FAQ (still under construction)


Travel Organization and Transport

Raja Ampat can be visited any time of the year. The temperature is between 30-35 degrees Celsius and the sea is at 28-29 degrees Celsius throughout the year.  It is possible to have tropical rains any time, but like most tropical rains, these will not last for too long.

You have to take an international flight to Jakarta and then take a direct flight to Sorong or take a stop-over at Ujung Padang (Makassar) or Manado. We will arrange your transport from Sorong airport to the resort. Please also consult the sections ‘How to get there?’ and ‘Transfers to and from the island’ and our ‘Published Rates’-section in our info document for detailed information.

On the morning of your arrival in Sorong, our assistant will meet you either inside the airport arrival hall or just outside at the exit and assist you until the boat. You will recognize him as he will be wearing a shirt with Papua Explorers logo. First, he will take you to a hotel for breakfast and clean toilets while we wait for everyone to arrive and the boat to get ready to leave. The boat will leave at 12:00. See the section ‘Transfers to and from the island’ in our info document for more information about the boat departure times.

Our regular transfer days with scheduled transfers are Sunday and Wednesday. These transfers are complementary for our guests staying minimum 7 nights. If you arrive one day earlier, you can stay overnight in a hotel in Sorong. We will be happy to arrange that for you (consult our ‘Published Rates’-section in our info document). In case you need a non-scheduled transfer to the resort, we can arrange that as well. Please consult our ‘Published Rates’-section in our info document for that, too.

From Sorong airport to the hotel it is a 10-15-minute car ride. Later, from the hotel to the harbor it’s a 3-minute car ride. Depending on the weather conditions the boat ride to the resort takes between 2.5 and 3 hours.

Our scheduled transfers on Sunday and Wednesday depart at 12:00 noon at the latest, so depending on the weather conditions you will arrive at Papua Explorers Resort between 14:30 and 16:00 in the afternoon. Lunch will be waiting for you at the resort. For non-scheduled transfers this may differ.

To be able to reach all outgoing guest flights and to bring new guests in on time, we usually depart from the resort at 6:00 o’clock in the morning. That way we can reach flights departing from Sorong after 10:30 o’clock. Please kindly arrange your domestic flight tickets according to these transfer times. If your outgoing flight is later in the afternoon we will bring you to a nearby hotel where you can refresh and relax in the lobby before we pick you up again and bring you to the airport.

Yes, you can arrive on a day other than Sunday or Wednesday. If you arrive one day earlier, you can stay overnight in a hotel in Sorong. We will be happy to arrange that for you (consult our ‘Published Rates’-section in this document). In case you need a non-scheduled transfer to the resort, we can arrange that as well. However, in months with a high occupancy, a non-scheduled transfer might not be possible, as we don’t want to disturb our operations. Please ask our booking team and please consult our ‘Published Rates’-section in this document for that, too.

Here is an open list of things we recommend to bring along (underlined items are mandatory):

Money and Documents:

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  • Proof of return ticket
  • 35 USD for Visa on Arrival, if it applies to your country
  • Your insurance documents (travel, health, dive insurance)
  • Some Indonesian Rupiah in cash (e.g. to pay overweight luggage fees, or just to buy a bottle of water during transit)
  • Cash for paying your extra drinks, excursions, dives, snorkels (if non-diver package), souvenirs at the resort (we accept Rupiah, Euro, USD)
  • Dive certification cards (also: Nitrox certification card, if you’d like to use Nitrox)
  • Dive log book (if you have one)

Clothes and Protection:

  • Jacket for the domestic flights as it can get cold there
  • Sun lotion (please make sure it’s ocean safe)
  • Mosquito repellant (although Malaria is not very wide-spread in this reason it is advisable to take precautions); all our bungalows are equipped with mosquito net, electric mosquito repellant and will be sprayed with chemical mosquito repellant in the evening
  • Long sleeved light clothes (another precaution against Malaria in the evening)
  • Swimwear
  • Sun hat and Sunglasses
  • Sandals/flipflops
  • A pair of sturdy walking shoes in case you want to make an excursion and a raincoat if you want to make an excursion

