The Complete Guide to Cendrawasih Bay

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The Complete Guide to Cendrawasih Bay

Located on the east side of Indonesia’s West Papua, Cendrawasih Bay is the next frontier in remote diving in Indonesia. Cendrawasih National Park is one the largest national parks in Southeast Asia with 1.5 million hectares. Here, you will discover a variety of diving spots with calm and clear water. Start from some notable Japanese WWII wrecks, encounters with whale sharks and marine mammals to excellent macro. In excess of 150 species of fish and 100 species of healthy coral have been documented in Cendrawasih. Although there is plenty to see in this Bay, the highlight of any holiday to Cenderawasih is the whale shark experience. Here’s how to plan the perfect holiday in Cendrawasih.

How to get there?

Cendrawasih’s remote location and relatively new status as a tourist destination make getting there a fairly complicated process. The best way to reach Cendrawasih Bay from Sorong is to take a flight to Nabire and Manokwari or flying direct to Biak Island. From there, you need to join a liveaboard trip. Because the best way to explore Cendrawasih is on a sailing holiday.

When to go?

Arguably, the perfect time to experience this Bay is around May to October. Generally, heavy rainfalls may occur from July to August and November to December. Moreover, these months are known for unstable weather accompanied by currents and strong winds.

Diving in Cendrawasih Bay 

Cendrawasih has become increasingly famous as a dive destination over the last couple of the year. For underwater lovers, this bay is uncrowded dive sites and undisturbed access to kilometers of dense mangroves. It is perfect for spotting interesting marina biodiversities like mating mandarin fish, sea snakes, and even dugong. But swimming with whale sharks is by the far the biggest attraction. The best spots for diving with whale sharks in this bay are in Kwatisore Bay. Here, the locals have formed a unique relationship with these huge creatures. The local fishermen usually feed whale sharks to protect their catch. That’s why the whole bay is flocked with these huge and gentle animals. Other famous sites to dive with whale sharks in Cendrawasih alongside vivid coral reefs and manta rays are Purup Island, Ripon Island, and Wairundi Island.

Cendrawasih Bay is a liveaboard destination

This remote bay is a liveaboard destination. Therefore, the only way to explore this area is by boat. The liveaboard will get you to all the most popular destinations. With a liveaboard trip, you’ll be diving in the best dive sites the whole area has to offer. Besides diving, there is not much to do except relax in the Bay area. However, nature watching and hiking are possible. There are also some cultural trips available to visit the local tribe.

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