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Scuba Republic Blog

22 Nov

How to Decide on the Most Awesome Dive Adventure for You

Between Liveaboards, Dive Safaris, and our Beach Bungalows – there is something here at Scuba Republic for every diver. Here are the pros and cons of each, so you can make the best choice for you.

Diving adventures in Raja Ampat. Relaxing on a boat. Remote, pristine locations.

Did you know, here at Scuba Republic, we have 3 different locations throughout Indonesia?

Bira in South Sulawesi:

  • Beach Bungalows with a day boat that goes out on 2-3 dives per day

Bira is still to be really discovered. An off the beaten track, world-class diving location. Our bungalows are directly on an incredible white sand beach. Bira is often known for its shark population, but bigger things like marble rays, octopus, and cuttlefish are common, as well as the smaller stuff like frogfish and nudibranchs.

Komodo:

  • Dive shop with a daily boat into the National Park for 3 dives
  • Busy Girl Liveaboard

Komodo is an infamous dive location. Most commonly known for its Manta ray population and it’s potentially rockin current. There are beginner-friendly sites as well as advanced and dive sites and groups are made accordingly.

Raja Ampat:

  • Beach Bungalows with a day boat that goes out on 2-3 dives per day
  • Epica and Jaya Liveaboards
  • Dive Safaris

Raja Ampat is one of, if not the most biologically diverse dive locations in the world. Shockingly abundant colourful coral and more fish than you can imagine. For the big stuff, we also get both reef and oceanic manta rays between November and April, as well as sharks and octopus year round. Macro lovers can find numerous nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, crabs and shrimps, to name a few. Really anything is possible here in Raja Ampat. Whales, dolphins, dugongs, mandarin fish… you name it, it might not be common, but we’ve probably seen it at some point.

So with all these fabulous options, how do you decide which to do? Let’s break it down and look at the pros and cons of each type of trip you can take.

Liveaboards

If you’re an avid diver, you probably have been on or have wanted to go on a liveaboard. If you’re new to diving – this is definitely something you will want to experience. A liveaboard is just that – you get to live on a boat for the entire trip. Eat on board. Sleep on board. Some liveaboards include a couple of land visits, whereas others, you might not see land your entire trip.

We have a few different liveaboard options here at Scuba Republic.

Dive safari. On a boat. Remote, pristine, and relaxed adventure. Unique trip.

Epica is our budget liveaboard. She caters up to 12 guests per trip, in 6 bunk bed style double rooms. She also has 4 different Itineraries. The “Best of Dampier” is a 7 day trip to all the highlights in the area. “Southern Showdown” is a 10-day trip south to the stunning island of Misool, including the very special stingless jellyfish lake. “King of the North” ventures up to Wayag on a 10-day trip. And “Clash of Kings” is another special 10-day trip that extends on the highlights in the “Best of Dampier”.

Jaya liveaboard. Expedition boat. Pirate ship like indonesian phinisi. Raja Ampat Dampier Strait.

Jaya is our expedition vessel and was built in the classic Indonesian phinisi style. She caters to 14 guests, in both twin and triple cabins. Her most popular trip is a 7 day Best of Dampier itinerary. She also has a 9 day Central/South route which includes Misool. A 12 Day Cenderwasih Bay trip that focuses on the resident Whale Sharks. And a 14 day, one-way Waisai to Ambon, or Ambon to Waisai adventure.

Busy Girl liveaboard. Different itineraries.

Busy Girl is our Komodo Liveaboard. She caters to 4 people for the most intimate personal experience. She also is for more experienced divers with at least 40+ dives and their advanced open water certification completed. Chasing the currents, these trips are for the adventurous diver, that wants to have the ultimate Komodo experience. By the time you leave Busy Girl, you’ll be a true Current Junkie.

Hammock on a liveaboard boat. Sleep, eat, dive, repeat. Relax on a boat. Have an adventure.

Pros:

  • Lots of diving. Dive, eat, nap, repeat all day long.
  • Explore further out and more remote sites.
  • Become close with all your fellow divers – great for solo travellers.

Cons:

  • 24/7 on a boat – if you are sensitive to getting seasick, this is less than ideal.
  • Not much alone time or space.
  • There is a lot of diving included – which can get exhausting. But you are not required to do all the dives if this is the case.

Day Boat and Beach Bungalows

Scuba Republic beach bungalow. Raja Ampat air conditioning and hot water.

All three of our locations have a day boat. Bira and Raja Ampat have accommodation in Beach Bungalows as well. A day boat is a popular choice on its own. It’s also an option to get more dives before or after going on one of our liveaboards.

Here you have a home base. Can unpack a little. And enjoy your own space. Relax in hammocks, bean bags, and have some dry zen solo time. In Raja Ampat, we even have both air conditioning and hot water. And although we have many options in Raja Ampat, some of our favourite sites are closest to our bungalows (including the best oceanic manta cleaning station).

Scuba Republic day most. Most comfortable in Raja Ampat. Scuba Dive boat.

Pros:

  • Having a home base to return to, more space, and solo time.
  • Hot water and air conditioning (Raja Ampat).
  • Solo traveller friendly with dorm-style rooms in both locations.
  • Add on flexibility before/after other trips.
  • Best for any dive courses.
  • Flexibility if some of your group doesn’t dive or doesn’t want to dive as much.

Cons:

  • Smaller radius of sites.
  • Potentially less social with more room for people to spread out.

Dive Safari

Dive Safari in Raja Ampat. Overwater bungalows. Reflections in water. Remote locations. Homestays Raja Ampat.

This is a new, exclusively Scuba Republic offering. A dive safari combines the best of both worlds. The diving of a liveaboard, but staying in land-based homestays at night. This also supports the local Papuan community. We have lots of flexibility with these to cater to your perfect trip and can be made anywhere from 3-7 days. The most common is either 3 or 5 days. They just require at least 4 people to run.

Dive Safari in Raja Ampat. Overwater bungalows. Remote locations. Homestays Raja Ampat. Incredible sunset

Pros:

  • Explore further out and more remote dive sites.
  • Stay in picturesque overwater bungalows and on secluded beaches. Snorkel and see critters right from your balcony.
  • See remote islands and viewpoints.
  • Flexibility and personalization for your best possible trip.
  • Support the local community.

Cons:

  • Homestays are comfortable but do have very basic facilities. All have western sit-on-able toilets. Some have western showers, but the most common are bucket showers. And beds are a simple mattress on the floor (always with mosquito net). For more details on these check out our other blog on Accommodation and Food to Expect Here in Raja Ampat.
  • Not ideal for solo travellers, or harder to plan, unless there are other pre-existing groups and space.

As you can see, there are various trip options. One thing you can be assured is regardless of which you choose, you will experience some of the best diving in the world. The only real “con” being it will be challenging to ever top.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to book your next epic adventure, and join the Scuba Republic!

Scuba diving fun. Raja Ampat, Komodo, South sulawesi scuba diving. Love to dive. Best diving in the world

Written by Nicole Smelson
Pictures by Wander Deeper and Nicole Smelson

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