Raja Ampat weather

April storm rolls in over the sandbanks between Kri and Mansuar

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What’s the best time of year to visit Raja Ampat?

  • October to April, with best chance of perfect conditions from mid-October to mid-December

Jump to current conditions and 5 day Raja Ampat weather forecast

Raja Ampat climate statistics are based on long term observations taken at Sorong on the West Papua mainland. The Sorong averages don’t necessarily apply throughout the islands, as many (especially the big 4 of Waigeo, Misool, Salawati and Batanta) have microclimates that vary substantially from that of Sorong. There’s also a surprising variation in local weather conditions. It’s not unusual for example, to spend a beautiful sunny day on Gam, all the while watching stormclouds pour rain onto the Waigeo highlands a few kilometres away on the other side of the bay.

Temperature

Raja Ampat lies on the equator and so enjoys a year-round day length of about twelve hours (~6.30am to 6.30pm) Air temperatures are also reliably constant with a daytime average maximum of 31oC (89oF) and a nightly minimum of 25oC (78oF) – although it can often feel hotter than that due to the region’s average relative humidity of 83%! The ocean is warm year-round too, having an average surface temperature of 29oC (84oF).

Rainfall

Being a tropical environment, there are no days of the year where you can be sure it won’t rain, but there’s far less chance of rainy days during the northwest monsoon between October and April. Although this season sees the least rainfall, Raja Ampat’s heaviest rain usually falls in December and January, leading to those months often being referred to as a second wet season. The southeast monsoon months between May and September deliver the bulk of Raja Ampat’s annual rainfall. June and July are historically the wettest months. Even in the wet season though, it doesn’t rain all day, every day – rainfall is often shortlived and localised. As in the above image, it’s not unusual to find yourself afloat on a calm, sunny ocean while rainstorms pass by on the horizon. Don’t let the fact that it’s rainy season discourage you if you can’t organise your journey any other time – the wet season in Raja Ampat isn’t as dramatic or consistent as that affecting destinations like Bali, Thailand and Malaysia.

Windy Season

The middle of the wet season (Mid-June to mid-September) sees days with strong winds which make sea conditions less pleasant. Again – that’s not every day! Most liveaboard dive boats abandon Raja Ampat during July and August, not because underwater conditions are bad (they are not – visibility is much the same as any other time of year), but because the likelihood of experiencing both wind and rain makes sailing less enjoyable and surface chop complicates entering and leaving the water. Choppy seas at this time of year also limit small boat travel between the islands.

So when is the best time of year to visit Raja Ampat?

As far as weather is concerned, any time of year is a good one to visit Raja Ampat. Climate and underwater conditions are good all year round – there isn’t really an “off-season”. Sea travel in smaller boats can be problematic in June, July and August, so if you plan on covering a lot of ocean it would probably be best to pick a different time of year. If you just want to relax in a tropical island paradise and do a bit of snorkelling or diving around your chosen island, then any time is great. For a more detailed look at Raja Ampat climate averages, have a look at this weatherbase page.

Current conditions and 5 day weather forecast for Raja Ampat

(NOTE: Table won’t display properly in browser windows less than 480 pixels wide)

Detailed weather info for Waisai      Detailed weather info for Sorong

Forecast for Waisai

Weather forecast from yr.no, delivered by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the NRK.

Forecast for Waisai  Precip. Temp. Wind speed
24.11.2014 18–24 Rain showers 1 mm 26 °C Light air from Southwest 1 m/s
25.11.2014 00–06 Cloudy <1 mm 25 °C Light air from Northeast 1 m/s
06–12 Rain showers 1 mm 23 °C Light air from South-southwest 1 m/s
12–18 Partly cloudy <1 mm 28 °C Light breeze from South-southwest 2 m/s
18–24 Fair 0 mm 26 °C Light air from West-southwest 1 m/s
26.11.2014 00–06 Light rain showers <1 mm 25 °C Light air from North-northeast 1 m/s
06–12 Light rain showers <1 mm 24 °C Light air from Northwest 1 m/s
12–18 Heavy rain 14 mm 29 °C Light air from West-southwest 2 m/s
18–24 Cloudy <1 mm 25 °C Light air from Northeast 1 m/s
27.11.2014 00–06 Partly cloudy <1 mm 23 °C Light breeze from Northeast 2 m/s
03–09 Partly cloudy <1 mm 24 °C Light air from North-northwest 1 m/s
09–15 Rain showers 2 mm 27 °C Light air from East-southeast 1 m/s
15–21 Light rain <1 mm 29 °C Light air from North-northwest 1 m/s
21–03 Partly cloudy <1 mm 25 °C Light breeze from Northeast 2 m/s
28.11.2014 03–09 Light rain <1 mm 25 °C Light air from West-southwest 1 m/s
09–15 Heavy rain 8 mm 27 °C Calm from South-southeast 0 m/s
15–21 Partly cloudy <1 mm 27 °C Light air from West 1 m/s
21–03 Cloudy <1 mm 24 °C Light breeze from Northwest 2 m/s
29.11.2014 03–09 Rain 3 mm 23 °C Light breeze from West 2 m/s
09–15 Light rain showers <1 mm 25 °C Light breeze from Southwest 3 m/s
15–21 Rain 1 mm 28 °C Gentle breeze from Southwest 4 m/s
21–03 Rain 3 mm 24 °C Light breeze from Southwest 2 m/s

