Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Papua Explorers in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Papua Explorers: "10 great days in Raja Ampat", Mar, 2015,

by Fred Drennan, WA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8174 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Garuda Air flights arranged online between Bali and Sorong went off without a hitch. Upgraded to business class just for luggage issues, but got told that in general sports [=diving] equipment not surcharged. Picked up at Sorong airport by Putri [staff], taken to SwissHotel for about 2 hours, then onto boat for 2 hour trip to Gam island and resort. New resort [about 5+ years old] with overwater individual pondoks- lots of space, good light overall, mosquito netting on bed and extra fan in room. Bed very comfortable. No safe in room but no concerns. Multiple outlets in room including a 6 plug charger [but need 2 pin connectors for US plugs, 220-240V standard]. 5 gallon water jug in room. Showers are slightly brackish water, not potable, but acceptable on an island without lots of fresh water. Coffee available at dining room at 6:30am, breakfast at 7 included eggs/omelets/breads/fruits and some Indonesian food on request [burbur ayam, nasi goreng]. Lunches and dinners were varied including vegetables/ meats [no pork as one owner is muslim]. Bintang beers cheap, marginal wine expensive. Limited other alcohol, bring your own if desired. Soft drinks/ tea always available. Owners came onsite during our stay and were incredibly gracious and friendly. Tunc’s wife Selen was also the primary email contact during arrangements, and was accessible and very helpful. We also enjoyed our dinner conversations with Tari [on site manager] who was very well informed about Indonesian politics and culture. Laundry was free, clothes take 2 days to return. Towels changed about every 2-3 days, but hard to get them dry in the humidity.
Diving from several boats with no more than 6-7 divers separated into 2 groups. We had 4 people on our boat divided into 2 groups of 2, each with separate dive guide. Backroll off boat, no mooring routinely. On boat was captain and one additional staff to help lift BCs/weight belts out of the water before you come up a ladder on the side. Nitrox free, usually 30-32% full fills. Had both DIN and yoke valves. We brought our own equipment but theirs [Aqualung] looked in good condition.
Diving is walls and reefs for the most part. No real muck sites [we dove at ‘Putri’s Pool’- unusual but not memorable] and Arborek Jetty- combo of deeper reef and pier was very interesting. Plankton bloom in area of Cape Kri made viz poor [perhaps 30 feet or so] so we dove a bit more on west side of Gam Island with 75-100’ viz. Long day to The Passage included full lunch and fresh water shower at a homestay location. We dove The Passage at slack tide [nice] as it might have been a bit of a roller coaster with some of the currents we had. Also snorkeled in mangroves- very interesting cardinal fish. Overall some current, but manageable without reef hooks for the most part except at manta sites. Surface intervals on deserted islands or other piers with water/ juice/ tea/ fruit/ breads.
Photo room on pier had lots of chargers, compressed air and lots of table space. On boat had cushioned dry box for cameras. Staff good with camera management. After dive you dip suits into water with disinfectant [Detol] then hang, staff manages BCs and regs. Weights a mix of # and kg- a bit confusing. Dive team run by Ross, a Brit with phenomenal eyesight for tiny stuff who is leaving for a liveaboard in April. Other dive guides variable in their spotting or interaction [or English]. Site briefings on pier before we left were sometimes not followed.
Dives included sharks [reef and wobbegongs, and an epaulette shark under the dining room nearly every night], reef and oceanic mantas, turtles but no dugong [very rare]. Cuttlefish/ squid on many dives. Smaller stuff included multiple types of pygmy seahorses, many mantis shrimp, orangutan crabs and hairy squat lobsters, skeleton shrimp and tons of nudis. And tons of schooling fish both big [napoleon wrasses and barracuda] and small [coral obscured by glassfish/ cardinal fish/ anthias]. It felt like there were ‘rivers of fish’ underwater at many sites. We did not see any ghost or robust pipefish, blue ring or mimic octopus. Mandarin fish dive off pier had mild current, but I did see 2-3 small ones [2cm] crawling on the rocks.
Snorkeling in area is really very good, and there was a group of 5 Americans before us who only snorkeled [and had their own boat- no interference from divers!]. They went to The Passage as well and had a good time. Snorkeling off the pier looked really good as well. Each pondok has steps to the water so that at high tide you can snorkel right from your room.
Websites Papua Explorers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Fiji, PNG, Hawaii
Closest Airport SOQ Getting There Garuda

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
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 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 1 Helpful vote
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 1400 dive reviews of Indonesia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that scuba dive. Looking for Biodiversity, critters, Komodo, Raja Ampat, temples? We specialize in adventures to Indonesia.

Want to assemble your own collection of Indonesia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.11 seconds