Trip Overview

Length:

10 day trip / 7 days kayaking

Difficulty:

3 / 5

Price:

$4100 CAD / 3100 USD

Location:

Raja Ampat, West Papua

Dates:

Oct 30- Nov 8, 2019 - 4 spots remaining

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
  • Experience tropical beach camping
  • Five nights in locally run homestays

The Tour

We will stay in a variety of accommodations, from 4 star hotels, to locally run guesthouses, to beach camping. 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

All meals are prepared by the guides or the local owners of the guesthouses. They feature a nice blend of Asian and Western cooking.

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

Waigeo and Gam Islands are very protected waters. Most of the coastline we will paddle is protected waters, where there is very little 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

  • 2 nights accommodation in Sorong  (Twin Share)
  • 5 nights accommodation in homestays (Twin Share)
  • Meals for the duraction of the trip
  • Kayaks and all equipment
  • Western kayak guide and Papuan kayak guide
  • Ferry transfers to Waisai
  • Raja Ampat Marine Entry Permit
  • Birds of Paradise tour on day 10

What's Not Included

  • Meals while in Sorong before and after trip
  • Personal tent for 3 nights of camping
  • Sleeping pad and sleeping sheet for 3 nights of camping
  • Indonesian Visa
  • Travel insurance

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. Guests may wish to sleep as soon as they arrive.

We will meet at 7pm at the SwissBel Hotel for a trip Briefing.

Accommodation provided. No meals provided.

DAY 2

Your guide will pick you up in the morning from the hotel and we will board a ferry for Waisai. The ferry is a 2 hour boat ride to Waigeo Island, where our trip will begin. Upon arrival in Waisai, we will take taxis to our homestay for the night.

We will have a kayak safety briefing and settle into the rhythm of Raja Ampat. Snorkelling and swimming and watching the sunset from our decks are our evenings activities!

Homestay. B-L-D.

DAY 3

A bright and early breakfast will get us set up for packing our expedition sea kayaks for the first time. We will paddle a distance of 8km today. With an amazing snorkelling lunch stop. Our camp for the night will be on a pristine white sand beach with palm trees above, incredibly snorkelling off the beach, and amazing sunset views.

8 km

Camping. B-L-D.

DAY 4

We will have a 15 km day today paddling along the northern shore of Gam Island. The limestone islands and formations are incredibly beautiful. We will snorkel at “Nemo Island”, a small island with hundreds of anemone and clown fish. Our guesthouse is nestled below tall limestone cliffs, with a massive cave behind the homestay. We will settle into our rooms for the night and go explore the cave before supper.

16 km

Homestay. B-L-D.

DAY 5

An early morning hike to a lookout point will be a photographers dream. We will paddle through a small passage that separate Gam and Waigeo Islands, snorkelling at spots along the way. We will explore hidden bay, and snorkel at the mouth of this hidden gem. Our campsite for the night is another perfect white sand beach with views to the west. We will enjoy a camp meal while we watch the sun set in vibrant red, orange and yellow hues.

Camping. B-L-D.

Distance: 15 km

DAY 6

By now we will be experts at packing our kayaks, and we will head to the Peff Islands, a combination of limestone cliffs and mangrove forests. Peff Island has ancient rock paintings that have been preserved over the centuries which we will have the opportunity to view. We will lunch on another tropical beach, with opportunities to snorkel. We will again camp for the night, with another great snorkelling site off the beach.

Distance: 15km

Camping. B-L-D

DAY 7

Today we will paddle the southern side of Gam Island and possibly experience the only swell of the trip, albeit it will be a light swell. Today’s distance will be 15 km and we will stay at Besir Bay Homestay for the night. There are two snorkel sites near the homestay with a variety of species to see at each site.

Distance: 15 km

Homestay. B-L-D

DAY 8

We will head out for an early morning paddle in Besir Bay proper where we will watch the sun rise on a myriad of limestone islands. We will visit a bat cave and see hundreds of bats sleeping from the ceilings.

After breakfast at the homestay, we will begin our day of mangrove forest paddling. Today is a birders paradise, as we will encounter many different species of birds in the mangrove forests. We will paddle through a system of eel grass lakes where dugongs are said to feed. O

Distance: 20 km

Homestay. B-L-D.

DAY 9

Today is our last day on the water.

We will visit Friwin Islands and snorkel this amazing site. A steep wall drops into the ocean and many fish, sharks, and coral can be seen feeding on the wall. We will arrive at our homestay early afternoon, and unpack and settle into our last night in Raja Ampat.

Distance: 8 km

Homestay. B-L-D.

DAY 10

Our final morning will see us waking at 0400 to go for a guided Birds of Paradise Tour. This is a hike in fairly steep and rocky terrain that will reward us with views of the beautiful and endemic Birds of Paradise in the canopy overhead.  We will return to our guesthouse after our tour for a final snorkel and swim in the warm water of Raja Ampat. We will taxi to the ferry for the return trip to Sorong. We will check into the Swiss Bel Hotel for one last night and have a farewell meal to share our stories and photos of the trip.

Accommodation and B-L provided. Dinner Not provided.

 

Accommodation

Rooms are twin share with one double 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.

All homestays have a toilet and fresh water showers.

MANDOS HOMESTAY – DAY 2 AND 8

Mandos guesthouse is owned and operated by Orgenis and his family. Orgenis speaks English and loves to chat with his guests. Orgenis also offers bird tours to see the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise and the Red Bird of Paradise. This homestay is situated a 2 min walk from Sapkoren village, which is always a highlight for guests to visit. Orgenis is our Birds of Paradise tour guide, and will take us on a hike through the jungle to visit the Birds of Paradise in their natural habitat on our last day of the trip.

WARIKOF HOMESTAY – DAY 4

Warikof is owned and operated by Daud and his family. The highlights of this homestay are a massive cave behind the homestay that we will have the opportunity to explore as well as a hike to a lookout point that Daud was recently constructed.

BESIR BAY HOMESTAY – DAY 7

Besir Bay is owned and operated by ______. This homestay is nestled on a white sand beach below towering limestone cliffs. To either side of this homestay is incredible snorkelling. Besir Bay is a kayakers dream, with many islands and passageways to explore.

CAMPING – DAY 8

Photo Gallery

Route Map

Expedition Engineering Route map for Kayaking and Guesthouse Trip

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the meals like on the camping trips?
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. During the days we are camping, your western guide will cook western fare. Breakfasts can be a variety of eggs, pancakes, granola and oatmeal. Lunches can be potato or pasta salad, sandwiches, soups or wraps. Dinners may be pasta dishes, stirfrys, stews with dessert to top it all off.
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 1 or 2 villages on the 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, at camp and in the homestays 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 500 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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