Often described as the most extraordinary marine habitat on the entire planet, the 40,000 square kilometers of the Raja Ampat archipelago lie at the point where the Pacific currents collide with the Indian Ocean. These nutrient-rich waters have spawned (quite literally) a marine Eden.
There are 1300 species of fish (although new species are regularly discovered) and 15 species of mammals. Three-quarters of all the hard corals in the world are found here. Dunia Baru's dive master knows the secret reefs and channels intimately and can show you everything from pygmy sea horses to manta rays that measure six meters across from wing tip to wing tip.
As if it couldn’t get any better, Raja Ampat’s landscape is truly breathtaking: forested karst islands rise from crystal waters and surround bays more magnificent than you could imagine. Be sure to schedule time also for some topside exploration as you have an excellent chance of spotting the legendary birds of paradise or even the bizarre tree kangaroo.
Dunia Baru sails around Raja Ampat between November and March, when conditions are best for diving. Although we’ve carefully created itineraries that will maximize guests’ time in the area, our team are happy to advise you and put together an itinerary that meets all of your wishes, and exceeds your expectations.
© Chris Hamilton
Waigeo is the largest of Raja Ampat’s four main islands (there are more than 1500 in the archipelago), and an absolute must-visit for ardent underwater photographers. As with all of Raja Ampat, the marine diversity is truly staggering, but it’s the exotic creatures you’ll find around the corals of Waigeo that are a photographer’s dream: blue-striped flagtail pipefish, pygmy seahorses, green turtles, giant napoleon wrasse, sea dragons and Indian lionfish. The snorkeling in this northern part of Raja Ampat is out of this world, and divers are often treated to sightings of white-tipped and black-tipped reef sharks at a depth of around 30 meters. The jungled interior of the island is quite difficult to access, but if you’re lucky you could see the renowned crimson Bird of Paradise, as well as plumed herons, frilled and giant monitor lizards and honeyeaters.
© Chris Hamilton
Separating the islands of Waigeo and Batana in central Raja Ampat are the nutrient-rich waters of the Dampier Strait. This area is known for its strong currents and dynamic dive sites such as Sardine Reef, Mike’s Point, Blue Magic and Cape Kri, and it’s loved for the dazzling array of reef fish that gather to feed in these waters, and the pelagic fish that in turn gather to feed on them. From pygmy seahorses to groupers the size of a car, shallow coral gardens to dramatic drop-offs, there is so much going on and so much to see in this ecosystem. Some experience is needed to dive the Dampier Straits, and our dive master and crew will ensure that you are properly briefed and comfortable with diving here. There are more than 30 dive sites in the area and they’re not to be missed; diving here truly is an exhilarating experience.
© Chris Hamilton
The water around Misool is so clear, while you probably won’t need to leave the deck of Dunia Baru to see what’s going on beneath the surface, we’re pretty sure you’ll be tempted because once you’re in the water, visibility here in the south of Raja Ampat can be as far as 30 meters. Remote Misool is world renowned for its dive sites and there are many caves, tunnels and channels to be explored, and species such as whale sharks, mobula rays, Napoleon wrasse, pygmy seahorses, Mandarin fish and the newly discovered “walking” Epaulette shark to be seen. The colors of the walls, corals and sponges are beyond beautiful; diving doesn’t get any better than this.