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! (See also Wolter Gaman’s Mayalibit and northern Waigeo trekking page.)
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 interested in Mayalibit Bay and the Waigeo interior, villagers here have established some excellent supported treks that are well worth doing.
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.
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 search filters to quickly find homestays offering 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.