If you are an avid diver or snorkeler, Raja Ampat should be on your bucket list. This archipelago located in West Papua, Indonesia is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and diverse marine life. Raja Ampat boasts over 1500 islands and a staggering 75% of the world’s coral species, making it an ideal destination for snorkeling enthusiasts.
In this article, we will explore the best snorkeling spots in Raja Ampat.
Located in the village of Arborek, the Arborek jetty is a great spot for both beginner and advanced snorkelers. The waters here are shallow and calm, making it easy to spot the abundant coral and fish species. The jetty is also known for its resident school of bumphead parrotfish.
Fiabacet is a small uninhabited island that is situated in the Dampier Strait. It is considered one of the top snorkeling spots in Raja Ampat due to its crystal clear waters and diverse marine life. Snorkelers can expect to see schools of colorful fish, turtles, and even manta rays if lucky.
Melissa’s Garden is a coral garden that is named after Melissa, a diver who discovered this spot in the 1990s. The waters here are shallow and perfect for snorkeling. The coral formations are abundant and often referred to as "the Garden of Eden." Snorkelers can expect to see an array of marine life, including pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, and clownfish.
Cape Kri is a world-renowned dive site that is equally impressive for snorkeling. It is located in the Dampier Strait and has been recorded to have the highest number of fish species in a single dive. While snorkeling at Cape Kri, you can expect to see schools of barracudas, trevallies, and even reef sharks.
Manta Sandy is a popular spot for both divers and snorkelers due to its resident manta rays. Located in the region of Mansuar, Manta Sandy is a cleaning station where the manta rays come to have their skin cleaned by small cleaning fish. Snorkelers can expect to see these majestic creatures up close and personal.
Tips for Snorkeling in Raja Ampat
Here are some tips to make your snorkeling experience in Raja Ampat more enjoyable:
- Always wear a rash guard to protect yourself from the sun and jellyfish stings.
- Use a reef-safe sunscreen to protect the delicate coral reefs.
- Take a snorkeling tour with a reputable company that emphasizes responsible tourism.
- Snorkel in the morning or late afternoon when the water is calmer and the marine life is more active.
Raja Ampat is a snorkeling paradise that boasts some of the world’s most pristine and diverse marine life. From shallow coral gardens to deep channels, this archipelago has something for every level of snorkeler. By following the tips and exploring the top snorkeling spots, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience in Raja Ampat.