Raja Ampat Travel Itinerary

The ULTIMATE guide to traveling to West Papua and exploring "The Last Paradise", Raja Ampat!



"Wow, I am going there!" I thought after watching Netflix's "Islands of Faith". There was a thirty minute clip dedicated to a place called West Papua. A place that I did not even know existed, but apparently was quit famous and known for it's renowned flora and fauna. I was particularly eager to see the people, who looked more like African decent, which I'd later learn were likely descendants of the Melanesians. While it would be criminal to visit Raja Ampat without emerging myself into the underwater haven it was also very important for me to explore the culture of the people. I was lucky enough to stay at Methos Homestay with a local from Sawinggrai Village, Methos, who provided me with an experience of a lifetime. I explored many of the islands, snorkeled in some of the clearest and marine life filled waters, and had authentic experiences within the village. Check out how I spent my 6 days in this paradise!






Day 1


Transportation:

Flight: Denpasar → Jakarta → Sorong (15 hours including layovers)

Rp 4.1M/$285 USD (roundtrip)


Ferry: Sorong → Wasai (3 hours)

Rp 100k/$6.88 USD


Local Boat: Wasai → Gam Island (1 hour) Rp 750k/ $51.63 USD


Please note that the ferry only departs two times a day, 9:00AM and 2:00PM. It is possible that during Covid-19 the ferry will only depart once a day.


Food: All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for the duration of a 6 day stay were provided for an additional fee with our living accommodations. Restaurants are not easily accessible on the islands and I highly recommend speaking to your host about food options. Bring your own snacks.

Rp 1.5M per person/ $103.26 USD (This price also included pick up and drop off to Waisai by local boat)


Accommodation: Methos Homestay

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/32956427?source_impression_id=p3_1617344894_DdZZ52%2BaFkm7rJtk

Rp 3.4M/$233 USD


Activity: Sunset Dinner at Homestay


Marine Park Tag: All visitors of Raja Ampat are required by

the regional government to pay an annual

entrance fee for the Marine Park.

Rp 300k/$21 USD


Cost: Rp 6.7M/ $468 USD



Day 2


Transportation:

Local Boat: Gam Island


Activity: Around Gam Island

Stop 1: Mangrove Tour

Stop 2: Bat Cave

Stop 3: Jelly Fish Lake

Stop 4: Gam island View Point


Cost: Rp 1M/ per person + Rp 250k per extra person = Rp 625k/ $43 USD per person (divided by 2 people)



Day 3


Transportation:

Local Boat: Gam Island Manta Point & Arborek Island


Activity: Snorkeling at Manta Point & Arborek Island

Stop 1: Manta Point

Notes: Be prepared to swim in the open waters with tons of these gentle giants. After a quick search of about 15 minutes there were easily over 10 manta rays swimming gracefully through the water. We were able to get close enough to touch them! The water was very clear and you could see them and schools of colorful fish clearly!

Stop 2: Arborek Island

Here you'll find many bright colored fish of all different shapes and sizes. These fish aren't afraid! They come right up to you as if they are going to give you a kiss! How exciting?! We also saw black tipped sharks here. No worries, they are small and unbothered by humans!



Cost: Rp 1M/ per person + Rp 250k per extra person= Rp 625k/ $43 USD per person (divided by 2 people)





Day 4


Transportation:

Local Boat: Gam Island → Kri Island, Friwen Wall, Mioskon Island


Activity: Snorkeling around Kri Island, Friwen Wall, Mioskon Island

Notes: A snorkeling dream! Each island was spectacular and had a completely different vibe, full of coral, fish, and even black tip sharks. My favorite was Mioskon Island because not only was it the clearest water that I have ever seen, but it was so remote that I was able to swim naked!


Cost: Rp 1M/ per person + Rp 250k per extra person= Rp 625k/ $43 USD per person (divided by 2 people)



Day 5



Transportation:

2 minute walk from Methos Homestay


Activity: Sawingrai Village Tour


Notes: It was important for me to indulge in the every day village life while in Raja Ampat. I love a balance between tourist and local life and Sawingrai Village was just that. I walked through the village with my Homestay host, Methos, and had the chance to interact with the village people, see the village church, schools, markets, and homes. The houses were colorful, children were laughing, playing, and singing, the aroma of food was in the air, the people were out doing their daily tasks, and roosters and dogs roamed around freely!


Cost: Free




Day 6


Transportation: Gam Island → Wasai →Sorong


Local Boat Ride: Rp 750k/ $51.63 USD (included in Homestay package paid for at the start of trip)

Ferry: Rp 100k/$6.88 USD


Accommodation: Swiss Belhotel Sorong

https://www.swiss-belhotel.com/en-gb/swiss-belhotel-sorong

Rp 550k/$37.80 USD per night


Activity: N/A

Notes: Get a full night's rest if your travel plans are anything like mine! Getting back to Bali was a crazy and long ride, especially after many days of adventure!


Cost: Rp 648k/$45 USD


Day 7

Transportation:

Flight: Sorong → Surabaya → Denpasar

Flight: Rp 4.1M/$285 USD (roundtrip)


Activity: N/A

Notes: Story time! Somehow missed my transfer flight from Surabaya to Denpasar and ended up in Makassar! What and where is Makassar? I have no idea and I also have no idea how I ended up stranded at that airport with no flights to Bali until the next day! After crying and pleading they were able offer me two choices; wait until tomorrow for the next free flight to Denpasar or pay Rp 2.3M or $158 USD for the last flight to Bali. I obviously choose the latter because I was EXHAUSTED and desperately wanted to get back home!


Cost: Rp 2.3M/ $158 USD


Total Cost: Rp 9.3M/$642 USD (I did not include the additional flight cost I incurred for my missed transfer)


* Please note that this cost was for accommodations, food, transportation, and excursions. I recommend bringing cash with you for purchases, such as ferry rides, excursions, and other small fees that you may incur on your journey!


One of the main questions people ask about Raja Ampat is the price breakdown. NO, Raja Ampat is not a "cheap" trip. In fact, it is known for being a pretty costly trip in terms of traveling Southeast Asia and here is why:


Location: Raja Ampat is located in the farthest East of Indonesia hence flights to this destination not being easy or cheap. The cheaper the flight, the longer and more complicated the journey.


Accessibility: The archipelago is very remote and getting around is limited to local boats. With this, petrol is needed and can only be purchased from main hub points, such as, Waisai and Sorong which can be anywhere from an hour plus boat ride and is expensive. The journey around, especially if you are looking to explore multiple islands adds up.


Distribution: One of the problems in an area like Raja Ampat is distribution. Foods, drinks, and other daily needs including fuel will be transported first from the central areas like Jakarta and other big cities in Indonesia. The price is distribution process is not cheap. Cost of cargo ships and its maintenance are always expensive, especially to support areas like Papua with its things to do in Sorong.


Solo vs Group Travel: I opted for a more intimate trip, bringing along only one other person. Solo trips to Raja Ampat are much more expensive because the costs are not being split as they would be with a group. Most things, such as, excursions, boat rides, and accommodations can be split which can reduce the cost of the trip dramatically.




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