Meridian Adventure Dive : Local Guide to Raja Ampat Dive Sites Sauwandarek Jetty
Located in the southwestern part of the Mansuar Islands in Raja Ampat, you find a small village called Sauwandarek. The slightly dilapidated look of the village from a distance and the old structures surrounding the working jetty might not look like much. Still, this small village is home to a truly unique and incredible diving experience.
The jetty is located in a natural bay that protects it from the stronger currents known to flow around Mansuar, creating a perfect diving location and a natural haven for the marine species of the area. Moreover, the dive site’s proximity to the Dampier Straits’ strong currents brings with it the masses of schooling fish and a safe and natural environment for the turtle species that call Raja Ampat home.
The dive site is a gently sloping reef extending to the jetty structure’s east and west. The reef slopes are littered with impressive rock formations covered in colourful hard coral and abundant soft coral growth, from massive sea fans to anemones of all colours and sizes. The topography of the dive site is one of the most awe-inspiring in Raja Ampat. The dive site is home to an abundance of macro life. When trying to fine-comb the coral formations, it is possible to spot nudibranchs, pipefish, blue-ringed octopus, and even pigmy seahorses if you are lucky.
For those more interested in larger marine species, Sauwandarek is also the perfect dive spot. Often while on the way to the dive site, you can spot dolphins playfully swimming in the wake of the boat, and at certain times of the year, pilot whales could be spotted in the distance.
The dive site is well known for the turtles that call the reef their home. One such turtle is a massive green turtle female that has made the crevasses of the rock formations her home. Divers are often treated to her majestically coming out of her hiding spots for the perfect photographic opportunities. The dive site is also home to a large Bat Fish school usually found around the jetty. This group is known to buddy up with divers and playfully dart around them for the entire dive.
Just off the reef slopes, divers often spot barracuda or bumphead parrotfish making their way along the coast, especially at the turn of the tide—the perfect time to dive the site. The dive starts from the west or east, depending on the tide’s rising and falling. However, regardless of the starting point, you will most likely end your dive in the shallows around the jetty. Large numbers of smaller schooling fish eagerly await divers’ attention in this area. With abundant fish in such a small area, divers often have no idea where to look.
Sauwandarek Jetty is one of the best-hidden gems of the region, offering divers of all levels an easy but incredible diving experience year-round.
About Meridian Adventure Dive
Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.