Papua Paradise Eco Resort
Situated about 45 minutes (in good weather) by speedboat from the rather dusty, industrial port town of Sorong, Papua Paradise Eco Resort is a convenient gateway to the best known sights of Indonesia's spectacular Raja Ampat Regency: Fam, Cape Kri, Manta Sandy, Arborek Jetty, etc. It’s also relatively close to Sorong compared to Misool, another fantastic resort we would later stay at. Not sure which to choose? Read this post.
In February 2018, direct flight connections to Raja Ampat were scarce and our flight from Makassar, Sulawesi (where we’d spent the night) to Sorong departed at 5am so we appreciated the relative proximity of Papua Paradise. Our decision was further validated because we then had to spend about three hours on arrival hanging around at a local hotel in Sorong, awaiting our speedboat transfer. Was the long journey worth it? Read on to find out!
As soon as the resort's jetty came into view, we heard the sound of drums and singing. The entire resort's staff were standing there, waiting to welcome us, including the manager, Johann. Upon disembarking, we all received a delicious cold drink, a refreshing wet towel and a short briefing about mealtimes, as well as how to book excursions. We were then shown to our rooms and our bags came by wheelbarrow shortly thereafter.
Inside our Papuan-themed bungalow was a romantic four-poster bed with mosquito netting, turned down beautifully each night by helpful, friendly staff. A comfortable cushioned lounge seat was tucked into a nook on one side, perfect for afternoon siestas. There was also a generous deck with sun loungers and more seating – ideal for drying wet clothing, reading and generally just lying around watching colourful marine life frolic as the sun slipped below the horizon.
The ensuite bathroom is open-air so expect plenty of birdsong. We were woken each morning to the plaintive calls of wagtails or the quacking of shore ducks and just once, to the squawking of handsome red-crested palm cockatoos. The hot water was slightly temperamental – but we were miles from civilisation so I wasn’t complaining! There was also complimentary laundry service – very handy if you pack light.
A resplendent palm cockatoo
The view from our west-facing Superior Bungalow was spectacular, looking out onto teeming coral reef. Behind it was a seagrass meadow, where we saw dugong on two separate occasions. These rare mammals are elusive and extremely shy, so keep very quiet if you see one – your footsteps on the boardwalk above them are enough to scare them off.
Buah ular or snake fruit
Doughnuts were a morning tea favourite
Chocolate birthday cake
The Dive Experience
Fam photo bomb
Hiking in the dark to the hide.
The view from the hide
The fabulous male Wilson's bird of paradise