Electronics:

  • Camera / UW Camera
  • Chargers for your electric devices
  • Power plug adapter for non-European plugs

Diving Related:

  • Your dive gear, if you have any (especially bring your reef-hook, safety buoy and a whistle)
  • Spare parts for your dive gear, should you have any (e.g. spare mouth piece, mask strap, batteries)
  • Snorkelers: rash guard (we recommend that for sun protection)
  • Contact lenses to wear under you mask if you need them
  • Mask defog
  • A waterproof pouch or dry bag (something to put your camera in when you go on a trip)

Medicine, Food and Necessities:

  • For the ladies: tampons and a good, environmentally friendly conditioner for your hair (salt water can be nasty)
  • Any kind of necessities (deodorant, toothbrush etc.)
  • Medicine:
    • If there are pills that you need to take regularly, please bring enough stock for all the days of your stay
    • If you have any medicine allergies and you need to use special medications in case of sickness, bring these with you as well
    • Something against diarrhea, just in case
    • Seasickness medicine if you need it
  • Special food you might need (e.g. if you are on a diet)
  • Your favorite spirit from the duty-free shop (we have beer, wine and a limited amount of spirits at the resort)
  • If you bring your child: all necessities, special food and medicine for the child

Others:

  • Anything else you might specifically need or cannot live without (laptop, cuddle-teddy, liquorice…)
  • Binoculars for spotting birds
  • Some guests like to bring donations for our neighbor village Yenwaupnor (e.g. children’s clothes, pens, books, toys…). Do not feel obliged to that as we make regular donations to the village already. But some guests say, once they arrived here, that – had they known before – they would have liked to bring something along. That’s why we put that here.
  • Towels: we provide towels in your room and on all dive and snorkeling trips.
  • Water bottles: we give you a personal water bottle and provide water in the bungalows, the restaurant, the dive center and on the dive boats.
  • Too warm clothes, as the temperature is between 30-35 degrees Celsius here.
  • Your dry-suit and your thick wetsuit – the water temperature is between 28-29 degrees Celsius throughout the year. So, unless you are freezing very quickly you will only need a 3 or 5 mm diving suit.
  • Many pairs of fancy shoes, as you might not be able to use them here. The path to the bungalows is sandy, our jetties are made from wood and restaurant is a no-shoe-zone. That way you won’t find many applications for high-heels here.
  • Soap/shower gel: we provide environmentally friendly soap and shower gel in our bungalows.
  • Umbrellas: we provide them here as well.
  • Laundry detergent: our free laundry service will be happy to take care of washing your clothes for you once a week.
  • Preventive malaria medicine that may impact diving. Rather discuss alternatives with your doctor at home.
  • Spearfishing equipment.
  • Diving gloves, unless you really need them for medical reasons. Divers that wear gloves are more likely to touch aquatic life that should not be touched.
  • Fish-ID-books: we have plenty here.
  • Drugs, weapons and all other stuff you are not allowed to bring into the country.
  • Hair drier: we have a small stock of basic hair driers at the resort.
  • And most important: try to leave your stress at home. 🙂

If this happens, please inform us immediately about this through raja@papuaexplorers.com, if possible. If the flight delay is not too big, we will accommodate that by just picking you up from the airport at the new scheduled time. Otherwise we do our best to accommodate late arrivals due to flight delays, but we may not be able to wait for long if there are other guests who join the boat. In these cases, special transfers will need to be arranged for the guests that arrive late at an extra cost.

WIT (Eastern Indonesian Time) UTC/GMT + 9 hours. This means 2 hours ahead of Jakarta and 1 hour ahead of Bali. No daylight-saving time (DST).

Diving

Yes, Nitrox is available free of charge for guests who booked the divers package in advance. For those with the non-diver package we may still be able to provide Nitrox, subject to availability. Please don’t forget to bring along your Nitrox certification card.

Tag: nitrox

All our dive boats are equipped with emergency oxygen, emergency medical bag, and two-way marine radio. On our bigger boats (which are used for long day trips and the transfer from/to Sorong) we have life vests and use GPS-navigation and satellite phone. We also carry a spare parts box on each boat. Please also consult the section ‘Equipment & Safety’ in our info document for more information.

