|PULAU BATANTA||VITAL STATISTICS|
|Size||450 square kilometres|
|Coastline length||335 kilometres|
|Number of villages||7 (including those on adjacent smaller islands)|
|Number of Homestay Association homestays||11|
|Average cost of 1 way transfer from Waisai to Batanta homestays||Shared trip cost in IDR [USD]|
Average one way travel time
|Other nearby islands with homestays||Dayan, Birie, Yarweser (see below)|
Waisai Homestay Information Center
All Batanta homestays
Homestays on Batanta
Pulau Birie homestays
Pulau Dayan Homestays
Pulau Yarweser homestays
High resolution Raja Ampat map (PDF 3.59MB)
Step by step trip planning guide
Batanta is the smallest of the four large islands that give Raja Ampat (“Four Kings”) its name. Batanta might be the smallest of the Four Kings, but at over 60km long and averaging 8km wide, it’s still big! The island is densely forested, and its long, central range of hills rise high enough to almost always generate cloud. The daily cloud over the hills creates rainfall that feeds several rivers and waterfalls.
Batanta is more remote and the villages less developed than those of the more popular islands on the north side of the Dampier Strait. Being further away from Waisai, it’s also more expensive to get to, but its pristine seascapes, waterfalls, wildlife and fabulous coral reefs make it well worthwhile.
If you are looking to save money on transfers and have plenty of time available, there is a very slow public boat that runs between Sorong, Arefi at Batanta, and Pam village on Pambemuk.
In late 2017, the boat made the trip once a week, arriving in Arefi on a Friday, and stopping in again on Saturday on its way back to Sorong. The cost of the trip between Sorong and Arefi at that time was IDR 75,000
Contact John Urbon in Sorong for the latest information on ferries and public boats from Sorong.
The seagrass beds in the protected bays of Batanta’s north coast attract dugongs, which have been scared off many of their former haunts around Waigeo, Gam, Mansuar and Kri by those islands’ increased boat traffic. The pure waters of the bays also support pearl farming operations which can be visited if you’re interested.
The jungles of Batanta are home to a wide range of endemic species, including the mesmerising Blue-Spotted Tree Monitor Varanus macraei. Wilson’s Bird of Paradise and the Waigeo cuscus are another two species found only on Batanta and Waigeo.
There are only a handful of villages on Batanta, and all except two lie on the series of deeply convoluted bays and smaller islands that form Batanta’s north coast.
Batanta’s villages have very little in the way of services. Basic supplies can be purchased in village shops, but don’t expect to find anything more than warm drinks, Indonesian style snacks and local household and bathroom essentials. If you want things like alcohol, specific brands of toiletries or batteries for devices, you’ll need to bring them with you.
In January 2018, Batanta was still unserviced by telecommunications. In perfect weather a weak signal from the distant towers on the north side of the Dampier Strait can sometimes be received at some locations. Our experience is that the signal (when available) is only capable of SMS.
Diving and snorkelling
Diving is unfortunately not available at any of the Batanta homestays, which is a shame, because the island’s clear waters and vibrant reefs are truly spectacular.
The house reefs at almost all of Batanta’s homestays are incredibly rich, and there are several other nearby locations that all homestays regularly take guests to. If you think Kri’s reefs are fabulous, wait until you see Batanta’s!
If you particularly want to see dugongs, make sure you allow at least a few days at your chosen location. Although they are regular visitors, they are wild animals which follow their own mysterious schedules. There’s no guarantee of seeing them at any particular time and place!
Apart from a couple of short hikes to Batanta’s waterfalls, and some Wilson’s Bird of Paradise leks, there are no established trekking routes on Batanta or the other islands described below. Your hosts, however, will be happy to organise a guide if you want to experience the impressive rainforests that rise behind your homestay’s beach.
Make sure to bring sturdy hiking boots, a hat, sunscreen, and long-sleeved shirts (or insect repellent) to protect against insect bites. (Take plenty of water, too!)
If you have a special interest in any of Batanta’s wildlife, bring some photos of the animals that interest you and ask your hosts to see if someone can be found in one of the villages who knows where to go to see them.
If you’re looking to do extended jungle trekking in Raja Ampat, the Maya people of Waigeo’s Mayalibit Bay have created some excellent supported trekking routes on Waigeo.
Batanta’s north shore islands
All but two of Batanta’s homestays are located on the islands tucked into Batanta’s north coast bays.
Area: 5.6 square kilometres
Coastline: ~17 km
Pulau Birie has five homestays, most of which are along its northern shore. There are no villages on Birie, but Arefi village is about a ten minute boat ride away. There are excellent reefs along Birie’s northern shore, and dugongs are often seen there.
Birie’s interior is densely jungled and full of birdlife, but there are no trails to easily explore it. Go with a guide!
Area: 8.6 square kilometres
Coastline: ~28 km
Yarweser lies immediately to the east of Pulau Birie. It’s quite a bit larger than Birie, and Yarweser village and the island’s 3 homestays lie on the island’s northern shores with views across the Dampier Strait to Waigeo, Kri and Mansuar.
Yarweser village can be easily visited on foot from Karangkary and Atam homestays, but it would probably be wise to go with a guide the first time you visit. From Rawe Rawe’s more isolated location, a jungle trek would be required.
In short, excellent snorkelling at private hideaways, traditional village life and forests rich with wildlife, including birds of the mound-building, ground-incubating Megapode family.
Area: 0.15 square kilometres
Coastline: ~2.7 kilometres
At only 15 hectares, Pulau Dayan is tiny! Your very own private tropical island.
Dayan lies at the extreme western end of Batanta, and is very remote. Dayan Homestay is further from Waisai than any of the other Batanta homestays, but Dayan is a snorkeller’s delight, with fringing coral reefs so rich and prolific that there are only a few places you can enter the water without walking on them.
The island’s extraordinary reefs and expansive ocean views were among the reasons Dayan was chosen by Conservation International as the site for one of the early Raja Ampat Marine Park patrol posts and research centers. The post has gone now, and the materials used in its construction have been repurposed by the island’s traditional owners to form Dayan Homestay.
The ocean is the big attraction at Dayan. The island itself is mainly given over to coconut groves, so there’s not much to do on land except relax and take in those fabulous ocean views after spending all day immersed in a marine wonderland.
A word of warning: As in many places in Raja Ampat, Pulau Dayan’s coast is swept by some extremely strong currents when the tide is running. It’s usually only for a couple of hours each day, but you do need to be careful. Especially on a falling tide, when the currents run westward out to sea. You could very quickly find yourself a long way from shore if you get caught in those! (Regardless of where you stay in Raja Ampat, staying safe demands that you should always let your hosts know if you are going to enter the water without a guide.)
Dayan Homestay can of course provide any tours you might like to do. The Pam Islands and the Piaynemo karst island seascape is not far away. A pearl farm occupies the bay immediately to the east of Dayan. Just ask if you’re interested in seeing if a visit can be arranged.
Given how remote Dayan is, it’s probably not a good choice if you only plan on staying at one place during your time in Raja Ampat and want to do a lot of tours. A stay at Dayan is a highly recommended add-on if you’re also planning to stay in the Pam Islands, as it lies on the route between those islands and Waisai.
How to choose Batanta accommodation
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.