila, Bangkok…
- Several companies: Air Asia, Lion air, Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya…
Sorong to Kri Island
Before your departure note / ask for the number of the homestay where you are going.
- Once arrived at Sorong Airport: go to the ferry terminal (10 min taxi ride) to rejoin the island of Waigeo and the city of Waisai.
- There are 2 departures per day : 9h and 14h (calculate the time of arrival of your plane, if you do not want to stay one more day in Sorong!)
- Once in Waigeo, you will still need 1 to 1h30 from "small" boat to go to the islands of Kri, Gam ...
- The homestay should be there to pick you up, but we're in Papua… Don't hesitate to call!
MY REVIEW ON DIVING CHEAP IN RAJA AMPAT
I thought that I will never be able to pay myself Raja Ampat… And again thanks to good advice I could go there and enjoy the exceptional dives that we find there. The solution, " stay in a homestay in the Dampier Strait "May not be the most" comfort ", but when you have a small budget, solutions have to be found! It's just a little more "hassle" that on liveaboards, but 900 € for 15 days and 20 dives at Raja Ampat, this is really cheap !!
Articles that may interest you:
- Top 10 Indonesia
- All diving destinations in INDONESIA
- BALI / GILI
- BANDA SEA
- Banda Islands
- Ring of fire
- RAJA AMPAT, all the info