Before going to Raja Ampat
It is important to be well informed before going to Raja Ampat. It is a unique destination in the world and absolutely exceptional but very isolated geographically. It is quite complicated and long to get there. Tourism has naturally not developed much in the archipelago in recent years. And the logistics and hotel infrastructures are still very basic. Thus, it is essential to check that the conditions of transport and the comfort of the accommodations on the spot will suit you.
To summarize: if you are looking for a change of scenery, breathtaking landscapes, underwater fauna and flora among the most beautiful in the world, timeless encounters, then you will love your stay in Raja Ampat! On the other hand, if you are looking for a modern vacation with a gym and wifi, we recommend a vacation in Bali.
That's it, you've made the (right) decision to go to Raja Ampat! Now it's time to plan your trip to the end of the world. A trip to Raja Ampat is not like any other trip. The following list of information will help you plan your trip to Raja Ampat so that you can arrive in the best conditions and enjoy your stay in paradise.
What should I do before going to Raja Ampat?
The very first thing to do before going to Indonesia is to check that your passport is valid for more than 6 months after your exit date from the country. The entry visa to Indonesia is free for most citizenships and does not require any prior steps, so there are no other administrative constraints. You will find here the list of the 169 countries that can benefit from a free-visa-on arrival valid for 30 days when entering Indonesia.
Once in Indonesia, you can freely fly to Sorong, the entrance door to Raja Ampat. If you go for a cruise in the archipelago of Raja Ampat, you will be asked to pay a mandatory 250$ cash for the entrance fee in the Raja Ampat National park and the port clearance fees.
Indonesia does not present any major health risks. Nevertheless, there are cases of malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis in Raja Ampat. It is therefore advisable to consult your doctor before going to Raja Ampat who will advise you on the vaccinations to be done beforehand. These 3 diseases are transmitted by the mosquito. It is strongly recommended to bring mosquito repellent before going to Raja Ampat to protect yourself from bites.
Withdraw Indonesian Rupiahs before going to Raja Ampat because the only cash machines (when they are working) are in the capital Sorong and on the island of Waisai. So don't take any chances, especially since most of the accommodations in Raja Ampat do not take credit cards.
There are two options for keeping in touch with the rest of the world during your Raja Ampat vacation:
- When you stop over in Jakarta or Bali, take the opportunity to buy a local sim card from the operator Telkomsel. This is the only one that works if you want to stay reachable during your stay in Raja Ampat. In order to avoid the inconvenience of changing the sim card in your phone, it is best to have a second smartphone in which to place the Indonesian sim card. Packages including calls, SMS and internet data are available at any price. If Telkomsel is the best operator, do not be too demanding because the connection is often capricious.
- The second possibility is to contact your operator before your departure to get an international package. The off-peak rate would cost you a lot...
Except for the largest hotels, few hotels offer an online reservation service. You usually have to call them by phone to do so. Speaking Indonesian helps a lot.
If time permits, you can travel freely in the archipelago, from one island to another. But we recommend that you book your stay in one place and then make daily excursions to the surrounding islands.
Finally, a few days before your arrival in Raja Ampat, contact your local contact person and your hotel to confirm your reservation, especially if you have made it a long time in advance.
Last thing to do before going to Raja Ampat: learn some Indonesian words! The locals will be delighted to see that you make an effort to speak their language and it will be easier for you to create a bond with them.
What to pack before going to Raja Ampat?
Before talking about the content, let's talk about the container: the luggage for Raja Ampat must be light, robust and ideally waterproof because it could get wet during boat crossings or in case of heavy rain during your expedition. Opt for a large backpack rather than a suitcase, it will be more convenient to carry when you move from one island to another.
Once you have chosen your luggage, it is time to fill it! But then, what to put in your suitcase for Raja Ampat? Start at the beginning: the passport! Then, fill your suitcase with bathing suits, tropical mosquito repellent and strong sunscreen. Also pack long but light clothes that will keep you warm on cool evenings and protect you from mosquito bites. Bring your own mask and snorkel, as the ones you will find on site may not be perfectly suitable. It is extremely frustrating to have a mask that gets wet while you are exploring some of the most beautiful spots on the planet! A water bottle is also essential to limit your consumption of plastic bottles. Most of the accommodations offer the possibility to fill it for free via a water fountain.
You know everything, it is now time to prepare your luggage to leave for Raja Ampat!
We would be delighted to help you organize the trip of your dreams to Raja Ampat, this archipelago that we have had the chance to explore for a few years now. Write to us!