There are so many reasons to visit Raja Ampat – a beautiful archipelago set off the coast of West Papua home to emerald islands, secret sandbars, snorkeling and scuba diving adventures, and jungle treks that take you from one breathtaking view to another. Once you have organized flights and ferry trips to arrive in “The Last Paradise”, it would be a good idea to book one of the best tours in Raja Ampat with the team at RajaAmp.at.
Independent travel can be hard in this part of the world since there are over 1,500 small islands, little cays and secluded shoals to discover. A few places like Pianemo have become famous on social media in recent years, but this lookout barely scratches the surface of what Raja Ampat as a whole has to offer. Beyond the most Instagrammable spots lies a world of hidden gems that adventurous travelers should immerse themselves in.
This is where RajaAmp.at comes into its own. Their travel experts take you to see the most spectacular destinations of the archipelago that hardly any tourists know about, all done in an eco-friendly way. The owner/operator Reny and her husband Andreas are passionate about Raja Ampat and love nothing more than forming close bonds with their guests as they show them around the most remote and overlooked corners of the island chain.
After they met, Reny and Andreas explored the islands from top to bottom and uncovered places that very few travelers venture to. With so many epic experiences under their belt, they thought it would be a shame to let this knowledge go to waste. So they started RajaAmp.at and today run some of the best tours in Raja Ampat – sharing local secrets with a handful of guests on private and personalized journeys that cater to individual needs.
Reny and Andreas have four ready-made itineraries that you can book straight off the shelf (so to speak). The tours all range from six to eight days and each one provides a unique look at a different region of Raja Ampat – from the iconic green jewels of the Wayag islands to the abundant bird species and treks of Batanta. And if you wish to change some of the dates, durations or activities you can easily do so as these tours are customizable.
There is also the option to open up your tour for others to join. This is a cool choice for solos, couples or small groups of friends who wish to share their journey with people from around the world and make lifelong friendships in the process. Even better, it might lead to a price decrease per person if enough people book with you. So, whether you want a fully private experience or a shared adventure, RajaAmp.at has a tour that you will love!
4 Best Tours in Raja Ampat
1. Wayag & Beyond Tour (7 Days)
Wayag and its surrounding atolls are what you have probably seen on postcards. The diversely shaped green karst islands pop out from the sea in otherworldly and unpredictable ways – making for a spectacle of nature. Alongside the atolls are a number of pristine beaches and a thriving underwater world where adventures abound. With RajaAmp.at you will get the chance to go island hopping in this area on a relaxed seven day trip.
Highlights of the Wayag & Beyond Tour include exploring the famous lagoon, snorkeling with blacktip sharks (it’s safe, don’t worry), seeing green turtles nest, stopping at sandbanks full of sea life, swimming with golden jellyfish and island hopping around a set of sandy cays in the Meos Manggara district. Your experience with nature will get even deeper as you enjoy overnight stays in a mix of island campsites and local guesthouses.
2. Astonishing Ayau Tour (8 Days)
The most unique tour on offer with RajaAmp.at is Astonishing Ayau. The Ayau islands are situated 50 kilometers north of Waigeo (largest island in the archipelago) and south of another remote paradise, the Asia islands. The lagoons and reefs here are some of the most awe-inspiring places not only in Raja but in the entire world. When cruising around these waters, surrounded by a sea of bright blue, you will be left utterly speechless.
Only a select few make it up this way, a) because they have never heard of it or b) due to the logistics of getting there. But with RajaAmp.at everything is included in your tour – so you can fully dive into the hidden treasures of this one-of-a-kind destination without having to worry about things like transport, accommodation and meals. Check out the awesome video posted below to see what the Astonishing Ayau Tour entails.
Guests can expect a wide variety of activities such as snorkeling, island hopping, eating fresh fish and visiting villages that have maintained their traditional ways of life. Accommodation will be a combination of island camping and stays in villages and guesthouses. This is the ultimate tour to book just on its own or as an additional experience in northern Raja Ampat after going on another tour like the Wayag & Beyond trip mentioned above.
3. Beautiful Batanta Tour (6 Days)
Batanta is the smallest of the “Four Kings” (four biggest Raja islands) but it sure does pack a punch! This island is covered in forests, hills, waterfalls and rivers that gives it a lush and serene overall feel. The Beautiful Batanta Tour with RajaAmp.at is without doubt one of the best tours in Raja Ampat for several reasons. Firstly, your secluded homestay accommodation is nestled on an unspoiled beach far away from any signs of human civilization.
Situated on the west of Batanta, this guesthouse is perched on a jetty where gorgeous sunrise and sunset views greet you daily. After each new adventure – whether it be trekking through the jungle, swimming in waterfalls or snorkeling with fish in Amayau – you will be able to rest your head in pure tranquility. Secondly, the wildlife opportunities are amazing on this tour. Dugongs and Birds of Paradise are just the beginning.
4. Gorgeous Gam Tour (6 Days)
Rounding off our list of the best tours in Raja Ampat is the six day Gorgeous Gam Tour with RajaAmp.at. Gam, or Pulau Gam, is home to some of Central Raja’s best kept secrets. For example, Gam Bay has an infinite amount of islets, inlets and passages to explore by boat and the snorkeling opportunities here, while different to other destinations in Raja, are still brilliant. You can snorkel amongst colorful corals and millions of mackerel.
Another marvelous activity in this region is snorkeling with manta rays. From October to April, between the reefs of Gam and Arborek, hundreds of mantas appear and you may have the chance to swim with them. If you are more inclined to hike in the rainforest rather than snorkel, you can opt to trek into Gam’s forests to see fascinating flora and fauna. Accommodation on this six day trip is a family-owned guesthouse right on the water’s edge.
Tips for Enjoying the Best Tours in Raja Ampat
If the best tours in Raja Ampat mentioned above have tickled your fancy and you are now in the planning phase of your travels, here are a few tips to ensure your trip to “The Last Paradise” is a success. You might be tired of hearing about the pandemic but it’s vital that you meet all requirements for legal travel in the COVID-19 era. Indonesia is open for quarantine-free tourism for those who have taken at least two doses of the vaccine.
Indonesia has also lifted all testing requirements for entry. For those who are unvaccinated, you will need to undergo quarantine upon arrival at an approved government hotel. All of these regulations can change in the blink of an eye without much prior warning, so it’s best to get in touch with a travel agent before your trip to double check everything. Travel insurance is another crucial component to get sorted in case you get sick.
The best time to visit Raja is up for debate as it’s hot all year round and there are only slight changes during each season. Most days see highs above 30°C, with the nights falling to 24°C. Humidity is a factor and oftentimes it feels hotter than what the statistics say. Each region also has its own microclimate, for instance the larger islands attract more cloud cover and rain. The remote lagoons are largely drenched in sunshine 24/7.
With all this being said, predicting the weather in Raja Ampat is difficult and things can change quickly. It can rain on any day, not only in the wet season, so keep that in mind. From October to April, when it’s the Northwest Monsoon season, you will have the best chance of sun and less precipitation. Whatever happens weather-wise, you can be sure that the team at RajaAmp.at will stay flexible and change course if needed.
Since everything is included on one of the best tours in Raja Ampat with RajaAmp.at you don’t need to plan accommodation, ferries between islands or meals throughout your journey. This means that the final consideration is your packing list. No matter when you visit, it’s going to be hot so pack clothes like t-shirts, shorts, hats, sunglasses, reef-friendly sunscreen, etc. Decent hiking boots and a raincoat are must-haves as well!