- Pantai Pinsilim,Kamp. Yenwaupnor, Kec. Meos Mansar,Raja Ampat,Indonesia,Raja Ampat
- Tel: +628118000511 (WhatsApp) ,+6281319770760 (WhatsApp)
Papua Explorers Dive Resort is located in the islands of Raja Ampat, which is on the northwest tip of the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua.
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. It’s a stunning archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, hosting thousands of species some of which are endemic to the region.
Some scientific surveys reveal that Raja Ampat has 603 hard coral species which represents more than 75% of all the species in the world. With its rich ecosystem and abundance of species, Raja Ampat is the bull’s-eye of the Coral Triangle in every sense.
Papua Explorers Dive Resort is located on the island of Gam and just along the coast of worldwide renowned Dampier Strait, only 10 to 15 minutes away from the most famous dive sites like Manta Point, Cape Kri, …..
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 300m2, over-the-sea restaurant and lounge is designed to offer a relaxing environment to enjoy various international and local dishes from our restaurant and to refresh and relax between the dives.
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. All bungalows are equipped with ensuite toilet and shower, hot water, ceiling fan, mosquito net, working desk and a comfortable seating area. The spacious veranda with direct access to the sea, allows our guests to enjoy the sun and sea in their own privacy. Other features are; 220 V electricity with European type plugs, in room tea and coffee facilities, drinking water, environmentally friendly and natural soap.
The little peninsula that Papua Explorers Resort is located is home to the endemic Red Bird of Paradise. This unique bird and its amazing mating ceremony can be observed after an early morning hike in the rainforest. There is a pretty lake behind the resort that can be reached after a 5 min hike in the jungle. This short jungle hike is an excellent way to observe the amazing plants and creatures of the rainforest.
November 13, 2017
I’ve been diving all over the world and I’m on a mission to find the world’s best dive sites. Raja Ampat is definitely a world class diving destination, with an amazing variety of fish and critters as well as incredible hard and soft coral. As noted in other reviews, it is quite an adventure to get there, but that is one of the reasons for the excellent diving! Papua Explorer is a remote but exotic resort, and the bungalows over the water can’t be beat. We loved walking down the beachfront path through the lush foliage to watch stunning sun sunsets from our private balcony, as well as seeing schools of fish leaping out of the water while being chased by predators. The house reef provided excellent snorkeling and diving, including stress free night dives. Each day was an exciting excursion to explore fantastic dive sites as we never knew what we would see that was unique to the area. We particularly loved seeing the manta rays at the Manta Sandy dive site, as well as the Wobbegong and walking sharks, blue ring octopus and pygmy seahorses. We enjoyed the dining area for the variety of excellent food, the company of others staying at the resort, and the view of sharks and fish underneath. The management and staff in both the resort and dive operation were professional, attentive and competent.
A week is not long enough to experience this special place, since you must travel so far, consider staying 10 days or more. I highly recommend Papua Explorer as an excellent resort to show you Raja Ampat, truly one of the world’s best dive sites.
January 28, 2017
My wife and I visited the resort in September 2016. This should be on everyone’s bucket list. Getting to Papua Explorers Dive Resort is an adventure in itself. We live in Mississippi and flew to San Francisco via Denver. After a 9 hour layover we flew nonstop to Singapore then 3 hours later to Manado, Indonesia (a 3 hour flight). Again, we had an over night layover then off to Sorong the next morning. Once there we had a 2 1/2 wait to board our 2 hour ferry aboard the resorts boats. Okay, I said it was an adventure.
Arriving at the resort made up for the excursion above. We were greeted by the entire staff standing on the boat dock singing to us. Great first impression. After a short briefing we were escorted by a staff member to our over the water bungalow. Sounds like over the top service? This was just the beginning. Over the next seven days we were treated like royalty from all of the staff. We never touched our dive gear after placing outside the door to our bungalow until it was returned to us at the end of the week.
