Backpacking Tips to Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat which means Four Kings is an archipelago located in West Papua. No more doubts, it is the best diving spot in Indonesia, even on earth. Raja Ampat has the most marine diversity. The position among two oceans, Indians and Pacific Oceans, with the suitable temperature accelerated corals growth. No wonder it's considered as last paradise on earth. The beauty and the diversity, added with the warm local people, is a must place to visit.

Raja Ampat name comes from a local mythology. Before, a woman found seven eggs, 4 of them hatched and became kings which is now known as the four big islands, Waigeo, Misool, Salawati, and Batanta. One hatched as a woman, and the other one didn't hatched. It's not easy to reach this top-listed diving site. Expensive flight and poor information lead to misunderstanding about Raja Ampat. Many people think going to Raja Ampat is very expensive, well, half true half not. I'm going to give some tips related on how to travel cheap to Raja Ampat.


Normally people fly from Jakarta to Sorong by Merpati Airlines. Cheapest one, around RP 3,000,000 for return flight and fly around 5 hours. But, I suggest you to take separated flight. Air Asia often give promotion from Jakarta to Makassar, normally cost RP 400,000 even cheaper. Then from Makassar you can take Merpati which costs around Rp 600,000-700,000. You can save more if you take separated airlines. (Since February 2014, my both favorite airline AirAsia and Merpati had stopped operating their flight to Makassar and Sorong, so normal price for now is Rp 4,000,000 for return flights  :(  )

Transportation Around

Actually Papua is not expensive as we thought despite of the price of gasoline can reached twice as Jakarta. Surprisingly the cost of transportation around is not so expensive. I took an ojek before around 5 kms and cost me only Rp 15,000. It's very easy to take ojek from airport or if you're in a group you can rent car for Rp 100,000-200,000 to the port. Sorong to Waisai can be reached by express boat (Rp 130,000) at 2 p.m. Journey takes around 2 hours. From Waisai, rent a car to your accommodation.

Beautiful people
Where to Stay in Raja Ampat

You can choose whatever kind of places you want to stay starts from homestay or resort. Because the title is how to travel cheap to Raja Ampat, then homestay is the recommendation. I think it's the better choice as well because homestays are located in the small island. Unlike some places to stay in Waisai like Arcopora and Dolphin (Rp 880,000/bungalow/4 persons), the ambiance is different because they're not located right in front of sea. Even it's near with WTC, believe me, WTC is very unclean. I really recommend you to stay in homestays such as Yenkoranu homestay, Koranu Fyak Homestay, only Rp 250,000/person including 3x meals! And of course, you can jump off directly in front of the beach and swim with thousand of big fishes even sharks! More information about homestay, go to this site, Stay Raja Ampat. In Sorong you can stay in Hotel Indah near Tembok Berlin (Rp 230,000/night) or Meridien Hotel just in front of the airport and also buying PIN (Rp 400,000/night)

Boat for Hopping Island

You can organize your boat with the homestay's owner. Normally they have their own boat. There are some types of boat in Raja Ampat. Long Boat is the cheapest one, then small speed boat fit to 10 persons, and the last is big speedboat can fit up to 30 people. The price range differently depends on the route you want to take. For example, speedboat hopping around Mansuar and Gam area cost Rp 3,500,000/day. To Wayag Rp 7,050,000/day. What if I go solo, not in a group? Don't worry. That's why keep asking the homestay owner if there's another people has the same activity, you can join them. Some homestays have a scheduled activity to go to some small islands. Like my friend, he only pays Rp 100,000 to Manta Point and around. If you want to rent a boat you can also call Pak Pandy : Guide+Speedboat Captain, very helpful : +6285243526835

Islands to Visit

Visit some villages such as Arborek, Sawingray, Yenbuba. Wayag is the most popular place to see what you see in google images  when you type Raja Ampa (3 hours by speed from Waisai)t. But when I went here, there's a problem between locals and government so we couldn't visit Wayag. Do not worry because there's a similar place like Wayag, named Penemu/Pianemo Island. You can climb three limestone hills to see the spectacular view of small limestones and colorful gradation. Be sure to wear shoes and gloves because the trek is not long but spiky. Hopefully, their problem can be quickly solved. For snorkeling, in front of Kri Resort is perfect, also Wayag. Corals might not be that good but fishes are so big and there are many of them. Manta Point is a must visit spot. Don't be surprised to see sharks around because they won't harm you unless you're bleeding. Teluk Kabui has a cave where there's still that unhatched egg inside. You can also do birdwatching in Waigeo.

spotted this cute turtle

Diving starts from Rp 550,000/log. You can contact diving operators in resort such as Raja Ampat Dive Resort, Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, Kri Eco-Resort, Waiwo Dive Resort. For your safety, better to go to that resort because some of other dive operators don't really have the real dive master.

