Trip Overview

Length:

8 day trip / 7 days kayaking

Difficulty:

3 / 5

Price:

2400 Euros

Location:

Raja Ampat, West Papua

Dates:

2023 - Nov 15 to 22

What makes this trip special

  • The undisputed centre of marine diversity in the world
  • Snorkel with 1200 different species of fish
  • View 600 species of reef building coral
  • Paddle amongst hundreds of stunning limestone islands and white sand beaches
  • Unique cultural experiences
  • six nights in locally run Guesthouses

The Tour

Each day we will paddle to a new destination and explore the wonders of Raja Ampat along the way. We’ll snorkel at every opportunity and take in the marvels of the underwater world. Our guiding team is made up of one western guide and one Papuan guide. Our Papuan guide will teach you about the rich culture and history of the area as well as show you some of the hidden pockets that make Raja Ampat so special.

Meals

The group will enjoy three meals and snacks throughout the day. All meals are provided by the homestays and are generally made up of rice, chicken fish, eggs and greens for lunch and dinner as well as muesli, real coffee and tea for breakfast. The meals are tasty and plentiful.

The Place

West Papua is a region in Indonesia. It’s on the northwest tip of West Papua where the approximately 1500 islands that make up Raja Ampat are situated. The area is untouched and unknown, abounding in pristine tropical beaches, sapphire seas and one of the world’s most spectacular marine habitats.

The Weather

October to February is considered the dry season. Rainfall during the dry season consists of short but intense downpours that can occur during the heat of the afternoon. There is very little wind during these months.

Ocean Conditions

We’ll paddle in very protected waters, generally we expect light winds and no swell.

The Sea Kayaking

With so many islands to explore it feels like you are paddling through a maze of stationary icebergs, each rock formation more bizarre and astonishing than the last. Each paddle excursion is unique, and you will never tire of the view. We paddle through mangrove forests with hidden channels and bays. We will explore bays with thousands of mushrooms shaped limestone islands rising straight from the depths. We will explore coastlines with incredible rock formations and see a variety of the bird life that Raja Ampat has to offer.

The Snorkelling

The snorkelling is world class. Thousands of fish and coral can be seen on each snorkel outing and there are thousands of incredible sites to snorkel during our trip. The snorkel types that exist are: snorkel from the tender, snorkel from the beach, and drift snorkels.

Birds of Paradise Tour

This is a moderate to hard hike of a few hours. The hike takes us through steeper, rocky terrain but rewards us with views of Birds of Paradise as the males dance in the canopy overhead attracting females.  This is an early morning hike on our last day of the trip.

What's Included

  • 1 nights accommodation in Sorong  (Twin Share)
  • 6 nights accommodation in Guesthouses (Twin Share)
  • Meals for the duration of the trip
  • Kayaks and all equipment
  • Western kayak guide and Papuan kayak guide
  • Ferry transfers to Waisai
  • Raja Ampat Marine Entry Permit

What's Not Included

  • Meals while in Sorong before and after trip
  • light weight sleeping sheet
  • light weight towel for beach use
  • snorkel, mask and fins
  • Indonesian Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Taxi to and from the airport

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1

You will arrive in Sorong and get a taxi to the Swiss Bel Hotel. This is a four star hotel in the heart of Sorong. We will meet at 7.30 pm at the SwissBel Hotel for a trip Briefing.

Accommodation provided. No meals provided.

DAY 2

At 7.30am meet your guide and the group in the lobby, be checked out of your room, bags packed and ready to depart. We will make our way to the Sorong Harbour to board the ferry to Waisai. It is possible leave a bag in storage at the hotel.
Upon arrival in Waisai, we will take a boat to the village of Sapokreng where our kayaks await and our guesthouse has been prepared for us. In the early evening we’ll go for a short paddle along the coast of Waigeo Island, this will allow us to get acquainted with equipment and make any necessary adjustments.

Guesthouse. B-L-D.

DAY 3

We’ll pack and launch the kayaks and paddle to Gam island. We’ll explore small inlets and coves and take time out from paddling to snorkel over reefs. We will make our way to Yenbeser Village. After a full day of paddling and snorkeling, we will enjoy the simple pleasures of village life.

Paddling distance  – 15 km

Guesthouse. B-L-D.

DAY 4

This morning will find us up in the wee hours of the dawn for a tour with local guides of the Birds Of Paradise. In a local boat, we will meander up a tidal river, disembark and walk a well worn trail where we can watch the male Birds of Paradise calling for their mates. After a second breakfast, we will paddle into Mangrove Bay, a series of salt water lakes, joined by narrow salt water rivers and mangrove forests. The lakes and rivers are full of bird life, and dugongs have been known to frequent the area. Our end of day destination will be a guesthouse near the mouth of Besir bay. Great snorkelling exists right outside our guesthouse.

