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Dive Review of Papua Explorers Resort in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

November, 2015, an Instant Reader Report by Sandy Falen, KS, US
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
"Paradise Found!"
Report Number 8639 has 2 Helpful votes
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Most of the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Palau, Sulawesi, Kosrae, Fiji
Closest Airport
Getting There
You have to want to get there
enough to make the effort:
Tokyo, Jakarta, Makassar, then
Sorong was my route. 

Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dives are limited to one hour. They ask divers not to go below 90 feet and
to avoid deco.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
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Small Critters
  For Subscribers Only
Large Fish
For Subscribers Only  
Large Pelagics
  For Subscribers Only
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
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There is a very nice camera room next to the dive shop and dock. No special
facilities on the boat.  ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
For Subscribers Only
4 stars
Service and Attitude
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Environmental Sensitivity  
For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation
For Subscribers Only  
Shore Diving  
For Subscribers Only  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
For Subscribers Only    
3 stars   
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Raja Ampat. Utter the name among experienced divers, and you'll likely
receive wistful expressions and whispers of "someday" in
response. Knowing well that life's surprises can easily make
"someday" vaporize, I steeled myself for the arduous travel,
sucked up the extra expense, and booked that fantasy trip to the legendary
"Four Kings" archipelago of Indonesia.

Papua Explorers (PE) is a relatively new, intimate dive resort on Gam
Island - a two-hour boat ride from Sorong, in the West Papua Province of
Indonesia. Getting there takes some fortitude: I crossed the Pacific in a
13-hour haul from Dallas to Tokyo, quickly followed by an 8-hour flight to
Jakarta, site of my first overnight stop. The next afternoon, I boarded a
2-hour, Garuda Air flight to Makassar, on the southern end of Sulawesi, and
made my second overnight stop. Early the next morning, another 2-hour
Garuda flight deposited me in Sorong, where I was greeted by PE rep and
escorted to a modern hotel where I could relax, have breakfast, use wifi,
and wait for the other incoming guests to arrive. At the appointed noon
hour, we were all whisked to a nearby harbor for the 2-hour crossing to Gam
Island. I thought it was a fine omen when our boat was greeted along the
way by dozens of cavorting dolphins  the largest single pod I've ever
seen. It was definitely a sign of good things to come.

As we approached our destination, the view of PE's 14 overwater bungalows,
open-air restaurant, dock and dive shop did not disappoint: it is every bit
as beautiful as the photos on the website. The "welcoming
committee" included a large contingent of PE staff and traditional
Papuan music. Guest information forms had been completed and provided
electronically prior to travel, so only signatures were required, along
with certification cards, dive insurance cards, and passports. No filling
out long forms! Why doesn't everyone do it that way?

After a brief orientation and a tasty lunch, we were escorted to our
Papuan-style, over-water bungalows. The stunning view of the ocean and
neighboring islands is  maximized by an ent ...
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Subscriber's Comments

By kathleen lynch in TX, US at Nov 15, 2015 07:53 EST  
Good report.  May I ask how long the boat rides to the sites were? 
By Sandra K Falen in KS, US at Nov 15, 2015 10:43 EST  
As noted in the last sentence of paragraph six, most sites were 10-25
minutes.  The Passage is a longer trip of around 45 minutes each way. The
water was flat and the boat rides delightful, with stunningly beautiful
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