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Dive Review of Misool Eco Resort in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat (South)

Misool Eco Resort: "A Comfortable Outpost In A True Paradise", Apr, 2017,

by Eric A Frick, IL, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 30 reports with 23 Helpful votes). Report 9619 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Yes, yes Raja Ampat is every bit the difficult destination to get to that people claim (4 flights, one long layover and a 3 hour boat ride for me from Chicago) but the extraordinary biodiversity of this special corner of the world is almost beyond description. My scuba shop arranged the trip and I decided to extend my Raja Ampat experience by tacking a live aboard trip onto the end, extending my trip by 11 more nights (see my separate report on my MSY Seahorse voyage).

Misool Eco Resort is a splendidly isolated tropical getaway that would be suitable for non-divers looking to unplug for a few days. Its isolation means that you are tied to the resort for all activities and dependent upon them and their facilities (1 restaurant, paddleboards, kayaks, spa and organized activities available for a separate charge) but those who demand lots of choice and distractions will find it confining. Divers, on the other hand, will be truly satisfied. Paradise comes at a price and Misool’s price is not low but they deliver a generally top-notch experience.

We arrived in Sorong after a series of flights and were met by a representative of Misool and driven to their offices in town as they gathered guests from several flights. We waited in relative comfort with drinks provided and then were driven in vans to the harbor to board what the resort’s website refers to as a “private speed boat” for the more than three-hour ride to the resort. Seating on the boat was pretty cramped, air conditioning was wheezy and fuel smells were present but you are so tired from travel and excited about getting to your final destination that the ride is tolerable. In rough seas this journey could turn into a real ordeal.

Misool’s over-water huts feature an outdoor shower and plenty of storage space. Turndown service means that the mosquito net over your bed is deployed. The air conditioning unit above the bed cools the area covered by the net but is not designed to cool your entire room. During my April stay, tropical breezes kept me comfortable and I had no substantial problems with insects but was glad I brought insecticide. Those sharing accommodations with persons other than their partners be advised: for your stay, the king mattress will be removed and replaced by two twin mattresses and the mosquito netting will be extended down the center of the bed so you will be sleeping a lot closer to your roommate than you would be if you were in separate beds separated by a side table. Wi-fi is offered, for a price, but is only available in the area around the dive center.

You soon fall into a pleasant routine. A light breakfast is served before the first dive of the day. We received a thorough briefing on our dive from the dive master and then walked to our dive boats. When the sun is out, the heat can be withering. Footwear for walking on the hot boards of the dock is a good idea, as is a hat. The dive boats are covered and comfortable and rides to the dive sites are relatively brief. The moon phase was transitioning from last quarter to new moon as our time at Misool began so the tidal extremes became more pronounced during our stay. Boats returned to the dock between dives on most days and a full breakfast was served at that time. We repeated the routine before and after lunch.

On one day during our stay, the tides did bring in a disheartening and unfortunate sight – trash. Hundreds of items, mostly plastic, rode in on the tide and floated in the lagoon. Residents as well as guests spent no small amount of time gathering up the items. This was not the refuse of the local village but came from some other island. I saw essentially no foreign matter on the reef itself but I truly hope that Indonesia gets a grip on its waste disposal challenges.

As a gesture of respect to their mostly Muslim staff, the resort does not serve pork. Dishes were varied and tasty but did not rise to the level of gourmet. Lunch was served family style and offerings included chicken satay and tofu. The dinner menu was presented at lunch and guests were asked to select their dinner entrée at that time. There were a couple of special offerings each evening as well as a list of items offered daily from which to select. The cashew chicken earned praise from many in our group but is seemed to come spicy on some evenings and milder on others. Requesting that some cooked items like tuna be prepared rare seemed to have no effect on the final outcome. On a couple of days during our stay, we did our first dive of the day and then went to a local beach where another boat met us with our breakfast and our tanks for our second dive.

On several afternoons, presentations were offered on the history of the resort or on their conservation efforts. This resort and the surrounding no-take zone represent a substantial effort that appears to be paying off for marine populations, human residents, guests and, of course, the owners. Underwater visibility during my stay ranged from 40 feet to over 80 feet. All that wonderful biodiversity requires a substantial supply of food at the base of the food-chain. Light currents were present on a few of our dives.

For divers eager to see all that the coral triangle has to offer in splendid isolation and who do not mind undertaking a bit of a trek, Misool fits the bill.

In no time at all it was time to once again squeeze aboard the “private speed boat” for the ride back to Sorong. My colleagues were headed to a local hotel to prepare for their flights home the following day but I was on the lookout for the tender boat that would take me to the second part of my Raja Ampat adventure.
Websites Misool Eco Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Various Caribbean, Mexico, Florida Keys, Great Lakes, Hawaii, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Maldives.
Closest Airport Sorong (SOQ) Getting There Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo (NRT) to Jakarta (CGK) to Makassar (UPG) to Sorong (SOQ)!

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84-85°F / 29-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Solo diving was not encouraged and divers were asked to limit their dives to 60 minutes.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Care was taken with cameras aboard boats but there are no dedicated facilities for them aboard. Ample stalls in the dive shop had great light and space. Despite the lack of boat facilities, any self respecting shutterbug would be a fool not to bring his/her camera.
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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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