Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sightseeing and Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat

I have just completed a 5-day snorkeling and sightseeing tour in Raja Ampat with four Czech tourists. During the tour, we enjoyed sightseeing in a lot of islands and snorkeling in some coral reef areas of the archipelago. We visited Yenbuba strait, West Mansuar, Sawondarek, Five Rocks (Batu Lima), Kabui bay, Pianemo (Fam islands), Cape Kri, Arborek and Manta Point.

It was a wonderful trip and we were able to see various species of reef fish and other marine animals, including giant trevally, grouper, parrotfish, wrasse, sweetlips, butterfly fish, damsel, scads, humphead wrasse, black tip reef shark, manta and a lot more.
Marine Life in Yenbuba
Strait of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is the most recommended destination for anybody who is interested in seeing the biodiversity of marine life. Bring your own snorkeling mask and fins if you want to enjoy snorkeling in Raja Ampat with me. Because, traveling in Raja Ampat is expensive, I suggest that you come in a group of at least 4 tourists.

ITINERARY
Here is a typical itinerary that I offer to my customers:
Day 1 
Leaving Sorong for Raja Ampat
We will stay at one of the homestays in the region
Snorkeling in Yenbuba strait
Day 2
Traveling to Kabui karst islets (snorkeling) and a visit to its passage.
Snorkeling in Batu Lima or Friwen
A visit to sand bank
Day 3
Traveling to Pianemo to see its beautiful scenery on top of one of its karst islets
Snorkeling in Arborek
Day 4
Snorkeling in West Mansuar
Snorkeling in Sawondarek
Day 5
Leaving Raja Ampat for Sorong

Please, consider the above itinerary as a reference only. It can be changed during the trip  depending on weather condition.

Karst Islets in Raja Ampat
If you are a single traveler
If you are alone, you can still visit the archipelago. You decide your own itinerary. You may choose one of the many homestays there and explore the coral reef at its beach front by snorkeling. After that you can move to another homestay in different island. If you still need me as your snorkeling buddy, I will be happy to accompany you during your trip in Raja Ampat. We can do snorkeling or birdwatching in Raja Ampat and try to identify the species names of the animals that we see using the field guide books that I have.
Sweetlips
The marine tour in Raja Ampat can be combined with jungle tour in Sorong regency or Tambrauw Mountains. For the land tour, visitors will have the chance to explore the tropical rainforest of New Guinea that is the natural habitat of various species of butterflies, birds, and a lot of tropical plants.

RAINFOREST TOUR IN SORONG
French tourists were trekking
In addition to offering snorkeling tour in Raja Ampat, I also provide a separate Rainforest Tour in Klasow valley of Sorong regency. Tropical rainforest that cover the lowland area of  Klasow valley is the natural habitat of various species of animals such as


Male Lesser Birds of Paradise
Birds: Rufous-bellied Kookabura, Blyth's hornbills, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Moustached Tree-Swift, Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Yellow Faced Myna, Spangled Drongo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus rotatus), Golden Myna (Mino anais), Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory), Cassowary bird, and a lot more.
Butterflies: New Guinea Clipper Butterfly (Parthenos tigrina), Birdwing butterfly (Ornitopthera priamus), Meadow Argus butterfly (Junonia villida), Blue Mountain Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio ulysses), The Great Eggfly Butterfly (Hypolimnas butterfly), Blue Tiger Butterfly (Tirumala limniace), and etc.
Marsupials: Wallaby (a kind of ground kangaroo), Bandicoot, and Cuscus possum
Mammals: Deer and Wild-pigs
Reptiles: Snakes, soa-soa lizards.
The above are some of the animals that I could identify from my previous tours. Actually there are more animals which I still cannot identify because I am lack of reference books about flora and fauna of West Papua.

Duration of the Rainforest Tour: On the average visitors spend between 3 to 5 days in the jungle of Klasow valley
Activities: Usually tourists go trekking in the jungle along the footpaths which are used by the indigenous people. They watch birds, insects, see tropical trees and shrubs and crawling plants as well as wild flowers and mushrooms. Because I have got a spotting scope, and a pair of binoculars, I can bring the device to enhance the birdwatching experience of visitors while walking in the jungle of Klasow valley.

Simple guesthouse
Accommodation:
For 3 day tour, visitors will stay at a simple house made of wood, and thatched roof in the jungle village of Klasow forest. For longer tour, we will walk deeper into the jungle of Klaglass and stay in tents.

Cost: The cost depends on the duration of the tour and the number of participants. On the average a single traveler may spend 7 million rupiahs (approximately 465 Euros) for 3 days. But 2 visitors can spend approximately 9 million rupiahs (approx. 597 Euros) for 3 days in the jungle. The cost includes transportation by 4WD car to the valley, guides, food, accommodation and contribution to the jungle village of Klasow valley.
Contact: Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com for more customized tour, prices and other information



Alternative Destination
Manokwari
If you are thinking of going to another region in West Papua then my suggestion for you is going to Manokwari.
You can enjoy trekking in the rainforest and watching wild animals as well as snorkeling over many of its coral reef.
Group Size Limit: 6 people
Price per person: (please, contact us by email)

Here is the itinerary
Day 1
Arrive at Rendani airport of Manokwari
Day 2
Trekking and wildlife watching in Arfak mountains or the lowland forest of the northern coast area.
Day 3
Trekking and wildlife watching
Day 4
Trekking and wildlife watching
At the end of the day, we will return to Manokwari city
Day 5
Snorkeling
Day 6
Snorkeling
Day 7
Transfer to Rendani Airport
End of Tour

Coral reef in Manokwari waters
Rainforest Trekking and Camping Tour in Arfak Mountains

If you plan to visit West Papua and need me to arrange your tour and be your guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.