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

Papua Diving/Kri Eco, Dec, 2010,

by Jennifer Widom, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 5883.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments (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.
Websites Papua Diving   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving worldwide
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions flexible
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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