Indonesia in general is a perfect place with all-year-round good weather, yet here are some of its peculiarities.Traditionally, the season at Raja Ampat is between October and April. This is the time with the least amount of precipitation, wind, and choppy waters. This is also the Manta rays season here, so if you love relaxing and comfortable conditions, welcome to Raja Ampat.
The rainy or wet season comes here twice a year: November-December and July-August. These months collect the biggest amounts of rain, so may not be the most pleasant for liveaboard diving. However, if you cannot change your dates, you can move your itinerary to Cenderawasih Bay to spend time with whale sharks.
Water temperature is more or less constant throughout the year here and varies between 28℃ and 30℃ (82-86℉). In terms of visibility Raja Ampat is always unpredictable, and you cannot fit your itinerary into some precise “best dates”. In case you have never been here before, it is advised to choose round trip within Raja Ampat to ensure that even in the South, for instance, you caught bad visibility, then the next day in the North will compensate it to the full.
Liveaboard diving vacation in Raja Ampat: read before you go
First and foremost ensure that you have a valid passport of at least 6 months validity and one blank page for the free visa to Indonesia. Secondly, when booking your trip ensure that you provide your passport information to the diving operator no less than 2 weeks to the departure because the Indonesian National Park Authority requires this information to process diving permit. If you fail to complete this procedure, you may be denied permission to dive.
Depending on your itinerary, you will visit different ports and parks, there are additional fees applicable to them. Depending on the boat those fees may be paid on board in cash or in advance, you will find this information in the trip and price details. If paid on board, make sure that you have these money in cash when planning your Raja Ampat liveaboard budget. Keep in mind that you will also have to pay departure taxes in local currency, Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), so have some money with you. These payments can be made only in local currency: the Bali Airport Domestic Tax (DPS) is 40,000 Rupiahs (around $3); Bali Airport International Tax is 200,000 Rupiahs (around $15).
It is also advised to have a reef hook and inflatable sausage for dive sites with strong currents. Dive computers are mandatory for every guest on board of Raja Ampat liveaboard trips and they must be used only individually.