RAJA AMPAT ACTIVITIES

In Raja Ampat there are other activities besides diving. If you are a nature lover, you will have lots of things to do!

Kayaks

Gam Island is one of the planet’s iconic sea-kayaking destinations. Raja Ampat is a place that provides unbeatable scenery and spectacular beaches. Kayaking and exploring the surrounding environment rich in biodiversity is something we think should be placed at the top of our guest’s lists. The rugged shoreline of Gam Island, the offshore islands, and sthe eries of headlands and deep bays, offer countless kayak adventures. Within a short paddle from the resort you can reach Batu Lima Island and Friwen Island, where you can visit Friwin village. It is also a short paddle across to Yenbeser Village.

On the eastern coast of Gam Island is Kabui Bay. Here some of the most spectacular white sandy beaches emerge at the foot of the jungle, just below the towering cliff lines. After paddling to these sandy gems, you can spend time snorkeling, swimming, bathing in the equatorial Raja Ampat sun, admiring a local school of dolphins, and exploring hidden lagoons…
Kayaking also offers wonderful opportunities for spotting wildlife: birds, dolphins, and, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a snake curled up on a tree limb!
Kayak Rental: We have two kayaks for rent; the Price is 15USD for half a day or 20USD for a full day (morning from 9.00-12.00 and/or afternoon from 14.00-17.30).
Notes: For this tour, it is advisable to bring binoculars, and to wear sandals with straps (or trekking shoes), shorts and a t-shirt, a hat, and some insect repellent.

Visit to Friwen and Yenbeser Villages

This is a great activity for some cultural fun. Visiting the villages around the resort really brings you in contact with the local people; stroll around and meet the Indigenous people that have been living in this area for centuries.

A short boat ride from the resort will put you at Friwen Village. This is a very small village on a very small island. Just take a walk around and you will soon be joined by hordes of children having a good laugh at whatever you happen to be doing, or locals may invite you to have a cup of tea; a perfect chance to exchange a story or two.

As is often is the case in Raja Ampat, your walk, will probably end up at a sandy white beach, presenting the perfect opportunity to jump in for a refreshing swim.
Afterwards, we will visit Yenbeser Village, just a short boat rideaway  from Friwen Village. Here you can expect to encounter similar experiences as in Friwen. It is worthwhile visiting the church and buying a bottle of pure coconut cooking oil. Again, this is a perfect chance to immerse yourself in the local Papuan culture.

Notes: for this activity, it is advisable to wear modest clothes and no jewelry. Bring some money along, in case you decide to buy some coconut oil or tea.

Visit to Waisai

Waisai is the main town and capital of the Raja Ampat Regency. You are welcome to visit the traditional food market, fish market, and souvenir shop and to walk around the town, trying the local food, or drinking a cup of tea. In Waisai you can sometimes also find Internet cafes and ATMs, in case you need them (though good luck with both!).

Note: for this activity it is advisable to wear modest clothes and no jewelry. We recommend bringing along some money.

Island Hoping – Snorkeling or Diving | HALF DAY

Island hopping is probably at the top of every visitor’s to-do list in Raja Ampat. This coastal area boasts more than 100 islands (around the Gam area alone) and dramatic rock formations out at sea, which make for a thrilling boat ride. You’ll take in breathtaking colors and scenery, before even reaching the white sand beaches and turquoise waters!

Apart from the aquamarine seas, the sandy beaches of the many islands, and the rich blanket of rainforest spreading across the archipelago, there is a world yet to be explored beneath the surface. Discover the wonders of the underwater world by snorkeling on an island-hoping tour.

The Itineraries

There are four groups of islands accessible from the biodiversity coastline in Gam Island. We can provide you either with a private boat, or you can form part of a group with our other guests. Tours combining visits of 2 or 3 islands are available but, due to the distance and time between islands, these tend to cost more and offer less time at the islands..

Half-Days Itineraries:

Saonek Monde Island – Saonek Village – Kabui Bay – Urai Island – Gam Island

During this itinerary you will first visit Saonek Monde Island. This island is uninhabited and has a beautiful sandy beach with a small jetty. Snorkeling is excellent off this island.

After this, you will move on to Saonek Island. Here you can visit the village and see how local people live. It is quite peaceful and gives visitors an opportunity to engage in the local culture.

While on your way to the next stop, you will paddle alongside Waigeo Island. From the boat you can see Saporkren village and the entrance of Kabui Bay (which separates Waigeo Island and Gam Island). You will stop at Urai Island for a swim and more snorkeling.

