Papua Travel Information - Mansuar & Kri

Mansuar & Kri: Raja Ampat's Main Divers' Magnets
The elongated, hilly island of Mansuar, together with its western neighbour, smaller, uninhabited Kri, forms the southern side of the Dampier Strait, Raja Ampat's most popular diving area. In fact, Kri is where diving and tourism in Raja Ampat started, as it was for many years home to the islands' only dive resort. There are more resorts now on the islands, and they have been joined by cheaper bungalows as well, and together these two islands probably pull in more visitors than any other in Raja Ampat. But as the accommodation options on these roadless islands remain isolated from each other they don't feel crowded at all, and the forested mountains  also help to preserve their unspoilt character.
Attractions Off the Track Local Culture Getting There Accommodation Food
Main Attractions

Cape Kri

The outstanding reefs off the western point of Kri Island must rate as Raja Ampat's single most popular dive spot, and are the main reason why this is where diving/tourism first kicked off in the region. Snorkeling is also excellent here, but the currents can be very strong - you need a boat with you all along!

Cape Mansuar

The westernmost point of Mansuar may have a less broad, more suddenly dropping reef than Cape Kri, but the marine life here is also excellent. And unlike on Kri, there is a village right at the cape, and its jetty provides an easy access point to the reef for snorkelers.

Manta Point

Off the eastern tip in Mansuar, surrounded by a maze of extensive, shallow reefs, is an area known for reliable sightings of huge, tame Manta Rays, often present in groups of dozens. This area, while closest to Mansuar, is probably just as easily approached from Gam or Aerborek. Every morning several dive boats visit this spot, so if you come at the right time, you can't miss it. Quite how many Mantas you will see, and how close up, of course is still a matter of luck.

  
Off the Beaten Track

The Interior Lake

For an inland diversion, visit the lake sitting among the hills in the middle of Mansuar. Surprisingly, the regional government built a concrete path crossing the island right through the middle, passing this lake, so this is about as easy as hiking, err walking, gets in Raja Ampat! Despite the concrete path, the surrounding rainforest remains amazingly pristine.

The South Coast

Continuing to Mansuar's south coast, you come to what must be one of the prettiest villages in the whole archipelago. A broad beach of perfectly white sand, shady coconut palms, and a village that still has several traditional leaf-houses.

Getting There and Around

By Sea

Though there might be a slight chance to catch a ride with locals headed for one of Mansuar's villages, most visitors will get here from Waisai on a transfer, typically costing 300-500.000 Rp, arranged with the resort or bungalows they stay at.

Accommodation

Dive Resorts

The Kri Eco Resort at Cape Kri must be Raja Ampat's most popular resort, occupying an unbeatable location for diving. Neighbouring Mansuar now offers cheaper resort accommodation in the form of the Indonesian-owned Raja Ampat Dive Lodge.

Bungalows

Seeing the money to be made from hosting tourists, Mansuar locals have also built several bungalows mainly on Kri, but also on Mansuar, and even on a small islet sitting in the strait separating the two. Those on Kri are most popular, and are closest to Waisai, but my personal fave will have to be the one in that village on Mansuar's isolated south coast, one of those bungalows that are (to my knowledge) not yet listed anywhere online or by the tourist office in Sorong, and unreachable by email or mobile phone.

Food
There are the usual small stores in Mansuar's villages, but basically all guests eat where they stay.