20 nights
Duration
Sep, Oct
Month
16 People
Max Group Size

Join us on this epic overland snorkel safari as we explore the reefs of northern Indonesia. On this three-stop guide-led snorkel safari, we will spend three weeks exploring the vibrant shallow coral reefs of Bunaken, Halmahera, and Raja Ampat. This tour is the perfect blend of upscale boutique snorkeling resorts, idyllic tropical locations, stunning reefs, and big fish.

This tour will begin in North Sulawesi’s Bunaken National Park, one of Indonesia’s oldest marine reserves. From the comfort of a lovely island resort,  we’ll be able to explore all the area’s best reefs with ease. Bunaken is famous for a lot of things, but  it’s most known for is its massive turtle population. As we explore the shallow coral plateaus that extend from the different islands we are sure to see multiple turtles as they come to the surface for a quick breath or just cruise over the reefs.

Halmahera is the large odd-shaped island just west of the Raja Ampat area. The area we’ll be exploring is in the south, around a small island called Kusu Island. This area is fantastic for snorkeling, offering us unlimited access to a truly amazing house reef and several other nearby reefs which are only 5-20 minutes by boat. Halmahera is relatively new on the snorkeling scene as the area previously didn’t have the infrastructure to support tourism. Now, with several small airports and this brand new resort, we can indulge in the endless reefs, clouds of colorful reef fish, the lush tropical environment, from a comfortable resort serving delicious food.

The area of Raja Ampat that we’ll be exploring is its northern region around the Dampier Strait. This area has so much to offer snorkelers – with spectacular soft corals swaying in the water, hard coral plateaus that breach the surface at low tide, and sea fan forests that have to be seen to be believed. Where marine life is concerned, we can expect several species of reef sharks as well as wobbegong (carpet) sharks, and Epaulette (walking) sharks. We hope to see oceanic and reef manta rays as they come to be cleaned and feed on the plankton at the surface. Turtles (green and hawksbill) abound too, along with schooling fish like jacks, barracuda, and of course all the brightly colored reef fish like butterflyfish, angelfish, triggerfish, parrotfish, sweetlips, surgeonfish, and more.

This snorkeling safari is escorted by a Snorkel Venture team member.

Marine Life Guide

marine life guide Raja ampat


This tour is partnered with Thrive Conservation. Find out how we support Thrive Conservation via this tour here.


Day 1 | Arrive Siladen Resort

You will be met by Siladen Island Resort’s staff and then transferred by large air-conditioned vehicles to the harbor where we will jump on their own transport boat for the 30-40 minute ride to Siladen Island.
Upon arrival at the resort, you will check in and have a resort orientation. You can relax for the afternoon, or, if you are keen to get in the water we can arrange a guided afternoon snorkeling session on the house reef.

Day 2-6 | Siladen Resort, Sulawesi

After a delicious buffet breakfast, we will make our way to the snorkel center where we will have a briefing on the sites we will visit before heading onto the large boats and to the two-morning snorkel sites. The sites are all within 5- 25 minutes of the resort. Each snorkel session will last from 60 – 90 minutes and you can expect to do 3 boat snorkels per day. We will return back to the resort for a buffet lunch and a bit of downtime before heading out for another snorkel session.

We will offer guided night snorkeling on the house reef when suitable.

Chef-prepared dinners are served on the beach under the stars, weather permitting, and include several courses served buffet style.  All dietary requirements can be catered for, with some notice.

The bar and restaurant serve a variety or mocktails and juices, cocktails, wines, and beers for your own account.

The house reef is a wonderful place for exploring as it’s full of beautiful corals and loads of lively reef fish. It is available at our leisure.

green sea turtle sleeping on reef


Day 7 - 14 | Kusu Resort, Halmahera

After a big buffet breakfast at the resort, we will check out and transfer to the Manado Airport (MDC) for our short flight to Labuha in South Halmahera. Here we will be met by the Kusu Island Resort staff and transferred to the harbor where we will hop in their shuttle boat and transfer to the resort, 30 minutes away.  After settling into our water villas, we’ll meet for lunch in the resort’s restaurant where we’ll enjoy a resort and general snorkel briefing before heading out for an afternoon snorkel on the resort’s house reef.
House reef at Kusu island resort
Each day begins with coffee, tea, or juice and a breakfast cookie being delivered to your front porch, followed by a delicious breakfast in the main restaurant before our first snorkel session of the day. Each snorkel session will run for 60 – 75 minutes and you can expect to do three guided boat snorkels per day.  With the exception of the house reef, which you can access from the beach or pier, all the snorkel sites are accessed by the resort’s quick and comfortable speedboats. Snorkel sites are close, with the furthest sites being 30 minutes away and the majority only 5-10 minutes from the resort. All the snorkel sessions have surface boat support, allowing you to jump in the boat whenever you feel like it.

