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A two hour boat journey from the town of Sorong takes you to the remote Sorido Bay Resort, one of the pioneering resorts in this part of the world and the very best place from which to dive some of the world’s best dive sites.
There are only seven bungalows with one more planned for next year. The bedrooms are remarkably comfortable considering where you are in the world and could almost be considered stylish though this is not a luxury resort. There are two types of room, the better having a separate bedroom and living room so good for families. All of the rooms are just feet from the white sand beach.
The heart of the Sorido Bay Resort is the raised central building where all-day coffee, tea and snacks are provided. This is where all meals are served and dining is very much a communal affair. The food is very nice but simple, local cuisine.
In terms of facilities there is a small boutique, a small library, a lounge area with TV which, being up in the trees, offers great panoramic views and as it is high up and open sided, gets the breeze. A sundeck and outdoor lounge along the jetty is a good place to relax in the afternoon. Plans are afoot to add an outside massage space as at present there is no chance of a rub down after a long day diving.
The managers are excellent and run the place in a very friendly and helpful way. And then there is the owner, Max, who has many extraordinary stories to recount of his times in Indonesia, 22 of which have been spent here in Raja Ampat, He will likely join you for meals in this very informal atmosphere.
The dive centre has great equipment including Nitrox and rebreather facilities (provided you warn them) and very comfortable boats. What's great is that groups are always small so the service is very personal. You can do up to five dives per day if you like.
There are at least 27 sites within 10 minutes of the hotel with many more further afield. Many of the local sites enjoy world acclaim including Cape Kri, effectively their house reef, with more species counted on it in one dive than anywhere else in the world. One of the great things about northern Raja Ampat is that as well as the pristine coral that you can find further south, the diving here is more varied with the greater chance of more pelagics.
Away from the diving and the Sorido Bay Resort itself, you can go in search of the famous Bird of Paradise (if you are happy to get up at 4am!), take a canoe out to explore and go on a village tour but the main focus is most definitely diving and snorkelling, day and night.
Many of the local dive sites enjoy world acclaim including Cape Kri, effectively their house reef, with more species counted on it in one dive than anywhere else in the world.
Neill, Original Diver