Next, you will cross over to Gam Island and continue to paddle along the coast, enjoying the topography, small islands, and secluded beaches-bays.

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

Koh Island – Mioskun Island – Friwen Island village

While en-route to the first stop, you will get a good look at Friwen Islands and the Dampier Strait (which separates Gam Island and Mansuar Island).

The first stop will be beautiful Koh Island, where you will feel that you have stepped into the pages of a travel catalog! Excellent snorkeling and perfect photos will make this a highlight of any visit to Raja Ampat.

The next stop will be another catalog-photo destination, Mioskun Island. This island is brimming with nature. The island is uninhabited by humans but has a sizable population of bats, seagulls, frigate birds, etc. Another spot for great snorkeling!

The final stop will be Friwen Island Village. Another opportunity to immerse yourself in some local village culture. Also recommended here is a swim under the jetty; it is teeming with marine life!

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

Island Hoping Itineraries | FULL DAY

Around Gam Island

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 Island and Gam Island). You will stop at Urai Island for some swimming and snorkeling.

Next, you will cross over to Gam Island and continue to paddle alongside 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” waterway separating Waigeo Island and Gam Island.

When Alfred Russell Wallace passed through this passage, almost 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 on to the other side of The Passage. After a short paddle we will pass by a pearl farm, and then arrive at Airborek Island for a picnic lunch and a visit to the village.

raja ampat activities fullday

After lunch we will stop for a swim at Manta Sandy, to snorkel with the Mantas (their season is from Sept-Oct until April-May). After this, 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, and some insect repellent.

Greater Red Bird of Paradise & Jungle Treks

raja ampat activities birdwatching

Although Raja Ampat boasts the world’s most diverse marine habitat, the area around Gam Island is covered in floral communities, including Mangrove Forest, Beach Forest, Lowland Forest and Sub Mountain Forest. This broad variety of habitats offers respite for a wide array of animals, such as birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and plants. Many of these species are very rare and/or endemic to this area.

In order to improve the local economy, we source these walks out to local guides from neighbouring Yenbeser Village. They have walked the jungle trails many times, and their local depth of knowledge of the plants, trees and animals that inhabit these forests will astonish you. They will also spot insects, wildlife and plants that our foreign eye may miss.

Although animals such as Spotted Cuscus, an array of colorful Butterflies and many forest birds can be seen, the main attraction, by far, is the Red Bird of Paradise, since this is one of the few places in the world where we have a chance to view these truly amazing birds. We advise you to read up on  them before doing this walk, in order to maximize your enjoyment and understanding of this unique experience.

These striking, colorful birds have their own special tree, only about 45 minutes from the back of our property. The trek starts at the beach, from where you follow a well maintained trail, at some places with handrails. Overall it is quite smooth terrain, with a few steep parts, and it moves steadily upwards. You are encouraged to take it at your own pace, taking your time to enjoy the rain forest around you, with all its distinctive sounds and smells…

Upon reaching “base camp,” you will soon be rewarded with one of the most elegant and exotic displays in nature. The tree were the bird displays itself is not very high, so if you’re lucky, you may get a really good view. We encourage you to bring binoculars. There have been recent sightings of 4 male birds dancing and displaying to 1 or 2 females, vying for the chance to mate. These females are so choosy that it might take many visits by a large number of males before anything happens. After taking their turn showing off week after week, day after day, and over countless hours, some males may still never get the chance to mate!

We strongly urge you to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The walk is easy going but through lush forest, so you will inevitably get wet. Wear a short and T-Shirt, some good sturdy sandals or shoes, and take along binoculars and your camera (please switch off all sound). Put on some insect repellant, and let the local guide show you a true spectacle of nature!

Other information: Price: IDR 150 000 – 200.000, payable directly to the guide.

Times: 05:00am and 15:00
Duration: 3-4 Hours
Departure Point: Biodiversity

Birdwatching

In the footsteps of great naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913) was a  British naturalist regarded as the pre-eminent 19th-century collector and field biologist of tropical regions of the world.  It was nearly 150 years ago that Wallace arrived on an island called Waigeo, after an 18-day ocean voyage on a small sailing canoe. He stayed for three months in the village of Yenbeser, or Besir (as it was called then), studying the extraordinary nature and birds of the islands, including the birds of paradise. He commented:

“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

Even today we often find ourselves gazing at exactly what Russell Wallace described; it is as though we are the ones on the brink of discovering a new species, enveloped in such amazing biodiversity.

You can visit the exact same hut, seen in the photo below, where Sir Wallace stayed while studying the bird of paradise.

Look at the Birds of Paradise in Action