Set in the heart of the famed Coral Triangle, Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago is an amazing world few travelers ever get to experience. The snorkeling here is world-class, in an underwater kingdom of extravagant coral reefs that support astonishing species—technicolor soft corals, ghost pipefish, tasseled wobbegongs, hawksbill turtles, octopus, eight different species of anemonefish—the diversity is absolutely mind-bending! Topside, you’ll relish a realm of dramatic limestone islands, dazzling aquamarine lagoons, and rare birds, including the red bird of paradise. Our mother ship, a 100-foot Indonesian schooner, makes a comfortable home base, and your evenings are spent in exquisite and remote anchorages savoring the utterly unspoiled beauty of your surroundings.
Thank you, Wilderness Travel, for putting together this wonderful experience. Our trip leaders made every minute count. We appreciated all the planning it took to juggle the tides, the winds, and the calendar to make sure we immersed in as many habitats as possible.
— Hilary M., Boulder, CO
Sorong / Penemu / Waigeo / Uranie Islands
Boarding our yacht in Sorong, we cruise into the heart of Raja Ampat, one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world. Each snorkel around the limestone isle of Penemu reveals a brilliant spectrum hidden beneath the sea surface, from frogfish and opulent lionfish to the tasseled wobbegong shark. From our North Waigeo anchorage, you’ll snorkel amid the rich Alyui reefs, and on Uranie Island, visit a spectacular beach-lined bay and hike to the summit for a 360-degree view of lush jungle-covered islands. The avian life is wonderful—lorikeets, parrots, kingfishers, eagles, and hornbills are commonly seen here, and you’ll awake each dawn to a chorus of bird calls. Each evening we anchor in a serene setting of turquoise waters and green islands and watch for manta rays feeding around our boat.
Wayag Island / Gam Island
At Wayag, a stunning island of jungle-covered rock outcrops, we snorkel through mangroves and among schools of silver sardines and juvenile reef fish. Search for hawkbill turtles feeding on jellies at Gam Island and enjoy fabulous drift snorkeling near Manta Point. On an island hike, look for the red bird of paradise, first made known to the Western world by pioneering naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who made his famous voyage here in 1860. Depart on Day 12 via Sorong.