Cenderawasih Bay, meaning “Bay of Paradise”, its a the largest marine national park in Indonesia. The area of the Bird’s Head Seascape known as Cenderawasih Bay, which includes Indonesia’s largest marine park, lies east and south of Raja Ampat, forming the eastern border of West Papua’s “bird’s head”. Administratively, the National Park is located in the area of Wondama Bay regency, West Papua Province, and Nabire Regency, Papua Province. While the diving is unique and the area diverse, Cenderawasih has become known for its resident whale shark population. More than any other phenomena, the experience of up close and personal encounters with the resident whale sharks are the biggest draw for liveaboard operators and their guests. Our experiences in the last three years, however, have proved that there is much more to discover about Cenderawasih. In fact, rarely are people still talking about the big animal experience on the last day of their visit. Cenderawasih’s charms are subtle, but they leave a lasting impression.

For any traveler seeking pristine land and seascapes, Cenderawasih satisfies on all levels. The entire area is unspoiled and almost uninhabited. Many of the best diving areas lie on offshore atolls; many are merely white rings of sand surrounded by an azure sea. Few humans venture out to the atolls. The nearest village may be 50 miles away, and the last diver came through many months before. Exotic birds fly across thickly forested slopes that ascend from mainland beaches and trap low fog and dense, moisture-laden clouds.

Cenderawasih’s unique geologic history has resulted in distinctive developments in fish and invertebrate marine species. The bay was isolated several times during the last 14 million years; scientists believe the bay’s isolation periods could total up to a combined 4 million years. Certain species have developed striking color patterns and others occupy different niches than on reefs outside of the bay. This means that even the most experienced diver will likely see endemic species that only inhabit these waters.

Yapen Island: Dry Yapen is an underwater seamount  that slopes to over 100 feet with beautiful huge soft corals and the reefs teaming with life. Next to Yapen is a large plateau with a ridge extending to the deep with single standing bommies and beautiful coral.
Pulau Roon: The Tanjung is at the northern tip of the island, a great dive with reef slopes and huge slabs of rock all around where we will find schools of sweetlips and fusiliers. Nembrotha nudis crawl over the walls whilst the sharp eyed diver will find juvenile rockmover wrasse and ribbon eels out in the sand at around 21m, 70 feet.

Pulau Auri has great topography and comprises of two large rocks and a submerged ridge. We dive the south end of this ridge at the smaller of the two rocks. On one side the rock slopes away and a craggy wall can be found on the other. The ridge itself is littered with huge boulders of rock, covered in soft corals and fans. This site is great for spotting giant moray eels and lobsters and up in the shallows we often find boxer crabs waving their pom-pom anemones at us in anger!

Kwatisore: Whale Sharks! The crew will spend a short while paying their respects at the local village and talking with the local Bagan fishermen then its all systems go! The population of whale sharks here is mainly sub-adult males and the prescence of a food source means that they keep circling around the fishing platorms, and our guests, before coming in for a real up-close experience. There is really nothing like spending 6 hours in the water with these gentle giants and get some great images to share with friends and family as well. A couple of hours north there is a great site called Tanjung Mangguar. Plenty of fish and with the reef covered in soft and whip corals, providing a great habitat for the resident fish and cleaning stations to attract passer-bys. Its not out of the question to see more big critters here and manta rays have been reported quite often.

Numfoor and Manim Island. This is a beautiful wall with coral surrounded by beautiful blue water with large fish patroling the area. Grey reef sharks, white tip sharks, barracuda, tuna, grouper, jacks, snapper and much more can easily be found. The fishing life is particularly incredible when there is a current present. On Manim Island there are more than 7 landing crafts from the war that sit on a white sand slope decorated with beautiful corals from 15 feet - 120 feet.

Best time to visit is May - October.



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  • I love Papua and the Kurabesi and the amazing hospitality of Bustar and Rani. I will never forget this trip and hope can come back. This is a beautiful project and hope you succed in your dream and improving conservation and ecotourism in this very special place. Please keep us informed and progress..

    Lisa Davenport
    Florida USA
  • Thank you for the best day you provide us with a great adventure that will stay with us forever. I hope to do many more and wish all the crew the best. May the winds flow you all and may you have many pleasant passangers and arranging adventure. 1st class adventure..

    Pauline O’Brien
  • Terima kasih untuk kurabesi explorer. Untuk crew dan semua yang bertugas di kapal. Saya sangat puas liburan dengan Kurabesi Explorer. Mantab!!.

    Irwan Wijaya
    Jakarta, Indonesia