How to go to Piaynemo Island

Piaynemo Island Raja Ampat

Among some of the most beautiful places in Indonesia, Piaynemo Island is one of them and located in Raja Ampat, West Papua. This article shares information on how to go to Piaynemo Island when you are in Raja Ampat. 

Piaynemo is probably the most prominent photo that you see online and in advertisements when you look for information. This collection of the small islands in a lagoon is world-famous and one of the must-visit places in Indonesia. 

To get here, it is no easy task, as the boat charter or trip will cost you quite a bit. So, for single or couple travellers, you need to book the trip to Piaynemo from your resort where you are staying.

Usually, you will go in a group with others as it is more practical to do this unless you prefer to splurge on a private trip.

How to get to Piaynemo Island?

The incredible view of Piaynemo from the viewing deck
If you plan to charter a boat for just yourself or as a couple, you need to prepare to pay a lot of money for this. Boat rental can cost anywhere from USD 300 to USD600. 

Piaynemo is located about one to one and a half hours boat ride from the popular resort area of Raja Ampat.

The further you stay, the more it will cost. Sometimes, the resorts may join venture with other resorts to send guests to Piaynemo Island.

For your added knowledge, there are no flights, helicopters or land accessibility to get here and the only way is via boats.

Raja Ampat Piaynemo
The welcome sign that you see before hiking up to the viewpoint of Piaynemo
Pianemo, Pianemu or Piaynemo? 

While both are often used among the locals, the name is pronounced the same as some call it Pianemo, Pianemu or even Piaynemo.

Also, there is little or no information found on Wikipedia or other websites about this beautiful rock islet that sticks out of the blue turquoise waters in a bay.

The Pianemu Karst is a natural heritage site of West Papua and dates back to over 15 million years ago.

The limestone karst is formed from sedimentation in the last 10 million years, creating the Piaynemo Karst formations that we see today.

To be honest, I tried my best to obtain any information I could, but the locals there have very little knowledge of this amazing viewpoint.

However, once you are up top, you will be mesmerized by the incredible beauty that is postcard-perfect, especially on a clear morning.

How to get a beautiful view of Piaynemo?

Boat charters will bring you into the lagoon area of the rock islets and drop you at the one and only jetty here. There are a few local stalls that sell drinks and souvenirs, operated by the locals.

At the jetty, two wooden walkways lead up the island, with thick trees covering the canopy. The steps lead all the way up to the main viewpoint of Piaynemo Island.

Piaynemo Trekking
The start of the hike up to the Piaynemo viewpoint
It is a steep climb, one way up and another way down. So, this place is not disabled-friendly or kind to unhealthy ones.

If you are short of breath, please take your time to go up. There is a couple of rest stops along the way up to the viewpoint. 

Once you reach the final flight of stairs, your exhaustion and sufferings will vanish into thin air. Why? Because the natural beauty from the viewpoint of Piaynemo will blow you away.

I am not kidding, as I took longer than usual to make my way up the stairs, and when I reach the view deck, I was in awe, just looking and the incredible view of Piaynemo.

At one section to the left, there is a short staircase down to a special wooden deck where everyone takes that epic Piaynemo photo.

I kid you not, that is indeed the best place for your portrait shot with the rock islets popping out of the water below.

On the right, there is another viewing deck, but the gate is sometimes closed. This viewing deck is not as beautiful as the one of the left. Anyway, once you are up there, you can explore both to see which you prefer.

Raja Ampat Piaynemo Karst
The wooden stairs leading up to the Pianemu viewpoint. Note the steep climb up.
Please go early to avoid the crowds, as mentioned below. Also, do not sit or stand on the wooden railings there, as it is dangerous.

Notification signs are spotted along the way and there is some basic information on the geology of this place, which was faded.

A small covered area with a bench is also available for those who want to avoid the sun up here. In general, I spent about two hours up there, before making my way down to the waiting boat at the jetty.

Most visitors wear slippers or simply go barefoot up. However, on a hot day, the floor can get really hot. Best to bring along a pair of walking or hiking shoes along. Also, bring water if you dehydrate easily.

Here's the epic moment - I see many people bringing their wardrobe up, all for the name of taking a beautiful shot, with their dress or sarong flying in the air.

So, if you are a diva or want that epic Instagram photo up here, do bring your change of clothes and makeup box along.

Piaynemo Waigeo Papua
A landscape photo of Piaynemo, taken with mu Oppo Smartphone. On the left is the famous viewing deck. 
Best time to visit Pianemo

The best time to visit this place is in the mornings just before lunch. Trust me as, after this time, your photos may not turn out nicely.

The main reason for this is that the skies are really clear and sometimes, after lunch, it can get cloudy, and after coming all the way here, you would not want a horrible photo of Pianemo.

For photographers, it is recommended to come early, and for those wanting that epic Instagram photo of Piaynemo, you need to come early to avoid the crowd and also the heat.

How much is it to visit Piaynemo?

The golden question - Well, since my trip was arranged by Indonesia Tourism, I do not know the exact amount.

But I did ask the organizer about the costs involved, and he told me that a boat charter from Waisai or the Raja Ampat resorts could cost anywhere from IRD 20 Million to 40 Million.

One of the reasons for this is the long journey and fuel cost. Apparently, fuel is like gold in Raja Ampat, hence the high fees to get here.

But as mentioned earlier, it is best to consult your resort about the cost per person or couple.

Piaynemo Malaysia Asia
If you do not visit this place when you are in Raja Ampat, this is what you will be missing
What if I don't Visit Piaynemo?

Then you wasted your entire trip to Raja Ampat in West Papua. Piaynemo is the landmark of this place and is the most popular photo used in travel flyers.

Whenever you see a tourism brochure on Raja Ampat, Piaynemo is bound to be one of the main photos.

Also, you may save some money, but just don't tell your friends that you did not visit one of the most beautiful places in the world.

They would probably kill you for that. So, my recommendation is to make that visit to Piaynemo as you will be guaranteed of capturing some amazing photos.


When I visited Raja Ampat in early September 2017, I stayed at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort, which is really nice, cosy and very professional.

For scuba divers or even non-divers, I recommend staying at this resort as it is very professional and suitable for all kinds of travellers.

You have seen the photos I posted here, done with very little editing because the natural beauty was good enough.

For anyone visiting Raja Ampat, I hope this article on how to go to Piaynemo will provide you with the right information needed. Have a great trip and if you have questions, please ask below.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.

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