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Dive Review of Raja4Divers in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Raja4Divers: "a great dive resort", Mar, 2015,

by Peter Rae, CT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8151 has 3 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 N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I wanted to dive Raja Ampat, but not from a live-aboard. Having earlier been to a small resort on Lembeh Strait (North Sulawesi, Indonesia), I had some idea of what sort of place I was looking for, and what I might expect. I picked Raja4Divers on the strength of excellent reviews in Chapbook and the quality of the Raja4Divers website, and booked the first week of March, 2015. Getting there from the east coast of the US (Connecticut) was challenging, but once having flown from Newark (on Wednesday) to Tokyo to Jakarta to Sorong (on Saturday), then having taken a 3 hour boat ride to Pulau Pef, I found the trip entirely worth the effort, and my expectations blown entirely away.

First was the greeting as we new guests (three that day) climbed out of the boat: the "Pef band" was playing, the local staff were dancing, and we sucked the milk out of freshly cut coconuts while we met the staff and began the orientation. Maya is the multilingual founder, developer, construction overseer, general manager and guiding principle of Raja4Divers. Other senior staff are also Swiss or are Indonesian (and all were a lot of fun to be with). The diving guides, the boat crews and the service staff are mostly from the Raja Ampat region and are trained at Raja4Divers. The bungalows, and the restaurant/kitchen, are charming, open-air, over-the-water affairs built with local materials in traditional island style. At one end of a long pier is the dock and dive equipment facility; at the other are offices and a small shop. There is an air-conditioned and well laid out camera room. The resort is the sole occupant of the island of Pulau Pef. The service staff are very attentive and diligent, and the dive guide that looked after me for the week was very good, and did an amazing job of locating marine creatures, both large and especially small.

The other guests at the time I was there were Swiss, German and Austrian; there were couples and solos. While I was the only one whose native language is English, the management staff, my dive guide, and the other guests kindly spoke English with me, and I felt fully integrated into the group. Meals are family style, with the guests and management staff sitting together at one long table, chatting about anything and having a lot of fun together. Late afternoon on a Wednesday offers a happy hour on the beach, with canapés and plenty of Bintang (or wine or soda). After dinner on Thursdays, the above-mentioned musicians and dancers put on a session that goes from very interesting to very funny when the guests join the dancers.

My fellow guests, who seemed all to be there for three weeks stays, thought I was nuts to have come so far for just one week. I would have been happy to stay longer, but I had left my non-diver wife to spend the week at home shoveling snow, which wasn't fair. We'll do it differently next time, though, because there are opportunities for excellent snorkeling, kayaking, and walking the nature trails that traverse the island, as well as diving.

Being remote and protected, Raja Ampat is know for having what is acknowledged to be [one of] the most pristine coral reef[s] remaining in the world. The diving did not disappoint, with gorgeous reefs of many different types of colorful coral, abundantly populated by diverse fish and reef creatures. Raja4Divers has a very nice house reef that was used for the orientation dive; other dive sites are from a few minutes to 45 minutes or so away. EAN32 is the preferred gas. Morning trips are two tank affairs, with the surface interval being a leisurely stop on a remote beach for capuccini and snacks. There are two dive boats. My experience was that a boat had a boat crew of two, two or three dive guides, and three or five guests (one guide for two guests, although I was fortunate enough to have my own guide). Plus tanks, cameras, etc., the dive boats were a little bit crowded, but not uncomfortably so.

Raja4Divers is idyllic. It is also a very well thought out enterprise. It is both rustic and luxurious. Much detailed attention is given to the comfort of the guests, from greeting them upon arrival at the airport in Sorong and taking charge of luggage as soon as its off the plane, to keeping bungalows and the Raja4Divers grounds immaculate, to the valet diving, to checking luggage and getting boarding passes for the return trip while guests relax over breakfast in a Sorong hotel. For me, Raja4Divers was the best destination yet.
Websites Raja4Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Caymans, Turks & Caicos, Belize, Honduras, Cozumel and Baja, Lembeh Strait, Palau, Croatia, New England, North Carolina, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Sorong, West Papua Getting There Newark to Tokyo (NRT) to Jakarta; no good connection possibility, so 22 hour wait for the once-weekly "overnight" flight to Sorong.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 79-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 99 ft max
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Camera was well cared for on the boat, but no rinse possibility; adequate rinse tank on dock; very nice air-conditioned camera room at the resort.
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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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