Mansuar Island is one of the best snorkeling destinations in Raja Ampat. Located between Waigeo and Batanta is in the middle of the archipelago and can be reached by a short boat trip from most of the resorts. This area is known for its famous snorkeling sites.
It is recommended to check the tide before taking a trip to Mansuar. During raising tide the current can be very strong and the visibility drops to a few meters.DIVETIP
My snorkeling experience:
During my stay in Raja Ampat I went to Mansuar twice and each time I really enjoyed it.
Sauwandarek village is situated on the Southern coast of Mansuar. Sauwandarek jetty is the most famous of all Raja Ampat piers. It is very popular among snorkelers for its accessible house reef and big schools of fishes. This snorkeling site is dependent on the current conditions and this can really impact your experience. During my first visit current was strong and I couldn’t fully enjoy the experience but for the second trip everything was perfect, with great visibility, no current and an incredible marine biodiversity.
The underwater pier structure created an artificial reef with soft corals including pink, yellow or orange coral fans and it is home to fishes of all sizes and colors. On the sandy bottom beneath the jetty there were three Giant clams (around 1 meter / 3 feet). Even if the jetty is the highlight of this site, it is also recommended to swim around to discover the beautiful reef garden that runs near the shore. In shallow waters you can easily spot the resident turtles. The marine life is abundant with large schools of yellow and blue fusiliers, sweetlips, giant groupers, titan triggerfish, jacks, barracudas and blacktip sharks.
Yenbuba jetty is another wooden pier famous in Raja Ampat. Like Sauwandarek, Yenbuba jetty is shelter for huge schools of fishes. Even if marine life is rich and diverse, corals are the the main highlight. Yenbuba is home for many squirrelfish and you can also spot turtles, sweetlips, clownfish, angelfish, butterflyfish and blacktip reef sharks. While I was there I got to see a group of eight (or even more) blacktip sharks swimming in shallow water.
Ransiwor is a tiny island near Mansuar. Even this is not a very famous site I would strongly recommend it as I head a great experience. In that morning the tide was low so I had great visibility, low current and a lot to see. The main attraction were the big ones. I saw more than 10 blacktip sharks who were swimming in shallow waters. A few times they were really close. I also spot groups of large parrotfish and napoleonfish. In the beautiful coral garden I encountered green turtles and hawksbill turtles who were eating or sleeping. After the snorkeling session, I found that the divers that dived the same site did not encountered any sharks.
Check my snorkeling experience:
What you`ll see:
Beautiful soft corals and hard corals, Blacktip Shark, Whitetip Shark, Barracudas, Stingray, Batfish, Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Clown Triggerfish, Titan Triggerfish, Clownfish, Sweetlips , Parrotfish, Turtles, Napoleonfish.