Wayag Tour, North Waigeo and Mayalibit Bay Expedition

Wayag tour - Sapatu Island, North Waigeo

Here’s a Raja Ampat adventure that combines a Wayag tour with homestay accommodation and boat travel along the wildly spectacular and remote north coast of Waigeo.

The six day expedition  also offers:

  • A trek from Kapadiri on Waigeo’s north coast across Mount Mayalibit to the northern shore of Mayalibit Bay
  • Longboat exploration of Mayalibit Bay – the huge and wild bay at the heart of Raja Ampat’s biggest island of Waigeo
  • A day exploring the hidden beaches, waterfalls and snorkelling sites of Sapatu Island, and
  • Northern Waigeo village visits and coastal sightseeing and snorkelling

If you’re looking to combine a Wayag tour with some trekking and an exploration of some of the more remote and little visited regions of Raja Ampat, this is the trip for you!

Your guide on the journey  is Papa Soleman, of the Sub Amber Kein people of Lam Lam in North Waigeo’s Kapadiri Bay. Papa Soleman will introduce you to the hidden wonders of his ancestral lands as you travel with him in his boat Kisyoko between the villages and homestays visited on the tour.

One of the homestays you’ll overnight at is Papa Soleman’s own at Palo. Papa Soleman’s homestay is located near a river mouth on a white sandy beach with great snorkelling nearby. The homestay was still under construction in October 2014, with one bungalow and western style toilet and bathroom completed. Two more bungalows and a kitchen/dining shelter are under construction and will be completed in the coming months.

A Wayag tour is at the top of most people’s list of things to do in Raja Ampat and those islands’ spectacular vistas are certainly worth seeing, but it’s the chance to meet the people and experience the wild landscapes of northern Waigeo and Mayalibit Bay that make Papa Soleman’s expeditions so special.

Teluk Mayalibit is the huge bay at the heart of Waigeo that almost splits the island in two. The bay is entered via a narrow fjord-like channel that meets the ocean just east of Waisai on Waigeo’s south coast. When the tide is running, the huge volumes of water flowing into or out of Mayalibit make the channel look like a swift and powerful river.

Mayalibit Bay is seldom seen by visitors to Raja Ampat, which is a shame, because its wide vistas and changing moods are well worth seeing. Travelling through the bay affords impressive views, especially of Gunung Nok, the double-pointed peak known in colonial days as the “Buffelhoorn” – the buffalo’s horns. There’s also the chance of an encounter with Mayalibit’s most mysterious inhabitants: The bay’s elusive white dolphins. Although long spoken of by the villagers of Mayalibit, research has only recently “proved” the existence of these enigmatic animals, and has established them to be a variant of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

Mayalibit Bay takes its name from the Maya people, the traditional owners of all of Waigeo. It was the Maya people who granted permission to later waves of settlers from places like Biak to establish the coastal settlements most visitors to Raja Ampat experience. There are several Maya villages in Mayalibit Bay, some of which are among the least developed and serviced in Raja Ampat. If you’re passing through and would like to help out, one of the biggest needs is for solar lighting technology. If you’re inclined to help, you can purchase solar lights and power systems from a women’s cooperative in Warsambin, which lies on the channel into Mayalibit Bay. Just ask to be directed to the “toko Dasawisma”. In addition to being able to locally source technologies that will be extremely useful gifts for the bay’s villagers (or your hosts), purchasing them in Warsambin will also support the work of the village’s Dasawisma women’s cooperative. If you’d like to know more about Dasawisma, see our Help Light Up Raja Ampat page.

The northern shores of Waigeo are also among the least travelled areas of Raja Ampat and have a unique beauty quite different to the karst landscapes most commonly seen elsewhere in Raja Ampat. The white sand beaches of the coast are backed by the high peaks of central Waigeo and are broken by rivers and waterfalls that spill over the exposed basaltic rocks that underlie the sandstones that predominate elsewhere in the islands. If you’ve an interest in geology, the north coast of Waigeo is the place to be! Papa Soleman’s expedition will provide the opportunity to see most of Waigeo’s north coast as you traverse east to west from Kabare to Sapatu Island before leaving Waigeo on your Wayag tour. On the way you’ll experience village hospitality, learn about local life and lore and snorkel pristine coral reefs.

