Arborek

Pulau Arborek, Raja Ampat
PULAU ARBOREKVITAL STATISTICS
Attractions:

  • Great snorkelling and diving
  • Close to Manta Point/Manta Sandy
  • Not far to Piaynemo
  • Dive center
  • Tourist village
  • Better than average village amenities
  • (Almost) 24 hour electricity!
  • Traditional handcraft & dance classes available
Size~0.09 square kilometres
Coastline length1.37 kilometres
Number of villages1
Number of Homestay Association homestays10
Average cost of 1 way transfer from Waisai to Arborek homestaysShared trip cost in IDR [USD]
Average one way travel time
1,300,000 [~85.00]
~1.5 hours
Other nearby islands with homestaysGam, Mansuar

Arborek location map


Quick links

Waisai Homestay Information Center
Arborek Homestays
Arborek Dive Shop
High resolution Raja Ampat map (PDF 3.59MB)
Step by step trip planning guide

Arborek is tiny. So small that you can walk the beaches all the way around it in about 30 minutes.

Unlike the larger surrounding islands, Arborek is a sand cay. It’s a low, flat island, and is at risk of inundation from sea level rise, but it supports a village courtesy of the fresh groundwater beneath it, the abundance of the ocean and the island’s coconut palms. There’s no jungle and associated wildlife on Arborek and no Birds of Paradise – the ocean is the big drawcard here.

If you’re looking to stay near a village that has better than average amenities, Arborek is a good choice. Arborek Village is part of the Indonesian government’s tourist village program. It’s a pretty village that has small restaurants and shops that sell beer and cold drinks, and the village electricity supply is almost 24 hours. (It is off in the mornings between 0700 and 1000.)

Village women have built a thriving community souvenir industry on Arborek: Noken (traditional Papuan woven sling bags),  bayay (woven baskets) and colourful manta ray shaped hats are woven from 100% natural dyed pandanus and are sold for between IDR 200,000 and 300,000. Custom items can be requested, and classes are available if you want to learn how to make your own. Traditional dance classes are also offered.

Arborek is firmly on the Indonesian domestic tourism map, and is a stopover on the way to nearby Piaynemo, so the village and jetty are often quite busy, especially during Indonesian public holidays. Cultural performances are frequently staged in the village. The Papuan music and dance add to the noise and colour, but Arborek homestays are located on the beaches at the periphery of the village and afford quiet refuge if you need it.

It’s a good place if you’re visiting with children too, as there are calm, sandy beaches and plenty of local kids to play with.

Arborek is the closest village to the famed Manta dive and snorkelling sites, and is also well located for visits to Gam Bay and the karst island panoramas and dive sites of Piaynemo.

Diving and snorkelling

Arborek jetty is famous for the huge schools of fish that shelter beneath it, and also for the colourful soft corals that cover its piles. There’s good snorkelling from almost anywhere on the island, but the reefs around the island’s eastern end are particularly rich.

Arborek Dive Shop has a good reputation and provides diving for all Arborek homestay guests.

All homestay dive centers dive all of the popular Raja Ampat sites, so (as far as diving opportunities go) it doesn’t matter which one you choose. Raja Ampat can be a challenging dive environment though, so be sure to do your research and choose a reputable operator.

How to choose accommodation at Pulau Arborek

Individual homestay pages provide photos and more detail about the specific attractions and tours, services and facilities available at each place.

Note that all homestays can organise almost any trip you want to do: With the exception of Wayag visits, if the trip you want isn’t mentioned on the homestay’s page, it may well still be available. Especially if it’s to a location not too distant from the homestay.

Use the accommodation page search filters to quickly find all homestays offering the features and facilities that are important to you.

Here is how to book. Please note that booking in advance is recommended at popular homestays, especially during peak season (October to March). Popular homestays include any with an on-site dive center, and can easily be identified by the number of reviews they have received.

How to get to Arborek

All Arborek homestays can provide pickups from Waisai and transfers to/from anywhere else. Average cost and travel time from Waisai is shown in the table above. Individual homestay transport prices are provided on their pages.

If you’re staying somewhere else first, it’s usually quicker to have your current host transfer you to your next place, rather than to ask your next host to come and pick you up. See this page for more information about the high cost of boat travel in Raja Ampat.

Arborek phone signal & internet access

Arborek has its own tower which transmits a strong 4G signal. Data connections are good, but quite slow by international 4G standards.

Note that free WiFi connections are extremely rare in Raja Ampat. You will need a local SIM for your phone. See this page for details.

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  1. Antonin D on

    We stayed 2 weeks in Arborek Island in October 2019.

    Arborek is a small flat island.
    The advantage of this island is that you can go around it in less than 30 minutes.
    Arborek is an island with a village life.
    We were able to attend mess in the village church.
    If you’re lucky, you can also watch a traditional dance show when you arrive.
    The internet signal is good on the island.
    There are shops where you can buy many things.
    The snorkelling under the main jetty is quite good but many corals are destroyed around the island. In comparaison with the island of Mansuar (Sawandarek), I find that the corals of the island of Arborek are in very bad condition.
    But you can still see sharks, turtles and many fish.

