A Beginner Guide to Scuba Dive in Raja Ampat

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Raja Ampat is the perfect place for Scuba diving. Ask a scuba diver where their dream dive site would be, and chances are their answer is Raja. Colorful corals, diverse marine life and pristine water will probably be some of their answers of why. Then you get motivated of trying it yourself and started dreaming of scuba diving in Raja Ampat, while only having several numbers of dives logged in your book.

Then a question pops up: Is it possible to do that?

Speaking of possibility, it is possible for a beginner diver to dive there. However, we have some solid arguments of why you should not.

Why You Should Not Scuba Dive in Raja Ampat if You are a Beginner

Safety Issue

The currents in Raja are unbearable even for most experienced divers. Training up your breathing technique and mastering buoyancy should be the priority to learn while being a beginner diver. Getting kicked by strong currents is not a good experience to have when one does not even know how to balance themselves underwater. This ending up being an accident will be more than likely the less experience you have in your pocket.

There is a chance you will damage the corals

Having a good buoyancy is practically the key skill for every scuba diver. Taking chances will only bring a possibility of damaging the corals and or reefs in Raja Ampat. The reason of why people make Raja Ampat on their top list is because it has a beautiful environment, and it is a great place for the marine lives to live. It is not only careless to dive there without much of experience, but also selfish for ruining the corals for future scuba divers to see.

You wont be able to enjoy it fully

Scuba diving with beginner level limits you to a maximum 18 meters depth. Meanwhile, most of the beautiful stuff that exist in Raja Ampat can be seen mostly in 40 meters depth or even more. This means that you will not be able to enjoy much of Raja Ampat. Sharks for example, are most of the time be in deep water and only come up occasionally.

So, let’s say that even after knowing those reasons, you still want to jump into Raja Ampat’s underwater so badly. Let’s say, that you want to know what it takes for you and how you are able to dive there. Maybe not now, but some day in the future? Here is your beginner guide to Scuba Dive in Raja Ampat.

Beginner Guide to Scuba Dive in Raja Ampat

Level up your Scuba diving skills

Train up your scuba diving skill. There is no other way around. If you are in Indonesia right now, you might want to start your buoyancy and breathing technique somewhere like Tulamben in Bali, where you will have from minor to no currents most of the time.  

Once you are getting better at it, Gili Trawangan is a good place to try to get used to stronger currents. Nusa Penida also has some unpredictable currents at times and could be in your list of places to train.

Take Higher level of Certification

As for certification, it is recommended that you take Advanced Open Water from PADI or an equivalent certification from other Scuba Diving organization. Not only that this will increase your skills in diving, but this is also usually a minimum level to be able to join a liveaboard to Raja Ampat.

Furthermore, taking Nitrox course could also be useful. Breathing from Nitrox tank will help you be less fatigued after a dive full of kicking currents compared to using oxygen tank. This will be very useful considering that the currents in Raja Ampat can be unforgiving.

Choose certified dive centres/liveaboards

Some dive centres are not affiliated with any Scuba Diving certification, nor are they certified. Scuba Diving in a certified dive centres or liveaboard means a lot for you and your safety. It means that you are diving with diving equipment that fulfil the standards of safety. It also means you will be guided by guides who are professional and certified.

It might not be a funny experience having a guide who does not share the language you speak when you dive in Raja Ampat. Marine sign language is indeed helpful, but you won’t understand much the pre-diving instructions using mere hand signs.

This is exactly why you should plan your diving trip with DUNE. We have professional guides who are available on Chinese, English, French, Spanish and even Indonesian. Checkout our Raja Ampat trip.

In conclusion

Though dangerous, it is actually possible to scuba dive in Raja Ampat as a beginner diver (Do not take our words for it) and maybe even do your courses there. However, you will not be able to fully enjoy what Raja Ampat has to offer to you. Instead, you will have to dive into sites that are beginner friendly where there is not much going on, where you will stay at maximum 18 meters depth and could not enjoy much the true beauty of what people call “The heaven on earth”.

Furthermore, the currents in Raja Ampat are exceptionally strong and unpredictable. It means when you are down there, it will feel like they are coming from every direction all at once. This is not supposed to be faced by Scuba Divers with beginner level.

Training your breathing technique and mastering your buoyancy is far more important. Keep at it, and you will be ready to go to Raja Ampat in no time.