After returning to Kapadire from your Wayag tour, the short trek across the narrow highlands that separate Waigeo’s north coast from the northern reaches of Mayalibit Bay provides panoramic views across the Pacific Ocean to the north and the expanse of Mayalibit Bay to the south. Descending from the heights, you’ll finish your expedition by relaxing and soaking up the sights on a longboat voyage back to Waisai through Mayalibit Bay.

Papa Soleman’s six day Wayag, North Waigeo and Mayalibit expeditions require a group of five or more to run and custom itineraries can be designed on request. A detailed itinerary of the standard tour is available on the trips page of Papa Soleman’s website. Contact Papa Soleman via his website contact page for prices and further information.

If a Wayag tour is your top priority when visiting Raja Ampat, you couldn’t find a better way to do it than as part of a Papa Soleman adventure. Do it!

Other Wayag tour options

If you want to visit Wayag, but would rather combine it with time spent diving or enjoying the sights of the Dampier Strait islands, head over to our accommodation page and use the Show advanced search feature to quickly find operators there who provide Wayag tours.

Finally, if you simply don’t have the time or budget for a Wayag tour, check out these great alternatives that are closer to Waisai and offer a similar experience.

16 thoughts on “Wayag Tour, North Waigeo and Mayalibit Bay Expedition

  1. Why Mr papa soleman write , in his website, in North waigeo , the months from december to february has a dangerous wind. This his words :
    (( The best season to visit North Waigeo is from June through September, when wind and waves are small. The rest of the year we are open, except for the months of December, January and February. During these three months big wind from the North makes big waves in the area, making navigation uncomfortable ))
    This information make me confuse, could you please clarify it.
    Thank you And best regards

    • Hi Alaine –

      That’s probably because Papa Soleman operates on the north coast of Waigeo, which is exposed to the northeast monsoon winds. It is sheltered from the stronger southeast monsoon though, and so doesn’t experience the rougher ocean that south facing shores do in June-September.

  2. Hi,

    we’re a couple travelling to Raja Ampat from March, 16 until March,30 2016.
    We’d like to organise a trip to Wayag together with others and share the costs.

    Ideally 5 days on a simple budget boat starting around March, 16. We’re flexible though.

    Corrado.

  3. I have requested that Papa Soleman be removed from this website. I booked a boat trip with his family and returned last week (July 2015). Three days into the planned six day tour, as shown on his website, we found out that his group had only planned on taking us to Wayag and not doing the other activities listed in his package. Initally, his son said that we could finish the program, but when we returned to his village from Wayag we got into a huge argument with his father. His father had mistakenly quoted us a price thinking we only wanted to go to Wayag, which was never communicated, so he said we needed to pay an additional six juta to finish off the program. We were obviously upset and felt taken advantage of as we were stranded in a village in the middle of Raja Ampat. We decided that we did not want to finish the program with his group.

    Next, we began discussing a reduced price to end our program immediately. The argument / discussion lasted over four hours. At the start we said that since we only did half of the days we should only pay half the price, he refused to take us back to Waisai and was going to strand us on the North side of Waigeo, seven hours from Waisai by boat, if he did not make a profit on the trip. We wasted hours arguing because he felt he should still make a profit off of the trip, even after he admitted that the whole thing was his fault. Eventually, we agreed to cover his costs only so we wouldn’t be stranded in his village in a really uncomfortable situation, which was more than 3/4s of the originally agreed upon price. We were livid and obviously did not enjoy our trip to Raja Ampat.

    I’m a Westerner and have lived in Indonesia for the past two years, I’ve traveled throughout Java, Bali, Lombok, Flores, Kalimantan, and Papua. I’ve had many minor problems throughout my travels in Indonesia, but nothing compares to this. My friends and I felt manipulated, extorted, and lied to about the expectations for the trip. I would not want anyone to travel to somewhere so remote and have their trip ruined in the future by this family / organization.

    • Hi Nate –

      Wow. That’s a terrible experience and so disappointing to hear. We’ve never met Papa Soleman and posted this information after being told about him by another foreign traveller who had a great time on one of his expeditions about a year ago. Enric built Papa Soleman’s website for him as a thank you.

      Tourism is a brand new concept for folks in Raja Ampat and most operators still have a lot to learn, but your experience is something else entirely. Nobody who treats guests like that is going to last long.

      I’m not going to remove this post though, because your review here is the only place people are likely to see your story and be forewarned. It’s also possible that Papa Soleman or somebody he knows will see this and he will realise that operating in such an unprofessional and shameful manner will do nothing but damage the reputation of all tourism operators in Raja Ampat and destroy his business.

