Wonderful Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat
Among the wonderful Raja Ampat Islands, Waigeo is the largest of the archipelago’s four main islands. Waigeo is also known as Amberi, or Waigiu, located in the West Papua province near the town of Sorong. The three other largest islands in this cluster are Salawati, Batanta and Misool. On Waigeo is the town of Wasai, capital of the Raja Ampat regency, located in the west of the island.
Waigeo is home to a wide range of attractions. It is also the easiest island to reach by public transport, though exploring its full diversity still remains a challenge. Waigeo Island offers diving, rock islands, scenic bays walled in by towering cliffs, a jungle interior offering good birdwatching, and the cheapest accommodation options in all of Raja Ampat. All in all, it’s the perfect place to start your exploration of the Raja Ampat cluster.
Waigeo has a wild and jungly interior, much of which is still largely unexplored and inaccessible. There is a large variety of animal species which have made their homes in these jungles. The world renowned crimson Bird-of-Paradise is found here, together with opossums, snakes, tortoises, frilled and giant monitor lizards, plumed herons, and honeyeaters.
One of the most popular attractions in Raja Ampat is the deep sea diving and snorkeling as this is a location with an astonishing amount of marine life. Dive in and swim among the colorful fish groups along the coral reefs. At a depth of approximately 30 meters along the Waiwo Beach, you may get the chance to see white tip reef sharks as well as the black tip reef sharks that are commonly spotted sleeping and sometimes patrolling the blue waters’ depths.
Aside from diving, Pulau Waigeo has also been bragged as a place for excellent underwater photography due to its bio-diversity and exotic sea creatures. The list of species spotted include a huge variety of nudibranch species, sea dragons, blue-striped flagtail pipefish, pygmy sea horses, green sea turtles, giant napoleon wrasse, and Indian lionfish. There is also an abundant growth of corals and sea fans here that serve as homes for large groups of small fish.
The easiest way to get to Raja Ampat is to fly to Sorong from Jakarta or Bali with transit in Makassar or fly by SilkAir from Singapore to Manado and on to Sorong. Domestic Travelers can also fly via Makassar or Manado. Regular flights from Manado to Sorong are offered by Lion Air.
From the Jefman Airport in Sorong you can rent transportation to take you to the Sorong port where you will find several boat options available to take you to Waisai on Pulau Waigeo. The boat ride should take approximately 2-3 hours to reach Waigeo Island. From there you can hire a motorbike to take you to your homestay or hotel.