BY: ROSETTE OBEDOZA
You know that sad feeling of leaving a place after a vacation? While our family definitely visited a TON of places by now, there's one place that stole our hearts deeply. I hope that this write-up will help other travelers discover and decide to visit Raja Ampat.
See for yourself if this is a good fit for your travel style. I personally researched the other resorts and accommodation options in Raja Ampat, I am glad to say that our family chose Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort (Note: no personal or financial gain from this article but friendship points with the owners, Rey and Patricia). Many will say that Raja Ampat is part of the avid divers' trail, very true because of the marine biodiversity in the area. However, we found out that non-divers and families with young children will also enjoy the trip. There are various activities available other than snorkeling and diving.
OUR GROUP is composed of our family of three (2 adults and 1 child age 10) and two of our friends (couple) who trekked Raja Ampat and stayed at Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort to spend a 5 Days 4 Nights (5D4N) Christmas vacation with the intention of relaxing and experiencing what is referred to as "the global center of tropical marine biodiversity."
ACCOMMODATION - our family and our friends (couple) booked individual DELUXE cottages. We love the rustic charm, the eco-conscious principle of how the cottage is built, and of course THE VIEW. Each morning I am greeted by the singing of the birds, the calming sound of the waves, and if you listen close enough - you can hear the peaceful sound of shells clinking together as they get washed up on the beach! So soothing for the soul. I am full of gratitude just reliving those moments. The cottage itself does NOT have AC. However, our family did not feel any discomfort at all. We slept good each night and the cottage is well ventilated. We wanted the full eco, nature experience, and that's what we ultimately enjoyed in this piece of paradise. Mosquitoes were never an issue, and the staff kept our cottage clean and comfortable during our stay.
FOOD - hands down the food is worth coming back for! A good breakfast selection each morning, and all meals were well prepared, and accommodated various dietary requirements/ food preferences of guests. Rey (owner) and the Biodiversity Team even hosted a scrumptious Christmas Day dinner for all the guests (and at no extra charge!). It was like enjoying a holiday meal with extended family.
TOURS/TRIPS - we booked two full-day trips (with extra costs), the first one was a modified Manta Sandy diving/snorkeling trip. Rey (owner) openly took in our suggestions and made the trip truly worthwhile for all the guests who joined us. We have two boats: one for the snorkelers and one for the divers. The second full day diving/snorkeling/sightseeing trip was on Christmas Day, we went to Pianemo, FAM Islands is a spot NOT to be missed when in Raja Ampat. NOTE: the hike in Pianemo to see the most popular scenic view in Raja Ampat does not require hiking shoes. They have wooden stairs; all you need is the energy to climb up (glad they schedule this after a hearty lunch). The boat drivers and guides were professionals and know the places of interest very well. The places we visited were jaw dropping with nature’s beauty. The lunch and tea/coffee snacks the staff packed for both of our trips also hit the spot! At the end of each day, we are welcomed back at the resort with coffee/tea local snacks. After coffee/tea breaks, adults and kids were reinvigorated to go straight for the house reef for one more snorkeling/ beach swimming before dinner. How can you NOT be tempted to go back to the water knowing that a beautiful, thriving house reef a few steps away is just waiting for you to enjoy? For the beginner snorkelers, this is a good spot to practice before you head out to the blue (open seas).
CUSTOMER SERVICE - Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort delivered top-notch customer service and attention to detail. From the time I inquired, Patricia (wife of Rey, owner) sent me a prompt & personable message providing all the details and answering my questions. This place is well planned and have the clients’ best interests at heart! There are readily available kayaks you can take out to explore the nearby areas, the community projects that the resort sponsors (take part by bringing English books for the village kids to learn English), the restaurant and only dining option will surely satisfy a world travelling foodie like myself, and the curated trips hosted by Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort are perfect for any type of traveler.
DAY 1 - December 22, Wednesday
Depart Jakarta (CGK) to Sorong (SOQ)via Garuda Airlines
Arrive at Raja Ampat Diversity Nature Resort
DAY 2 – December 23, Thursday
Enjoy the resort swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking (nearby mangroves). Other options: Jungle Trekking to see the Birds of Paradise, Friwen and Yenbessar Village visits
DAY 3 – December 24, Friday
Full day trip to Manta Sandy, Arborek Village,and Sawandarek Village
DAY 4 – December 25, Saturday
Full day trip to Pianemo, FAM Islands
DAY 5 – December 26, Sunday
Depart Raja Ampat Biodiversity Center at 11am
Take RT-PCR/Antigen at Waisai (coordinated by Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort)
Check-in at Swiss Bel Hotel Sorong (call to confirm your booking)
Dinner at Marina Star
*Transportation to Marina Star and to the airport can be arranged via the front desk of the hotel
DAY 6 – December 27, Monday
Depart Sorong (SOQ) for Jakarta (CGK) via Garuda Airlines
Our team here at Capstone World Travel will offer family adventure destination trips annually starting 2023...and of course, Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort is on our list! With our personal experience in traveling to our carefully selected destinations, who else can best guide you to enjoy your vacation? Hmmm not someone who reads the info from a brochure or GOOGLE -earned knowledge, right? So, GO AHEAD & subscribe to our newsletter to be in the know.
Another OPTION is for you to join us at the Capstone World Travel (CWT) Club. We created a membership only group page for those who are: unsure where to go, don't know how to start planning a trip (from overwhelm), or interested in mingling with other travelers to gather research--we get you!
Club membership: By Donation ONLY. The funds we receive are for our occasional cup of coffee in maintaining the group page. But seriously though, we donate 70% of what we gather to organizations supporting military families, children, and women entrepreneurs.
Join the club by clicking HERE. The CWT Club will provide you the insider information on travel-related topics, tips, and a forum to ask questions. No hard selling on this group, for sure!
30211 Avenida de las Banderas , Rancho Santa Margarita, California 92688