Raja Ampat weather

April storm rolls in over the sandbanks between Kri and Mansuar

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
08.12.2016 15–18 Light rain showers <1 mm 29 °C Light breeze from West 2 m/s
18–24 Cloudy 0 mm 27 °C Light air from North-northwest 1 m/s
09.12.2016 00–06 Partly cloudy 0 mm 25 °C Light air from North-northeast 1 m/s
06–12 Rain 3 mm 24 °C Light air from North-northeast 1 m/s
12–18 Rain showers 1 mm 27 °C Light air from West-northwest 0 m/s
18–24 Cloudy 0 mm 26 °C Light air from East 1 m/s
10.12.2016 00–06 Partly cloudy 0 mm 25 °C Light air from Northeast 1 m/s
03–09 Partly cloudy 0 mm 25 °C Light air from Northeast 1 m/s
09–15 Rain showers 4 mm 28 °C Light air from Northeast 2 m/s
15–21 Rain 1 mm 29 °C Light air from West-southwest 1 m/s
21–03 Cloudy 0 mm 25 °C Light air from North-northeast 1 m/s
11.12.2016 03–09 Partly cloudy 0 mm 24 °C Light air from North-northwest 1 m/s
09–15 Rain 1 mm 27 °C Light air from North-northeast 1 m/s
15–21 Cloudy 0 mm 28 °C Light breeze from North 2 m/s
21–03 Partly cloudy 0 mm 25 °C Light air from North 2 m/s
12.12.2016 03–09 Cloudy 0 mm 24 °C Light breeze from North-northeast 2 m/s
09–15 Rain 1 mm 27 °C Light air from North-northwest 1 m/s
15–21 Rain 3 mm 27 °C Light breeze from North-northwest 3 m/s
21–03 Cloudy 0 mm 24 °C Light air from North-northeast 1 m/s
13.12.2016 03–09 Light rain showers <1 mm 24 °C Light air from Northwest 1 m/s
09–15 Heavy rain 11 mm 27 °C Light air from North 1 m/s
15–21 Rain 4 mm 26 °C Light breeze from West-southwest 2 m/s
21–03 Light rain <1 mm 25 °C Light air from North-northwest 1 m/s

89 thoughts on “Raja Ampat weather

  1. Hello,

    In decembre come we for a holiday to Raja Ampat… i make me worry About THE weather… i see only rain rain rain… can You tell me what THE weather is for decembre?

    Thank You and greetings

    • Hi Gertine –

      December is usually the best time of year to visit Raja Ampat. It’s impossible for us to predict what the weather will be like though. If you look at the actual amount of rainfall predicted by the above forecasts, you’ll see that it is really very little. A little rain during any 24 hour period is quite normal in the tropics.

  2. Martina Birkner says:

    Hello,

    I plan my holiday in Raja Ampat next year in october/november. But I watched the weather the last couple of weeks, and it was raining every day this year! So I’m totally unsettled what to do.
    I’m a snorkeller, I need sunshine for good visibility and also for my well-beeing :-)
    Is this year particular bad weather or are the weather forecasts wrong?

    This homepage is great! Thank you!

    best regards,
    Martina

    • Hi Martina –

      The weather forecasts seem fairly accurate. Look at the numbers, not at the picture ;) 1 to 5 mm of rain is hardly anything! A passing shower. It’s the tropics – there will always be a shower at some stage, but most of the day is fine. Go! You’ll be well :)

  3. Hello,

    I would like to ask you when is the best time to visit Raja Ampat. Where is the best weather? We plan to visit Raja Ampat on February or March or November 2017, it depends on the weather. Which month is the best for visit?

    Thank you very much in advance for your reply

    Best regards

    Lucy

  4. Hi, I am planning to visit Raja Ampat from Singapore on the 10th Oct but the weather forecast is scaring me. Would it be a good time or should I wait for another week or so?

