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Dive Review of Papua Diving/Kri Eco in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

December, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Jennifer Widom, CA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5883
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
83   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
(We posted the same review on Tripadvisor)

Bottom line: If you want terrific land-based Raja Ampat diving at an
economical price, and you don't mind "roughing it" a bit, Kri Eco
is the place for you. Thanks to other reviews and an honest web site, we
set our expectations appropriately, and we were very happy.

In terms of diving, the resort offers four boat dives spread throughout the
day, although many guests choose to do their dusk or night dive off the
resort jetty instead of by boat -- the house reef is pretty decent. The
dive sites reachable by boat in 5-15 minutes range from very good to truly
outstanding. When we were there (December) the visibility was only in the
40-60 foot range, but the reefs were still beautiful and the sea life
excellent. Over the course of 20+ dives we saw just about everything,
running the gamut from numerous pygmy seahorses, to a lucky sighting of a
blue-ring octopus, to quite a few wobbegong sharks. Nudibranchs, clownfish,
scorpion fish, and other standard fare for Southeast Asia are plentiful.
There are fewer reef sharks and turtles than, say, Sipadan, but lots of
fish. The highlight was our two-dive trip to "manta sandy" --
apparently there are now several manta spots known to the operators. I
don't know if we were exceptionally lucky, but on both dives we had at
least one and up to six giant mantas with us nonstop. We also saw mantas
for briefer periods on two of the regular dives.

The boats are comfortable, but there were a few snafus with unfilled tanks,
misassembled equipment, and the like -- it's certainly a place to check
everything over before jumping in. Some of the dive guides are quite good,
but others speak little English, may be relatively inexperienced, and
weren't all that careful with the reef or sealife. The place could use a
really good lead Papuan divemaster to do a bit of training. Meanwhile the
currents really rip on some of the dives (not coincidentally, some of the
best ones). We became proficient with reef hooks and felt comfortable, but
we're experienced divers. It's not a place for a beginner to put him or
herself in the hands of the guide.

In terms of the resort itself, as other reviews have noted, it's rustic but
absolutely clean. The over-water bungalows have the advantage of few bugs
and a bit of a breeze, but "natural air conditioning" would be a
stretch. For most guests, the biggest downside was the absence of showers,
or of truly fresh water -- the closest one gets is pouring brackish water
over one's head. The food is served family-style, encouraging interaction
among guests, and we thought it was very good. Hot drinks and drinking
water are available all the time, along with morning snacks. Sodas and
beers are costly, but not out of range given the difficulty of bringing
anything to the resort. There are nice hammocks and sitting areas. Overall,
we liked the atmosphere a great deal, but guests used to even mid-scale
resorts should set their expectations down a notch. Those who definitely
need their comforts are catered to by the nearby, considerably more
expensive sister resort of Sorido Bay.
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