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Dive Review of Raja4Divers in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Raja4Divers, Dec, 2013,

by Michael N. Hofman, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 7479 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 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 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I can't remember if I have reviewed this destination before, but I should have. Raja4Divers (on Palau Pef) is a very well run small resort (7 thatched huts currently, may grow to a total of 12 in five years). This was our third trip there, and we stayed for three weeks. The resort is located 3 hours by boat from Sarong, and of course flight logistics are cumbersome. But once you arrive, you're met by one of the staff, and your worries are over. The resort was started and is run by a Swiss manager(Maya), who's done a super job in combining professional management with local customs and sensibilities. The diving is superb for beautiful coral, variety of fish, some muck diving, seeing turtles and sharks (black tip, white tip, woebegone, nurse, walking) and of course mantas and other rays.
Note: this is a remote resort and caters more to Europeans than Americans. In face this past trip we were the only Americans for our entire stay. If you're uncomfortable being in the minority, be forewarned. However, everyone was extremely friendly and we never felt out of the loop. In fact, we've made some very close friends over the past trips.
Also note: the thatched huts are well appointed and very large, but don't have air conditioning. In general this is okay, but at night the wind dies down and the power goes off between 12:30 am and 5:30 am (there's some talk of a second generator coming on line). We actually purchased and brought with us small travel fans which helped during the middle of the night.
Oh, and by the way, they have satellite Internet on the island (fast enough for Skype conversations).
Because the huts are situated over the water (and the setting makes for fabulous sunset photos with nothing but water and distant islands in your view) things might tend to get a bit damp during your stay.
This is a great destination for experienced divers, new divers and snorkelers. My wife has gone on all the trips and she has greatly enjoyed this destination for snorkeling based on the variety and health of the coral. At most destinations, she slipped in the water above us or near us and had a great time; a few times the boat captain took her to a location nearby.
We were especially impressed with the dive operations, developed and managed by Armin and Sabine, a wonderful Swiss couple with a great deal of prior experience. Their expertise, combined with local, trained and certified dive guides, makes for a wonderful and fun experience. Armin spent countless hours and dives helping me to improve my photography, and Sabine was a great diving companion for many memorable dives.
Don't plan on coming to Raja4Divers if you want to specialize in muck diving, as there is some but not like Lembeh.
This is a viable alternative to other resorts in Raja Ampat, especially if you want a small resort with a local orientation,
We're planning on going back and look forward to our next visit!
Oh I almost forgot the mention the fabulous dives with mantas, both at Manta Sandy and Manta Slope, when we experienced numbers of mantas no more than 15 feet away for over an hour at a time!
Websites Raja4Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Caribbean, Fiji, Australia, Sulawesi, Komodo, Sarong, Ambon, Lembeh, Bunkga Solomons, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions diving briefing indicated "try to stick to 60 minutes" but no one cared and it was never enforced -- really quite the opposite
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 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Each photographer was assigned a foam enclosed box (big or small depending on the camera(s) which was used to transport the cameras into the dive boats. ON shore there was a rinse tub only for cameras and an entire "atelier" (i.e., camera room) dedicated to camera work. Spare parts and rentals were available as well as expert advice!
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Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By carl berensonin WA, US at Feb 06, 2014 17:33 EST  
Have you dived with any other outfit in raja?
By report author: Michael N. Hofman in CA, US at Feb 06, 2014 22:40 EST  
We've done a number of live aboards in raja (maybe 3 or 4) but this is the only land based operation. However, I feel it's equivalent to Misool, better than Papua divers and most likely better than the others, due to personal attention and maximum number of divers at the resort at any one time
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