Raja Ampat Excursions

Discover the wonders of this area!

Raja Ampat has beautiful landscapes and areas of special interest that lie outside of our area of coverage. We encourage our guests (since you have come so far) to visit these wonders of nature; the remoteness and uniqueness will take your breath away!

Raja Ampat has a unique landscape, due to its peculiar geological history. Throughout the ages the tectonic plates have been colliding, moving, spreading… and creating a unique landscape consisting of Karts Islands, making exploration of this area a truly unique adventure.

For more details, please read our post with information about Raja Ampat.

raja ampat excursions the passage

THE PASSAGE

Consider this an experience, a joy to the senses, a unique location that has enchanted visitors time and again.

A wonder of nature: a river-like channel separating Waigeo Island and Gam Island.

fam islands

FAM ISLANDS

No visit would be complete without a visit to Fam Islands.

Wonderful karst island formations. Day- trip excursion, including two dives, picnic and viewpoint photos!

MANTA RAYS

Amazing visual contact with Giant/Reef Mantas, as well as Black Mantas.

Witness a curious and stunning spectacle of nature! Manta Rays come to this cleaning station year after year to get cleaned, offering breathtaking moments. One of the best Raja Ampat excursions!

GAM ISLAND

Visit landscapes, both underwater and above, that will leave you speechless.

Day-trip excursion. This adventure has it all: an overall tour of Gam Island, including Kabui Bay, the Passage, West Gam, Airborek, and Dampier Straits.

Find out details of what you expect on the excursions

THE PASSAGE | HALF DAY TRIP

The island of Gam – where we are located – is separated from the bigger island of Waigeo by a narrow, winding “river” that is only 20m across in some places. In 1860 the celebrated biologist Sir Alfred Russell Wallace sailed through this channel, noting:

“The entrance to the channel – which resembles a small river – are bordered by precipitous rock, and after winding for about 2km emerges in a gulf studded with numerous rocky islets… forming one of the most picturesque landscapes I have ever seen.”

It still looks very much as he described it, and winding through this channel, surrounded by the hills of the two islands, with cockatoos, parrots and hornbills flying above us, we will forgive you for thinking that you are Indiana Jones traversing a tropical river in search of some lost ancient city!

Leaving at 08:00, our first stop will be The Cathedral, at the entrance to the channel, in the middle of “the gulf” described by Wallace, now called Kabui Bay. Among the most celebrated dives in Raja Ampat, this is our version of muck diving. One can expect to find some peculiarities, such as Stonefish, Dwarf Cuttlefish, and Ghost Pipefish, among a variety of exotic sea slugs, partner gobies and blind shrimp.

With so many exciting options to choose from, most divers end up deciding to return to The Caves for a second dive. The dive begins in one of the numerous protected bays, where we shelter just beyond the swift moving water, as the channel funnels between the islands. We spend some time on the lookout for current lovers like Bumphead Parrot Fish, Turtles, Barracuda, and even some sharks. Moving closer to the island slope will bring us to small caverns with openings at the top, allowing shafts of sunlight to illuminate the enclosure. This is where jungle meets ocean, and you will have a hard time deciding whether to look for Archer and Razor Fish against the background of forest, or for the surreal appearance of hanging Cardinal Fish among encrusting sponges and tunicates on submerged tree roots.

Back at the resort around 13:00, we will leave you reliving sights and experiences with the other guests, while enjoying the scrumptious luncheon prepared in your absence.

We advise you to bring along some sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, binoculars and a camera.
Please note that, due to the distance travelled, minimum guest numbers and a fuel surcharge apply to this trip. Also, this day trip can be accommodated to non-divers. Please ask at the reception desk for details.

MANTA SANDY | HALF DAY TRIP

This is an excursion filled with excitement and anticipation as you imagine the prospect of coming face to face with large numbers of these gentle giants.

Leaving the resort at 08:00, you soon have the opportunity to view Yenbeser and Friwin Villages from up close, as you pass into the Dampier Straight. It is here that, in the months between October and April, they gather in larger numbers than usual, to feed on the plankton rich waters, or they go to preferred “cleaning stations,” where they briefly pause to allow cleaner wrasses to pick off any parasites they have accumulated during their long migrations.

At Manta Sandy we wait behind a well defined line of rubble, for these elegant creatures to emerge out of the blue. On a good day it might look like the runway of a busy airport, as up to 20 Mantas have been spotted somersaulting and playing around these cleaner stations. We have a strict policy of not approach too closely, as they spook very easily, and will leave the area, not to return for very long periods, if ever. Staying behind this line will allow you to spend up to an hour watching them circling back and forth, entertaining everybody as they go. After a surface interval where you might spot one of these giants leaping up to 6ft out of the water, or might mistake the tips of their wings breaking the surface of the water for the dorsal fins of sharks, we arrive at Yenbuba, for a chance to meet up with one the other stars of the area – the Devil Ray.

Similar in appearance to the Manta Ray but much smaller, numbers of between 5 and 40 Devil Rays have been spotted along the slopes, just outside the jetty of Yenbuba Village. Bumphead Parrotfish, Blacktip Reef Sharks and schooling Barracuda will round off a day that has delivered on all expectations. Back at around 13:00, you will probably seek out some solitude to truly absorb a day that will stay with you for a very long time – or forever. We advise you to bring some sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera. Please note that, due to the distance travelled, minimum guest numbers and a fuel surcharge apply to this trip. This day trip can also be accommodated to non-divers. Please ask at the reception desk for details.