  5. Not quite sure what to expect for the next week. We planned to visit Urai islands etc starting Saturday for 7 days. Should we reschedule? Or how “safe” is the forecasts for RA?
    Thanks for your comments :)

  6. I plan to visit Southern Gam to see the in July or August (no flexibility on these dates sadly – I’m a teacher). I am most interested in snorkeling and macro photography so I picked this location..was it a good choice?
    From what I read on your website, there are SE winds at this time of year, which would adversely affect Southern Gam. However, I also read that the magrove belt protects the beaches here.
    My question is, how much protection do the mangroves really offer? Will the waters be calm? how is the visibility?
    In July/Aug, will i be able to safely snorkel and enjoy the “rich coral reefs that are right at the door and a steep dropoff into the depths is only a few tens of metres from shore.” according to one of the homestays in Southern Gam?
    Basically, I don’t want to only see magroves but also fantastic corals in the area without the need for a boat trip.
    Any advice would be much appreciated!
    Thanks.

    • Hi Manny

      You’ll certainly be able to snorkel safely, but it’s impossible to say what conditions and visibility will be like on any particular day. Also, the mangroves lie inside the reef, and so don’t afford them shelter. The north shore of Kri or Mansuar might be a better choice at that time of year.

  7. Hi!
    Thanks so much for this compilation of information. So useful!
    I will be in Jayapura for a few days in mid-September and I am considering a getaway to Raja Ampat around those dates. Do you think the rains can be too hard so as to enjoy some scuba-diving there? (about 20m deep).

  8. Helena & Joakim says:

    Thank you for a great page. We visited Raja Ampat in July two years ago and had a terrific time. Now we are pondering going in January, but we loved the tranquility in July – very few people in the home stays… Do you know when the peak in tourism is? Which weeks should we avoid to avoid fully booked home stays?
    Best regards

    • Hi Helena & Joakim – you’re welcome :)

      There’s two peak seasons for homestays: August and December/January, but there’s never a time when all homestays are full. (Unless you only consider the most popular ones – and those are busy almost all year round now.) Tranquility can be found at any time of year if you avoid Kri!

  9. Hi!
    We are going 3 weeks to Indonesia, from Spain, in august.
    We just can go in that dates, and i really have to decide whether to choose going to Raja Ampat or leave it.

    Out plan is staying in a homestay, relax and snorkeling/diving, canoying.. but also some trips like going to Wayag.

    Honestly, shall we go in August acording to the weather or shall we leave it? We are teachers, so its impossible for us to come in another dates.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Marcos –

      We have been asked about June/July/August many times in the comments below and – as we have also said above – those months are fine for snorkelling, diving and sightseeing, especially if staying on the sheltered northern coast of Kri or Mansuar. It is difficult to visit Wayag at that time of year though, as there is a lot of open ocean to cross. Piaynemo provides very similar scenery to Wayag and can usually be reached in August.

  10. Hi, great read. Thanks for the info! Similar to the poster below, I am looking to travel to RA but in June. Does the advice for Kri and Mansuar north still work for this month?

    • Thanks James :)

      Yes, assuming the windy season starts as usual, the same applies. Weather’s changing everywhere though, so you may even find it’s not windy at all. Dead calm here at the moment.

  11. Ann Robertson says:

    Thanks for all the useful information. I am planning to visit in early July (no flexibility with dates) and am wondering what the best (most protected) place would be? Also, I am interested in snorkelling not diving.

    Thanks for your advice :)

  12. Imerey Imuc says:

    For aaditional info..
    The weather in Indonesia is unpredictable. And now Indonesia Goverment have more project at Papua, like a building more public facilities.
    Maybe that can be refrences for traveller.

  13. Nice site. Thanks. I’m traveling to RA next week arriving March 3 for 8 days on a live aboard. Any specific concerns regarding the weather during this time? We are very excited about the eclipse viewing!

  14. Hi,

    Thanks for the article. Helped me understand a lot about the weather situation. I just have one specific question- is June a good month for marine conservation? I assume that we’d be going (taking a boat) into the sea everyday, and covering a lot of surface around the island.

    • Hi Shaista –

      Well – like it says above – June is the beginning of the windy season, so small boat travel can be less comfortable than at other times of the year due to sea conditions. It’s still warm though!

  15. Hi,

    first of all thanks for all the info on this website. Specifically thanks also for the very relevant weather info on this very page.

    Here is my specific question:

    I am planning an 8 days trip to Raja Ampat on the 16th of May 2016 (flying from Jakarta to Sorong), most probably staying in a homestay on Kri.

    Looking up on this page + the comments I understand that the ideal time to visit Raja Ampat is october-april. I also read that June-Sept. is the worst.