After our snorkel, we will return to the resort for a quick snack. After a little break, we hit the water again for another snorkel session at a nearby site. We return to the resort for a delicious lunch. After a little post-lunch siesta we’ll prepare for the third snorkel session of the day,  followed by more snacks. You will not go hungry on this safari! For those that are keen, we can also organize a sunset or night snorkel on the house reef or one of the other nearby reefs. The reefs here really come alive at night, and it’s highly recommended you try at least one night or sunset snorkel as it’s a completely different experience. Nocturnal creatures like octopus, moray eels, lobsters, and even the elusive walking shark can be found enjoying the reefs at night.

We will offer guided night snorkeling on the house reef when suitable.

Throughout our time at Kusu Island Resort, the house reef is open for snorkeling any time you choose.

Dinner is a 3-course meal.

Evenings are spent looking through fish ID books, reviewing the day’s photos and sightings, chatting in the spacious lounge, or enjoying the night sky from your giant porch.


Day 14 - 15 | Transfer to Raja Ampat

After a big breakfast, we’ll hop into the resort’s shuttle boat which will take us back to the Labuha harbor where we’ll then be shuttled to the airport for our quick flight to Manado. We’ll check into the Novotel Manado Resort and enjoy a bit of downtime before a group dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.

Aerial view of Papua Explorers resort

The following morning we’ll check out early and then enjoy some breakfast and coffee at the Manado Airport Executive Lounge before our short flight to Sorong. We’ll be met by the team from Papua Explorers and transferred the 15-minute van ride to the harbor where we’ll board the resort’s shuttle boat for the 1.5 hours transfer to the resort, in a comfortable and covered speedboat.

Day 16 - 22 | Papua Explorers, Raja Ampat

Our mornings will start with a breakfast buffet, serving a variety of home-baked goods, fruits, hot foods, and juices. We then set off on the speed boats, accompanied by local snorkel guides, to some of the beautiful sites in the area. We will do two different snorkel sites during the course of the morning excursion, each session lasting anywhere from 60- 75 mins, before returning to the resort for lunch. You can expect to do three guided boat snorkel sessions per day. We will have boat and surface support on all our snorkels, as well as in-water local guides to assist and point out interesting marine life.
school of batfish in coral reef

After lunch, we will head out to another site for our third snorkel session of the day. The house reef is always open for us to snorkel at any time you should choose.

The snorkeling sites in the vicinity are highly varied and arguably some of the best in Raja Ampat. In this Dampier Strait region, we will find a multitude of beautiful coral reefs, each offering something different. Some may be situated around unique topography with shallow swim-throughs, while others may extend for hundreds of meters in every direction.  This area is also very popular with the manta rays as there are certain bays and islands where they are known to feed and clean at different times of the day. We will also take the opportunity to meander through the famous mangroves where the mangrove tree roots seem to be an extension of the coral reef below.

We will offer guided night snorkeling on the house reef when suitable.

Manta ray belly


Day 22 | Fly to Jakarta

On the final day of the trip will check out of the resort together and transfer to the Sorong Airport for a flight back to Jakarta where we will bid farewell to one another.

Please speak to a member of our team if you would like to extend your time in Indonesia, either for more snorkeling or land tours.

Siladen Resort

We will spend the first part of the tour at a wonderful secluded resort on a small island in the heart of Bunaken National Park, Siladen Resort.

Aerial view of Siladen Island

Siladen Resort and Spa is set around a beach-side pool, with bungalows dotted around the manicured garden and beautiful beach, each with ensuite facilities, air conditioning and a private patio. The resort faces west towards Manado Tua, and we will be treated to gorgeous sunset views.

Meals include a variety of local and international fare prepared by professional chefs. Meals are served at a beachfront restaurant, tables are available under the rooftop or outside under the trees. The beach bar serves a variety of beverages and is a wonderful place to meet before dinner for a drink after a long day of snorkeling. The full-service spa offers a wide variety of treatments by experienced therapists.

View of pool and bar at Siladen Resort

Siladen Island Resort features its own bar/lounge area which is separate from the restaurant and includes a small library, billiard table, and plenty of comfortable seating inside and out. This is a fantastic place to meet and re-hash the excitement of the day with one of the many delicious freshly prepared cocktails, or just relax with a book!

Siladen is very well equipped for photographers with a specially designated camera room with secure camera charging and cleaning stations for each person to store and set up their gear.

