Raja Ampat translates into English as Four Kings and gets its name from a local mythology about four kings that occupy the four big islands: Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo and Misool.
Papua Explorers Resort is located in the islands of Raja Ampat, which is on the northwest tip of the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua. It’s a stunning archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, hosting thousands of species some of which are endemic to the region.
It’s a new regency which separated from Sorong Regency in 2004. It encompasses more than 40,000 km² of land and sea, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. It is a part of the newly named West Papua (province) of Indonesia which was formerly Irian Jaya.
The name of Raja Ampat comes from local mythology that tells about a woman who finds seven eggs. Four of the seven eggs hatch and become kings that occupy four of Raja Ampat biggest islands whilst the other three become a ghost, a woman, and a stone.
History shows that it was once a part of Tidore Kingdom, an influential kingdom from Maluku. Yet, after the Dutch invaded Maluku, it was shortly claimed by the Netherlands. The main occupation for people around this area is fishing since the area is dominated by the sea. They live in a small colony of tribes that spreads around the area. Although traditional culture still strongly exists, they are very welcoming to visitors. Their religion is dominantly Christian.
Raja Ampat’s Biodiversity in numbers :More than 1,300 species of coral reef fish. Five species of rare and endangered sea turtles including the hawksbill sea turtle, 600 species of hard coral within the Bird’s Head Seascape—75% of the total for the entire world, 13 marine mammal species including the dugong, 700 species of mollusk—including 7 giant clam species, 57 species of mantis shrimp within the Bird’s Head Seascape.
Papua Explorers Resort is located in the heart of Raja Ampat, which is on the northwest tip of the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua. Most famous dive sites of Raja Ampat are on our doorstep within 10 to 30 minutes boat rides. At Papua Explorers, you won’t have annoying, long boat rides for hours to get to the dive sites, pay extra to dive at Dampier Strait or be limited by the number of dives you can do at these sites. You have the freedom to choose from more than 50 dive sites around us.
Papua Explorers Resort is constructed using traditional Papuan construction methods and local, natural materials. Our water bungalows are designed to be in perfect harmony with the exotic surrounding, allowing the guests to feel the breeze from the rainforests, enjoy the songs of the tropical birds and soothe their souls with the flutter of the waves. Our 300 m2, over-the- sea restaurant and lounge is designed to offer a relaxing environment to enjoy various international and local dishes freshly prepared in our restaurant and to refresh and relax between the dives.
The little peninsula that Papua Explorers Resort is located on is home to the endemic Red Bird of Paradise. This unique bird and it’s amazing mating ceremony can be observed after an early morning hike in the rainforest. This is also an excellent way to observe the amazing plants and creatures of the rainforest.
Located within 30 minutes of most of our dive sites, Raja Ampat’s spectacular underwater world is easily accessible by boat:
- Otdima – 5 min
- Mike’s Point – 10 min
- Cape Kri – 15 min
- Manta Point – 20 min
- Chicken Reef – 20 min
- Sardine Reef – 25 min
- Mioskon – 25 min
- Blue Magic – 25 min
- Hidden Bay – 30 min
- Passage – 45 min
The waters of Raja Ampat are highly rich in nutrients, and the Dampier Strait (our location) is especially nutrient-rich due its fast moving currents. Nutrient rich water, and fast moving currents make the perfect environment for an abundance of marine life, including migrating mammals and pelagic species. However, such nutrient-rich water can mean low visibility at times (typically 15-20 m), and the majority of our dive sites will have current in varying degrees, from mild through to very strong, depending on the tides and moon. We recommend for you to bring your own reef hook, as these assist you during dives with stronger current.
Some dive sites are not suitable for beginners or anyone that doesn’t feel comfortable in currents. Our dive guides check the current direction and strength before the divers get in the water and change the dive plan or site if necessary. Our dive groups are maximum 6 people and we have a head dive guide and an assistant guide in each group.
If you haven’t dived for 2 years or longer, we would recommend to get a refresher course to ease you back into scuba diving. We would also strongly recommend the Advanced Open Water Diver Course as it would enable you to dive to a bigger range of dive sites and maintain a perfect buoyancy to protect the pristine coral and marine life here.
All divers are required to bring their own safety buoys and whistles with them when coming to our resort. It is mandatory for all divers to have dive insurance to be able to dive with Papua Explorers. Waisai (45 minutes from our location by boat) has a Hyperbaric Chamber, however costs for treatment and further transportation can be extremely high in case of an emergency. Therefore, all dives are planned and executed without deco stops and it is mandatory for all divers to use a dive computer. All divers are required to follow their guide and guide instructions while diving with Papua Explorers.
We offer Diving Packages and Non-Diving Packages to suit all our guests; from the avid diver to those who prefer a combination of diving and land based activities.
This all-inclusive package includes accommodation and diving, and is suitable for those that wish to get in as many spectacular Raja Ampat dives as they can!
