Updated: Feb 14
Located at the heart of the richest marine ecosystem in the world, Misool Eco Resort provides access to stunning biodiversity among the carefully protected reefs of Raja Ampat. Divers based at Misool have unprecedented opportunities to discover renowned sites such as Nudi Rock, Magic Mountain, and Boo Windows - spots we've all heard of but few have the chance to explore.
Here are some of the awesome dive sites you can visit from Misool Eco Resort:
This stunning seamount is brimming with life and one of the best sites to dive with manta rays. Both the oceanic and the reef species of manta visit cleaning stations around the shallow pinnacle and there is an excellent chance of encountering them on most visits. Add to this a whitetip reef shark nursery and Napoleon wrasse mating spot and Magic Mountain never fails to deliver. While this site is only 20 minutes from the resort, it is still exposed to oceanic currents and so attracts some exciting pelagic species.
Just 5 minutes from the dive center jetty, Nudi Rock has earned its title twice over. Not only does this small islet resemble the shape of a nudibranch, but its exquisite coral gardens also play host to a spectacular range of exotic critters including nudis, pygmy seahorses, cowries, and arrowhead shrimp. Ornate soft and hard corals create a stunning backdrop for wide-angle shots and some currents bring in barracuda, trevally, and the occasional grey reef shark.
Fifteen minutes north of the resort, the large island of Yillet provides a range of sites to explore, most notably a tiny satellite island featuring unusual undercut topography. Especially rich in marine life hiding in the overhangs and ledges, all sorts of critters as well as barramundi cod, turtles, and huge schools of barracuda can be spotted here. Once a shark finning camp, Yillet now offers a bounty of marine life along its colorful reefs.
Misool Eco Resort boasts one of the best house reefs in the world. Straight out from the dive center or Misool's jetty, the best of Raja Ampat's spectacular marine life is showcased on the resort's doorstep. Around the jetty large grouper loiter and blacktip reef sharks patrol while schooling horse-eye jacks, fusiliers, and passing anchovy are regular spots. A gentle drift dive north along the channel reveals intricate gorgonians, a rainbow of soft corals, and numerous tunicates hiding all manner of intriguing critters. The stars of the show are the flamboyant mandarinfish, best seen just before sunset.
One of Raja's best-known dive sites, Boo Windows is just 15 minutes from the resort and is a fantastic spot that never tires. This small island is named after the two vertical windows carved into the reef that create a light show like no other. The southwest reef is steeper and features brisk currents that attract endemic wobbegong sharks, swarms of fusilier, and huge batfish. On the sheltered side of the pinnacle, hard plate corals and huge barrel sponges hide lobsters, sweetlips, and a plethora of other small reef fish.
Improve your nudibranch shots with these great underwater photography tutorials from the Underwater Photography Guide.
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