Join us on for an incredible voyage from Ambon – Raja Ampat. We’ll be leaving the modern world behind cruising through some of the most pristine islands & remote reefs in Indonesia.
Raja Ampat, meaning the Four Kings, is a highly protected, pristine National park and one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world. A freedivers playground, expect colourful walls, a fantastic diversity of fish, rich coral and marine life. We'll be exploring Raja Ampat's stunning underwater world on one breath, freediving swim-throughs, coral gardens, caves, drop-offs, manta points and jetties.
This is one of our favourite trips as it enables us to experience a variety of regions including Ambon, Banda Islands, Ceram and of course Misool and Central Raja Ampat. It’s a transit trip so at times we will be out in the blue with no sight of land only the hiss of the bow wave and low hum of the engine as we cruise along keeping an eye out for flying fish, dolphins & whales.
Morning pickup you’ll be brought from your hotel to Ambon port and welcomed aboard the vessel “Mikumba 2 “ your home for the next 10 days.Blog posts
After departing from Ambon we will spend the afternoon freediving, checking skill levels and generally helping everyone to settle in to their dives and buddy routine. There’s a great dive site nearby so we can spend most of the time here departing at sunset to make the overnight crossing to the historic Banda Islands.
The Banda islands once saw fierce battles raging over its highly priced resource Nutmeg but have more recently become a sleepy getaway for adventurous travellers. The Banda's have great diving in often fantastic visibility and encounters of large pelagic species are common including Hammerhead Sharks which are sometimes seen there at this time of year. Above water you will see volcanoes, 17th century forts and old canons lying in the street as you stroll by.
North of the Banda’s are the islands to the East of Ceram. Rarely visited we will spend a day drift diving along a shallow reef top ending in a spectacular site aptly named “Too Many Fish”. There’s also the option to dive a colourful wall with lots of barrel sponges and sleeping turtles. Our last trip to this area was one of the highlights and we’re excited to return.
Continuing North we’ll make an overnight crossing to “Misool’ one of the premier regions of Raja Ampat. You’ll immediately notice the breathtaking topography typical of Raja Ampat as Karst islets adorned with jungle tower above us. As Sea Eagles patrol above as we’ll spend a couple of days exploring not only the underwater world but also hidden caves, beaches or maybe trekking to a view point to take it all in.
Another highlight of this trip is getting to spend one or two days in central Raja Ampat, "The Dampier Strait” arguably has some of the best diving in the whole of Raja Ampat. Expansive coral gardens, Jetties teeming with life, mangrove ridges, walls and white sand beaches with beautiful sloping reef just metres offshore. There’s also a good chance to see, larger marine mammals and Manta here! There’s a reason Raja Ampat is fast overtaking Komodo as the most popular dive destination in Asia. We have many epic dive sites in close proximity so will choose the best on the day whilst still making sure we get away from the crowd and connect with nature.
Standard shared cabin $2645* USD per person
Master shared cabin $2870* USD
*plus park fees and pass $180 per person, flights & hotel not included
· 06.30 Meditation / Yoga or Sunrise SUP
· 07.00 Breakfast
· 08.30 Freediving / Snorkelling
· 12.00 Lunch
· 14.00 Freediving / Snorkelling
· 16.00 Snack
· 17.00 Trek to viewpoint for Sunset
· 19.00 Dinner / Beach BBQ
We are passionate Freedivers that have over 10 years experience of running freediving retreats in Raja Ampat. This ensures that not only that we know exactly where to take you, but importantly the ingredients that combine to make this a trip of a lifetime. We have many hidden gems away from the main dive sites and we are willing to go that extra mile to make your trip extra special.
If you’re an individual joining a scheduled charter you can trust that we are very comfortable managing group dynamics, our charters always flow nicely as we tailor each trip to suit the needs of our guests. We aspire to create a relaxed friendly vibe onboard where everyone feels safe, supported and are having fun.
In the water you’re well covered, our charters always have very experienced instructors to facilitate the freediving and all water sessions are supported by two speedboats that keep an eye on you and the conditions so all you have to do is enjoy being in the water.
Whilst freediving and snorkelling are obviously a big focus of the trip, we’ll also be facilitating a range of other experiences. Onboard we’ll be hosting regular workshops in movement , meditation, breathwork and, if you’re really lucky, maybe even belly dancing! ; )
Other activities may include, sunset treks, paddle boarding, scuba, sailing, skurfing, subwing, lagoon tours, or perhaps a visit to a local village or beautiful waterfall.
Above Below freediving retreats invites you to join with us, take a moment to pause, breathe , connect to this incredible ecosystem and in doing so find a deeper connection to self.
We have been using Mikumba II for a number of our charters and have found her to be a fast, stable and comfortable home.
She has a vast amount of shaded deck space, bean bags and a large saloon so finding your own private space to lounge, rest or read a book is not a problem.
Eight quality standard double cabins and two luxury en-suite rooms back up an impressive set of specifications for this vessel. In addition, the boat is supported by twin inflatable speedboats (crucial for safely navigating currents)—the boats and crew help ensure a safe, enjoyable, freediving trip.
We'll be bringing buoys for those who wish to line dive, and we'll be planning at least one night dive, which is often genuinely magical.
Copyright Above Below Life 2022