The divemasters ensured we had the best and safest experiences. The boat captains were courteous and helpful. There was always a guitar on the boat and we were serenaded by various members of the staff at every opportunity. The dive sites cannot be adequately described in words. The coral is the healthiest I’ve seen anywhere. On one dive we drifted over staghorn coral for more than 30 minutes. Unbelievable. The dive sites were never crowded; in fact, we were usually the only boat at the dive site. The marine life was plentiful and with what seemed like infinite visibility on many dives, it was a divers dream vacation. I get sea sick and I cannot remember the boat ever rocking at all on the dive sites; I never once got even queasy. I carry a compact underwater system and over the week I took a total of over 1200 pictures!
The food was served buffet style and provided a variety at each meal. I am a picky eater and never had any difficulty in finding something I would eat. The resort offers a good selection of soft drinks and beer (for a fair price) in addition to coffee, teas, juices, and water. The restaurant staff, as well as, the resort management and housekeepers were great. There was a nightly turn down services during supper hours and it was always a treat to return to a dark bungalow with a soft glow coming from inside the mosquito netting around the bed. I never noticed any mosquitos, sand fleas, or other critters that are usually annoying on dive vacations. As an earlier reviewer noted, there is no air conditioning on the property but the room has a ceiling fan and portable fan to help move the ample island breezes around.
Okay to recap:
Cons – no air conditioning ( we truly only needed twice), 3 days to get there from the US, and the resort is on the higher side of most divers budget.
Pros – the staff ensured our week was worry free, happy, and we felt like one of the family. The food was good and plentiful. The diving was phenomenal and like none I had ever experienced in the Caribbean or the Philippines. The resort is safe and well maintained. Well worth the lengthy excursion to get there.
One note, include the day trip to Fam Island. Fantastic diving and the surface interval is not to be missed with a mountain top view that rivals anything you’ve ever seen before.
October 9, 2016
We spent 10 great nights here in early September for our honeymoon – although we wish we could have stayed longer. One of us is a diver and one a snorkeler and we choose this place for our honeymoon for the great underwater life and a chance to see birds of paradise. We have been lucky enough to travel a lot of the world and are so glad that we choose this special place for our honeymoon.
The resort consists of about 13 bungalows and a restaurant area. There are no shops, restaurants or bars that you can visit so you need to be happy to have all your food and drinks at the hotel. The food is very good and there is a well-stocked beer fridge. The tables are communal but it is great to speak to other guests (Ernie and his friends were there at the same time) and the staff to discuss your sightings from the day.
The bungalows are lovely and spacious; sustainably made with classy decorations. Not having air conditioning was not too much of a problem as there is a fan inside the mosquito net for the night. The water is a bit brackish but not too bad and warm water always available. Don’t forget to take biodegradable conditioner with you (they provide degradable shampoo). The balconies are over the sea with two deckchairs and a hammock. In high tide you can snorkel from the steps of your balcony.
The staff were very accommodating of one of us snorkelling and one diving, always finding sites which were exceptional for both so we could go on the same boat. We took our surface breaks in local villages, deserted beaches or sandbanks. Many of the other guests had 1000 plus dives but I am only a beginner and all the sites were accessible to me. My dive guide Ricky was from the local village and was great and really looked after me, particularly when there were some strong currents which is typical of Raja Ampat. All dive sites are within a 30mins boat ride. On most dives we saw reef sharks and turtles as well as massive shoals of fish and many tropical fish. Wobbegong sharks can be seen on many dives. You can do up to 4 dives a day if you are keen. We normally did two in the morning and had the afternoon to rest or a bird walk in the morning and an afternoon dive.
The house reef was great, you can snorkel there off the jetty and also do night dives there. Walking sharks can be seen diving or snorkelling and the coral and fish are great. Visibility was also great as there wasn’t much plankton; it wasn’t quite the manta season.
We did a few trips to see birds of paradise. Red birds can be seen on the island, just a 30 min walk behind the local village. We saw 10 dancing in the morning but they were very high up in the trees against a bright sky so photography was near impossible. We took a trip to see the Wilson’s bird. We left at 3.30am to take a 30min boat ride and then a 1.5 hour hike in the dark. We were very unlucky with the weather (heavy rain). Fortunately we did get a glimpse for a few seconds. Definitely worth going as the sighting would be great with better weather. The trip to Fam Island to see the amazing view of the mushroom islands is well worth it and you go to some great dive sites on the way. Melissa’s garden is some of the best coral we have ever seen.
