It is no exaggeration to Raja Ampat being called “Underwater Paradise om Earth”. The geographical location of Raja Ampat archipelago in the hub of the world’s coral triangle has made Raja Ampat waters rich of marine biodiversity.
With average sea temperatures from 22 o-30o Celsius, the waters of Raja Ampat has approximately 603 hard coral species. This number represents 75% of total coral reefs in the world. Based on various studies by the world natural conservation agencies like Conservation International and Nature Conservancy, Raja Ampat waters were estimated to have 1397 fish species. It is not mistaken that the waters of Raja Ampat is also called “Capital for Fish in the World”.
Besides fish species in the marine waters of Raja Ampat archipelago, there are also 60 crayfish, 699 types of soft animals (species of mollusks) consisting 530 snails (Gastropoda), 159 shells (bivalva), 2 Scaphopoda, 5 squid ( Cephalopoda) and 3 Chiton. This richness has made Raja Ampat archipelago a group of small islands with verily abundant marine biodiversity. (Source: Raja Ampat Regency Tourism Profile)
The rich undersea life in Raja Ampat waters has made it one of the most interesting diving destinations for scuba enthusiasts in the world.
Raja Ampat is all about diversity – not only diversity of species, but also of dive sites. There are some areas where soft corals and sea fans dominate, others with amazing diverse hard corals, seagrass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs, drop offs, caves, black sand, white sand…Then there are the fish, lots of them, in more shapes and sizes than anywhere else in the world. Not only are there loads of fish, but all the levels of the food chain are well represented – from pygmy seahorses to top predators.
In many places brightly colored soft corals can be found close to the surface which, illuminated by natural sunlight, make these dive sites spectacularly colorful. The reefs in Raja Ampat just buzz with life!
Where to dive
Raja Ampat is huge, 50,000 sq km, with hundreds of islands and an astounding diversity of habitats, which translates to wildly different diving experiences from pelagic drift dives to magic muck dives and even some habitats that are special to Raja Ampat such as clear water mangroves with corals growing right next to them!
There are thousands of potential dive sites. Exploration is still continuing, and on every trip there are chances for new and amazing discoveries. Even on a 12 day trip you will only have a chance to see some of what Raja Ampat has to offer.