Budget Estimation

Boat Express return : Rp 260,000
Stay+3x meals (4 nights) : Rp 1,000,000
Hopping around Island : Rp 200,000-700,000 (in case to Wayag)
Marine Entrance Fee (PIN): Rp 250,000 for Indonesian, Rp 500,000 for non-Indonesian
Transportation : Rp 100,000
See? How cheap it is.

Beautiful kids, God bless you all

Traveled in 12-16 October 2013

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  1. wawawawaw, new insight about "how to go to" RAja Ampat with Cheaper Price, i can't wait to simulate your flight route now :p

  2. what a beautiful life you have!! i always 'follow' you through your blog! can't wait to travel around Indonesia, but for now I have enough time because I have to work :(

  3. Yes, you should go Alvie !

    Thanks a lot for folowing me Meykke, I'm sure you'll have spare time for traveling =)

    Yes it is absolutely beautiful

  4. Ah keren banget jadi makin menguatkan iman untuk melipir kemari :-) tapi nunggu sponsor tiket dulu ah hahaha.

    Mudah2an tahun depan bisa kemari bareng sahabat2 pasti lebih seru. Thanks info murah nya

  5. Nice overview! Can't wait to go myself on a budget!

  6. Hi I'm from east Indonesia... your journey is very helpful really nice overview... thanks for promoting indonesia...

  7. this is really helpful.


  8. Wiii... I really need this information. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. gorgeous place.

    Do you have any recommendation about institution or local travel agent with backpack cost that can manage trip to Raja Ampat? I am trying to manage a trip with friends

  10. Hello Riangga, yes I got a friend who can manage backpack trip to Raja Ampat. Cost depend on how many person, normally it starts from Rp 3.900.000 for 4D3N tour, excude ticket. Just email me in if you're interested

  11. Love the blog. Can't make it to Raja Ampat as yet, but it is still in my plan.

  12. Thanks Orin, you have to, it's superb =)

  13. I can't wait to go to this piece of paradise on earth...I feel bad I couldn't make it before our departure but it's definitely on top of my list. TFS :)

  14. Hello Indah,

    sure, it's a must visit place. someday you'll make it there. =)

  15. Thanks for sharing this tips! This year maybe will go there #tengokrekening #bookmark :D

    You can also visit wisata di blitar :D

  16. Great tips and I absolutely can't wait to go and dive raja ampat as I've seen that it is the most beautiful place with a gorgeous diving experience.

  17. Ahhhhhh suatu saat pasti bakal kesini nih *ngayal dari sekarang :D

  18. Raja Ampat scenic views looks stunning. Thanks for sharing your backpacking tips too!

    1. Yes it is..Thank you for stumbling through my blog :)

  19. Ho! Thank you for the information
    One it safe to travel alobe there? (Especially for woman) :-)

  20. Velysia,

    After Greetings!
    Hope this message finds you well. Let me start of by congratulating you on the tremendous success of your website

    The information is so detailed and helpful. Maintaining such an informative site takes lot of effort and work. I thank you on behalf of all travelers.

    With so much love that I received from Arborek Tourism Village, Raja Ampat, Papua barat, Indonesia and being a responsible traveler,and As a token of thanks to the wonderful people of Arborek, I would be more then keen to offer the information about the island, accommodation- 5 homestay options and a dive shop,transport & other activities, if permission granted.

    This island is truly a result of effort and commitment of local people coupled with support from you all via online media.

    Looking forward to a quick and positive reply from you, As this would help the fellow tourists and bring more mileage to your website.

    Wishing you a good day.


  21. Hello there.
    Such a nice blog and I'm currently planning for a trip to Raja Ampat around Nov next year.
    Do you know anyone who can arrange for backpackers style travel? I checked flight yesterday and it costs around RM 2k. I need and alternative to it. Thanks :)

    1. Thankss :) You can probably check as they offer reliable trip to Raja Ampat. Cheers!

  22. wow, ini info berguna banget, tapi kayaknya emang cocok buat yg ngga terikat cuti kantoran deh, soalnya emang musti bisa flexible banget kalau yang namanya backpackingan ya..dibookmark dulu deh

  23. Thanks for this complete and interesting article.
    Raja Ampat is so amazing and big, so i think the best way to visit the area is the liveaboard boat. I know a cruise company in Raja Ampat that organize Trip from Sorong, and its not only dive cruise, they do trekking snorkeling kayaking etc… Reasonable price with nice wooden sailing boat. For more informations visit there Website

  24. bagus banget pemandangan di sana kayak masih asri banget, penduduknya juga ramah-ramah.

  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. Thanks for the tips, Mbak Velys, give me motivation to go there :))

  27. hi dear..
    i came across from another site telling about beauty oceans of raja ampat, honestly the place is very impressive.. i'd like to go to papua one day. thank you for your review about raja ampat

  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  29. waaaaaaaaaaw semurah itu kah ? :D

    Raja ampat is also my whislist trip ^^

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