Paddle Distance 18 km

Guesthouse. B-L-D.

DAY 5

We’ll wake at dawn in order to paddle into Besir Bay to catch the sunrise as it lights up the limestone islands. Mornings in Raja Ampat are fantastic as the birds come to life. Their calls fill the sky as you quietly paddle the maze of islands. These limestone islands are home to many bats, and we will discover the Besir Bay Bat Cave as we explore these myriad of limestone islands.

Guesthouse. B-L-D.

Distance: 15 km

DAY 6

Today we will cross Manta Sandy, a sandy open channel that boasts Manta Rays feeding. We will take our time during the crossing, hoping to catch a glimpse of these graceful giants. We will arrive at a tiny island between Kri and Mansuar Islands. With incredible snorkeling out front, a beautiful village across the way, there is lots to do with the rest of our day.

Distance: 18 km

Guesthouse. B-L-D

DAY 7

We’ll paddle along the coast of Kri Island, reputed to have some of the best snorkeling in Raja Ampat we’ll explore it’s underwater world before paddling over to Friwin Island for lunch. After checking into our homestay we’ll paddle over to Friwin Wall for another memorable snorkeling opportunity. Friwin wall boasts thousands of colorful fish and coral.

Distance: 18 km

Guesthouse. B-L-D

DAY 8

Early start today, we’ll pack our kayaks and enjoy our last paddle back to Sapkoreng Village. We’ll return the kayaks and paddling gear before hopping on a boat for the return trip to the ferry. We’ll arrive back in Sorong by about 4.30pm. It’s encouraged that guests spend this evening in a hotel but it is possible to fly out in the evening.

Distance: 9 km

B-L

 

 

Accommodation

We’ll spend 1 night in a  4 star hotel in Sorong and  six nights of the trip in local guesthouses. These are run by local families who provide the rooms, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most families do not speak English. The guesthouses are very comfortable but basic. Each one is a little different but they are all traditional huts made with materials locally sourced. Many of them are built over or near the ocean providing an incredible atmosphere as well as a cool place to sleep. Some have private bathrooms and some are shared. All have a bed with a comfy mattress and pillows as well as a mosquito net. Participants are expected to bring their own sleeping sheet. Rooms are twin share with one queen bed or two single beds per cabin. Meals are traditional Indonesian fare with fresh fish or chicken, rice and noodles, and a variety of vegetables and fruits. As well as muesli for breakfast with real coffee and tea. The Meals are tasty and plentiful. 

All Guesthouses have a toilet and fresh water showers.

