misool archipelago indonesia coral reefs snorkeling tour coral triangle

Coral reefs of Misool, Indonesia

Traveling by private traditional yacht with kayaks on board, we enjoy amazing snorkeling and sea kayaking adventures as we explore the pristine reefs of the Misool Archipelago in the heart of the Coral Triangle.

Photo by Ethan Daniels

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Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago: The Misool Islands

Snorkeling the Remote Islands of the Coral Triangle

Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago: The Misool Islands route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6395  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Sorong, Indonesia
Depart: Sorong, Indonesia
Lodging: 11 nights aboard yacht
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Snorkeling, Wildlife & Natural History, Sea Kayaking
Trip Level: Snorkeling, exploring by dinghy, optional sea kayaking
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Highlights

  • Snorkel the most pristine reef system in the world
  • Spectacular limestone islands, incredible variety of colorful corals, sea turtles, and reef fish
  • Travel aboard a traditional double-masted Indonesian craft
  • Trip Leaders Ethan Daniels or Lee Goldman, both marine biologists with incredible knowledge of Western Pacific ecosystems


A stellar trip! Beautiful snorkeling, great scenery—it doesn’t get any better.Jeanne H.—Orinda CA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

*Download a separate Detailed Itinerary for our Snorkeling Raja Ampat departures

Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago is a world far beyond the path of most travelers. This string of countless limestone islands with fringing reefs supports astonishing biodiversity—pink pygmy seahorses, technicolor soft corals, ghost pipefish, tasseled wobbegongs, hawksbill turtles, octopus, eight different species of anemonefish—the abundance is mind-bending. Aboard our 100-foot traditional Indonesian schooner with an expert marine biologist Trip Leader at our side, we head out into the southern realm of Raja Ampat, the Misool Islands, to snorkel in an impossibly vivid marine ecosystem, with evenings spent in exquisite and remote anchorages. This exceptional outpost of marine diversity astounds even the most seasoned snorkeler!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Sorong, Indonesia

Arrive in Sorong, embark aboard our traditional schooner, and head south toward Misool Island in the Raja Ampat archipelago. Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy consider this region to shelter the world’s richest coral ecosystems. It is the epicenter of the most diverse and healthy coral reefs on earth, and the profusion and variety of exotic marine life in these blue waters is unparalleled.

Days 2-3
Wagmab Island

In the idyllic setting of Wagmab Island, we slip into the water for our first snorkeling session, encircled by schools of bright blue-green damselfish and paired bannerfish. We explore hidden niches in shallow bays that hold rare shrimp gobies, octopus, nudibranchs, and “twilight zone” critters.

Days 4-5
Fiabachet Island / East Kali

We explore the coral reefs off Fiabachet Island, drift-snorkeling through a marine habitat of luminous fish to enjoy one of the ultimate underwater experiences on the planet. On the kaleidoscopic reefs of East Kali, we snorkel through valleys of soft and hard corals, watching colorful marine life such as lizardfish lazing on large plate corals and lionfish hiding underneath.

Days 6-7
Pele / Len Makana

In Pele, a small group of islands, we discover a true tropical frontier as we explore the calm waters near our anchorage. The islands of Len Makana bring us aqua-colored parrotfish, bright butterflyfish, and cryptically colored groupers inhabiting the unmapped walls and reef flats.

Days 8-10
Len Kafal / East Misool

Below the precipitous, craggy cliffs that make up Len Kafal, we slip into the water to observe vivid soft corals that come in all shades of purples, pinks, and reds. Schools of fusiliers and surgeonfish swim along the shallow reef, watchful of marauding jacks. Amid the craggy, limestone islands of East Misool, we explore the maze-like lagoon by dinghy, with breathtaking photography opportunities in every direction.

Days 11-12
Kabui Bay

At the northernmost point of our trip, we drift-snorkel through a wonderland of giant sea fans and soft corals, and explore caves and beaches. On Day 12, we awake in Sorong’s lively harbor, bid farewell, and depart on homeward-bound flights.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3, Moderate. It is relaxed enough to allow ample time for photography, snorkeling, and exploration by dinghy. On any trip of this nature, however, it is impossible to predict what the weather will have in store and activities often vary with each day. Because the primary focus of the trip is snorkeling, we require that trip members know how to swim and bring their own good quality, well-fitted equipment, including mask, snorkel, and fins. Try out your gear in a swimming pool before you go to make sure that it works for you and is comfortable. There is ample time for both scheduled snorkels and free snorkeling, and for the most part the water time is “at your own pace.” We will have a “refresher” snorkel in calm waters at the beginning of the trip, and there will be several drift snorkels (with some current) during the trip. We usually have two to three snorkeling adventures each day of one or two hours each. Our shore landings are “wet” (which involves stepping out of the dinghy and wading to shore). Kayaking experience is not necessary, and we have the option to use our inflatable kayaks a couple of times throughout the trip. The cook on board prepares simple and tasty meals, a mix of Asian and Western styles with plenty of seafood. Note: Vegetarians who do not eat seafood may find their choices somewhat limited.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2014
Nov 10-21, 2014  Diana Himmelspach

