After a full year of quarantine due to the pandemic, I finally travelled to recharge myself. Airline tickets dropped drastically, making me even more passionate about it. My friend, Yuni, came up with the idea to join a trip to Raja Ampat. Wow, why didn’t I think of that before?
The flight ticket had a similar price to Europe before. While it was going down, Yuni and I immediately called a friend who can help us travel there.
His name is Esau. He introduced us to some tours in West Papua – from Saprokren, Arborek, Piaynemo, Sawaundarek, Batanta Island, to Mayalibit Bay.
Note that the travel cost below may be different from the tour in general due to pandemic conditions. I will review each destination more fully separately. Please wait for another article!
Day 1, 5 February 2021 – Pelabuhan Sorong, Waisai
It is an unplanned trip. We just bought the ticket in January and travelled a month later. So, it could be cheaper if you buy it in advance. We intentionally chose a night flight, because we had to catch a boat at Sorong Harbor (in bahasa Pelabuhan Sorong).
This port only provides two departure times: at 09.00 WIT for Bahari Express (equipped with AC and takes only 2-3 hours cruise) and at 14.00 WIT for Fajar Baru (without AC and takes about 4-5 hours to Raja Ampat).
The first day we spent resting. Usually, you can find hostels in Waisai for IDR 300,000-IDR 500,000 per night, whether it’s booking through Traveloka, Booking.com, or paying on the spot.
However, before night fell, we visited WTC (Waisai Torang Cinta) Beach to see the first sunset in Raja Ampat. Even though it is close to the city, the atmosphere of WTC Beach is still very well maintained and clean. It’s perfect if you want to enjoy the sea in a busy city.
Day 2, 6 February 2021 – Saporkren, Putras Resort
On the second day, we started “warming up” by visiting several nearby destinations. One of them is Saporkren Village. It’s famous for its forest nature which allows us to see the birds of paradise, Cenderawasih.
Unfortunately, we came at the wrong time, so we failed to meet them and continued our trip to Putras Resort. Here you can snorkel while waiting for the sunset to arrive.
Day 3, 7 February 2021 – Arborek
Arborek was our first destination to see Raja Ampat marine tourism. The location is quite far from Waisai; it takes at least one or two hours by speed boat. That’s why we rented a homestay for a night in Arborek.
We stay at Kayayof Homestay. It has a sea terrace and the best sunset spot! Also, get ready to enjoy a stretch of white sand and crystal clear water. Even though it was only one night, it felt like this tourist village made the most impression on me during my trip: I went scuba diving in the open ocean for the very first time!
It usually is impossible to do activities under the sea without a license. We had this chance to explore at Arborek Diving Shop. Moreover, you will get basic training before plunging into the sea.
Day 4, 8 February 2021 – Gam Island, Piaynemo, Telaga Bintang
Waking up in the morning, we immediately rushed to Gam Island to go birdwatching (again). Cenderawasih is known for its majestic appearance, beautiful voice, and fascinating dancing. Unfortunately, it is labeled as endangered species, so being able to see them is very special.
Well, what is there to say? We failed again LOL. Thus, we decided to continue our journey to Taman Asmara, still located in the Sawingrai Village area. Developed by Ministry of Tourism, here you can find photo spots with views of Gam Islands. To get here, you need to trek for about 15 minutes to reach a wood gazebo.
Next, we harboured at Piaynemo! Being named “Little Wayag”, according to many travelers, Piaynemo must enter your travel list when you visit Waigeo. To reach the top of Piaynemo, I need to climb 320 stairs. The weather is quite hot, but there are many shade trees to cool you down.
Once you visit Piaynemo, don’t forget to stop at Telaga Bintang! It just takes 5 minutes on boat. Like Piaynemo, Telaga Bintang is a karst rock hill on the turquoise water. The difference is its star-like shape.
Day 5, 9 February 2021 – Sauwandarek, Batanta Island, Bat Island, Waisai
The sun went down, and we decided to stay at Sauwandarek. FYI, you’ll enter the electric ‘dead zone’ on this island every 06.00-18.00.
We started the day with a refreshing snorkel. Fish species in Sauwandarek are various. Right on edge, you can play with baby sharks. I was reminded of how beautiful Taka Makassar sea is in Labuan Bajo.
After snorkeling, we pulled away for breakfast then continued our journey to Batanta. What to find at Batanta? You should visit Batanta Waterfall or commonly known by the locals as Warinkabom Waterfall. In their language, war means “water” and inkabom means “widow”. Before entering the tourist attractions, we were first stopped by Arefi to pay approximately IDR200,000 per one-speed boat.
To get to Warinkabom, we have to go trekking into the forest. The trek is quite challenging, so make sure to wear appropriate shoes and bring a waterproof bag. Good to know there are natural swimming spots near the waterfall. We spent about 2 hours there.
Next, it’s time to catch the sunset on Bat Island! If previously there was no signal, you can use your phone on this island. Our trip ended at Waisai. We rest here for a while because tomorrow there is still Kalibiru waiting to be explored!
Day 6, 10 February 2021 – Kalibiru
Even though it’s on the last list, I guarantee that Kalibiru will make you want to come back to Raja Ampat! It is located near the Warsambin Village around Mayalibit Bay. The good news for us, travelling to Kalibiru is not as extreme as other places. Plus, we only need trekking for about 15 minutes into the entrance gate.
As the name implies, Kalibiru is a small river with crystal blue water flowing in the middle of Waisai Forest. The water is very cold – the temperature itself could reach 10-20 degrees Celsius.
Day 7, 11 February 2021 – Pelabuhan Sorong
The seventh day, our last day in Raja Ampat. We were busy to pack up stuffs. The trip still continued in Sorong, but I will only explain the budget and itinerary at Raja Ampat. You can find the story of my trip to Sorong in the following article.
From the first to the seventh day, how much budget do I prepare for this trip? Here’s the detailed information you should know:
- Return tickets IDR 3,800,000
- Boat and fuel IDR7,400,000
- Bahari Express, shuttle fee IDR 300.000
- Motorbike rental, fuel, parking IDR300,000
- Hostels (includes meals) IDR 2,400,000
- Diving IDR750.000
- Tourist attraction tickets IDR750.000
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
- The more people come through, the cheaper cost of fuel we get.
- Book flight tickets in advance. You’ll be surprised to see the low-priced!
- We recommend visiting Raja Ampat in February-April, considering the south wind in July-August is quite ‘fierce’.
- Almost all treks are risky. Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothes and non-slip shoes.
Compared to other tours, the cost is affordable. I’ve even found a trip for IDR25,000,000. It’s possible because I went with locals too.
Looking at the itinerary and budgets above, are you interested in visiting Raja Ampat? As I said before, the travel expense will be more affordable if you take a vacation with a share cost. So, if I intend to open an open trip to Raja Ampat next time, are you interested in joining? Give your opinion in the comment!