We had an incredible stay at Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort. The resort itself is paradise, located on a stunning beach and so thoughtfully done, designed to be completely in harmony with the surroundings. The wooden bungalows were simple but very comfortable with thoughtful touches and great outdoor bathrooms.. we went for the Deluxe version so had lots of space and also had our own beach cabana.
The food in the resort was yummy, a great choice for breakfast (I highly recommend the french toast topped with fresh fruits and their homemade pineapple jam!) and lunches and dinners were also very tasty and varied, Indonesian in style and including lots of fresh vegetables.
The customer service throughout our stay was top notch and everyone was always so happy to help and did it with a smile on their face.
Now onto the diving.... the dives we did in Raja Ampat were some of the best I’ve ever done and Edmond, our guide from Biodiversity, was incredible. He had great eyes and spotted the tiniest of sea horses and other small stuff that I’d never seen before. Not only that but he has a great knowledge of the area and took us to a much quieter spot than the usual Manta Sandy and Manta Ridge as he noticed lots of boats around those sites. Instead we dived a little further away and spent an amazing hour diving with just our small group and mantas all around us. We also got to see a Giant Oceanic Manta whilst diving in Blue Magic... again due to Edmond’s expertise (and perhaps some luck!) as many other groups doing the same dive that morning missed it.
At Raja Ampat Biodiversity you’re perfectly located for all of the main sites on the Dampier Strait and the house reef is also amazing... we did a fantastic night dive which I would highly recommend. We also did the longer trips to Manta Sandy and the Fam Islands and I’d also recommend these... although it’s a bit further by boat it’s well worth it and Melissa’s Garden (on the Fam Islands trip) was spectacular.
Aside from diving there were also lots of opportunities to explore the area around the resort... bird watching walks, a sunset boat trip to The Passage (don’t miss it!), visits to local villages and kayaking to hidden beaches. I also loved the fact that we spent the surface intervals in-between dives on deserted islands or sandbanks in the middle of the ocean so it felt we were really exploring the area both above and underwater.
A very memorable few days (I only wish we’d had longer than a week!) and I’d highly recommend it to anyone considering Raja Ampat and Biodiversity Resort.... get it booked, you won’t regret it! :-)
Why we love it
Founded by two well-traveled dive instructors, this eco-resort is a gem for travelers: simple bungalows with nature all over and "à la carte" diving that will suit all budgets. If you're looking for a friendly place, cozy, with a great atmosphere, you're at the right place!
The layout of the resort is arranged so as to promote the conservation of the local flora and fauna. Sustainable building techniques, employment of the local community, 24 hours of solar electricity, recycling bins.
Who is it for?
For divers passionate about marine life and advanced divers who enjoy strong currents.
Non-diving partners can do many activities: kayak, bird-watching, photography, excursions on other islands, free-diving and snorkeling, relaxing on the beach
Three meals a day, snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea and coffee
Two dives per day package: two morning dives.
Possibility to do three dives a day, four dives a day, and night dives (ask us the rates)
Diving is within 15km of the resort
Slow Wifi in common areas from 5 to 7:30pm
What's not included?
The Raja Ampat Marine Park Fee: IDR 1,000,000 (about ... EUR)
Alcoholic and soft drinks
Transfers from and to Sorong: €50 per person per way
Equipment rental, diving courses
Additional dives on top of dive package: €40 each
Far away dive sites: Fam (€40 per person, with a minimum of 6 people), Manta sandy (€20 per person with a minimum of 4 people)
Night dive: €10 per person
Fun dives without diving package: €50 per dive
Single occupancy: supplement of €50 per night
Extra trips and excursions
Flight tickets and overnight-stays at hotels before or after the stay
At the heart of the Coral Triangle
1427 reef fish, over 600 coral species, 75% of the world’s coral species
Abundant pelagic life: many species of reef sharks, white and black tips, wobbegong sharks, bamboo sharks, reef mantas at nearby cleaning stations, and majestic oceanic manta in open water.
Large schools of tuna, trevally, mackerel. Batfish, surgeonfish, angel and butterflyfish, napoleon wrasse, bumpheads, giant sweetlips, damsels, fusiliers, anthias etc. and also magnificent macro with the rare pygmee seahorses.
Season: high Season from October to April, when plankton blooms reduce visibility but bring greater numbers of manta rays
Currents: strong and changing - some dive sites are not suitable for beginners or anyone that doesn’t feel comfortable in currents.
Visibility:15 to 20 m (50 to 66 ft) nutrient rich water can sometimes mean reduced visibility
Water Temperature:28° to 29°C (82° to 84°F)
Depth: deep and shallow dives
Located in the Dampier strait, with about 50 famous dive sites nearby
Some of the dive sites frequently visited are: Batu Lima (or Five Rocks), Friwen garden, Friwen Wall, Mike’s Point, Mioskun, Koh Island, Cross Over, Cape Kri, Sardine’s reef, Chicken reef, Blue Magic, Saporkren
Operation created in 2013
Number of boats: 3
Courses up to Divemaster
Maximum number of people per dive guide: 4
Equipment Recommended: dive computer, surface marker buoy (SMB), whistle, 'reef hook' (to use on rocks only!)
Insurance: Both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend DAN Europe that has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote.
Nearest Hyperbaric Chamber: Darwin, Australia or Manado, Sulawesi - note that there is a chamber in Raja Ampat, but it is not certified or compliant with international standards
Visas, flights, and more!
How to get there
Take an international flight to Jakarta (CGK) and then a direct flight to Sorong (SOQ).
If coming from Bali (DPS), you'll have to make a stop at Ujung Padang (UPG) or Manado (MDC) on your way to Sorong (SOQ).
The eco-resort team will pick you up with an small fee - ask us.
Raja Ampat is subject to malaria. Take necessary precautions to avoid it (cover yourself, have mosquito repellent and take malarone tablets - Lariam has limited effectiveness in this area due to a resistant strain of Malaria and is not recommended. )
Bring sunscreen, a hat, a rash guard, a sweater or a light-weight jacket, some walking shoes