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$6395 (9-10 members)
$6795 (8 members)
$7195 (7 members)
$7495 (6 members)
Single supplement: $875
Forced single supplement: $500
Internal airfare: $695 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • All accommodations aboard the yacht
  • All meals included
  • PFDs (life jackets), and all boat safety gear

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare to/from the trip, internal flights, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, optional gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule or other factors, airport taxes, expenses such as immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $500
150 days prior to departure: 50%
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $500 per person
91-150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Traditional Indonesian Schooner

Sorong, Indonesia

Our vessel is a double-masted traditional Indonesian sailboat that offers the unique opportunity to explore the incredibly remote, unique, and mystical Raja Ampat archipelago. The boat was built in Sulawesi in 2000 out of Indonesian hardwoods and is 100 feet long with a 21-foot beam. While not luxurious, she is comfortable and well maintained. She accommodates 10 guests in basic cabins that are small but have individually controlled air-conditioning and electricity 24 hours a day. There are no en suite cabins, but there are three shared toilet/shower combinations on the boat. The boat is very sturdy and stable, whether still or under motor. The boat’s crew of seven is attentive, experienced, and helpful, and many have worked on the boat for years. Note: The boat has steep stairs/ladders from the double cabins up to the main deck (the restrooms and dining room are located on the main deck), so it may not be suitable for people with limited mobility.

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Diana Himmelspach

Diana Himmelspach, a native of Germany, discovered her passion for the ocean at an early age and has been diving for most of her life in locations all over the world, always fascinated by what she finds underwater. She’s been aboard Wilderness Travel's Raja Ampat snorkeling adventures since our first expedition in 2006 and has a deep knowledge and understanding of the ecosystems there. “Din” is also a keen photographer and writer, loves sharing her enthusiasm and experience both in and out of the water (she really knows her fish), and is a fantastic traveling companion. Her warm, friendly manner and consummate skills as a host make you feel right at home. And be sure to join one of her on-board yoga sessions!

Upcoming Trips:

Snorkeling Raja Ampat, September 1-12, 2014
Snorkeling Raja Ampat, September 28-October 9, 2014
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago: The Misool Islands, November 10-21, 2014
Snorkeling Raja Ampat, October 5-16, 2015
Snorkeling Raja Ampat, November 16-27, 2015

Client Testimonials:


Din was more than great as our underwater guide/teacher/scuba instructor/helper of many/friend. The trip would not have happened nor continued without her tireless labor and effisive personality. Barbara P., Chicago, IL
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din was very knowledgeable and a joy to be with. She is a natural caretaker and guide. Katherine P., Chicago, IL
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din was absolutely excellent in all regards! A gem! Peter B., Solna, Sweden
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din is an amazing individual, radiating kindness and compassion to everyone. She is also extremely strong, competent,and a superb guide with in-depth knowledge of the reef and its creatures. Deborah S., New Hyde Park, NY
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din was absolutely wonderful. I cannot praise her enough. She was cheerful, helpful, and more than willing to go the 'extra mile.' Anne T., North Vancouver, BC
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Misool Islands
Din was wonderful—beautiful, kind, helpful, talented in the water and out. Sherry D., Dillon, CO
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Misool Islands

Client Comments

A stellar trip! Beautiful snorkeling, great scenery—it doesn’t get any better. Jeanne H., Orinda CA This is a truly magnificent trip! Vicki J., Denver, CO Swimming in schools of fish and having a personal and knowledgeable guide identify the well camouflaged sealife is a lifetime experience. Learning about the behaviors of the fish, their interactions, and relationship to the corals made this trip especially meaningful. Carol M., Lafayette, CA
I did love this trip! The memories that were created will stay with us forever as a very special time. Jan B., Ada, MI A very enjoyable trip that I would have no hestation in recomending to others. The trip leader, boat, and crew were all first class. Malcolm T., Calgary, Alberta