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Dive Review of Papua Explorers in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Papua Explorers: "Ready to go back", Nov, 2016,

by Blake Hottle, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 9279 has 1 Helpful vote.

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 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My wife and I chose this resort for the following reasons.

1. Located in the heart of Raja Ampat
2. Top rated on Trip Advisor
3. Their website suggested that they were a thoughtful, eco oriented operation with quality management and standards.

We did an 11 night package. 2 dives in the morning, one in the afternoon, and an occasional night dive.

Most of the staff is local, from the nearby village, and they are excellent. Our most frequent guide for the week was Manu, and while he spoke very little English, his dive skills, unflappability, and situational awareness were amazing. We had really strong currents at times, and the way he was able to assist my wife was very much appreciated.

The guest to guide ratio was never more than 4 to one, and was usually 2 to one, which was fantastic. I won't waste too much time here to talk about the quality of the diving in Raja, because that has been well covered. It's all true. What I will say is that these people really know the area well, and I feel like we got many great experiences because of the thoughtful planning.

The heads of the dive staff, Arno and Hakim, really listened to what people wanted and while safety was always number one, they were flexible and fun.

Our cabin on the water (#9) was spacious and beautiful, with steps leading directly into the water, if you wanted to do that. No air conditioning. This would not be practical with the native construction of the bungalows. There was a ceiling fan, and a smaller beside fan, which we used on a couple of steamy nights.

I'll say this about the lack air conditioning: This might be an advantage, because a resort like this tends to attract people who don't mind roughing it a bit, and those people, in my experience, tend to be more fun and less maintenance. There were Germans, French, English, and Americans while we were there, and everybody was on the same page. Many friendships were made, both among guests and staff.

The dive briefings were almost always done at the dock before departure, with a white board and good drawings. The dives are expertly planned according to the tide. Tides move the water. The water moves the food. The fish are where the tides push against the reef, and the briefings were always accurate.

We came away completely charmed by the authenticity and grace of these people. Ready to go back.
Websites Papua Explorers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bay Islands Honduras, Bonaire, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Belize, Oregon, Washington, southern California
Closest Airport Sarong Getting There via Jakarta or Denpasar

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 78-85°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-90 Ft/ 12-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60 Minutes maximum. No Deco diving. Guide at all times because of currents.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments The typical daily dive boats hold 6 divers max, which is great. But I am glad that I brought my own portable cooler bag for rinsing my camera, as there is nothing provided on board. Personally, this is my preference, anyway, because I don't like my camera banging around with other diver's rigs between dives. There is a dedicated photo rinse tank at the dock, and there is a wonderful photo prep and storage room with individual lighting at the dock as well. Sometimes the fresh water rinse is a bit salty as the fresh water well for the resort gets a saltier at high tide.
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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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