What We'll Do & Where We'll Go
A short overview on our destinations and activities day by day.
Day 1 - Heading North
Uranie or Balabalak
We will start in the morning - either from Waisai or your close by Homestay - and make our way north. En route we will pass through Raja Ampat's magnificent island world, snorkel vivid reefs and visit empty beaches. In the afternoon we will reach our first destination - depending on your preferences and the weather either Balabalak or Uranie - where we will set up camp. You will have time to climb up to a viewpoint and watch the sun setting from the hilltop before enjoying a freshly prepared dinner.
Uranie: A picturesque bay, sheltered against wind and waves from any direction makes for a formidable camping spot. We can observe coconut crabs and cuscus as well as some rare species of birds.
Balabalak: The grass covered hills of Balabalak give it a very distinctive appearance, quite unusual for Raja Ampat. A postcard-perfect beach, stretching over a kilometre offers a great location for our camp.
Day 2 - Exploring Wayag
The Iconic Lagoon
After breakfast, we will head to Wayag - undoubtedly one of our trip’s highlights. The bizarre islands, formed by millennia of erosion and surrounded by crystal-clear tropical sea make for a breathtaking panorama. Steep limestone cliffs rise from the lagoon with it’s water shimmering in all shades of turquoise adding a touch of drama to the tranquility of the scene. The lush vegetation seems to desperately cling on to the fissured limestone rocks, which themselves form a labyrinth with numerous hidden passages.
We will climb some of the islands, from where you will be able to appreciate the full extent of the lagoon. These viewpoints will leave you staring in awe, revealing the extraordinary beauty of this place. You can snorkel with blacktip sharks or explore the outer islands, surrounded by vivid reefs bursting with life.
Our camp for the night will be set up on one of the sheltered beaches inside the lagoon, where we will enjoy dinner with a wonderful view.
Day 3 - Further Yet
Turtles & Beaches
In the early morning you have the chance to climb up to the outer viewpoint and watch the sun rise over Wayag’s magnificent islands. We will have breakfast and you can go for a snorkel before we leave Wayag behind us and set course for Piai. On the way we will pass Sain, a large, flat island surrounded by palm-fringed beaches. The gently sloping shores with massive coral blocks rising from the fine sand are unusual for Raja Ampat. Incredibly clear water makes for a great snorkel in this distinctive underwater landscape.
On Piai, a local NGO runs a turtle monitoring station, next to which we will set up camp for the night. Before dinner, you will have time to explore the island and it’s land-based wildlife: coconut crabs and Maleos roam the forest.
At night we will join the rangers on their turtle monitoring walk. You have a good chance to watch massive green turtles struggle up the beach to build their nests. There, they burry their eggs before retreating to the sea.
Day 4 - Turning Point
Equator Islands & Aljui Bay
From Piai we will start to head back south, with Kawe as the first destination of the day. We can stop for a snorkel at the vibrant reefs surrounding the Equator islands. This small group of islands - as the name already suggests - is located exactly on the equator. Underwater, colourful coral gardens form maze-like structures, attracting vast numbers of fish from the open ocean. From here we will set course for Salio village, opposite of which we will check in at our accommodation for the night.
In the afternoon we can explore Aljui Bay: go for a snorkel at a narrow channel just around the corner, visit a pearl farm, stroll around the village or simply relax on the beach.
We will be served delicious meals in the guest house’s waterfront restaurant, overlooking the sheltered bay. The cuisine here is simply fantastic, with a broad variety of seafood and vegetables, freshly prepared. Compared to other homestays in Raja Ampat, the rooms here have quite a high standard. They are clean and each room has an ensuite bathroom.
Day 5 - Sand and Sea
The flat, sandy cays dotting the tropical sea in Meos Manggara district reveal yet another side of Raja Ampat. With their postcard-perfect appearance, the flat islands and vivid reefs offer countless possibilities for beach-hopping and to snorkel. Crystal clear water surrounds the shallow lagoons and at low tide the water reveals pristine white sandbanks emerging from the ocean. We will set up our camp for the night on an empty beach and enjoy a fresh coconut before heading out again to explore the close by cays.
Huge colonies of seabirds use the islands as nesting grounds, while the shallows are home to beautiful coral gardens. Vast numbers of fish aggregate around the narrow channels on running tides and form spectacular shoals, moving as a single entity. Under the right conditions we will find manta rays feed on the surface and perform a graceful dance in the current.
By nightfall, we will enjoy another freshly prepared meal. Afterwards you can have a nightly walk along the palm-fringed beach, which glow in a ghostly white when reflecting the starlight.
Day 6 - Back to Dampier Strait
Hidden Bay & Kabui Passage
We will have an early breakfast before embarking towards Dampier strait. At first, we will enter a narrow waterway winding around steep limestone cliffs, which will suddenly open up: we will have entered Hidden Bay, yet another one of Raja Ampat’s gems. Navigating through the maze of islands and bays, we have a chance to spot juvenile sharks, eagle rays and even crocodiles. The lush vegetation covering the surrounding cliffs is home to numerous tropical birds, which will provide the soundtrack for our cruise.
Next, we will head to Kabui Passage, a narrow waterway separating Gam from Waigeo island. The channel’s flanks are covered in mangroves, seamlessly going over into dense jungle clinging on to the limestone cliffs. Under the surface, colourful coral follow the turns and bends of the winding waterway.
From here, we will proceed to our accommodation. Another delicious meal will be served, before we will let the day fade out and enjoy the sunset.
Day 7 - Everything has an End
Everything You Need
Our last day will be quite relaxed: We can cruise around the close by islands, snorkel vivid reefs and relax on the beach.
Unfortunately, then it will be time to say good bye. Depending on your onward plans, we can bring you to the ferry in Waisai or drop you off at a close by homestay in the afternoon.
Optional - Birds of Paradise
Wilson’s and Red Bird of Paradise
On your last day we can organise a birdwatching trip on Waigeo. You have the chance to watch two iconic species, both endemic to Raja Ampat, perform their magnificent dance. The trip starts way before sunrise and takes usually until 10.