11 Days Exploring Rarely Visited, Pristine Reefs, in the Middle of the Coral Triangle
October 22 – November 1, 2023
This Halmahera resort snorkeling trip looks wonderful! Join just 16 snorkelers who get to explore this newly opened area of Indonesia, from the stunning Kusu Island Resort in Halmahera. Before this new resort and the new close-by airport were built, this area was rarely frequented by visitors.
Halmahera is in the Coral Triangle in Indonesia, just west of Raja Ampat. So you can be sure that the reefs are some of the most diverse and full of life in the world.
The resort itself has a fantastic house reef that you can explore as much as you like. And your group will also be taken on boat snorkel tours to close-by reefs in the surrounding islands, three sessions per day. Some guided night snorkels will also be offered.
You will see gorgeous healthy coral reefs, filled with clouds of fish, and high chances of seeing turtles, reef sharks, rays, octopus, and many other cool creatures.
This trip is being run by our partner and friend Ben and his team. Based in the U.K., they are experts in the Coral Triangle, run amazing excursions, and have a great appreciation for the underwater world.
This small group trip of 16 is exclusively for snorkelers. It is a unique opportunity to experience an 11 day guided remote adventure filled with fantastic reefs, beautiful landscapes, and a remote island resort.
Where Is Kusu Island Resort?
Your trip starts in Jakarta. After your arrival from your international flight you will make your way to the Jakarta Airport Hotel, where you will meet your tour leader and relax for an evening.
The next morning your group will have breakfast together and then board a flight to Labuha Airport. You will be met at the airport by the staff from Kusu Island Resort, and transferred to the boat which will take you to the resort island, a short 30 minute ride away.
After nine nights at Kusu you will be taken back to Labuha Airport, for another group flight to Jakarta, which is the end of the guided trip.
What Is Halmahera and the Snorkeling Like?
Kusu Island Resort is ideally located within the Coral Triangle, in the waters to the south of Halmahera, between Sulawesi and Raja Ampat. The islands of Halmahera are so remote that they are still very pristine with shallow hard and soft coral reefs, and a great variety of fish life.
Kusu Island Resort occupies the southern portion of the stunningly beautiful Kusu Island, with sandy beaches, mangroves, hiking trails, jungle, and a wonderful open air restaurant.
Where the reefs are concerned, aside from one very long and very shallow coral-covered sea mound, most are fringing reefs that extend from the shoreline and gradually start to slope away from an island before turning into interesting walls or steep slopes.
The reefs in Halmahera have astounding biodiversity, and are very healthy. They are shallow and abundant with hard and soft corals, and clouds of reef fish to delight snorkelers. You will also get to see many types of pelagic fish species, from hundreds of barracuda, to small Black-tip Reef Sharks and manta rays. A scientific survey by Dr. Gerry Allen noted over 800 species of fish, second only to Misool in Raja Ampat.
The area is so unexplored that most of the sites visited have yet to even be named.
You will venture out by snorkel boat for eight full days to two sites in the morning, and another after lunch. Plus the house reef at the resort also offers exceptional snorkeling. Night snorkeling opportunities will also be available.
When touring through the Halmahera Islands you can expect to see not only a wide variety of corals, but also Black-tip Reef Sharks, large rays, Napoleon Wrasse, the huge Bumphead Parrotfish, tuna, and Giant Trevally.
Most of the snorkel spots are around small islands, with gently sloping reefs in perfect depths for snorkelers. You will see beautiful sea fans, barrel sponges, fields of staghorn coral, and gorgeous colorful soft corals.
You can expect to see large schools of mackerel, spadefish, and unicornfish on most outings. You will also see many turtles, sea snakes, eels, crabs, shrimps, and pipefish. And clouds of pink and purple anthias hover over the shallow reefs, along with huge schools of fusilier. It is not uncommon to see five or more species of each – butterflyfish, parrotfish, triggerfish, anemonefish, and angelfish – on each snorkel site!
The area is also excellent for night snorkeling, where you will likely see lots of cuttlefish, octopus, and squid, small rays and crocodile flatheads, as well as the Halmahera Epqulette Shark, which is a type of bamboo “walking” shark. You can bring your own snorkel light or rent one from the resort.
Watch the Video Below for an Overview
What Is Kusu Island Resort Like?
The resort is not only in an ideal location, it is also a joy to relax in when you are not out snorkeling. Your beautiful Ocean Villa is located on the shoreline, either over the water, or slightly back on a sandy beach.
Each villa has a large private deck, sun loungers, a hammock built into the deck, an open air en-suite bathroom, and is backed by a lush jungle. There are fresh water showers on each deck to rinse off after a dip in the ocean.
The Kusu Island Resort’s restaurant is right on the waterfront, with stunning views. There is a lounge area with comfortable seating for enjoying the company of your fellow snorkelers. And the restaurant serves excellent food of Asian and international specialties. Special dietary requirements can normally be met with a little advance notice.
Resort Snorkel Boats
The resort uses large, safe, and comfortable snorkel boats, that you can get back on board at any point during a snorkel if you get tired.
Trip Details and How to Sign Up
This is a small group trip and we expect it to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.
October 22 – November 1, 2023 – Trip full, request to be waitlisted below.
$5275 US per person sharing
Single Person Supplement: $1750 US
The initial deposit for this trip is $400 US per person. At twelve months before departure there is a $600 US per person interim deposit. At six months before departure there is a $1000 US per person interim deposit. The final balance will be due three months before departure. A few payment options are available including debit and credit cards.
Individual travelers – Ben will happily find someone of the same sex for you to share a room with to avoid the single person supplement. If he cannot find you someone, no single supplement surcharge will apply.
- 1 night in a standard room in the Jakarta Airport Hotel including breakfast
- Domestic Indonesia flights in economy class with 20kg/44lbs checked luggage (Jakarta – Labuha – Jakarta)
- Group transfers
- 9 nights Kusu Island Resort in Ocean Villa Double Occupancy with full board
- 24 boat snorkel sessions
- Unlimited house reef snorkeling
- Services of a tour leader and snorkel guides throughout
- International flights (booking available on request)
- Dinner at Jakarta Airport Hotel night of arrival
- Snorkeling equipment rental
- Gratuities and general sundries
- Marine Park fees are currently not applicable in this area, this is subject to change
- Travel and health insurance
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa services
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers and leaders of this trip (more about them below). Galen & Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all signups, trip organization and payments are made to and managed by Ben’s team. TropicalSnorkeling.com does receive a referral fee in exchange for promoting the trip, at no extra cost to attendees.
How to Sign Up or Learn More?
Use the contact form below to contact Ben and his team to request more information about them and express your interest in signing up. They will get back to you shortly with full details.
More About Ben and Our Partnership
Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have over 20 years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 and is primarily offering guided snorkeling trips, but he started with diving. He began offering snorkeling specific trips because he was aware that snorkelers often get the short end of the stick when thrown in with divers. He and his team love the freedom and low stress of snorkeling, and are very aware of the different needs of snorkelers versus divers, in terms of the reef depth, and calm surface conditions needed.
From our experience going on two of his snorkeling trips we found them very well organized, the guides were fantastic and very helpful, and the underwater experiences were exceptional. Snorkeling groups really get the benefit of all of Ben and his guides’ years of experience in the water, and with different resorts and liveaboards.
All of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio of snorkelers to guides. These are premium trips including nearly everything you will need, accommodation, meals, transportation, and more.
His company is licensed and insured. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips, and all funds are held in a trust until the trip is completed giving you 100% financial security if they or any of their suppliers go out of business before the trip happens.