FAM ISLANDS | DAY TRIP

A journey that leaves everybody speechless, and an absolute must during your stay at the Biodiversity Resort! These islands lie removed from the others and cover an area of over 700 sq km of Pacific Ocean. Eons of relentless pushing and pulling by waves and currents, along with the vagaries of winds and weather, have carved an eerie landscape of Karst formations out of the limestone that compose these rocks and islands.

Your journey will start from the Biodiversity Resort at 08:00, followed shortly by an up- close and personal look at Yenbeser and Friwin Villages, as you enter the open expanse of the Dampier Straight. Many migrating species of fish uses this straight as a shortcut between Gam and mainland Papua, on their way to other feeding grounds in the Pacific. It is thus not uncommon to see Dolphins, Leaping Manta and Devil Rays, as well as Pilot Whales, while being left speechless by the sheer beauty and striking contrasts of this stunning remote part of our world.

After a comfortable 1 hour 45 minute journey, trying to count all the species of marine birds that have followed us, we will arrive at our first dive site – FAM Slope. As you follow this slope you will be mesmerized by the astonishing marine life that withstand and even revel in the current sweeping in rich sources of food for all species. This is a site where wide angle and macro photographers alike will be kept very busy. While trying to take in the splendor of the reef, you should always keep an eye on the blue, for a possible surprise appearance by the 5-7m Oceanic Manta Rays.

Our surface interval takes us to a spot where you will again be awed by the biodiversity and richness of life in Raja Ampat as an array of birds and even water monitors vie for our attention. Melissa’s Garden – our 2nd dive – is Mother Nature’s way of showing us how gardening should be done. Patches of hard corals create a smorgasbord of colors that seems to contain all forms of life out here in itself. Wobbegong Sharks, Crocodile Fish and centuries-old Giant Tridacna Clams intermingle with the ubiquitous schools of fusiliers, anthias, damsels, among many other.
We will serve you lunch in a tranquil spot amid huge mangrove trees, while you walk around trying to see how many Blacktip Reef Shark Pups you can count, cruising back and forth among the roots of these peculiar trees. This is also a very good spot to see Archerfish deftly “shooting” water jets at unsuspecting insects.

Your day will be completed by a short walk up carefully laid steps to the top of an eroded limestone ridge. The surrounding views of these uninhabited islands will leave you with a camera loaded with pictures of this panorama of karst cliffs, some so big it dwarfs tinier rocks but all covered in a variety of lush green trees and vines. Marvel at the Parrots, Herons and Frigate Birds dancing above the turtle playing in the turquoise waters below.

Your day will be completed by a short walk up carefully laid steps to the top of an eroded limestone ridge. The surrounding views of these uninhabited islands will leave your camera loaded with pictures of these magnificent karst cliffs, some so big that they dwarf smaller rocks, but all of them covered in a variety of lush green trees and vines. Marvel at the Parrots, Herons and Frigate Birds dancing above the Turtles, playing in the turquoise waters below.

Back at the resort by approximately 17:30, you will find it challenging to process the magnitude of this awe-inspiring landscape. Only once you show your friends and family back home the many pictures you have taken – and defend yourself from accusations of photoshopping them – will you be left with a smile, knowing you have experienced something truly unique.
We advise you to bring some sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, binoculars, a camera and some cash.
Please note that, due to the distance travelled, minimum guest numbers and a fuel surcharge apply to this trip. This day trip can also be accommodated to non-divers. Please ask at the reception desk for details.

AROUND GAM ISLAND | DAY TRIP

Kabui Bay – Urai Island – The Passage – Airborek Island Village – Manta snorkeling

En-route to the first stop, you will see the entrance to Kabui Bay (which separates Waigeo and Gam Islands).  You will stop at Urai Island for some swimming and snorkeling.

Next, you will cross over to Gam Island and continue to follow the Gam coast, enjoying the topography, small islands, and secluded beaches and bays. Slowly we will approach the area known as The Passage: a narrow “river like” separation of Waigeo Island and Gam Island.

When Alfred Russell Wallace passed through this passage, some 150 years ago, he wrote:

“Every islet was covered with strange-looking shrubs and trees, and was generally crowned by lofty and elegant palms, which also studded the ridges of the mountainous shores, forming one of the most singular and picturesque landscapes I have ever seen.” – Malay Archipelago

We will continue this voyage to the other side of The Passage. After a short while we will pass by a pearl farm, and then arrive at Airborek Island for a picnic lunch and a visit to the village.

After lunch we will stop for a swim at Manta Sandy, to snorkel with the Mantas (in season, from Sept-Oct until April-May). Afterward, we will head back to the resort, arriving approximately at 17.30.

Notes: For this tour it is advisable to bring binoculars and some money, and to wear sandals with straps (or trekking shoes), shorts and a t-shirt, a hat, insect repellent.

These are the main excursions in Raja Ampat However, there are other Raja Ampat activities which we urge you to check out.

Watch this video about Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort!