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A solar eclipse photographed by Ethan Daniels coral triangle adventures

Total Solar Eclipse Snorkeling Tour in West Papua

Location map for coral triangle adventures snorkeling tourWe couldn’t ask for a better situation; a total solar eclipse in the heart of the coral triangle! Raja Ampat and Triton Bay possess some of the most diverse and healthiest reefs in the world. To the avid snorkeler and marine enthusiast, visiting these areas needs no other real incentive. But every now and then, the universe aligns and offers a rare, if not once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the world’s best snorkeling destinations and witness a total solar eclipse!

Raja Ampat needs little introduction these days. The 1500 scenic karst limestone and volcanic islands that reside just offshore from the tip of West Papua are surrounded by warm tropical seas that possess some of the highest levels of marine biodiversity on the planet. Nearly three quarters of all known species of hard corals and half of the species of tropical marine fishes can be found in Raja Ampat.

Triton Bay is located off the southwestern tip of West Papua (Indonesia) and is part of the Bird’s Head Seascape, a protected region that comprises the coastal waters around the entire west coast of the island of New Guinea. This way-off-the-beaten-path destination is a throwback to the way people around New Guinea existed 50 years ago. Lush tropical forests and quiet coves with perfect white sand beaches can be found throughout the rugged coastline and jungle-clad islands.

Our snorkeling tour takes us along the west coast of Bird’s Head Peninsula where we will have the chance to snorkel the best reefs and habitats in Raja Ampat and Triton Bay. Highlights include the shallow reefs and habitats of Batanta and Misool and in Triton Bay, the chance to swim with whale sharks and see endemic species such as the Triton Bay walking shark and Giti’s damselfish. Given the marine diversity and abundance that is comparable to Raja Ampat and that only handful of tourists visit the area each year, Triton Bay may just be one of Indonesia’s best kept secret.

But wait! There’s more! This special departure includes a total solar eclipse! On April 20, 2023 we will be in the perfect position to be directly in the path of totality! Totality should last 71 seconds and being on the boat gives us more freedom to move locations to an area with the least amount of cloud cover. Please see the Itinerary and the What To Expect / Bring sections for more details about how we will approach viewing the Solar Eclipse in April 2023!


Were you able to identify the marine creatures in the slider above? Hint: They are all themed for our eclipse tour :-). In order of appearance: Eclipse butterflyfish (Chaetodon bennetti), starry night octopus (Callistoctopus luteus), moon jelly (Aurelia aurita), marbled stargazer (Uranoscopus bicinctus), and a lunar wrasse (Thalassoma lunare).


route map for coral triangle adventures solar eclipse snorkeling tourOur snorkeling tour begins and ends in Jakarta, Indonesia. Our internal flight departs Jakarta for Sorong, West Papua, where we meet up with our boat the M/V Pindito. We will spend the next few days in Raja Ampat before turning south and heading towards Triton Bay, spending each day snorkeling in  a variety of marine habitats that offer us the best of what the coral triangle has to offer. On April 20 we will position ourselves for the eclipse in our viewing area and plan for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

After the eclipse we continue to cruise towards Kaimana in Triton Bay, snorkeling as much as we can along the way. Please note that although we visit many of the islands and island groups in the sample itinerary below, each of our departures is unique and that weather, tides, and opportunities to explore all play a role in the decisions about our daily schedule as well as the overall itinerary. This is especially important with regards to the solar eclipse. We have no control over the weather and although we will do our best to find the best spot for viewing, there is always a chance that we will not have unobstructed views during totality.

Day 1 (April 8, 2023): Jakarta / FM7 Hotel Jakarta
Meals provided: D
Meet in Jakarta, Indonesia at our group hotel for the tour orientation and welcome dinner. As is often the case with our internal flight, we will depart for Sorong in the late evening, thus our ‘overnight’ will be in transit to Sorong. Overnight FM7 Hotel – Jakarta.