We can accommodate both Yoke and DIN valves.

Tags: DIN, tank, valves, yoke

Yes, we are a PADI 5-Star Dive Centre and offer a discover-diving program and diving courses for beginners as well as courses for advanced divers. Please consult our price list in our info document for more information or visit PADI.com.

No! All dives are planned and executed without deco stops and it is mandatory for all divers to use a dive computer. 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.

We go out for two dives in the mornings. In between, we have our surface interval in one of the surrounding villages, beaches or sand banks which provides a great opportunity to explore the area. We come back to the resort for lunch and go out again for the third boat dive in the afternoon. If you still don’t get enough, you can do a sunset or night dive at our house reef as a 4th dive of the day.

On full-day excursions we have lunch in picnic form.

Of course, you can do night dives or sunset dives from our house reef. All house reef dives are with a dive guide, too. The only exception: on Saturdays we have staff meetings, so no night dive on Saturday evening. All other evenings are possible.

It is indeed true that we get strong currents depending on the tides and moon and 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 max. 6 people and we have a head dive guide and an assistant guide in each group.

We have a check dive for everyone and we make the groups according to experience level. We ease all divers into the currents by starting the dives with sites that get mild currents. There are enough sites with mild current to complete a week diving without going to the dive sites that get strong currents. However, you might also miss some of the highlights of Raja Ampat.

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.

Booking, Payment and Rates

Please send us an email at raja@papuaexplorers.com and let us know the following:

  • Your name, and the names of the persons you are traveling with
  • The preferred date of your stay
  • The number of bungalows you need and how they should be set up (single, double or triple)

Our booking team will then contact you through email and discuss the further details with you.

All package rates include:

  • Deluxe Water Cottage Accommodation with en-suite bathroom & hot water.
  • Full board (international buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Afternoon tea/coffee and cakes
  • Welcome drink
  • Internet service & WiFi
  • Laundry service once a week
  • 50% off for children <10 years old in parent’s room
  • Free transfer from Sorong airport to the resort and back on scheduled transfer days (Wednesdays and Sundays)

The Diver Package additionally includes:

  • 3 Boat dives per day (excluding arrival and departure day) at iconic Raja Ampat dive sites and unlimited House Reef dives (unused dives are not refundable)
  • Scuba tanks, weight belts, guide, beach towel, water, on morning dives: snacks, tea/coffee
  • Free Nitrox (excluding night dives)
  • One “The Passage” full-day excursion free of charge (cannot be exchanged with another daytrip other daytrips are subject to a surcharge)
  • The Raja Ampat Marine Park Fee
  • Purchases made at the resort (e.g. alcoholic and canned drinks, chocolate and cigarettes, souvenirs, massages)
  • Rental equipment, diving courses, extra trips and excursions
  • Exceptional transfers and transfers to other resorts
  • Flight tickets and overnight-stays at hotels (Sorong or airport hotels during transit)
  • Any other purchases you make

Each guest visiting the area of Raja Ampat National Park is subject to pay an entrance fee. Its validity is one calendar year. The amount of the fee is established by Raja Ampat Government and is subject to change without prior notice. At the present date, the amount is Rp 1.000.000 per person (about € 75) for international guests. Rp 500.000 per person for Indonesian citizens.

Payments before your stay (accommodation, marine park fee etc.):

  • We kindly ask you to wire transfer the payment using the SWIFT transfer method (no IBAN).
  • Payments are quoted and paid in EURO. US Dollars or Indonesian Rupiah upon request.
  • All proof of payment should be sent to: raja@papuaexplorers.com
  • 25% first deposit within 7 days from the confirmation date, to grant the booking.
  • No later than 45 days before arrival 75% balance must be paid.
  • When booking less than 45 days prior to arrival we can only guarantee the booking after the full amount is paid.
  • Money transfer fees remain the responsibility of the guest.