      Thanks for taking the time to post this Nate – feedback (whether good or bad) will help all Raja Ampat tourism operators to improve.

      Cheers

      Doug
      SRA Admin

    • willy jonathan says:

      Hi Nate,

      sorry to hear your disappointing experience.

      My name is willy, 2 years ago i went to Kapadiri village, and meet papa soleman. And feel in love with their village, the nature, people and everything. At that time maybe i was the first person who open knowledge for him and his son (Asriel) about tourism and how tourism can become a solution rather than giving their land for mining company.

      So every month, i keep on reaching him by phone when he’s in waisai or someplace that have mobile signal. For two years, starting from building a small wooden boat all the way until he finally build a homestay in ING island just outside wayag area. Such an effort for the old man. And i’m very proud of that.

      So…
      And after i went back from Kapadiri Village, a friend of us – Enric went to a trip with Papa Soleman, and decide to make a website for the journey. However, knowing that Papa Soleman and people in their village barely know about internet-email yet the closes mobile signal is 4 hour boat trip. i got a feeling that maybe there’s a big miss communication between you – who expect to get the package that listed on the web – and Papa Soleman which maybe doesn’t realize about the package listed on his name, and think that you are a guest who know that his been serving trip package to his homestay.

      However, i do understand about your situation as a costumer and in the other hand, Papa Soleman as a startup local tourism guide trip with very limited capital.

      I’ve been trying to reach him for the last few days, but looks like he’s not in the mobile signal area. Can you tell me how did you reach papa soleman or his son to set up the trip. who’s the one handling your request for the trip?

      Cheers.
      Willy Jonathan

      • Hi Willy –

        It’s good to hear from someone else who’s had a great experience with Papa Soleman – thanks for posting :)

        If you manage to get in touch with Papa Soleman, please do let him know that we are more than happy to help by posting up to date information and prices about his tours. It won’t cost him anything and he can update us by SMS (Bahasa Indonesia OK) anytime he’d like to change his info.

        Building websites for tourism operators in Raja Ampat is great, but unfortunately they are worse than useless when simply created and never updated. As I’m sure you know, inflation in the islands is high and prices that are more than six months old will always be too low. Also, none of the business owners we’ve met yet have the knowledge, equipment or English language skills needed to manage websites – which is why we built Stay Raja Ampat!

        Please do feel free to get in touch via our contact form if you have any questions or there’s anything more we can do to assist.

        Cheers
        Doug
        SRA Admin

  4. Somebody knows about this Papa Soleiman 6 days expedition? It looks like nobody has tried it yet..?
    Any tips about this homestay and Papa Soleiman trips?Thanks

    • Hello Eva, you must be travelling Raja Ampat right now I guess.
      We to are a couple from Belgium , planning our journey to Raja Ampat in July,
      and 10 days ago, we sent an email to Papa Soleman with a proposal for a
      custom itinerary, but no reply as far as now.
      We try to resend it today.
      We would love to hear your travel report afterwards, and hope you realise the travel with Papa Soleman’s boat in the north of Waigeo & Mayalibit bay .
      If you happen to obtain a direct mailbox from Papa Soleman, please let us know.
      Maybe you can mail us by the end of your journey : our mailbox : demandeman@gmail.com
      We want to try out different homestays, so if you have some recommendations
      please let us know.
      Meanwhile we wish you a wonderful journey over there !

  5. Hi all..
    We are a couple arriving in Raja Ampat next March .We would be interested in the 6 days north Waigeo expedition tour ofered by Papa Soleiman .We are looking for more people interested in this tour to share the expenses and do it cheaper. We have just sent an e mail to Papa asking for prices and schedulñes (if he has schedulñes for this trips..)
    Our dates can be from 25 March in advance.
    Thanks

  6. Hi! We are a couple travelling to Raja Ampat from 22th January to 15th February.
    We are interested in going to Wayag (dates are flexible)

    * 22th – 25th January
    * or 3rd – 10th February

    We are looking for other people that might want to share expenses.

    Guillem & Maria
    gescat@gmail.com
    +34 654176012

    • Hi Uros!

      We had to change a little bit our planning and our dates.

      Finally we will be at Raja Ampat from 22th January till 2th February.

      We keep in touch!!

      Still looking for other people to share expenses.

      Guillem&Maria