Monday, June 25, 2012

Traveling to Misool islands in Raja Ampat

Most of the visitors who go to Raja Ampat complain about the cost of traveling which they think is very expensive. There are 40 liveaboards (wooden sailing boats) that provide dive services to scuba divers who want to explore the beauty of the underwater world of Raja Ampat. These liveaboards sail throughout Raja Ampat to many of its best dive sites that are located in remote islands of the regency where their coral reefs are still in pristine condition with high marine biodiversity. Most of these liveboards are equipped with satellite phones which tourists can use in emergency situation to contact their loved ones. Each guest room is Air Conditioned. At the stern of the boat, modern dive equipment has been prepared by dive masters and boat crews ready to be used by guests. Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and snacks are served regularly. That's the main reason why the cost of traveling with liveaboards is considered very high. However, you will get what you have paid for.
If you are a person who are adventurous and want to see the islands backpacking, I can provide you with some  simple explanation. 
The cheapest way to explore Raja Ampat
Traveling to Waisai (the capital of Raja Ampat regency) can easily be done by fast boat from Sorong. The usual rate is Rp. 120,000 (one hundred twenty thousand rupiahs). Another destination that I highly recommend is the Misool islands that are located in the south of the regency. KM Sabuk Nusantara 32 sails regularly from Sorong to Yellu/ Harapan Jaya in Misool. After that the ship passes through tens of small islands of Misool to Bula in East Seram. This vessel connects the Sourthern areas of Raja Ampat regency with East Seram. In East Seram, KM Sabuk Nusantara 32 visits Bula, Geser, Gorom, and Kesui. Then she will continue her trip to Fakfak, Kaimana and Timika. Go to Pelabuhan Rakyat in Sorong to find boats that go to other islands in Raja Ampat. So, don't be sad if you cannot afford for a diving package offered by various liveaboards on the internet. You can still see the natural beauty of Raja Ampat in a much cheaper price that is more suitable to your pocket.

Because the vessel goes only to Harapan Jaya in Misool islands, you will not be able to go to remote islands that have been famous as diving destinations. You can still enjoy snorkeling in the coral reef in the islands near Yellu or Harapan Jaya. Contact local fishermen to help you find the reefs.
Another world class travel destination in West Papua is the Iris strait and Triton bay of Kaimana. The underwater environment of the Iris strait is unique because it is mostly covered by soft coral. Interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and need me as your guide, please, contact me by email at peace4wp@gmail.com.