22 thoughts on “Raja Ampat weather

  1. Hi,
    just few line to thanks Stay raja ampat webside … Realy very usefull ..
    We just back from Mansuar with our two kids ,and we get 12 fatastics days … Incredible place ; very nice people …
    Only problems , boat trips realy overprices , and oil prices is not only responsible for this ! …. But maybe this is the price to touch paradise !!
    Best regards
    Nico

    • Thanks Nico – it’s always good to hear that the site’s helpful :)

      Boat trips are indeed very expensive – and your feedback will be passed on. Thanks for taking the time to provide it too – it really will help to make a difference!

      Cheers from the SRA team

    • As described above Simon. Raja Ampat has an equatorial monsoon climate. With the exception of the windy season (June to Sept) it’s pretty much the same all year round: Hot, light winds, chance of rain.

  2. SOS, Is it raining these days in raja ampat? we want to know what the weather will be like around the 10-13 of september to programme our visit, thank you!

    • Hi Alina

      Full weather information including links to detailed further info is on the page above. The weather when you go would be almost identical to what you see in the forecasts just above these comments :-)

  3. Hi! I’m going to raja ampat in 29 july – 6 august,just wanna know what kind of clothes should I prepare regarding to the weather..is it hotter than Bali?thanks

  4. Hi ! I am planning a liveaboard trip to Raja Ampat in late September. I learn from your website about the best time of visit starting from mid October. Would it be a risk for me to meet windy condition during my stay in 25 Sept – 2 Oct as I will sleep on board ?

  5. Hi! We’re thinking about going to Raja Ampat in July. Is there a risk that it might be problems to go from Sorong to the islands then? We wouldn’t want to get stuck too long during our vacation. As we understand it, the snorkelling will probably be fine anyway?
    Thanks

    • Hi Helena – Although small boat travel on exposed waters can sometimes be limited in the windy season, we’ve never heard of the Sorong-Waisai ferries not running because of bad weather. And yes – the snorkelling will be good, regardless. Go! You’ll be fine :)

      • Thank you for your quick reply! What about the boats to southern Gam from Waisai? Could we book accommodation in advance or is there a risk we might not be able to leave Waisai for some time? If we don’t book in advance, is there a risk that most home stays are occupied then? Also I wonder about mosquitos; are there more during the rainy season or is it about the same all year round?
        Thank you!

        • There’s no chance that all homestays will be full, but if you want to stay at one of the more popular ones you’d be wise to book in advance. It’s also extremely unlikely that you’ll get stuck in Waisai. You might have to spend a night there (or in one of the nearby homestays), but even in the windy season mornings are often calm – it’s never windy all day, every day! Not sure about seasonal mosquito population variation. With the exception of Waisai itself, there have been surprisingly few mosquitoes everywhere we’ve stayed in Raja Ampat.

  6. Hello , I leaving in Bali and planning a trip to raja ampat mid. Feb. what is the weather like? Rain, wind situation are similar to Bali or drier?

  7. Hi. I was just wondering if there is a peak tourist time? We are looking to visit in July and although the weather may not be great, it coincides with peak tourist season. We really want to get away from it all! thanks

    • Stay Raja Ampat says:

      Hi Nikki – We’re told the quietest months are usually April & May, and August, September & October. Raja Ampat tourist numbers are not high though, and you should be able to find a place to yourselves at any time of year. You might want to choose one of the more isolated homestays from the map at http://goo.gl/maps/9DRnU – you can go straight to any homestay that interests you by clicking its marker and following the link that opens.

    • Stay Raja Ampat says:

      We’re told that mid-October to mid-December’s the best time of year to visit and that rain in December and January is normal tombali.