Payments during your stay (on the last evening, e.g. canned drinks, excursions, souvenirs etc.):
All extra payments at the resort need to be paid in CASH. Rupiah, US Dollars & Euro banknotes are accepted.

Miscellaneous

Activities close to the resort:

  • Snorkeling at our beautiful house reef
  • Kayaking
  • Massage or facial treatment in our spa
  • Yoga
  • Lounging on our sundeck
  • Taking a walk to our neighboring village Yenwaupnor, with shy but friendly inhabitants (also many of our employees come from this village, so you might see some familiar faces)
  • Taking a walk along the beach during low tide
  • Guided early morning or early afternoon trip to see the Red Bird of Paradise (it starts from the village and then it’s a 20-minute walk up the hill to the Bird watching station)

Activities reachable by boat:

  • Going along on the daily diving boats for snorkeling (including snorkel guide, snacks, coffee/tea, towels) – this is subject to a surcharge.
    Many of our dive sites are suitable for snorkeling as well. During the surface interval in between dives we have a coffee at a nice beach, or at a nice village. So, there’s always something to see.
  • Joining one of the full day trips where we combine sightseeing and diving/snorkeling. This is subject to a surcharge. The prices for the full day trips can be found in our information document. You can find the descriptions of some of the full day trips we offer under the following links: Fam Islands, The Passage, Wayag, Batanta. Our managers at the resort will be happy to tell you more about it.
  • If you are really into birds, we can also recommend an extensive bird watching trip where you might see both the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise and the Red Bird of Paradise and other birds. However, we recommend it for serious ‘birders’ only because it’s a long hike very early in the morning.

Please consult our info document for more information. Please also consult the price section for excursion and snorkel prices.

Yes, snorkelers are welcome to join the dive boats – this is subject to a surcharge (including snorkel guide, snacks, coffee/tea, towels). If there are 5 or more snorkelers, we can allocate a separate boat for you. Most of the dive sites and excursions are suitable for snorkeling. During the surface interval in between dives we have a coffee at a nice beach, or at a nice village. So, there’s always something to see. Please consult the rates section in our info document for snorkeling prices.

Some guests like to bring donations for our neighbor village Yenwaupnor. The people in the village have a quite simple life so they are happy about things like children’s clothes, pens, books, toys (e.g. football) etc.

However, please do neither bring sweets nor lots of plastic and kindly remove plastic wrappings of any donations you bring in your home country already, because the awareness for recycling and trash management is not so high in Indonesia yet and plastic might end up in the sea.

Do not feel obliged to bring something, as we make regular donations to the village already. But some guests say, once they arrived here, that – had they known before – they would have liked to bring something along.

Medical Issues

Raja Ampat is a remote area with limited access to medical care. Therefore, you are advised to bring medicine you might need with you. The next hospital is in Waisai – a 45-minute boat ride away. It has a basic emergency room, clinics for various purposes and a hyperbaric chamber. The costs for treatment are very high. All divers must have a dive insurance to be able to dive with Papua Explorers. We also recommend a travel health insurance for all our guests.

Malaria is more common in big cities and less of a threat in our resort.  You may choose to take preventive medicine; however, we strongly recommend that you consult your doctor before using these as they are known to have some side effects. Lariam has proven side effects for scuba divers, so we strongly discourage the use of this medicine.

The best way to avoid malaria and all mosquito transmitted diseases is to get protection against mosquito bites. Mosquito repellents are advisable. Light, long sleeved clothes are safest and best way to avoid mosquito bites. In addition, our rooms are equipped with mosquito nets and electric mosquito repellant and our housekeeping staff sprays mosquito repellant in the rooms every night.

Resort Facilities

Yes, we have satellite internet via Wi-Fi available at the main areas of our resort. It varies in strength depending on resort occupancy and time of day. It is suitable for small things like chats and emails. Download/upload of big files like movies is not possible.
If it is important to you to have a strong internet connection, you can purchase a Telkomsel SIM card at the airport in Sorong and top-up an internet package (our assistant can help you). Usually 3g reception is available via Telkomsel at the resort.

The electric plugs are 2 round pin European type plugs (identical with the German one).