Waisai

Waisai is located on Waigeo island and is the capitol city of the Raja Ampat Regency. The town was founded only a few years ago and has grown quickly. Instead of the scruffy chaotic growth that hits other Indonesian cities like this, Waisai is organized, well-laid out and very friendly. The colorful houses and tidy gardens make this town known as “Mayberry of Papua” It also has a very special charm that makes it a comfortable place to relax and spend more time than you planned!

From Waisai you can stop by our Dive Center, right in town, or head to our Raja Ampat Dive Resort, just south of the pier.

The rapidly changing nature of the town is helping shape the tourism in Raja Ampat. Rather than spending a fortune on resorts, or being taken by the exorbitant transfer fees to homestays, more and more people are enjoying the numerous accommodation options found in Waisai. The town features hotels, homestays and plenty of adventure – but don’t expect luxury. This is still a developing area. This is a town still undiscovered by mass-tourism. Wi-fi is virtually unheard of and cold beers are very expensive. Yet is also features the fastest internet in Indonesia?!

From Waisai all your travel can be arranged, your banking sorted and souvenirs bought. There are many warungs, a few cafes and even a couple of restaurants. There are ATM’s and banks in the town as well as couple of travel agents. The “Tourist beach” is not a beach and is very…um…kitsch, however it does make for a very pleasant evening stroll and great sunrise photos as the flocks of parrots fly overhead.

The incredible natural resources of Raja Ampat – above and below the water – are all accessible from Waisai. Daytrips, overnights and liveaboards all depart from here. In addition nearly all resorts can be accessed from here as well. There are waterfalls, caves, massive bays, islands and birdwatching available from town. And that’s only the beginning!!!

The tourism office is incredibly helpful and has endless amounts of brochures and flyers for the different homestays throughout Raja Ampat.

Sundays in Waisai

Please note that Sunday is a very important day throughout Raja Ampat. Most shops are closed on sundays, many forms of transportation are cancelled and services may be running at minimum. Please ry to plan your visit and activities accordingly. Don’t be surprised!

Best Time to Visit

Waisai and the Raja Ampat marine park is open year round, with all services and facilities being available. Most visitors tend to visit around December and January. The diving and snorkeling is great throughout the year

History

Waisai was chosen as the capitol of the Raja Ampat Regency due to it’s optimal location, great resources and scenery. The town is less than 10 years old and is still growing.

Weather

Waisai’s climate is classified as tropical, and as such has a significant rainfall. Even in the driest month there is a lot of rain. The temperature here averages 25.8 °C and the average annual rainfall is 2640 mm. Between the driest and wettest months, the difference in precipitation is 164 mm. While the sun comes out most days, expect a shost afternoon sprinkle almost everyday.

At an average temperature of 26.4 °C, November is the hottest and driest month of the year. July is the coldest and wettest month, with temperatures averaging 25.1 °C.

 

What to do in Waisai

Activities

This is the adventurers paradise!

  • Birding – Birds of Paradise are found just outside Waisai
  • Diving – This is the capitol of Raja Ampat, the world’s richest reefs
  • Snorkeling – Perfect reefs and marine life
  • Trekking – Jungles, cliffs and hidden lakes and bay
  • Caving – there are dozens of unexplored limestones caves
  • Kayaking – Going where boats can’t reach this is Kayaking paradise
  • Beach Combing – guest kick back and wander some of the beaches
  • Hammocking – yes. We made that up. But it should be a word. Just spend days in hammocks on these remote beaches

Day Trips

Wicked Diving is the first, and only dive center in Waisai. We offer daytrips in the region for diving and snorkeling. You can book at our dive center, through local hotels and, of course if you are staying at our resort.

Where to Stay

Waisai: Sunset behind the jetty at our Raja Ampat dive resortThere are many homestays in the town, several guesthouses and a few hotels. Near the town are a couple of diving oriented resorts. In the surrounding islands there are many, many homestays as well. The prices in Waisai are quite low, with suitable rooms from $30/night. We can arrange accommodation at our dive center and the associated Homestay.

We also operate our own Dive resort just outside Waisai. This offers full room/board, diving and stunning sunrise beach 🙂

If you wish Hotel with amenities like Wi-fi, bars and nicer restaurants – please plan on more time in Sorong. If you prefer more authentic, then Waisai is the place for you.

If you are staying in Sorong before or after your trip – we recommend staying here.

Getting There

Waisai is the hub of transport for Raja Ampat. There are 2 large ferries that connect Waisai with Sorong. These take approx. 2 hours. The one departing at 14:00 each day is reliable, through it will depart a bit early if full, this one has both a common seating area and a VIP section. Tickets are between $12 and $25 per person and can be bought day of departure. The boat is usually full during major holidays.

At this time the Ferry Departs Sorong to Waisai Every day at 14:00 (2:00 pm). There is also a departure from Sorong to Waisai every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 09:00 (9:00am).

Waisai to Sorong departure is Everyday – EXCEPT Saturday – at 14:00 (2:00pm). Waisai to Sorong on saturday is 11:00. There is also a Waisai to Sorong departure every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 09:00 (9:00am).

Please be aware that times and schedules change frequently an without warning. It is STRONGLY recommended to have travel insurance that covers such changes.

There is a new, small airport in Waisai served by the petite Susi Airlines 16 seat plane. The following schedule is very approximate and only to be used as a guideline, not a way to plan your trip!!!

Please note: There are no scheduled flights during January And February 2015!

  • Departing Sorong on Monday, Tuesday, Friday at 8:30, arriving at Waisai 9:00
  • Departing Waisai Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 9:10, arriving at Sorong 9:40

Email: info@susiair.com

Sorong (SOQ airport code) Is the main airport to which travelers arrive to the region. There are many flights a day. While it is not suggested to book with the agents suggested here – it is the perfect site for finding approx. schedules – Skyscanner

Garuda is the only airline where one can book and pay with international credit card.