The weather during our stay was warm with a nice breeze but a few days of rain. However, the rain didn’t matter too much if you were snorkelling/diving.
Finally the staff were unfailingly helpful and their friendliness made our trip an unforgettable one. Hopefully one day we will be able to return.
October 7, 2016
My new favorite dive sites on Earth! I’ve been to the four corners of the world and this has the best overall diving I’ve seen anywhere. Great vis, beautiful reefs, and lots of fish. Fam reef and Crossover sites are an absolute must see. Crossover can have some treacherous drift currents but that is fun for the experienced diver. Dive boats were good with the only exception being the ladders. They need improvement (as of early Sept 16) and by the time you go there those issues will be solved. This is a resort that is “off the beaten path”. It’s a two-hour boat ride each way from the mainland. This can be a bit rough but the seclusion is the reason why the reefs are so pristine. If you want easy to get to but beat up conditions, go to Bonaire. If you want stunning diving, go to Papua Explorers. Food was plentiful and good. Rooms were very nice albeit a bit warm at night. No A/C because this resort is way off the grid and is powered by solar and diesel generators. Staff was very accommodating. Dive and boat crews were exceptional. Nice camera room. 5 stars.
October 4, 2016
Raja Ampat “The Heart of the Coral Triangle” is worth the visit even though it is not easily assessable and it takes several flights and several days to arrive at your destination. The flight is long with airport layovers and various connections. I started out at Newark then fly to San Francisco on United then to Singapore on United. The Singapore Airport is amazing stop over and worth a visit if you are able to change to Silk Air then fly to Manado. In order to catch the first flight out of Manado, we had to overnight in Manado. The early morning flight on Guardo to Sorong where Papua Explorers meet us at the airport and shuttled us to a local hotel for breakfast. After a couple of hours we were shuttled to the boat which took another two hours thru the Dampier Strait to Papua Explorers where we arrived by hearing singing and dancing of the staff as our welcoming party. It was very nice. Even, though it takes a couple of days to get to Papua Explorer it is definitely worth it. Raja Ampat offers amazing diving and stunning scenery. The shaggy wobbegong shark is a special treat. You will see sea turtles, rays, blacktip sharks, cuttlefish, pygmy searhorses, and vast schools of fish, pristine waters quality every color imaginable sea fans, and gorgeous coral and coral gardens are amazing. The currents can be a little tough but I loved using my reef hook and enjoyed flying like like superman over the reef.
Papua Explorer is an Eco-friendly resort with no air conditioning this is the only drawback and the huts overlook the water and are spacious and well made. The manager and the staff are really very friendly and willing to help. There is plenty of food and the fruit is fresh. The main reason I would go back to Raja Ampat is the diving … it is awesome. There are a large number of truly beautiful sites. The dive center is well equipped and organized and the dive masters/instructors are great.
The resort is not cheap so make sure you reserve the full diving package especially add on the Fam Island. The Fam Island is a must is truly unbelievable view from the hill top (323 steps) and the dive site was awesome.
September 26, 2016
9/26/16 Just returned from a seven-night stay at Papua Explorer resort with a group of divers from all over the states. We had divers from; Connecticut, Florida, Washington and California! I was fortunate to have bungalow #1 which was right next to the restaurant and the pier that took you out to the dive center. The Bungalows were comfortable, no AC, but nice breezes and a fan to help circulate the breeze! We had a 2-bed unit with plenty of space for our gear and all of my dive buddies camera gear!
The resort is stretched out over a white sand beach with the bungalows extending over the water and all with great views! They have a general meeting area where clients can kick back, have a brew or read a book and just relax. The same area is where their offices are and restaurant. It is all buffet style food with a surprising variety! They offer a mixture of menus for everyone pallet! With this group, no one starved. You were on the honor system as far as soft drinks and beers that were available.
