Spanning over 50 karst islands, Wayag epitomizes Raja Ampat and is sometimes called the icon of Raja Ampat. Nature has carved Wayag islands into a series of coves and lagoons, narrow channels and inlets, mysterious caves, sandy beaches, and jagged rocks capped by orchid-festooned jungle. Wayag islands are often featured in much of Raja Ampat’s promotional material for its picturesque scenery. Indeed, once in Wayag, it leaves an everlasting impression.
Remote and unspoiled, divers are surprised by the intense energy which the marine biome, teeming with life, radiates. However, Wayag hikers are not left wanting: hike up to an elevated platform on Pindito and be stunned by the panoramic view of the glassy ocean and stunning atolls. Wayag’s rock faces are craggy, so be prepared and have hiking shoes and maybe even gloves for steep climbs. While walking the beautiful beaches, keep your eyes open for turtle trails that will lead you to their nesting spots.
Located in the heart of Wayag Island, Pindito peak offers one of the most extraordinary views across the whole Raja Ampat. Cones of surreal rock rise like mushrooms from a shallow, green-blue sea that is fringed by turquoise lagoons. Sometimes referred to as “Wayag I,” Mount Pindito is a challenging climb and not for the faint of heart. However, those who have summited the peak know that the view is worth the effort. Have your breath taken away by the reflection of surrounding islands and limestone cliffs on the clear water.
Without a doubt, Wayag island offers unspeakable beauty both above the water and below. Still, it would be a mistake not to take a peek below the surface of Wayag’s crystal waters. Eagle Rock, for example, is the most popular dive site native to Wayag, which is named for its majestic eagles that soar and circle the rocky islands. Here, divers have the chance to encounter Sweetlips, Barracudas, Tuna, Sardines, Wobbegong Sharks, Reef Sharks, Bump Head Parrotfish, and the occasional Manta Ray. Aside from Eagle Rock, Black Rock also comes highly recommended. Here, colorful soft corals are in full bloom, and the vibrancy of Raja Ampat’s underwater life is on full display. Thus, Black Rock is especially enticing for underwater photographers and novice divers alike.
If you are a novice diver, Wayag’s Gate is a dive site that is not challenging as there is little to no current. At Wayag’s Gate, you will find incredible coral and even Manta Rays. However, if you are not a diver, you can still experience the wonders of marine life up close and personal by taking a trip over to the Wayag Ranger Station on the island. Rangers on Wayag are tasked with keeping the surrounding waters free of fishers and those who would harm the marine wildlife. Locals take turns by serving as rangers on rotations of two weeks each year, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to Wayag island marine life. Thus, just outside the ranger station, you can wade knee-deep in the water swirling with circling blacktip reef sharks undisturbed by humans’ presence. There is an incredible bay in front of Wayag Island, where you can snorkel with scores of harmless, baby blacktip sharks.
Additionally, if you feel the need to take a break from your many adventures, Wayag island features some of the pristine and undisturbed beaches that the world has to offer. Visitors can even walk on foot around most of the small islands that make up Wayag archipelago. Journey to Wayag and partake in all that the island offers: snorkeling, diving, hiking, and relaxing. Because Wayag islands are so remote, and no one lives on these islands, no ferries are available for round-trip visitation. The most popular way to visit this spectacular group of Raja Ampat islands is by liveaboard or chartering a private yacht.
8km (5 miles) from the northwest tip of Wayag lies uninhabited Sayang Island. It was once fertile land used by Raja Ampat islanders to grow coconut palm plantations and fish the surrounding waters. The island has now become established as a conservation area, and the health of its ecosystem takes priority. Think of it as an extension of Wayag Islands exploration for the connoisseurs. It is truly the next level of epicness in the most remote part of Raja Ampat. The soft, creamy beaches of faraway Sayang Island are now home to substantial rookeries of green turtles. You can only imagine the level of “substantial rookeries.” Turtles come ashore in march almost every night of the year, with peak numbers between April and June when seas are remarkably calm. The opportunity to see a 500-pound green turtle haul itself out of the water is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once in Wayag vicinity, there is nothing else than YOU and PARADISE.