Wayag is the iconic picture that is used to distinguish the sheer beauty of Raja Ampat above the water. Even the political government banners advertise this serene place to win elections, which is rather amusing since the government suffer extreme anxiety from the local Wayag people. Occasionally there is an outburst regarding some mining inconsistencies and the Wayag conflictions cause its people to barricade off the park, it is something you need to check before attempting to make a visit. Below we have compiled three separate options allowing you a chance at getting to Wayag on the cheap, it can be done but you have to acknowledge that the islands are 4 hours away from anywhere, fuel is not cheap and the tourism industry is full of self-importance and therefore expensive.
1. Take an expedition to Wayag. For one hundred dollars per day you can join Raja-Ampat-Adventures on a 5-12 day sailing expedition. Deni’s tour departs once and month and encompasses Wayag and the outer western islands while making ample stops for snorkelling, hiking and waterfall viewing. Meals and accommodation is inclusive of the daily price. Expect camping or sleeping under the stars, expect beautiful sandy shores and expect lots of adventure.
2. Charter a boat to Wayag. Team up with ten like-minded travellers and share the 10million Rupiah cost for a day-trip. Give your name and number to the tourism office in Sorong (Le Meriden hotel) who will promote your expedition to other wandering folk or gather a cluster of friends from the ferry or a homestay. For one hundred dollars per person you can enter the Wayag Islands and hike up to the viewpoint for about 2 hours before making a U-turn and returning with a full memory card.
3. Find an equally beautiful and cheaper alternative to Wayag. Opt for an alternative and equally impressive natural display on Dapunlol Island. An overnight boat to the south-west island of Misool leaves Sorong at 11.30pm every Friday. It arrives at 7am at Fanfanlap or Pelabuhan 35 on Misool where you will have scheduled to meet ‘Aaron’, the only homestay owner of the island. The ferry departs Misool for Sorong at 1 pm leaving you to enjoy the area for 6 hours or an entire week, the choice is yours.
For a 6 hour adventure you can charter a boat from Aaron for 3million Rupiah, the boat can take up to seven people. He will zip you around the idyllic islands and take you to his newly discovered look-out site, the track to which he built four months ago. I cannot describe the beauty of the view from Dapunlol’s four point lookout, it is purely incredible. Dumpling forest-strewn islands sit atop of turquoise shallow water that is infiltrated with royal blue sink holes. After Dapunlol you will visit 5,000 year old rock paintings and make it back onto the ferry for its afternoon departure.
Price of ferry to Fanfanlap in Misool: 1st class (A/C frozen) cabin 400,000Rupiah; 2nd class (very snug) sleeper 200,000Rupiah.
Where to stay in Misool: Harfat Jaya homestay, Pulau Yapale, south west Misool.
Telephone number for Harfat Jaya homestay: +6281344353030
Price of Harfat Jaya homestay on Misool Island: 350,000Rupiah per night person including meals.