    We were surprised to find that the inhabitants of such a small island use a lot of plastic bags. We were also surprised to see that after the traditional dance show, all the kids throw away the candy wrappings on the beach.
     People form Arborek also throw their garbage in the sea. We were in our bungalow and we saw a woman throw the dirty diaper of her baby into the sea..! Right next to our bungalow …! This does not make you want to swim …! (why not burn it with other waste?)

    We found many rubbish on the beach including plastic and broken dishes (plates …). It is very dangerous to walk here!

    The most amazing thing is that people spend a lot of energy raking the ground so that the streets are not invaded by dead leaves and tree branches. On the other hand there is garbage everywhere and no one seems to care.
    This waste is then washed away and ends up in the lagoon …

    It is unfortunate that tourists pay € 60 per person for the conservation of Raja Ampat and then find that people throw their garbage anywhere on the island.
    We thought that the inhabitants of this paradise lived in harmony with nature …

     After being scratched by a dog on the island of Arborek, we talked to other tourists on the island and they all told us that they had been bitten or scratched by the same dog nicknamed Ringo !
    After some research on the internet, I also found that many people have also been bitten by some dogs on the island and in particular dogs resident at Barefoot Conservation, including the famous Ringo who is very aggressive.
    Despite these many problems with Ringo, we did not know if he was vaccinated against rabies disease. Nobody showed us a vaccination card. Dangerous dogs must be tied or …! (especially when they are used to biting humans)
    The Trixi dog is also very aggressive.
    There is a serious safety problem with the dogs on this island. Many dogs have puppies and are very aggressive even when you do not enter their territory.
    I do not recommend tourists to come to this island with children if you do not want there to be an accident …

    Plan all the necessary first aid as there is no doctor on the island of Arborek.
      Wasai, the main town, is 1h30 by boat when the sea is calm.
    Plan all the necessary first aid as there is no doctor on the island of Arborek.
      Wasai, the main town, is 1h30 by boat when the sea is calm. But the hospital for rabies vaccines is located in Sorong….

    1. Lisa Chapman on

      Please can you be more specific about being ‘scratched me by Ringo and people being ‘bitten’ by Ringo?! Did you approach Ringo?

      The reason I ask is that I am a dog behaviourist and came to see the dogs earlier this year. Although some are very fearful I did not find an issue with ‘dangerous dogs’ if I didn’t approach them. If I had gone to some of them I can only imagine that they would have reacted to me, much like many of the sea life when we dived out there.

      As a behaviourist we would define dangerous dogs as those who attack humans for no reason, but if this is the case and they are not just warning you off you are going to get a proper bite more than likely, that you would need medical attention for. I personally didn’t see this on Arborek and some of these dogs are much loved pets too.

      You will be pleased to know that the vet told me West Papua hasn’t had any cases of rabies for many years also!

  2. John on

    I seem to recall earlier comments about sandflies particularly in Arborek, are they really prevalent there?. Several years ago I got destroyed by them in cambodia even though I had insect repellent on, it was a miserable experience.

    1. We’ve never been overly troubled by them at Arborek, John.

      Suppose it is possible that they are seasonal, though, and we have never been there at the ‘right’ time. They are certainly rather vicious in some places, that’s for sure. We’ve found that the inexpensive local Soffel repellent works well for them.

  3. Matthieu on

    Hello,

    Nous sommes arrivés sur Arborek en passant par Sorong et notre trip s’est très bien passé. C’ est une île superbe, non perturbée par les velléités d’indépendance Papou.
    Les gens y sont adorables, venez sans craintes.

  4. antonin on

    We just arrived safely in Arborek. No trouble during the (long) trip. The family that hosts us at arborek homestay is very nice. We’ve been enjoying a delicious fish based meal and planning the dives for the week.ntonin

    1. Stefania Pirazzini on

      Hi Antonin
      I am plannig to go there in dec and I would like to have more info about the dive centre and other trip that I can make from there….visiting other island in the time off where i am not in the water. There is something interesting to do? I like diving, snorkeling, photography, adventure…. Any advise or tips?
      How is the transport from Sorong?
      Thanks for the reply.
      Stefania

      1. paola minardi on

        Ciao Stefania, anche noi saremo lì a dicembre, in quali giorni tu ci sarai?

  5. Peter B on

    Arborek is beautiful. My wife and I stayed 2 weeks here to meet local people to see how they live. They are amazing. This island is perfect. There is lots of great snorkeling. They have a shop with all basic supplies. The children are very friendly, interesting and curious. I am amazed by the life of the Arborek people. It is so calm & relaxed !! Thx a lot stayrajaampat.com. We booked through your website. All was arranged perfect !!

  6. Katie on

    Hello! Thank you very much for such informative website, would be afraid to go to RA if didn’t find it, as almost no other clear info in web. We’re planning to RA in April and i have a question about Mantas. Is it possible to see them via snorkeling? And i’ve r read they are tentative to weather, what’s the best weather to go to see them?

    Thank you!
    Katie

    1. Hello Katie

      Yes – you certainly can see mantas snorkelling. In the Dampier Strait, the manta season usually runs from mid-October to mid-May.

      1. Katie on

        Thank you very much! What about Mantas point near Arborek? Same season and ok for snorkeling?

        1. Yes: Arborek is Dampier Strait. Not sure about Manta Point, but mantas can definitely be seen at snorkelling depths at Manta Sandy.

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