This is a trip not to be missed. We have heard many times that Papua Explorers Resort is at the top of the list for the best snorkeling destinations in the world. The resort is located in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, in the Coral Triangle, which is the most bio-diverse marine environment in the world.
Not only is the resort stunning, with an amazing house reef, but your snorkeling group will also have three snorkeling boat trips a day, to a great variety of reefs that are all close by. There are also nice beaches to relax on between boat snorkel spots. On most days you will visit two different snorkel spots by boat in the morning, before returning for lunch at the resort. And then in the afternoon you will head out for another boat trip. You will also have ample opportunity to snorkel the house reef.
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 group tour (26 snorkelers + two guides) is exclusively for snorkelers and offers seven days of wonderful snorkeling in Raja Ampat. Ben has run trips to Papua Explorers Resort before, and it sounds like a simply stunning experience, above and under the water.
Raja Ampat is located in Indonesia. First you fly into Jakarta and spend the first night in the Jakarta Airport Hotel and fly out the next morning to Sorong in West Papua. From there you will transfer to Papua Explorers Resort by boat, where you will spend the next seven nights.
Raja Ampat is a regency of over 1,500 stunning islands, the primary islands being Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo and Misool, and it includes Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. Raja Ampat translates as Four Kings in English, referring to the four largest islands.
You may have heard of the incredible underwater biodiversity of the Coral Triangle area of Indonesia. Well, Raja Ampat is known to have the most species of marine life in all of the Coral Triangle. There are nearly 1,500 species of reef fish, 600 species of hard corals, seven giant clams species, seven species of sea turtles, and 57 species of mantis shrimp. And pelagic life is abundant in the area.
On both the house reef, and the many other reefs close by that you will visit by boat, you can expect to experience healthy coral gardens dense with hard and soft corals in perfect snorkeling depths. In fact Raja Ampat is known for excellent snorkeling in particular because of the amount of life on the shallow reefs. You will find large volumes and varieties of fish schools, and will have good chances seeing bigger fish such as manta rays, reef sharks, and schools of barracuda and jacks.
Why is there so much life around the Papua Explorers Resort? The resort is located on the edge of the Dampier Strait, in the central region of a marine protected area. The strait pumps nutrient rich waters through the area which supports an abundance of marine life, large and small.
You will experience a great variety of underwater ecosystems, all close to the resort, from shallow fringing reefs to sea mounts, walls, and manta cleaning stations.
Beneath the surface swarms of small fish such as damsels, fusiliers, and anthias mill about on the reef flats, while not too far away large schools of tuna, trevally and mackerel congregate. Spadefish, surgeonfish, and barracuda gather under docks and around reef points, while angel and butterflyfish decorate both the reef flats and jagged coral towers. Expect fields of soft corals like you've never seen them before, and hard coral reefs are healthy and abundant as well.
There are strong currents in the area, but the guides are experts at picking snorkeling spots at the right time, and there are a myriad of snorkeling spots that are protected in almost all weather conditions. So, although you should have a good level of fitness, you should not expect to have to swim against a current for any length of time, and instead will float with the currents.
Above the water the scenery is just stunning, both at the resort, and through the islands you will be going by and stopping at on the boats.
There will a full day tour to a popular snorkel site known as The Passage, which is situated in extremely picturesque islands. The Passage is between islands that are very close together with swift flowing currents and uniquely colored soft corals.
Raja Ampat is also a birder's paradise. You can expect to see many eagles overhead when snorkeling, and a huge variety of parrots in the trees. Also included will be a day trip to Yenwapnor village nearby where you can see the stunning Red Bird of Paradise. And you can also opt to visit another island to see the Wilson's Bird of Paradise.
Papua Explorers is a highly regarded destination, and our group of snorkelers will essentially be filling the resort.
Papua Explorers Resort is very eco-friendly, both in how it was created and how it is run. They also created the Raja Ampat SEA Center, which is an NGO dedicated to conserving Raja Ampat’s marine life through Science, Education & Awareness. They won the 2019 Sustainability Award first place prize from the ADTO (Association of Dive Tour Operators). They are a good place to support.
Your overwater bungalow is built in traditional Papuan style with local materials, but with modern comforts. All bungalows are equipped with a bathroom, including a shower with hot water, a ceiling fan, a mosquito net, a working desk, and a comfortable seating area. The rooms do not have air-conditioning, but with the rooms being over the water and with the ceiling fans, they are cool. Enjoy sunsets and sunrises on your spacious veranda, with a hammock and comfortable lounge chairs. You also have your own stairs down into the sea. There is satellite based wifi internet available in the common areas.
The resort restaurant also sits over the water, and is an excellent place to view the stunning surroundings. You will be served traditional Indonesian cuisine as well as international comfort foods and snacks between snorkels. The resort can accommodate most special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and so on. But, it is a remote destination and specific food items may not be available.
In addition to your spacious rooms and the restaurant there are also some common areas that are great for chatting with new friends and for relaxing.
There is even an open air spa where you can get a massage to relax those snorkeling legs!
Seaworthy and efficient Panga style boats will be used for the short trips out to each snorkel site daily, and each have two motors for redundancy. Each boat has shade. There will be a snorkel guide and captain on each boat.
You will drop into the water from the side of the boat, after the guide checks the conditions and currents. Re-boarding the boat is via a wooden ladder that is lowered over the side. So some strength is required for getting back in the boat, although you will be assisted as needed.
Larger cabin boats are used for the transfer between Sorong and the resort.
We expect this trip to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.
November 21-29, 2020
$3495 US per person (Twin/Double Share)
$600 US single person supplement
Individual travelers - Ben will happily find someone of the same sex for you to share a room with. If he cannot find you someone, no single supplement surcharge will apply.
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers of this trip (more about them below). Galen & Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all sign ups, 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.
Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have around twenty years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 that used to be primarily diving. He started 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.
experience going on one of his snorkeling trips we found it very well
organized, 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.
of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio
of snorkelers to guides. And for where they visit, and how packed they
are with experiences, they are affordable.
His company is licensed and insured. They have never cancelled a trip, 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.