Overlooking a sparkling cove on the island of Gam, Papua Explorers is an eco dive resort in the stunning archipelago of Raja Ampat. It lies along the edge of the Dampier Strait, which is renowned for its exceptional dive sites where an abundance of hard and soft corals, tropical reef fish, and large pelagics can be observed. The resort perches on a peninsula that is blanketed in lush rainforest and provides a home for the endemic red bird-of-paradise.
A Raja Ampat dive vacation at Papua Explorers includes exhilarating days spent exploring some of the 1,500 islands that comprise the archipelago, with natural wonders awaiting both above and below the water’s surface. Traditionally constructed overwater bungalows provide all the necessary creature comforts back at the resort, with plenty of activities to keep both divers and non-divers entertained.
Each of the 15 overwater bungalows are constructed using local architectural techniques and natural materials typical of Papuan houses. They feature a spacious bedroom and en-suite bathroom with a hot water shower, as well as a 20-square meter veranda with sun loungers and a hammock for enjoying the views. Stairways lead directly from the verandas into the ocean so guests can swim and snorkel from the privacy of their bungalow. Aside from environmentally-friendly toiletries, the rooms also feature ceiling fans, mosquito nets, and a comfortable seating area.
Deluxe Water Bungalows
Each of the Deluxe Water Bungalows is 72 square meters in size and can comfortably accommodate 1 to 3 guests in single, double/twin or triple configurations.
Superior Water Bungalows
Each of the Superior Water Bungalows is 55 square meters in size and can comfortably accommodate 1 to 2 guests in single or double/twin configurations.
Satellite internet via Wi-Fi is available in the resort’s communal areas while cellular reception is generally available, depending on the weather conditions. Electricity is provided 24 hours a day at this Raja Ampat dive resort, with two round pin European plug types used.
The Papua Explorers Spa is located on the resort’s jetty and offers magnificent views across the Dampier Strait from its treatment beds. A range of therapeutic massages can be enjoyed here after your dives under the trusted hands of their professional masseuses.
Papua Explorers is also home to the Raja Ampat SEA Centre, an NGO that’s dedicated to conserving the archipelago’s marine life through Science, Education & Awareness (SEA). It provides a platform for conducting conservation work and research into the local marine ecology and environment.
Hearty meals are served throughout the day at the circular-shaped restaurant, which affords tranquil views across the water. Both Indonesian and Western dishes are freshly prepared by their talented kitchen team, with some special dietary requirements able to be catered for with prior notification (depending on the local availability of ingredients). Aside from three delicious meals, snacks are always available in between dives and a range of drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) can be purchased at the bar. Water, tea, and coffee are provided complimentarily.
With over 600 coral species and more than 1,400 fish species found in the archipelago, a Raja Ampat dive vacation is second to none. Papua Explorers accesses more than 50 dives sites in the region, most of which are located within a 30-minute boat ride from the resort. Diver packages include three guided boat dives per day, plus unlimited dives on the house reef. Scuba tanks, weight belts, weights, and tanks are included while a full range of dive equipment can be rented for an additional charge. Nitrox is also available for free for Nitrox certified divers.
The on-site PADI 5-Star dive center is manned by multinational instructors and local dive guides, as well as highly trained and experienced boat drivers and crew. They operate eight daily diving boats that are equipped with DAN emergency oxygen sets, two-way marine radios, and emergency first response medical kits.
Dive groups are kept to a maximum of six guests, with a head dive guide and an assistant guide accompanying each group. Due to the strong currents often experienced in Raja Ampat, divers are eased into the conditions at sites with mild currents and may opt to explore stronger current sites if they feel confident. All divers are required to carry safety buoys and whistles with them and must have dive insurance during their Raja Ampat dive location. The closest operational hyperbaric chamber is in Manado.
Water temperatures in Raja Ampat range from around 82° – 86°F (28°- 30°C) throughout the year, with most divers comfortable in a 3mm wetsuit. As the islands are located at the meeting of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, visibility can vary anywhere from around 50 and 100 feet (10 and 30 m).
In addition to its exceptional diving, Raja Ampat is also an ideal destination for snorkelers, with an abundance of marine and coral reef life that can be observed just below the water’s surface. Snorkelers are welcome to enjoy the Papua Explorers house reef at any time or join daily dive boat trips to suitable snorkeling locations.
Other excursions from Papua Explorers dive resort include boat tours to explore Raja Ampat’s mushroom-shaped islands and bird watching walks to spot flocks of parrots and the red bird-of-paradise. Kayaks and paddleboards are also available for guests to use to explore the surrounding beaches and coves.
Papua Explorers is dedicated to protecting the biodiversity of Raja Ampat and giving back to the local communities. They conduct regular field trips that include beach clean-ups, reef checks, and snorkeling sessions with local kids that guests are welcome to participate in.