Day 2 (April 9): Sorong / Transfer to M/V Pindito
Meals provided: B,L,D
Fly to Sorong and transfer to our liveaboard boat. Boat orientation and lunch before we depart for our snorkeling adventure into the islands. While we do not plan to have the chance to snorkel today, if time and weather permits, we will give it our best. Overnight M/V Pindito

Day 3 – 8 (April 10 – 15): Raja Ampat 
Meals provided: B,L,D
We begin in the Raja Ampat seascape, with our focus on the southern island of Batanta in Dampier Strait and Misool to the south. The reefs in Batanta are incredibly lush and vibrant. Coral gardens in quiet bays give us the chance to snorkel lazily above the reef until we are interrupted by a passing manta ray! Misool is known for its incredible scenery comprised mostly of jungle-clad limestone islands and islets. The reefs fringe from the islands and often drop in dramatic wall-like fashion providing us with the chance to snorkel over shallow coral reef and look out into the deep blue where the bigger fish are spending time. Some of our other sites include swift passes between the islands where colorful soft corals create beautiful complex homes for the thousands of reef fish that feed nearby in the currents. Overnight M/V Pindito

Please note that the rest of our itinerary is approached as exploratory in nature, and given the reputation of the area, we expect to have an amazing time discovering new sites that flourish with some of the highest levels of marine biodiversity on the planet!

Day 9 – 12 (April 16 – 19): Pisang / Mommon / Triton Bay
Meals provided: B,L,D
We spend the net few days cruising south along the rugged West Papuan coast towards Triton Bay. Along the way, we will have the chance explore magnificent reefs, quiet lagoons and hidden bays. Triton Bay possesses every type of marine habitat and we will spend the next four days exploring many of them on our quest to see the world’s healthiest and dazzling reefs. Shallow fringing reefs, clear mangroves, colorful coral gardens, fields of seagrasses, and tens of thousands of dazzling marine fishes will be the story of the day while in Triton Bay.

We will also have the chance to snorkel with whale sharks that have taken up residency near local fishing platforms in the Bay. Because this is an exploratory, we will work with the captain to develop our day-to-day itinerary based on weather and preferences. We’ll also have the opportunity to see rare birds and admire the raw, prehistoric jungle landscape that dominates along the coastline. Overnight M/V Pindito

Day 13 (April 20): ECLIPSE DAY
Meals provided: B,L,D
We spend the morning preparing for the total solar eclipse that begins at 1:45:03 PM. Viewing starts at noontime and watch through the late afternoon before we depart for Triton bay. Corona beers at sunset to celebrate the eclipse! Overnight M/V Pindito.

Day 14 – 15 (April 21 -22): Triton Bay / Whale Sharks
Meals provided: B,L,D
Wait, what? We just snorkeled some of the best reefs in the world, and then witnessed one of natures most incredible celestial event on earth, and now we are snorkeling with whale sharks? Yes, yes we are. Fishing platforms, called Bagans, attract dozens of whale sharks that feed on the excess of tiny fish and shrimp that concentrate in the water around the grouping of bagans. Our plan is simple, we will jump in and snorkel around the Bagans with these gentle giants! Overnight M/V Pindito and M/V Samambaia

Day 16 (April 23): Kaimana / Jakarta 
Meals provided: B,L,D
Disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport for our return flight to Jakarta. Overnight FM7 Hotel – Jakarta.

Day 17 (April 24, 2023): International flights or extensions
Meals provided: B


April 8 – 24, 2023 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: M/V Pindito
Guides: Lee Goldman, Ethan Daniels
Length: 17 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$9300 per person, double occupancy

Reservation deposit: $1000 USD
November 08, 2022: $4000 USD
January 08, 2023: $4300 USD

Tour cost includes:

  • Accommodations on day 1 through day 17
  • All meals on days 2 through 16 (dinner on day 1 – breakfast on day 17)
  • All internal transfers including international arrival and departure transfers
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • All snorkeling and park fees
  • All gratuities

Tour cost does not include:

  • Round-trip international airfare
  • Additional hotel accommodations and meals as a result of travel outside of the program dates
  • Visa requirements including payments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • International departure taxes
  • Extra / overweight baggage fees
  • Trip insurance (recommended; (we recommend Travel GuardWorld Nomads, or Travel Insure)
  • DAN insurance (required unless personal insurance program has worldwide emergency evacuation services)
  • Additional accommodations while on tour in the event of flight schedule changes or events of force majeure
  • Eyewear for viewing solar eclipse
  • Fuel surcharges (if applicable)