    So late May seems to be smack in between, and hence I could not find any specific information on the weather at this time of the year. If I look on the link with monthly averages provided on this page, I see that it actually has as much rain as June/July and significantly more than April or even August. So it would seem to be one of the worst month to visit, much more similar to June/July than to April.

    Could you confirm/infirm this? Specifically, given that it is very expensive to reach the islands, I would probably not take the trip if there is >50% chance that during 7 days spent there, 3 or more days would be mostly rainy/windy, with poor visibility snorkeling, while staying at the beach would not be very pleasant because of wind and/or rain/drizzle.

    Thank you so much for your kind help.

    Just to let you know, the alternatives I’m considering would be the Banda Islands (my doubt there would be that it seems that the beach are not great, and that getting there is insanely complex), or Sulawesi (Togian Islands), but my doubt there would be that apprently the reefs are actually mainly dead and destroyed). If you have inputs on these alternative options, they are also very welcome!

    Thanks a bunch everyone!!

    Cheers,

    Cyril

    • Cheers Cyril :)

      Weather being what it is, it’s impossible to say how many days of rain you might encounter in Raja Ampat in May next year. Bear in mind too, that those rainfall averages are for Sorong, not Raja Ampat. Things are quite different out in the islands. In our experience, May is far from being one of the worst months to visit – it’s quite good in fact! Here’s a photo from May 2014…

      • Doesn’t look too bad!!

        I think what I will do is hold of until a week before (so I can check the local weather report) to close the trip. A couple of additional questions:
        – at this time of the year, it should be no problem to find accomodation on Kri without previous booking right? I understand May is “low” season in terms of occupancy.
        – prices of flights from Jakarta to Sorong, even last minute, should not go upwards of US$200 one way? (from what I could research the rate seems totally flat, same price everyday).

        Thank you again so much for your invaluable help, my wife and I are really looking forward to being there!!

        Cheers

  16. Arlene and Mauro says:

    Hi there, we are travelling to Sorong from 20 Dec to 3 January. We are 2 persons who enjoy snorkeling. We would like to visit Raja Ampat. Would it be a good period to go during these dates? What would the sea current be like? Is it safe to travel in small Boat? Anyone else travelling during this period can also minimise the expenses with us? Hope to hear from you soon

    • Hi Arlene & Mauro –

      Right at the top of this page is says that the best time to visit Raja Ampat is from October to April, so yes – that’s a good time to go.

      Tides create strong currents every day of the year, but seas at that time of year are usually calm.

      Depending on the boat and operator, small boat travel is safe at that time of year.

      You might want to post about your plans over on our facebook page to increase your chances of meeting people to travel with.

    • Hi Arlene and Mauro,

      I’ll be going to Arborek on 30 December, spend the new year’s there and dive, of course. You can contact me if you want to share expenses to Raja Ampat. I’ll be diving and do my advanced diving with a conservation group, Barefoot Conversation, which is based in Arborek. Let me know your thoughts and perhaps I could connect you with them, too.

      Cheers,
      Bene

      • Samantha Segaert says:

        Hey Everyone!
        I will be in Raja Ampat from 28 Dec to 9 Jan! I will be staying on Gam Island (28 – 31 Dec), Arborek (31 Dec – 3 Jan) and Kri (3 Jan – 8 Jan).

        Bene, I will be on Arborek on 31 Dec – 3 Jan for NYE and diving too! I will be diving with Arborek Dive Shop! I am a solo traveller so if you are looking for a dive buddy or something, feel free to contact me :) I am also planning at trip to Piayamo on 2 Jan if you are interested?

        Arlene & Mauro – not sure if your dates match up with mine, but I am happy to share ant boats/transfers :)

        My email is Samantha@onestepoverthedge.com

        Hopefully hear from you guys :)

        Regards
        Samantha

  17. Hello,

    we already arrange about trip to Raja Ampat 14-18Aug 2015 and i stay at Kordiris Homestay GAM ISLAND, how about th weather for this season?its possible go to Wayag?

    Tq

    Luminox

    • Hi Luminox –

      That question’s been asked a lot in the comments below. August is still the windy season. If you get some calm days it might be possible. If you don’t, Piaynemo is very similar to Wayag. It’s also closer, cheaper and can be reached in August.