You left your dive gear out at your bungalow door in a basket and the guys would take it out to the dive center for you. All you have to worry about where your wetsuit, booties and where your camera might be. They had separate rinse tanks for all the gear and cameras. They had a separate room for the cameras where the had plenty of stations! Each morning they would give you briefings and let the photographers know what they may expect. The broke the groups into groups of 4 to 6 divers per boat and 2 dive Masters per boat.
The resort is located out in the middle of Raja Ampat, just where all the Live Aboards go! Most dive sites are not more than a half hour away. except for a few that may take up to 1 1/2 hours to get to. But, once there you see why it was worth the trip!
The staff was great, always there to assist be it at the dive center or up at the restaurant. All the local staff came from the nearby villages and then they have their senior staff from all over the world, able to speak a variety of languages. If you have a chance to make it to Indonesia, make it over to Raja Ampat and visit Papua Explorer resort, you will be glad you did! Great resort, great people, and fantastic diving!
September 2, 2015
The resort is within 15-30 minutes to all famous diven sites like Cape Kri, Sardine Reef, Mioskon, Mike’s Point, Airborek, Blue Magic, Manta Sandy, Manta Dropoff, etc. A lot of wide angle opportunities, from school of mantas, barracudas, reef sharks, bumphead parrot fish, sweetlips, jacks, groupers, snappers, batfish, to smaller fish like anthias, chromis, damsels, big eyes, wrasses, etc . The amount and colors of soft, hard, and black corals in this region is phenomenal. The visibility during this time of year is poor due to the amount of plankton, but this condition favors mantas. One morning, there is a huge school of sperm whales swimming across the channel in front of resort, a few of them is as close as 50 feet from the dive deck. I also get to see the endemic flasher wrasses in action (males flashing) at a nearby reef during one dusk dive. At roughly 15 feet under the house jetty, small rubble patch is home to 4-5 mandarin fish. There is frequent sighting of blue ring octopus from 25 to 60 feet in the house reef also. On one coral head, my dive guide found 3 pontohi pigmy seahorses; other common sightings are Bargibanti and Denise pigmy seahorses.
The currents can be an issue; this is not a windy season, so getting in and out of dive boat is not an issue. The visibility during this time ranges from good to poor, so stay close to the dive guide is important. The dive guide to divers
ratio is about 1:2-3, and each dive boat fits 4-6 divers. The owners and dive management are very concern about each divers and staff well-being and safety; each dive boat is equipped with oxygen tank/mask and first aid box. I sync my Nautilus Lifeline to the dive boat radio channel for extra precaution. The dive manager and his assistant speak fluent English to assist and ease the flow of diving. Majority of boat drivers and dive guides are local Papuans, with great knowledge of sea and weather conditions, local dive sites, underwater topography, etc. The resort is located on the south shore of Gam Island, a central location of all famous dive sites in the Birds Head region. The resort has 12 spacious water bungalows for 2-3 people per unit. Mine is the furthest one away, with glass window and French doors open to the view of water and island across. Each unit has indoor sitting area, hot water shower, private veranda with hammock and lounge chairs. The bungalows and dining room have no air-conditioning, but the ceiling fans and cross wind during the day help to cool the temperature. The dining area sits above water of depth between 0.5 to 2 meters depending on tidal change, perfect nursery and feeding area for juvenile black tip sharks, walking sharks, trigger fish, jacks, etc. Occasionally the eagle dives into the nearby water for fish.
NOT TO MISS side trips: This resort is the ONLY resort in this region providing day trip to Wayag islands (additional EURO 160) with two dives and hiking up steep trails (about 20 minutes) to the top for unobstructed view of mushroom islands nearby. Since only a handful of liveaboard boats include route and diving in Wayag, this is an EXCELLENT and relatively CHEAPER way to get to experience Wayag. For additional cost, the resort also provides side trips to nearby islands to see the 2 endemic species of bird of paradise: Wilson and Red. Other highlight includes visit to the nearby local village. The resort employs most of the staff from nearby villages and areas, and cares whole-heartedly of the well-being of locals and environments.
