Resort based diving in Raja Ampat – is it a real option or is a liveaboard the way to go? R4 is the hottest diving location in Indonesia and one of the top spots globally, deservedly so because there is some spectacular diving to be had there!
Come the start of the main dive season in mid-October, liveaboards start to arrive in Sorong in droves and just ten years ago you could count the number of those boats on the fingers of
both hands and still have a few digits left. But these days, there at least 50 boats operating during the season…
So popular has Raja Ampat become that there are now boats catering for all levels of diving travelers, from super luxury vessels for which you don’t even need to bring any dive gear (they have it all on board for your convenience) to backpacker boats that still get you to the same places, albeit in a slightly different, but considerably more economical style.
But what if you don’t want to, or can’t afford to do a liveaboard – is there an alternative?
On my trips to Raja Ampat, I have observed a significant number of landbased resorts being established offering “local” diving, following the model first established by Max Ammer, the original pioneer of diving in Raja Ampat, with his first dive camp on Kri Island in the Dampier Strait.
I was curious to see how land-based diving would compare with the liveaboard-based experience I have had, so when I received an invite from Wicked Diving to try their new dive resort in the Dampier Strait, I decided to accept and see the reality for myself.
I wrote a comprehensive article on the overall experience that was published recently in the global dive magazine X-Ray and you can use this link to download the Dampier Strait – On Foot in Raja Ampat article.