  18. Hello,

    We are thinking of going to Raja Ampat from 12th to 16th August but we are worried about the weather conditions. Do sea conditions get difficult if we stay in North Kri and we want to visit Piaynemo? Do homestay offer this trip in August?

    Thank you very much,
    Mireia

    • Hi Maria – Yes – you’ll be able to visit Piaynemo in August. As we’ve said a few times already in the comments below, conditions begin to moderate in mid-August and besides, even in the windy season there are usually some calm days.

  19. Hi,
    My friend and I are headed to Raja Amput from August 7 through the 14th. We are having a tough time finding available accommodation. We would also like to dive but have some concerns about weather. Can anyone give us some suggestions on places to stay that are available in this time frame? Thanks!

    • Hi Lindsay –

      While communication with homestays can be difficult, there are plenty that have accommodation available in August. Using the website booking forms for homestays that have them will make this as easy as possible.

      Diving is not a problem in August, but small boat travel can be during the first half of the month. There are lots of good dive sites that remain reachable though. Conditions usually improve after the second week of August.

      Homestays on the northern shores of islands (Kri for example) are the best sheltered from inclement weather.

      Hope that helps!

      • Hi, I’m planning to go to one of the homestays from august 22 to 26. I would like to stay in a place with calm waters, maybe in Kri or Gam. I selected some places in the northern part of Kri. Would Gam also be ok regarding weather conditions? Some of my favourite homestays are on the East part of Gam.
        Thank you very much, this website is very useful!
        Roberta

        • Hi Roberta –

          The north coast of islands is definitely the best place to be at that time of year if you want calm waters. Winds are usually from the southeast, which means that the southern and eastern facing coasts of Gam are exposed and not as calm. Conditions normally start to ease around the middle of August though, so you might be OK there. Thanks for the thanks – it’s nice to hear the site’s a help :)

  20. Despite the fact that it says July is the wettest month, we are finding it hard time finding accommodation for 11-16 July 2015.

  21. Linda & Mich says:

    Hi,
    We’re going to Raja Ampat on 8-15june next month. Any chance of great weather or bad sea storm? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Linda & Mich –

      Like it says above, June sees the beginning of the windy season, but there are still nice days and snorkelling/diving is good all year round. Bad storms are unlikely that early in the season.

  22. Hello there,
    during july & august ( we only can come to R4 in this period )
    it seems that North Waigeo area is best for less windy conditions on the sea .
    Is this true ?
    We were told that some areas around Fam Islands also are hidden for choppy seas, and therefore ok during these months for snorkeling. correct ?
    Would ‘Prajas homestay’ be a good place to stay, while Aljui Bay is somewhat
    protected against strong open sea currents & winds ?
    Or maybe you know better protected corners in this season?
    Thanks for some feedback…..

    • Hi Luc & Els –

      Prajas Homestay and Aljui Bay are indeed well protected (Aljui is almost always calm), but it’s not necessary to go that far unless you have a particular interest in the area. It’s really only exposed southern shores and open water where conditions might sometimes preclude snorkelling. The north shore of any island will be sheltered at that time of year and will provide good snorkelling.

  23. ….and one more question : what place did you recomand do stay, where we will find a real Paradise for relaxing and laid back!

    We travel around the world the last 30 month, this time is blocked for staying at the beautifullest place in the region!

  24. hi,

    me and my wife want to come to the region from beginning april to the mid of april. could you please recommand me, if it is a god idea because of the weather during that period?

    I read that there will be some thunderstorms and heavy rain.

    what do you think, should i come?

    thanks for your response,

    mark and simone

    • Hi Mark – your question is answered at the top of this page :

      “What’s the best time of year to visit Raja Ampat? October to April…”

      ;)

      We have visited in April. we think you should go!

  25. Hi, I plan to to go to raja ampat on jan 22 2015 for 5 nights, so what is the weather forecast on those days? Thanks

    • Hi Dina – The weather then will be pretty much the same as shown in the above 5 day forecast. Click either of the “Detailed weather weather info for…” links for more information including slightly longer term forecasts.

  26. 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.

  27. 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 :-)

  28. 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

  29. 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 ?

  30. 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.

  31. 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?

  32. 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.