The owners value the local resource and man-power, so the resort is a community-based efforts. The locals help building it and many are employed within the business. All building materials are locally available and truly reflect the unique style of Bird’s head buildings. All bungalows are cleaned and tidied up daily before we return from the two morning dives; while at night when guests are dining, the staff prepares the mosquito net, sprays the room, and turns on the night lights. This thoughtful personal touch makes guests feel special and is greatly appreciated.
The dining service is superb. The foods are good; all the beards, breakfast rolls, pastries, and cakes are home-made and very very tasty. There is also variety of tropical fruits available. The managers and staff have keen observation to guests’ diet preference and habits, and try very best to adjust their menu to please all guests. I have a very picky eating habits, and usually make no specific request to avoid extra attention. But the staff notices it right away and adds more vegetables and non-meat protein dishes. The owners and dive managers join the guests and mingle with everyone during all part of experiences, providing very down-to-earth, friendly, and welcoming stay.
The free guest wifi service covers small range and works best during late at night, early morning, and when most guests are out diving.
Overall, this is a great place to enjoy the richness of biodiversity of the coral triangle. Beside the long traveling and many flights later from US mainland, it really gives you the bang for the bucks!
February 23, 2015
Stayed for a week in February 2015, not long enough!
Tunc (Managing Director) and his partners have worked very hard to build and operate a resort highly focused on their guest’s comfort and enjoyment of Raja Ampat, both above and below the ocean surface, and they have been able to impart this same sense of focus on the guest throughout their great staff. None of this is easy in such a remote area, but Papua Explorers does an outstanding job of meeting the challenges.
Tunc and his team make themselves readily available to the guests throughout each day, and ensure any issues are quickly resolved.
Dive operation is well run and groups kept small with good guide-to-diver ratio. Our group of 18 was put onto 3 boats (6 divers each) with 2 guides per boat, so diver-guide ratio was 3:1. Boats were spacious enough, comfortable, and fast. Schedules for the boats were arranged with good forethought to ensure all guests experienced all the highlights but without over-crowding any one site. Of course there are many live-aboards in the area plus other land based resorts, but for most dives we felt like we had the sites to ourselves.
Papua Explorers is in a good/central Raja Ampat location, able to reach most of the area’s dive sites within their usual schedule: Go out after breakfast for 2 morning dives, come back to the resort for lunch, then out for one more afternoon dive, and night dive on the house reef if desired. Excursions to sites further afield are offered with additional charge, so one has access to most of Raja Ampat from this resort.
The dive center is at the end of a long jetty and has secure rooms for dive gear and camera equipment. Lots of space on the deck and generally easy access into the boats. Nice equipment rinse tanks are right there when exiting the boats, along with showers and drinking water. I’m not a photographer but camera room seemed decent and there were several large white-boards for briefings and indicating daily schedules for each of the groups. Nice touch was a board with photos/names of all the staff to help us remember!
This is Raja Ampat – our diving expectations where high and they were completely met with generally outstanding dives along with several completely exceptional dives. One at Cape Cree was loaded with more big fish of more different varieties than I’ve ever seen in one place ever – it was amazing and probably a right-time right-place thing. Lots of Mantas at the manta sites, plus other occasional mantas at other sites. Stunning reefs exploding with life and color everywhere… House reef right off the dive center dock provides a nice night dive – found a blue ring octopus the first night, along with colorful scorpion fish, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, lots of crabs, etc.
Tunc advises that November-April are months with more plankton in the water, thus lower visibility but this brings mantas into the area. It’s also more rainy during these months, our week in the 2nd half of February was generally overcast with a few half-days of sunshine, afternoon showers most days, with about 2 days being generally rainy. June-September has less rain, clearer water, fewer mantas (maybe none at times), but generally equal amount of fish and other life on the reefs. May and October are the transition months, with October being the driest month of the year but with what Tunc describes is a “wonderful breeze.” We plan our next visit to Raja Ampat to be in October, looking forward to those nice clear and sunny diving days.
The resort staff were great at accommodating and even suggesting special requests – part of our group did a sunset dive at a particular location (not the house reef) where Flasher Wrasse were known to live, and a few flashes were seen!
