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Waigeo Island is located at the northern boundary of Raja Ampat. Home to excellent drift dives, many Raja Ampat liveaboard dive boats choose to explore the exposed northern part of the island.
A gently sloping reef flattens out at approximately 30m underwater where white tip and black tip sharks can sometimes be seen cruising the blue water depths.
Macro underwater photographers are often rewarded with sightings of pygmy seahorses, a wide variety of nudibranch species, blue-stripe flagtail pipefish, and sea dragons.
Alert divers have also spotted green sea turtles, Indian lion fish, as well as a large Napoleon wrasse.
A shallow dive at only six meters, Manta Ridge is situated between Mansuar Island and Airborei Island in the central part of the Raja Ampat archipelago.
Perhaps the most reliable dive spot within the Raja Ampat marine protected area to see mantas, these graceful marine animals flock to Manta Ridge in groups of 5 to 30 to be cleaned of small parasites by Blacklip butterflyfish.
Undersea currents can be strong here, so divers will need to hook in to the seabed to avoid being swept away from the mantas.
One of the most popular liveaboard scuba diving sites within the Raja Ampat marine protected area, Kri Island is known as one of the best spots to see lots and lots of fish.
Schools of tuna and trevally can sometimes be so dense that they seem to block out the sun. Large numbers of bumphead parrotfish traverse the coral reef, banging bites of coral free as they feed.
Macro underwater photographers often catch a glimpse of a pygmy seahorse clinging to a large goronian in the strong current. Large fish species have also been sighted here including Napoleon wrasse, giant groupers, whitetip reef sharks, and occasional glimpses of 5 enormous Queensland groupers.
The coral reef at Yangelo Island is one of the most colorful dives in Raja Ampat. A beautiful hard coral garden shimmers in the sunlit shallows at the edge of a sloping channel.
Purple and orange soft corals cover the seabed on the descent where lion fish and scorpion fish can sometimes be found resting on table coral and brain coral.
Divers exploring the depths of the Yangelo Island reef are often rewarded with sightings of the wobbegong shark—rarely found outside Australia.
In the deeper water between Gam Island and Yangelo Island, the ‘Yangelo Pinnacle’ pushes up from the bottom to within only 6-7m of the surface.
This spire which is covered in hard corals is a popular feeding ground for large pelagic fish species such as dog tooth tuna, spanish mackerel and giant trevally.
The west side of Wofoh Island in Raja Ampat is home to one of the best coral wall dives in the marine protected area.
Plunging 30-40m into the clear blue water depths, the reef wall is a colorfully photogenic mix of colorful soft corals, delicate hard corals, and barrel sponges.
Schools of surgeonfish and yellow-fin barracuda can often be spotted here as well as the elusive unicorn fish. Large numbers of nudibranchs are ideal subjects for macro underwater photographers.
"Not a single day were we not blown away by the varied sceneries here in Raja Ampat. We were so greedy in seeing everything that even if three weeks with Papua Diving may seem like a lot of time, it was seriously not enough."