Misool and the surrounding southernmost islands of Papua’s Raja Ampat provide the
destination for our journey to the center of the “Coral Triangle,” one of the richest and
most remote centers of marine biodiversity on the planet. Dozens of limestone islands
lie scattered through the archipelago, offering dreamlike scenery and fantastic coral
reefs. We delve into this underwater world on an exhilarating snorkeling odyssey with
With our veteran marine biologist and Trip Leader, either Ethan Daniels or Lee
Goldman. Journeying far beyond the path of most travelers, our traditional Indonesian
100-foot yacht brings us to this spectacular and seldom-visited realm. On our daily
snorkeling adventures, we discover vertical walls of living organisms existing in a
complex and chaotic food web, some vivid and swimming, others fascinatingly
grotesque and still. Misool’s cobalt waters support pink pygmy seahorses, technicolor
soft corals, ghost pipefish, dark caves, and tassled wobbegongs disguised as the sea
floor. Hawksbill turtles, bannerfish, octopus, cuttlefish, crocodilefish, scorpionfish,
lionfish, nudibranches, sea stars, sponges…the extravagant latticework of bizarre
invertebrates, fish, and reptiles is truly mind-bending. We explore this idyllic realm of
untouched islands and lagoons on world-class snorkeling adventures through vivid
marine ecosystems, with fascinating daily talks on the coral reef ecology and marine
biodiversity of Misool, and evenings in the most beautiful anchorages imaginable.
Following the footsteps of famed naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace, who
explored these remote Indo-Pacific islands in 1860, we encounter a mysterious frontier,
with a staggering abundance of marine life including species that have yet to be
cataloged or even seen. This is a true expedition to a magical world!
This trip is Level 3 Moderate: It is relaxed enough to allow ample time for photography, snorkeling, exploration by dinghy, and beachcombing. On any trip of this nature, however, it is impossible to predict what the weather will have in store and activities often vary with each day. Because the primary focus of the trip is snorkeling, we require that trip members know how to swim, and we strongly recommend you bring your own good quality, well-fitted equipment with you, including mask, snorkel, and fins. Try out your gear in a swimming pool before you go to make sure that it works for you and is comfortable. There is ample time for both scheduled snorkels and free snorkeling, and for the most part the water time is “at your own pace.” We will have a “refresher” snorkel in calm waters at the beginning of the trip, and there will be several drift snorkels (with some current) during the trip. We usually have two to three snorkeling adventures each day, and we also have shore excursions on various islands with optional hikes. Our shore landings are either “dry” (where there are rocks or wooden piers to step onto when you disembark from the dinghy) or “wet” (which involves stepping out of the dinghy and wading to shore). Kayaking experience is not necessary, and we have the option to use our inflatable kayaks on a few occasions throughout the trip. The cook on board prepares simple and tasty meals, a mix of Indonesian and Western styles with plenty of seafood. Note: Vegetarians who do not eat seafood may find their choices somewhat limited.
Note: We will book your round-trip domestic flights between Jakarta and Sorong. Because flights depart
Jakarta for Sorong in the early morning of Day 1, we highly recommend that you arrive in Jakarta one day
prior to the start of the trip. We can recommend a convenient hotel in Jakarta for your pre-trip night (hotel
cost not included).
Please be aware that this itinerary is designed to be flexible. Although we will visit all the places listed on
the itinerary, we rarely follow the schedule below exactly because of weather, tides, preferences of trip
members, and other factors. Come prepared to be flexible!.