Visiting Raja Ampat on a Budget

Visiting Raja Ampat on a Budget

A village and an island , small in size but big in heart, has gone ahead to win the the provincial village competition in West Papua yet again for the year 2015. The village of Arborek has gained an outstanding reputation among both the local authority and international community. 

Finding underwater beauty is not so difficult here.  Along the Arborek pier, divers can simply plunge into the water and instantly find paradise of fishes below the surface. People in Arborek are hospitable and very industrious, creating exceptional handicrafts from sea pandan leaves to make the most of their time each day.

Arborek is fascinating both underwater and in the village.

Known as the Arborek Tourism Village, the community is known for its handicraft in making hats and noken (string bags). Unlike most women in other villages who also give a hand to their husbands as fishermen, nearly all mothers in this village produce handicrafts for a living, as they feel that handicraft is more distinguished and more graceful work for women. This is a village worth visiting.

Only one and half hours from Waisai, Raja Ampat’s capital, the village of Arborek is awaiting visitors from around the world.


What to Eat

If you are staying at one of the homestays, they provide 3 time meals which include and not limited to fresh vegetables and fruits too. Please confirm the same with respective Homestays prior to your arrival

There are 3 grocerry stores to cater to your basic needs such as coke, biscuits, toothbrush etc . which are just 5 minutes walk  from your respective homestays.

No restaurant options as of now.

Sorong city has a major market , followed by Waisai, where you can get most of the requirements.


What to Buy

The Noken string bag is gaining popularity around the globe. Its significance is actually the attraction that people are looking for. In the local’s perspective, the noken is not just a bag. It is a symbol of good life, peace, and fertility. Only women can make a noken. It is all hand made. Men are not allowed to make these, because it symbolizes a woman’s womb.

And off course how can you forget a Manta Hat!


Where to Stay

There are 6 homestay options available. All are owned and managed by locals. Homestay. When you stay at a homestay in Raja Ampat, you will not share a house with local family, It merely means a budget accommodation. Namely :-

1.         Manta Homestay

2.         Mawar Homestay

3.         Arborek Homestay

4.         Mambarayup Homestay

5.         Indip Homestay

6.         Lalosi Homestay

These homestays have options of private bungalows to seperate rooms in a bungalow with facilities of 3 meals/day , dip mandi bathing, dining area and generator use during the night time to charge your electronics.

More information on the homestays can be found on


Ways to Interact

During low tide, when you have time to be among the fishermen’s wives, it is the best time to join them at bameti. Bameti is the local’s saying for hunting sea-cucumbers and combing the beach for other edible marine creatures.

In Arborek Tourism Village immersing into the fishermen’s simple lives is a pleasant distraction from calculating the limitless species of sea creatures. There are many marine conservation programs going on in the village. International non-government organizations are assisting the locals to improve their economy. Watch them produce handicraft, from making a simple copy of a cowboy hat or Mexican sombrero, to weaving intricate traditional nokens.

Play ball,fly kites with the kids, drink coconut water or simply laze around the sandy beaches.


Things to Do

Diving is ultimately the main reason why visitors come to Raja Ampat. There is no similar dive each time you plunge. Different experiences and different sights at different occasions are a guarantee. This is due to the fact that Raja Ampat is so absolutely rich and most diverse in its marine species.

Do not miss this in your agenda. When visiting Arborek Village, remember to snorkel or dive to see mantas. On a flat tranquil sea, you can even see the wingtip of a feeding manta coming out of the water. These mantas in the Arborek seas must be among the healthiest, because the sea here easily’ compares with a bowl of delicious soup of plankton for its marine life.

To be able to find the best spots in the area, you can contact the local dive shop named “Arborek Dive Shop” managed by a local family who will cater to your needs.

Various famous dive spot are only 15-30 mins away.

Day trips to Piaynemo,Fam Islands, Sawingrai (bird of paradise) can be arranged too.


How to Get Around

This tourism village is not too extensive in terms of size. The land covers around a 7-hectare area, so that it will not take much time and energy to travel around the village. There are around 40 families living in the village.

For snorkeling, you don’t need to travel far because you can find interesting underwater world even by the Arborek pier. Walking down the village trails will give you the very opportunity you will not want to miss, as people and especially children will warmly greet and get acquainted with you. 


How to Get There

The Arborek Tourism Village is located in Meos Mansar in the district of Raja Ampat, West Papua. To reach this location, it is easier to start your journey from Sorong.

There are several flights that you can take from Jakarta,Bali or Makassar to Sorong; e.g., Merpati Air, Express Air, and Lion Air. etc  For sea transportation(PELNI), ships calling on the Port of Sorong are the Dorolonda, the Labobar, Gunung Dempo, Sinabung, and Tatamailau.

From Sorong, you can take a motorboat from the Sorong Fishery Port to Waisai, capital city of the Raja Ampat district. There is a boat everyday departing at 2pm, from Sorong to Waisai and and sometimes twice a day. Please confirm the local timing

From Waisai, you can continue your less-than-two-hour journey by using a rented longboat

The longboat can be arranged via Homestay or the local dive shop.

Have a pleasant trip!