The pace was just right. We had a planned schedule each morning and afternoon, but if the morning’s dives had taken a bit longer than expected then staff would adjust the afternoon’s schedule to ensure guests had enough time for lunch and a bit of relaxing before the next dive. We never felt rushed, but had plenty of great diving.
Guides did a great job canvassing sites before sending everyone in, and were willing to adjust plans or even change sites if things didn’t look good. 3 big live-aboard groups chasing one lone manta at a manta site? No worries, guides switched our schedule around and we had a great first dive with no other groups at our planned 2nd site (where we saw plenty of fun stuff), then came back to the manta site for our 2nd dive and had the site to ourselves with over 10 mantas (they weren’t there initially but our guide Hervil had a hunch that they would show up – which they did).
Most dives were not difficult, either no current or we drifted with the current. However current is what brings so much underwater life to Raja Ampat and a few of the dives required modest fining to stay with all the fish action. There were no marathon fining sessions however.
Several of our group elected to do some bird watching, the resort offers several different options and the outings were successful in spotting both the Red Bird of Paradise and the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. There is rumored to be a special rock where lots and lots of parrots congregate every sunset, unfortunately weather prevented a boat trip to see this, so it’s something on the to-do list for our next visit.
The food is great! Wake up to home-made bread and a variety of rolls & pastries each morning, along with made-to-order eggs/omelets, crepes, juices, and a good variety of fruit. There are several different coffee choices: standard brewed, instant, and what I think is the best: local style finely ground coffee which you need to let settle to the bottom of the cup before drinking. Snacks, fruit, coffee, and tea are served on the dive boats (usually on an island beach) between the 1st and 2nd dives, then lunch back at the resort (except for a few of the longer excursions to more remote dive sites). Lunch and dinner are buffet style with very tasty western and Indonesian dishes, everyone in our group really enjoyed the variety and quality. Beer, wine, and hard liquor are available for purchase.
WiFi is offered in the main area – it’s slow (as it is everywhere in this part of Indonesia) but it works. Cellular service is usually available but sometimes not due to weather conditions.
The resort has power 24 hours.
My wife has been to other land-based dive resorts in the Raja Ampat area which had lots of mosquitoes to contend with. At Papua Explorers, in the bungalows and sea-facing bungalow decks there are virtually none! I saw perhaps one mosquito in the bungalow the entire week, none on deck – making it a wonderful place to relax, nap, etc., without being bothered by bugs. Similarly there were no mosquitoes in the main/dining area. This was a very nice surprise.
Bungalows are nice and very spacious. We had a king bed, a sitting area with sofa, a desk, a nice large bathroom, and a outside deck facing the sea with 2 reclining lounge chairs, a hammock (my favorite!), and a stairway down to the water in case we wanted to do any snorkeling directly from the bungalow. The mosquito nets deployed by housekeeping staff each evening hardly seemed necessary given the lack of mosquitoes, but the nets were of the large variety, creating a room-within-a room surrounding the bed, so that reading lights and even a small auxiliary fan were inside the netting – this was a very nice and comfortable design. The room also had an overhead ceiling fan.
The resort uses a very eco-friendly body-wash/soap product as everything from your sink and shower drain directly into the sea. This soap is OK but can leave a sticky feeling on the skin and hair. Consider bringing some eco-friendly product of your own for a better experience, I recommend Dr. Bronner’s – what we use when backpacking. It’s highly concentrated (you don’t need to bring a lot), very biodegradable, and readily available (at least in the USA where I live).
The resort has 2 larger boats for transfers to/fro Sorong which takes 2-2.5 hours (perhaps longer if conditions are rough). Half of our group riding to the resort in one of these boats saw a whale shark, an orca, and lots of dolphins. I saw many jumping dolphins and some pilot whales on our return trip. Staff greets you at the airport (or your hotel if you happen to stay a night), and gathers guests as they arrive in the comfortable lobby of a local hotel, then departure to the resort is at about 11AM.
This is a gem of a resort in a very isolated location with some of the best diving in the world, you will not be disappointed!
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