Our Diving Package includes:
- 3 boat dives per day (excluding arrival and departure days)
- unlimited house reef dives
- “The Passage” day trip
- scuba tanks, weight belts, guide, beach towel, morning tea
- Free nitrox (excluding night dives)
Non Diving Package:
This package includes accommodation only, and dives and snorkels are charged at our standard rates. This package is suitable for those that wish to spend a little more time relaxing in their hammock, enjoying massages, or experiencing any of our other land based activities.
RATES per diver in Euro:
RATES per NON diver in Euro:
Our Water bungalows blend traditional Papuan style with the comfort of modern design features. They are built by using local, natural materials collected from the surrounding villages. Other features are: 220 V electricity with European type plugs, in room tea and coffee facilities, drinking water, environmentally friendly and natural soap.
Papua Explorers Eco Resort is constructed using local architectural techniques and natural materials. Walls are made from Daun Bobo, roofs are made from Daun Nipa, floors and window and door frames are made from ironwood. These are the typical materials used for traditional Papuan houses. Our deluxe water bungalows are very spacious with their 72 m2 total area, which includes a 40 m2 room, WC, shower and hot water, and a 20 m2 veranda. There are slightly smaller superior water bungalows upon request. Each room has a bed with mosquito net, ceiling fan, desk and chair, a seating area consisting of a two-seater sofa and a coffee table. There are two sun loungers on each veranda as well as a hammock to enjoy the breath-taking Raja Ampat sunsets. There is a stairway straight to the ocean on the veranda. Towels, environmentally friendly natural shampoo &shower gel and soap are provided.
RAJA AMPAT RESTAURANT:
You will never miss a sunrise or sunset with the unique, round shape of our restaurant. You can enjoy the beauty of the ocean and rainforest at the same time. You will taste examples of traditional Indonesian cuisine as well as international comfort foods – all freshly prepared by our kitchen team. You can gather energy enjoying the snacks between dives and chill out in our seating area after dinner.
HOW TO GET THERE?
The main entry point to Raja Ampat is Sorong, which can be reached from Jakarta, Manado, Ambon or Makassar via domestic flights. There are international flights to Jakarta, Manado and Makassar (Ujung-Pandang) and below are some alternatives for the connecting flights:
- Jakarta-Sorong direct flight: GarudaIndonesia, Batik Air,
- Jakarta-Sorong through Ujung-Pandang (Makassar): Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air,Lion Air.
- Jakarta-Sorongthrough Ambon: Lion Air
- Ujung Pandang-Sorong: There are international flights to Ujung Pandang from Singapore& Kualalumpur. This option requires one-nightstay in Ujung Pandang.
- Manado-Sorong: There are direct flights to Manado from Singapore. This option requires one-nightstay in Manado.
There are airport hotels in Jakarta and Ujung Pandang(Makassar). Rooms can be booked upon request.
Transportation in Indonesia is a growing and improving sector, however the standards are still way below the Western world. Therefore, it’s important to mentally prepare yourself for the imperfections you may face during your travel. Be patient and stay positive, remind yourself that you will be in heaven soon. Please note that travel insurance is recommended for all guests to cover any potential loss caused by the airlines and for unforeseen circumstances due to rescheduled, cancelled or missed flights. Don’t forget to lock your luggage and housing cases.
Airplanes can be extremely cold in domestic flights. We’d recommend that you have a light jacket with you. Domestic airlines can be quite tolerant about over weight issues occasionally. The cost for extra luggage is usually around USD3-4/kg for Jakarta-Sorong flights. Some airlines even have an extra allowance for diving equipment.
Domestic flight tickets can be arranged by our company; a 20% booking fee is applicable on top of the ticket rate.
TRANSFERS TO AND FROM THE ISLAND:
Papua Explorers Eco Resort has scheduled transfers to the island from Sorong every Sunday and Wednesday with our own transfer boat. Our boat leaves at latest at 12:00 noon and we strongly recommend our guests to arrange their flights to arrive earlier than this. In case the guests cannot catch these transfers, we can provide special transfers at an extra cost. Although we do our best to accommodate late arrivals due to flight delays, we may not be able to wait for long if there are other guests in the boat. In these cases, special transfers will need to be arranged for the guests that arrive late. Our guests will be greeted by our ground crew upon arrival at Sorong and taken for clean bathrooms and breakfast (free of charge) at a nearby hotel until the boat is prepared for departure and all the guests have arrived.
Our boat leaves the resort at 6:00 o’clock to reach flights departing from Sorong after 10:00 o’clock.Please kindly arrange your domestic flight tickets according these transfer times. Please always take in account that we are operating at a remote area of the world, always try to plan your flights and connections leaving ample time for unwanted conditions that might arise during transfer.
Therefore travel insurance is recommended for all our guests.