Wayag, the Picturesque Island of the North
Text and photos by Indah Susanti
Located in the northern part of Raja Ampat, Wayag Island is a must-visit destination while traveling in Raja Ampat. Wayag is surrounded by a cluster of uninhabited smaller islands with pristine beaches and crystal clear seawater, which are scattered like a maze around the larger island. The name “Wayag” is also used for many of these smaller satellite islands. Wayag’s stunning topside beauty is matched underwater by its impressive marine life diversity: colorful corals, numerous fish species, small invertebrates, wobbegongs (carpet sharks) and schools of barracuda.
The most stunning view of Wayag and its surroundings is from the peak of the island, Pindito Peak. A steep climb up a rocky slope take around 20 to 30 minutes. Once there, you will see the astonishing bird’s eye view of Wayag area. After climbing down from the rocky hill, many people cool off at the first opportunity. The sea surrounding the island is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
We stayed for two nights in Wayag because our liveaboard boat had generator problems. Despite the fact that we were actually stranded in the middle of nowhere without electricity, I thought we were lucky to be “trapped” in beautiful area like Wayag.
We did one night dive near to Wayag Island where we saw scorpion fish, lobster, and hermit crabs. During the day we dived a variety of sites including: Wayag Out Rock (left), Wayag Tua, and Wayag Out Rock (right). These dive sites were under small mushroom-shaped islands and during our dives we usually circled these rock islands. There was so much too see and so many living creatures. Impressive!
The marine life in Wayag varied from the very small to large marine animals. The smaller marine species like nudibranchs, orangutan crabs, flatworms, and camouflaged whip coral gobies could be spotted by scuba divers who paid careful attention to the corals. Fishes like groupers were varied and plenty, we saw numerous types of groupers such as coral grouper, blue spotted grouper and highfin grouper. The groupers often displayed bright colors, which made them an interesting addition to the colorful corals. Larger fish like wobbegongs and schools of barracuda were easily seen.
Wayag can be reached by a rental speedboat from Waisai, the capital of Raja Ampat located on Waigeo Island (around three hours from Wayag) or joining on a liveaboard’s diving trip just like I did. This area is recommended for those who love nature and adventure or those who simply enjoy beautiful scenery. Do visit Wayag while in Raja Ampat, its beauty will take your breath away.
Indah Susanti is an Indonesian who lives in the Netherlands. She often returns to her native country to go diving. To see more of Indah’s images and travel stories click here, Indah Susanti