The immense of Cendrawasih Bay is home to Indonesia’s largest marine park and is the only place in the world where it is possible to see such a large number of whale sharks and with such ease, and not only by diving, but simply snorkeling or swimming. The many Japanese shipwrecks strewn across the bay since WWII are another important call.
A consistent population of whale sharks daily frequent the local fishermen platforms called “bagan”, attracted by the fishing of “ikan Puri”, small fish similar to sardines, of which they are greedy. The bagans are make-shift floating platforms built from giant bamboo canes, that are then anchored for long periods areas deemed to be rich in fish. There are few if any dive sites in the world where a diver can enjoy such an exhilarating dive up so close to whale sharks for the entire duration of the dive. On average 5 whale sharks are seen per dive in Cendrawasih, up to maximum of 12 to 15 whale sharks on a single dive.
As embarkation/disembarkation will be in Manokwari, you can fly to Manokwari either from Makassar or Jakarta. Should you fly from Bali, you will need to make an overnight transit in Makassar before flying the next early morning to Manokwari. For most of these connections, you can fly with Garuda, Batik/Lion Air or Sriwijaya.
The months of April, May, September, October, November are considered as best season to dive Cendrawasih Bay.