Scuba Diving in The Passage, Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua

Skill level:
Intermediate and advanced
Best season:
All year round
Maximum depth:
98 ft/30 m
32-98 ft/10-30 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 dreams 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.

The Passage is a unique and mystical spot, located in between Walib and Wayilbatan Islands. It looks more like a deep canyon, where the sea rushes through like a river because of the strong tidal currents. This incredible funnel is more than 98 ft/30 m wide, offering some of the best and most impressive benthic life you will ever see.

Currents rich in nutrients, feed an amazing ecosystem of micro habitats that live and grow on the rocky walls.  The soft corals grow close to the surface of the water and almost touch the overarching jungle trees. One of the most amazing animals that live in The Passage, is the Pygmy Seahorses, that are dressed in yellow, pink, white and orange colors so as to fit in with their environment.

Aside from the Pygmy’s, you will also find a wide variety of crinoids shrimps, squat lobsters, and clingfish as well as hundreds of sea fans and schools of yellowfin barracuda. The colors are dazzling  and will take your breath away as you explore this few meter deep fjord. Keep in mind that the current is strong, suitable for intermediate and advanced divers only.

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 in around the best diving spots of the area.