Cancellation policy:
180 – 91 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less prior to departure: 100% of tour cost

Please see our Terms and Conditions


MV Pindito a vessel chartered by Coral Triangle AdventuresThe M/V Pindito is a traditional Indonesian, wooden motor sailing vessel, (referred to as a Pinisi), that measures 124 feet long and has a beam of 29 feet. She was built in 1992 by Edi Frommenwiler and completely refitted in 2006 with a new camera room, sun deck, and upgrades to the cabins and salon. She has eight cabins (two designed for twin share accommodations), each with their own shower, sink, toilet, and individually controlled air conditions. All cabins have continuous power (220 volts). Meals are prepared by expert chefs and are a fusion of western, asian, and Indonesian dishes. A large flatscreen TV and library of marine life books round out the list of amenities on board. The boat is equipped with three active (and one standby) zodiac tenders, each with their own ladder for easy entry back into the boat. As a bonus, Balinese-style or aroma-therapy massage services are available throughout the trip.


The islands in Raja Ampat nearly straddle the zeroth latitude, with most of them residing in the southern hemisphere. Triton Bay is located about 4 degrees south of the equator. Residing on and near the equator, weather year round is hot and humid, with the chance of daily rain showers occurring in the early morning or late afternoon. Daytime temperatures hover around 86º F (30º C) and do not change much at night. Water temperatures average around 82º F (28º C), though cooler temperatures may occur if persistent rains cause a thin layer of cool freshwater on the surface.

Currents around Triton Bay and Raja Ampat may be strong. While we plan our snorkel session around slack tides, we also have several sites where having water movement is an advantage. These drift snorkels allow us to cover large tracks of reef without having to swim too hard. Our snorkel sessions are 100% boat supported and will be there to assist anyone for whatever reason.

Solar Eclipse day: As the boat moves into position, we will help everyone choose their viewing spot, move chairs and other items you may need while you view the event. We will also give very detailed briefings on how to view the eclipse.

Please read more about our daily schedule.


The following list is a suggestion of things to bring and applies to almost all our trips. Specific items on a particular departure will be noted on the departure information.

-A good fitting mask, snorkel, and set of fins. If your equipment is brand new, please try it out in the pool. Determining the fit and function of your equipment in the pool includes doing several laps with all your equipment on. Doing several snorkel dives is also very beneficial. It is also important to clean your new equipment, especially your mask. Cleaning procedures for your mask include light scrubbing with toothpaste or dishwasher soap to remove the layer of silicon used to preserve the mask during shipping. Clean both sides of the mask. Doing this greatly reduces the chances of having your mask fog. Not doing this, even when using mask de-fogger, usually results in a fogged mask.

-A wetsuit, rash guard, diveskin, or any type of clothing that can be used for thermal and/or protection from the sun. We suggest bringing a full 3mm wetsuit and some type of core insulation like a vest or shirt made of 1 – 2 mm neoprene (e.g., Lavacore or Sharkskin shirts or vests). These items will not only provide thermal protection but protection from the sun as well. For those who feel that a 3mm suit may be too warm, please consider a full body skin or rash guard to ensure protection from the sun. With regards to thermal protection, remember the saying: It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. One that note…

-Head protection in the form of a wetsuit hood, a cap, or even a bandana. Anything that can keep the sun off your head is extremely important. It is the most exposed part of our bodies when we are floating on the surface.

-Underwater flashlight on departures with a planned night snorkel

-Biodegradable sunscreen lotion. Sunscreen lotions can be harmful and even kill tiny larvae (baby marine life). It is fine to wear on land, but we highly discourage the use of sunscreen lotions in the water. A full wetsuit or dive skin will protect one from the sun much better than lotions and provide thermal protection. It is truly a win-win for everyone and the marine environment.

-Casual, lightweight, tropical clothing
-Sunglasses (and a spare in case you lose your main pair)
-Comfortable footwear such as active sandals (Teva, Keen, Merrell, etc.)
-Hats. We cannot stress the importance of a hat in the tropics!
-All our boats provide items like shampoo, soap, towels, etc. We bring this up because these items represent added weight or may leak.

Other items to consider:
-Lightweight rainwear to protect from the occasional afternoon shower


colorful coral photographed in Raja Ampat by Lee Goldman

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