How to go to Raja Ampat?
The last paradise on earth requires a long journey to be reached. Find below the different stages of the trip to get to Raja Ampat. It is an adventure before the adventure!
1. Entering Indonesia
First of all, for international travelers, you need to enter Indonesia. There are 2 ports of entry into Indonesia for international flights: either Jakarta on the island of Java, or Denpasar on the island of Bali.
2. Reaching Sorong, West Papua Province
The town of Sorong in West Papua is the port of entry to Raja Ampat.
If you continue your journey from Jakarta or Bali to Sorong, you will have to take 1 or 2 additional flights.
Indeed, from Jakarta, there are very few direct flights to Sorong. Most airlines fly via Makassar, Sulawesi. Count on a journey of 6 to 7 hours for the shortest route to Sorong from Jakarta.
From Bali, there are unfortunately no direct flights to Sorong yet. You will have to stop over in Makassar in Sulawesi and take another flight to Sorong. It takes about 8-9 hours to get to Sorong from Bali.
3. From Sorong airport to Raja Ampat
When you land in Sorong, you have not yet arrived in Raja Ampat. The journey must continue a little longer until you enter Paradise. It depends on the type of Raja Ampat vacation you are heading for.
If you have booked a Raja Ampat cruise, this third leg is the last leg of your journey to Raja Ampat. Since most cruises depart directly from Sorong Port, all you have to do is take a cab from Sorong Airport to Sorong Port. After a 15-minute drive, you can finally board your boat and begin your cruise to Raja Ampat!
If you have booked a stay at a resort, most of them offer a boat shuttle service directly from Sorong port to your accommodation. You should think about arranging this at the same time as your booking. Otherwise, you will have to continue your journey for a few more hours.
If you have booked a homestay or if you have not arranged a pick-up from Sorong with your resort, here are the last steps of your trip: go to Sorong port by cab (15 minutes from the airport, 100,000 rp per car). There, book a public ferry ticket to Waisai at the ticket office right next to the pier. Count 215000rp per person for a one-way trip. Every morning at 9am and every afternoon at 2pm the ferry departs and starts a 2-hour crossing to Waisai Port on Waigeo Island. The port of Waisai is the hub of Raja Ampat. Most of the goods and travelers entering Raja Ampat pass through it.
4. From Waisai to your accommodation:
Next, from Waisai, you should arrange a transfer with your accommodation. Remember to do this when you make your reservation and confirm it shortly before your trip to Raja Ampat. It is generally by motorized dugout canoe that you will be picked up to take you to your accommodation. The duration of this last leg of the trip depends on where you have chosen to stay. Some islands are more remote than others.
In conclusion: it represents dozens of hours of travel to go to Raja Ampat but it is worth it.