Indonesia is a country with a thousand islands. Well, it is not only a saying but a literal meaning. Papua is one of the biggest islands in Indonesia and Raja Ampat is the hidden gem of West Papua which recently draws attention because of its rare beauty, amazing diving spots and unique local’s culture. Unfortunately, asides from those Raja Ampat is considered a type of holiday required hefty budget.
Why Raja Ampat is So Expensive?
There are some reasons why Raja Ampat is so expensive. The first one is the high fuel price surely affects all aspects in the life of Papua’s people since Raja Ampat is consisting of small islands, so you need motorboats to reach those islands and motorboats needs fuel. Second one is Raja Ampat is still so virgin and natural, so the staying option is limited to five stars resorts, since only them that could open their business there. Third is probably the location, Papua is located in the west side of Indonesia and even the airfare is ridiculously expensive.
How to Get There?
How to get there is easy but the price you should pay is depending on of how flexible you are as a traveler. If you want to get there fast, the option is by plane via Sorong, from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia the airfare could be more than $500. However, if you are a flexible traveler you still have one more option which is by Pelni’s boat. By boat you only need to pay around $30 – $50 but you have to be a really flexible traveler (and you’re not a seasick type of traveler) because the trip could take more than a weak. After that, when you reach Sorong, you could continue your trip to Raja Ampat via express ferry for $10.
Where to Stay in Raja Ampat?
As mentioned above only five stars resorts available in Raja Ampat but you don’t need to worry because right now there are some more options of homestays available in some of Raja Ampat’s islands with only $20 – $40 per night. However, don’t expect something fancy because everything in the homestays is pretty basic. However, aside from the lack of amenities, the spectacular views surrounding you is the worth one.
What to Explore in Raja Ampat?
Raja Ampat is one of the best diving spots in the world and the pristine forests in the islands are good options for trekking and wildlife viewing activities. In order to save money, before you decided where to stay during your visit, it’s better to choose the diving spots or which forests you want to trek first and then from there you could choose the closest homestay to stay, so you don’t need to pay the expensive transport.
If diving is really your thing and you want to get the best experience of diving in Raja Empat, you could look some information through the homestay you stay in because some of them are offering a diving and staying in one package. The range cost is around $600 per week which is much more cheaper compared to range cost offered by the resorts which is $1,800.
If diving is not your thing there are so much adventures available above the water like kayaking offered by Kayak4Conservative that is offering you a guide tour as well as kayaks to rent.
Splitting the Cost with Friends
Perhaps splitting the cost with friends is the cheapest bargain you could get when visiting Raja Ampat. So, it is not recommended to travel alone because the cost you spend will be sky high but if you travel with friends, you could share the cost for the homestay, for boat rent and probably foods.