I once swore to myself that I wouldn’t visit Raja Ampat unless somebody was paying for my trip. It’s just too expensive to get there, or at least that’s what I’ve always assumed because there is no information on how to visit the place cheaply. All the people that I know who happened to visit Raja Ampat always joined a tour, not really my type of thing! Add to that all my diving buddies always said that their ultimate dream is to dive in Raja Ampat and that a trip would cost more than $ 2,000, which in my opinion is a really painful amount of money and well I had my reasons. I just didn’t understand how come it costs so much to travel (and some dive) in my own country for 7-10 days? Why does it cost as much if not less to travel to Europe, the other side of the world, for more than 2 weeks? If people were willing to pay that much it made me wonder how pretty the place is.
Now I can say that I understand why. I was lucky enough to be able to celebrate 2013 New Year on Sawinggrai Vilage, Raja Ampat. It is such an unbelievably beautiful place; the turquoise clear water, ability to swim with Manta Rays, the diversity of the fish, the untouched surrounding and not to forget to mention: the amazing birds of paradise on show. A live show, but not in a theater.
Oh wait.. This was just Sawinggrai, one of the many pretty and unique villages on one of the hundreds of islands in Raja Ampat. The most iconic thing about Raja Ampat besides their incredible dive spots is the breathtaking view from the top of Wayag Islands. A 20-30 minute climb to the top of one of the islands around Wayag islands and you will get a spectacular view that never fails to amaze people. Enjoy for more pictures in Raja Ampat here.
The point is: it is not that expensive. You can do a 6 nights 7 days trip to Raja Ampat for half the price and you can do several things to make it even cheaper, such as staying in a local homestay rather than a resort, don’t go traveling by yourself and go in a group so you can share the costs of the boat (this is the biggest expense). Even if you think it’s expensive, I promise you it’s worth it, because the place is more than stunning. I will definitely be willing to pay for my next visit to Raja Ampat, because I really want to go back again and explore this area a bit more. If anyone wants to pay for me to go again though I wouldn’t say no. 🙂