Answers to some of the most frequently asked question about Raja Ampat
Where is Raja Ampat?
Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo. Located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, it is the literal crossroads for the Indian and Pacific Ocean species, having the most remarkable coral reef biodiversity for its size in the world. Raja Ampat is located in West Papua, far East Indonesia.
What is the time zone?
Eastern Indonesian Time (GMT +9hrs). It is 1 hour ahead of Bali and 2 hours ahead of Jakarta.
What visa do I need?
To enter Indonesia, your passport needs to be valid for at least six months from the arrival date, and you need to have a valid return ticket.
Many nationalities are newly eligible to enter and remain in Indonesia without a visa for 30 days. Those nationalities not eligible need to obtain a Visa on Arrival for 30 days at the main entry points to Indonesia. Upon arrival, you need to go to the counter for Visa on Arrival and then proceed to the passport control desk named “Foreigner”. See the link for more information: https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/general-information/visa-immigration
What about Malaria?
Malaria is present in Papua. Although malaria transmission rates are currently low in the Raja Ampat islands, wearing repellent and appropriate clothing to avoid bites is necessary.
Why can I not bring any sunscreen?
It is estimated that between 6 – 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen wash off people and go into reef areas every year. Unfortunately, one of the main ingredients in sunblock (oxybenzone) inhibits the growth of baby corals and kills coral polyps. Even low levels of sunscreen (62 parts per trillion) can activate the algae viruses and completely bleach coral.
Therefore, sun protection is essential. We strongly advise you to bring sunscreen that does not include harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, and octisalate to minimise the harmful effects on the most biodiverse waters in the world. These sun creams are readily available in stores or online. Typically, companies will label their products as “reef-safe” but always check the ingredients to be sure.
Do I need insurance for traveling to Raja Ampat?
Divers should get the insurance that provides for emergency medical evacuation due to the area’s remoteness.
What if I get sick or hurt while in Raja Ampat?
There is a hospital in Waisai that operates a 24-hour emergency care facility. However, it is advised to use Sorong Hospitals for urgent emergency cases.
Nearest decompression chamber?
All divers can visit Raja Ampat and dive with peace of mind knowing that there is a hyperbaric chamber (also known as a decompression chamber) on the island of Waisai. However, the other chamber is in Manado, which means you will need to fly from Sorong.
Topography and depths?
Most reefs start shallow, around 5 to 7 meters, and have a gradual slope reaching 40 meters, while the average dive depth is about 10 to 25 meters depending on deco time.
What is the average visibility?
Visibility ranges between 15 to 30 meters, but a normal of 20 meters in most areas.
What is the average water temperature?
Temperatures can vary from 30C to rarely 25C, but a normal range for most areas is 27 to 29C.
How about currents and/or surge?
Currents make the Raja Ampat diving unique, and the currents can vary depending on the tide. Therefore, the dive guides should always check the current before a dive.
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.