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Dive Review of Papua Diving/Kri Eco Resprt in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua

March, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Sandra Cohen, WA, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 3632
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Red Sea (Sinai), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Great Barrier Reef, Belize,
Little Cayman, BVI, Honduras, Vancouver Island (Canada), Washington State
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive guide doesn't let you get into deco situation.  All dives (3 per day,
sometimes including a night dive) are at pre-set times, regardless of
tides, with no adjustment made to dive a site at optimum current.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
There were no fresh water rinse tanks on any of the boats for cameras, but
that didn't bother us, as we don't take underwater photos.  The cameras of
the others on our boat were carefully tended by the crew, who laid them
down on towels and covered them with other clean towels during the trips to
and from the resort. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
Our two week stay at Kri Eco Resort was superb; the resort is blessed with
fabulous human and natural resources.  Maya Hadorn is a Swiss woman who is
managing Kri for Max (who spends all his time at the upscale Sorido Bay
now).   She is a treasure.  The dive guides, boat crews, housekeeping
staff, and kitchen staff are all kind and fun-loving Papuans who made us
feel welcome.

The dive guides and boat crew spoke little or no English, but that didn't
matter, as they were incredibly helpful, careful divers.  The two of us
most often had one guide, Berjones, to ourselves.  He has the most amazing
eyes for small critters  flatworms and   nudibranchs smaller than the
white tip of my little fingernail.  The day we arrived, Maya had us fill
out forms stating what we hoped to see underwater, and the guides
personalized their services to deliver.   We were treated to pygmy
seahorses, nudibranchs, and mantas, all as requested, and much more.  The
diving is some of the very best in the world.  Only thing missing is lots
of large pelagics.  Variety of life and quantity of coral and creatures are

We each dove about 30 times in 12 days of diving.  Maya kept track of what
sites we dove, remembered our preferences, made suggestions, and assigned
divers to the small open boats.  We had 16-18 guests at the resort the
first week (capacity is 20), and only 7 the second.   No dive guide ever
had more than 4 divers, and most of the time it was 2 or 3.  I never felt
Maya was trying to cut corners in terms of shortchanging anyone on their
dives or their guides or boat or destination assignments.  She was clearly
trying to make the visit as great as possible for each of us.  That was a
really refreshing change from other places we've been.  This is a class
operation, despite the many serious challenges of remoteness and simplicity
of resources.

We liked the food at Kri, in large part because it was mostly Indonesian,
with lots of good spicy sauces available.  Veggies were delicious for as
long as each Sunday's new supply lasted (they are not refrigerated), and
fresh fruit was served with a smile after lunch and dinner. 

Each guest room at Kri has overhead electric lighting, but not sufficient
for reading.  Kri supplies full bedding, including nice mosquito nets,
sheets and pillows.   The room is made up daily, and sheets are changed
twice a week.  They also provide towels, changed every 2 days, and a bar of
soap.   There is a mirror in each guest room, and also in some of the mandi
rooms.  There are several mandi huts, with western toilets (flushed with
water you pour in) and nice clean tile floors.  Mosquitoes tended to lurk
in the mandis, particularly the buildings made entirely of thatch.  

Ample drinking water is available free in plastic pitchers that you can
refill any time in the kitchen.  Some cold pitchers of water are kept in
the single fridge, along with canned beer.  Bottled Aqua cost 0.5 Euro if
you need it.

We walked around Sorido Bay Resort, and were glad we didnt stay there
(though the humidity and heat made the a/c tempting).  It has no breeze
because of the location in a bay, and has no view of the spectacular
sunsets we enjoyed nightly from the jetty at Kri.   The cabins are not out
near the water, and the guests there seemed to be more likely to stay
inside or on the porches of their own cabins, rather than mixing together
happily as we all did at Kri. 

Most of Kri's guests are Europeans, though there were several other
Americans there for parts of our stay.

Some of the guests at Kri found everything too primitive: they wanted
guides and boatmen who spoke English or Dutch, and detailed site briefings
before each dive. They were unhappy with the diet of mainly rice and
chicken.  And they thought the boats should run more reliably, especially
in light of the price paid (particularly for the surcharge trips).  

We agree that the "fuel surcharge required for the more distant dive
sites is too steep.  Also, we found it difficult to sleep well because of
the heat and humidity and the non-breathable foam mattresses.  The portable
fans in every room didn't help much, because they barely penetrated the
mosquito nets.  The nets were essential, as I got a couple of mosquito 
bites each evening despite long sleeves and pants that were treated with
permethrin, and using DEET on all exposed skin. 

Towards the end of our second week, there must have been a bad batch of
fuel, because almost all the boats experienced motor problems.  This went
on for a couple of days, and dives were late or divers had to wait for a
replacement boat to pick them up after a dive.   Boat crews didn't seem to
get started trying to solve the problems until it was almost time for the

The biggest negative for us was that the brackish bathing water was quite
salty. This meant that we were always sticky and salty and our skin began
to rebel after about 10 days, with rashes and itches everywhere.  TAKE

All extra charges must be paid in CASH upon departure.   (Extra dives, fuel
surcharge for distant dives, charges for beer and canned soft drinks and
bottled water, t-shirts, etc.)  They take many currencies (at rather poor
rates), but only cash.   The only other option is making a detour to the
office in Sorong to pay with a credit card, for which Papua Diving adds a
3% premium.  No travelers checks.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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