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Dive Review of Papua Explorers Dive Resort in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Papua Explorers Dive Resort: "Papua Explorers Dive Resort", Feb, 2015,

by Kit Ng , HI, US ( 2 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8128 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The resort is located on the south shore of Gam Island, a central location of all famous dive sites in the Birds Head region. The resort has 12 spacious water bungalows for 2-3 people per unit. Mine is the furthest one away, with glass window and French doors open to the view of water and island across. Each unit has indoor sitting area, hot water shower, private veranda with hammock and lounge chairs. The bungalows and dining room have no air-conditioning, but the ceiling fans and cross wind during the day help to cool the temperature. The dining area sits above water of depth between 0.5 to 2 meters depending on tidal change, perfect nursery and feeding area for juvenile black tip sharks, walking sharks, trigger fish, jacks, etc. Occasionally the eagle dives into the nearby water for fish.

NOT TO MISS side trips: This resort is the ONLY resort in this region providing day trip to Wayag islands (additional EURO 160) with two dives and hiking up steep trails (about 20 minutes) to the top for unobstructed view of mushroom islands nearby. Since only a handful of liveaboard boats include route and diving in Wayag, this is an EXCELLENT and relatively CHEAPER way to get to experience Wayag. For additional cost, the resort also provides side trips to nearby islands to see the 2 endemic species of bird of paradise: Wilson and Red. Other highlight includes visit to the nearby local village. The resort employs most of the staff from nearby villages and areas, and cares whole-heartedly of the well-being of locals and environments.

The bungalows are cleaned and tidied up daily before we return from the two morning dives; while at night when guests are dining, the staff prepares the mosquito net, sprays the room, and turns on the night lights. This thoughtful personal touch makes guests feel special and is greatly appreciated.

The dining service is superb. The foods are good; all the beards, breakfast rolls, pastries, and cakes are home-made and very very tasty. There is also variety of tropical fruits available. The managers and staff have keen observation to guests' diet preference and habits, and try very best to adjust their menu to please all guests. I have a very picky eating habits, and usually make no specific request to avoid extra attention. But the staff notices it right away and adds more vegetables and non-meat protein dishes. The owners and dive managers join the guests and mingle with everyone during all part of experiences, providing very down-to-earth, friendly, and welcoming stay.

The free guest wifi service covers small range and works best during late at night, early morning, and when most guests are out diving.
Websites Papua Explorers Dive Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Fiji, Lembeh, Bunaken, Philippines, Palau, Micronesia, Thailand, Misool, Triton Bay, French Polynesia, Guam, Carribean, Alaska
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There Once arriving in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, there is 1 stop before getting to Sorong. I chose to stop in Makassar with the connecting flight departing at 3am, that took me to Sorong at about 6am to catch the complimentary 2-hour fast boat transfer from Sorong to dive resort. I picked Garuda airline for all domestic flights, it allows 20kg regular luggage plus another 20kg for dive gears. Must be packed separately.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, surge, currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Each diver must carry a whistle and safety sausage. No gloves are allowed. No touching of any marine animals. No taking of any shells or maring living things.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
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 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments The resort is within 15-30 minutes to all famous diven sites like Cape Kri, Sardine Reef, Mioskon, Mike's Point, Airborek, Blue Magic, Manta Sandy, Manta Dropoff, etc. A lot of wide angle opportunities, from school of mantas, barracudas, reef sharks, bumphead parrot fish, sweetlips, jacks, groupers, snappers, batfish, to smaller fish like anthias, chromis, damsels, big eyes, wrasses, etc . The amount and colors of soft, hard, and black corals in this region is phenomenal. The visibility during this time of year is poor due to the amount of plankton, but this condition favors mantas. One morning, there is a huge school of sperm whales swimming across the channel in front of resort, a few of them is as close as 50 feet from the dive deck. I also get to see the endemic flasher wrasses in action (males flashing) at a nearby reef during one dusk dive. At roughly 15 feet under the house jetty, a small rubble patch is home to 4-5 mandarin fish. There is frequent sighting of blue ring octopus from 25 to 60 feet in the house reef also. On one coral head, my dive guide found 3 pontohi pigmy seahorses; other common sightings are Bargibanti and Denise pigmy seahorses.

The currents can be an issue; this is not a windy season, so getting in and out of dive boat is not an issue. The visibility during this time ranges from good to poor, so stay close to the dive guide is important. The dive guide to divers ratio is about 1:2-3, and each dive boat fits 4-6 divers. The owners and dive management are very concern about each divers and staff well-being and safety; each dive boat is equipped with oxygen tank/mask and first aid box. I sync my Nautilus Lifeline to the dive boat radio channel for extra precaution. The dive manager and his assistant speak fluent English to assist and ease the flow of diving. Majority of boat drivers and dive guides are local Papuans, with great knowledge of sea and weather conditions, local dive sites, underwater topography, etc.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Renee Ross in OR, US at Feb 21, 2015 18:59 EST  
How would you compare the diving here compared to Misool Eco Reaort?
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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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