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Photo Gallery

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the meals like on the guesthouse trip?
The meals that are served at the guesthouses are generally traditional Indonesian fare. This includes fish, chicken, rice, noodles, a spinach like vegetable, a variety of fruits and vegetables.
How much rain will we encounter on our trip?
Our Raja Ampat trips occur in the northwest Monsoon season. What this means is its less rainy than any other time of year. One out of every four afternoons there may be a quick downpours during the late afternoon in Raja Ampat. They do not last long but are intense.
What sort of winds will we encounter while paddling?
There is very little wind during the northwest monsoon season. Most of the excursions we go out on there will be calm to light winds. Not very often do winds exceed 15 knots.
Will we encounter Swell during the trip?
The area we will paddle is fairly protected from swell and there may be a day where there is light swell.
What is the average air temperature in Raja Ampat?
Air temperature average is 31C.
What is the average ocean Temperature?
Average ocean temperature is 29C.
What is the average humidity levels?
Average humidity is 83%, and this makes the air temperature feel much hotter than it actually is.
Will the trip be cloudy or sunny?
Cloud cover is rare but welcome.
What sort of kayak will we be paddling?
We have a fleet of Rainbow kayaks. The single kayaks are Lazers 5.15 and the double kayaks are Atlantis boats. The boats are plastic, have forward and rear water-tight hatches, rudders, and padded seats. Type Width Length Cockpit Volume Laser 5.15 59 cm 515cm 84x48 395L Atlantis 64 cm 545cm 84x48 470L
What kind of paddles will be used?
We have two types of paddles depending on your paddling style. We have a low angle touring blade, Werner Skagits and high angle touring blades, the Werner Tybee. Both are fibreglass reinforced nylon blades.
What kind of kayak sprayskirts will we be using?
Skirts are all nylon with an adjustable waist bungee.
What kind of PFDs will we be using?
We have four different sizes of PFDs for guests. Wearing PFDs is a mandatory safety aspect of the trip.
What is a typical day like on the trip?
A typical day is as follows. This will depend on weather conditions: 730 am breakfast (option for a snorkel) 900 on water paddling and exploring the area 1130 lunch and snorkel 1300 afternoon paddle 1500 pull into beach or homestay and go for a snorkel
What sort of distances will we paddle each day?
The average distance we will paddle each day is 15 km. The first and last day’s paddle are 8 km. We have one day that will be a 20 km paddle between campsites. Every other day will be 15 km.
How many hours will we paddle each day?
We will kayak between 3-6 hours a day with lunch breaks and rest stops during that time.
Should I bring a snorkel?
Yes, a snorkel, mask and fins is a must on this trip! The snorkelling is phenomenal and we often see species endemic to this area on outings, as well as thousands of fish, brightly coloured coral. It is easy to spend hours snorkelling in this amazing place.
What should I expect in terms of water temperature?
The water temperature is an average of 29C.
Should I bring a stinger suit?
Yes, It is nice to have a stinger suit to protect against possible sea lice or stingers. It is possible to get chilly on the snorkel outings, depending on how long you spend in the water.
What type of snorkel outings will we have?
There are a few snorkel sites with some current, so it is nice to have fins. Most of the snorkelling is done from a beach, but sometimes we take the tender to a site and jump from the tender straight into the water. There is a ladder on the side of the tender to re-enter with ease. Sometimes we drift snorkel, but more often we enter and exit from a beach where there is very little current.
Will we visit any traditional villages along the way?
Yes, we will have the opportunity to visit multiple villages on this trip.
Is there a dress code in the villages?
Yes, women should wear shorts past the knee, pants or a sorong and a conservative t-shirt or long sleeve shirt. Men should wear shorts or pants and a t-shirt in the villages.
Are there opportunities to buy anything in the villages?
Some of the villages make coconut oil, hats or carvings for sale to tourists. Most villages will have a small convenience store where guests can buy treats if they want.
Is there anything I can bring to give to the villages and the people?
School supplies are always welcome in the villages. Pens, pencils and notebooks are welcome if you want to help support the villages.
Are there mosquitos on land?
When we go ashore for breaks from kayaking or for short hikes, mosquitos are always a possibility so mosquito spray and optional long pants and shirt are a good idea.
Are there mosquitos?
Yes, in the evenings the mosquitos do come out. It is nice to have a long sleeve shirt and pants to fend them off, as well as mosquito spray. Mosquito populations are surprisingly low in Raja Amapt.
Are there sharks and are they dangerous?
There are sharks in Raja Ampat. The majority of sharks that we will encounter are reef sharks and they are non-aggressive and curious. It would be very uncommon to encounter an aggressive shark in Raja Ampat.
Are there crocodiles?
There are crocodiles in Raja Ampat. Unfortunately for the crocodile species, the local villages and people have hunted most of them out of the area. There are a few sighted every season and these are generally seen in remote mangrove forests or many kilometers up rivers, far from villages and fisherman. As staff in Raja Ampat, we have not seen a single crocodile since we started coming to Raja Ampat in 2010.
Is there malaria in Raja Ampat?
Malaria does exist in the islands of Raja Ampat. The risk is relatively low due to the absence of large numbers of human carriers. There are surprisingly low numbers of mosquito populations. Malaria transmission rates are currently low in Raja Ampat, it is currently recommended to take malarial pills, wear long sleeves and pants when onshore, and use mosquito spray. You need to consult with your doctor about malarial medication for your trip in Raja Ampat.

Trip Reviews

Wendy Arnott

Chris Pavich, AU

 

 

Di Hoopert, AUD

In 2 words…….absolutely fabulous ! !  It was everything I could have expected & more. The snorkeling was some of the best I have experienced, esp the number & variety of fish. Compared to the conditions I am use to here the kayaking conditions were idyllic, very little wind, swell, current or chop.  Angela, our guide was the ultimate skilled professional & a top person into the bargain, very social & friendly, always helpful,  cheery & positive. She went to great lengths to accommodate my dietary requirements & always provided a variety of  nutritious meals, despite the remoteness & conditions. I have already recommended this trip to many people.

 

Marla Moon, US

Our experience paddling Raja Ampat with Angela was beyond amazing, beyond any fantasy imagined.

Application Form

Once you’ve filled out our online application form we will contact you within 24 hours. Our follow up email will include the detailed trip notes.

We’ll also send you a medical form. This helps us make any necessary preparations, it does not exclude you from the trip. To secure the booking we require a 1000 Euro deposit for each person. If you’d prefer to contact us directly we can be reached at info@expeditionengineering.com or at +12502662515

We’d be happy to discuss different trip options and help you find the perfect expedition holiday.

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