Scuba Diving in Sardine Reef, Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua

Skill level:
Experienced and advanced
Best season:
All year round
Maximum depth:
72 ft/22 m
32-131 ft/10-40 m
By boat
If there was ever a place, called underwater paradise on earth, it would be at the Raja Ampat Islands. Located on the northwest end of New Guinea Island in Indonesia, Raja Ampat is an archipelago with more than 1500 islands, coral reefs and sandbars, situated in the Coral Triangle and surrounded by the majestic Pacific Ocean.

It is in all divers dream to visit this remote, almost unreal destination, as it is one, if not the one most bio diverse marine ecosystem on our planet. The humid tropical climate and the sea temperature, being constantly at 29°C/84°F, as well as the rich in plankton sea currents, create the perfect conditions for the underwater life to bloom and grow in magnificent ways.

Sardine Reef is the spot where divers will experience the full force of underwater biodiversity in Raja Ampat. This large off shore reef, is at about 72 ft/22 m deep and is among the best dives in the world. It is not sardines that you will see there, but an amazing variety of fish packed so tight, that looks like that there is not enough free space for you to swim.

Huge numbers of batfish,  packs of bluefin jacks and huge Spanish mackerel swim around you while schools of bannerfish feed from the strong currents. On the top of the reef, the impressively massive bumphead parrotfish, eat the hard corals and create useful grips for the divers to hold on to and rest from the strong currents.

As you go deeper, you will come across whitetip, blacktip and grey reef sharks that are waiting to ambush their pray in the bottom of the sea. Add in all these, the dazzling vibrant colors of the soft corals and you have divers heaven. Keep in mind that this location is suitable for advanced divers, only due to the strong tidal currents and remember to stay close to your diving buddy’s because there is a big chance to loose sight of them and get confused from the fish frenzy.

Note that the islands can be reached only by boat. Visitors can charter small boats from the Sorong harbor that will take them to the resorts. However, another alternative is to charter one of the beautiful yachts, stay on board and sail and dive around in the best diving spots of the area. Paradise is definitely here!!!