A dive trip to Raja Ampat is an incredible experience that might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It doesn’t take much to make the flight or accommodation bookings but there is plenty to think about before you go. Here’s a guide to preparing for a dive trip to Raja Ampat from one month to 24 hours ahead of your departure.
Once you’ve made your reservations at Papua Paradise Eco Resort
- Have you checked your passport to make sure it has 6 months validity on it? This is required for Indonesia and is enforced so double check. You will also need at least 1 blank page for your visa on arrival stamp to go on. If you’re staying longer than 30 days immigration will require more blank pages.
- It’s time to book your travel insurance, which should include comprehensive dive cover.
- It’s possible that if you’re traveling to remote areas you may need some travel vaccinations. You can check the WHO website to see what is recommended for Indonesia.
- How long has it been since your last dive? If it’s been a long time you may want to consider a refresher course. Raja Ampat has some strong currents and tricky diving so you must be confident when you dive in the region.
- Your health and fitness levels are important, especially when diving more advanced areas. Start ramping up your health regime now so you’re in tip-top shape for your trip.
- At this point you might also want to contact Gangga Divers at Papua Paradise to see if there is any gear you might need to bring with you.
One month to go
- How are you going to handle the money you will spend in Raja Ampat? There are ATMs when you land in Sorong but you can’t be 100% sure that your card will work there. Papua Paradise Eco Resort supplies 3 meals a day with water and tea, as well as snacks but you will need to pay for other drinks, tours, spa treatments or any other extras. These can be paid by card at the resort but you also may need cash for souvenirs when on day trips. This means getting cash before you head out to Raja Ampat or using a money-changer in Sorong.
- Start reading up on dive sites and listing the places you’d most like to visit. You can also build up a list of what marine animals you want to be looking out for.
- You should also read a little on etiquette, proper dress and language. It’s good to be aware of these things before you make a faux pas on arrival.
- Do you take any prescription medications? If so, you’ll need to make sure you have enough for your trip plus a bit extra for emergencies or if you get stuck in Indonesia longer than expected as well as a letter from your doctor. You might need some time to get an appointment with your doctor or make sure you medications are available. Don’t leave it until the last minute!
- If you’re taking dive equipment with you check and make sure it’s all in good working order. You don’t want to arrive in Raja Ampat and realize your gear isn’t working, doesn’t fit, or is missing a piece.
Two weeks to go
- Some people will wait much longer to start packing but it’s good to start getting your documents and essentials ready. This is especially true if you’re working full time or have a busy schedule up to your date of departure.
- Make a file with all your diving certifications or card, dive-fitness certificate, and dive logbook. It’s also good to have copies of your documents that you can leave at home in case you lose them or they are stolen. Also keep them electronically on your phone or laptop.
- There is no phone signal on Birie Island where Papua Paradise Eco Resort is situated but you may want to find out about a phone card while you’re traveling or in other parts of Raja Ampat. You will probably be charged a fortune in roaming so check into a local phone card or a travel plan from your service provider.
- Make sure you have plenty of memory on your camera and extra memory cards and batteries. You definitely don’t want to miss the photo opportunities in Raja Ampat.
- If you’re taking dive gear this is the time to make sure it is all clearly labeled with your name.
24 hours to go
- You can usually check in for your flight online 24-48 hours ahead of time. Also, if you wait until online check in many airlines let you choose your seat for free. You just might not have the selection you would if you pay for the seat you want.
- Charge all your batteries and electronics.
- Check everything is packed and your luggage isn’t overweight.
- Double check your flights and insurance papers as well as your other travel documents.
- How’s the weather in Raja Ampat? Adjust accordingly if there are items of clothing you need to take.
There you have it, a comprehensive guide to getting ready for your dive trip to Raja Ampat. It’s a remote location but really you don’t need much while you’re there. Get prepared in advance, live the simple life there, and enjoy!