Papua Travel Information - Gam

Gam: Waigeo's Smaller Twin
Separated from Waigeo only by a very narrow passage, the much smaller but still sizeable island of Gam, which is big enough to be home to several villages, offers similar attractions to Waigeo itself. As it is still quite close to Waisai and home to several budget bungalow operations in 2 villages facing the Dampier Strait, one of Raja Ampat's most popular diving areas, it has become one of the most popular outer islands  with budget travelers to visit and to stay on.
Attractions Activities Getting There Accommodation Food
Main Attractions

The Passage

The narrow, winding passage separating Gam from Waigeo and peppered with small islets is an attraction in its own right. Quite apart from its scenic qualities, it's a good place for macro-diving.

Hidden Bay

One of Raja Ampat's gems, the narrow entrance of this bay is easy to overlook, hence its name. Inside, a long narrow channel with strong currents, coral reefs and many small sharks finally splits into two gorgeous bays both of which is a real maze of small rock islands and side-bays. An extremely scenic and atmospheric place to explore, though for coral there are better places to go.

The Western Bay

The larger, westward looking bay facing the Pef Islands in Gam's nortwestern corner may not be as unique as Hidden Bay but is very pretty in its own right.

Pef Islands

This small group of islands west of Gam is home to an expensive resort, and has many inviting snorkeling spots.


Diving, Snorkeling & Birdwatching

There's good snorkeling on the reefs along the Dampier Strait forming Gam's southern coast, and even the mangroves can be worth exploring for macro stuff like nudibranches. The bungalow owners can also take you from here to snorkel at Manta Point west of Mansuar, and if you want to dive, the dive resort on Mansuar is close enough to join its trips. The resort on Pef has its own dive facilities, of course, but is both more expensive and further for non-guests to use.

Gam is also a popular spot to see Red Bird of Paradise, with display trees known close to both villages that offer accommodation. Sawinggrai and Yanwapnor. Some other interesting species like crowned and Nicobar pigeons can also be seen on Gam, though overall, larger Waigeo has more variety.

Getting There and Around

By Sea

No passenger boats go to Gam, so unless you happen upon a village boat returning there from Waisai, your best bet is to arrange a pick up with the place you are planning to stay at. As the bungalow operations are in a corner of Gam quite far from Waisai, transfers here seem to cost 500.000-700.000 Rp.


Raja4 Divers Resort

This is the 2nd remotest dive resort in Raja Ampat (after the Misool one), and being that far out will be reflected in its rates, too. It occupies a rather secluded beach on the island of Pef, facing westwards to the open sea.


Gam has more budget bungalow operations than any other island in Raja Ampat, with at least three in Sawinggrai village and one in Yanwapnor. If you manage to get here without having committed yourself to one of them in advance, it pays to check out several before deciding, as location, quality and price all vary quite a bit. Note that all these bungalows are in a less scenic area of Gam than those shown on my photos above, though they are well-located for diving or snorkeling in the Dampier Strat, for visits to Manta Point off eastern Mansuar, or for walking to display trees of Red birds of paradise.


Food on Gam

Most people book their accommodation with meals included, but if you choose to cook yourself, be aware that rice and instant noodles is about as much as you can buy on the island.