Kusu Island Resort

Located on the stunningly beautiful Kusu Island, Kusu Island Resort occupies the southern portion of Kusu island which boasts a white sandy beach, mangroves, a manicured pathway through the jungle connecting the resort’s water sports center next to the pier with the villas and the restaurant. The resort also has a beautiful natural lagoon complete with a sort of “blue hole” as well as a trail that leads to a light trek around the island.  Oh, and just off the shore is a stunning hard coral reef that surrounds the entire island!

At the moment there are eight villas with near-identical layouts. Four are built right over the water with mangroves on either side of each, and the other four are just around the corner and run along the white sand beach. All the villas feature a large porch with a set of stairs leading to the beach or right into the water. Each porch is equipped with a pair of sun loungers, a coffee table, and even a really clever and surprisingly comfortable wooden hammock built right into the porch’s floor. There’s also a freshwater shower on each porch in case you decide to go for a quick dip and want to rinse off afterwards.

Inside each villa you’ll find a large comfortable bed, a big sofa and coffee table, a wardrobe with ample storage, and a long wooden desk. Each villa has its own ensuite bathroom which features a stunning open-air shower made out of driftwood that looks right up at the jungle canopy above. One of the cool things about the villas, and the resort as a whole, is the woodwork. No detail was too small for the owners and nearly everything is hand-made right on the island and a lot of it is made from pieces of wood found washed up on the beach. If you appreciate good woodwork, the craftsmanship of this resort will give you something else to enjoy besides the beautiful reefs, islands, food, and beaches.

Kusu Island Resort also features its own restaurant right at the water’s edge with breathtaking views of the sea. Unless you want your meal delivered to your room, this is where all the meals will be served. This area also functions as a sort of lounge area as well where we can meet up for evening drinks or just relax with a book.

The water sports center features two buildings with a giant deck area nestled into the mangroves equipped with freshwater showers, sun loungers, and little tables to relax around between snorkel sessions. One of the buildings is a secure gear-up area where everyone has their own snorkel locker. In the other building, there is an air-conditioned camera room where everyone can keep and charge their cameras without cluttering up their own villas with camera accessories and cables. Outside of this room is a sort of mini-bar/living room area where we can enjoy freshly prepared juices, ice water, or even sip on a chilled coconut straight from the tree between snorkel sessions.

Please note that Kusu Island Resort does not have 24-hour power. The resort turns off the generator that powers the resort at midnight and then back on again at 6:00 am. The rooms do remain cool with the sea breeze throughout the night, particularly with the balcony doors open.

Papua Explorers Resort

The water bungalows blend traditional Papuan style with the comfort of modern design features. They are built using local, natural materials collected from the surrounding villages. All bungalows are equipped with en-suite toilet and shower, hot water, ceiling fan, mosquito net, working desk and a comfortable seating area and spacious veranda with direct access to the sea, allowing us enjoy the sun and sea in privacy.

Aerial view of Papua Explorers resort

You will never miss a sunrise or sunset with the unique, round shape of the restaurant. On offer is traditional Indonesian cuisine as well as international comfort foods – all freshly prepared by the kitchen team.

The resort has some kayaks available for guests to use and also offers a wide range of land tours to local villages, other islands, and bird watching. There is a resident yoga teacher and 2 free classes are offered per week with more available on request. The spa offers a range of treatments in an open-air relaxing setting.

Papua explorers water bungalow

Resort Guide

Snorkel Boats

Kusu Island Resort and Papua Explorers have nearly identical snorkeling boats. They are spacious fiberglass speedboats with enough room to easily store snorkeling equipment. The boats do not have a toilet on board but do offer a full canopy for sun protection and a ladder to help exit the water. The average distance from either resort is 5-20 minutes.

Siladen Island resort has a different style of boat unique to the region. They are much larger wooden boats complete with a marine toilet, wooden ladder, and full hard canopy which is a great place to stretch out and grab a bit of sun in between snorkel sessions.

On this page you will find our Tour Dates & Pricing (see below contact form), a Booking Form and Details of Payment schedule including deposit and final balance. If you have any further questions please complete the form and we will reply within 24-48hrs.


Make an Enquiry or Book this Tour

    Select your preferred dates of travel (if any)

    Tour Dates 2024

    3 April – 24 April 2024

    $9,700 USD per person

    Single Person Supplement: 3,500 USD


    How to book your place

    Initial deposit to secure your booking $800 per person

    12 Months before departure interim deposit of $600 per person

    6 Months before departure interim deposit of $1000 per person

    Balance due 3 months before departure

    Includes:

    • 6 nights Siladen Resort full board in a Garden Villa Double / Twin Share with 15 boat snorkel sessions
    • 7 nights Kusu Island Resort full board in a Deluxe Villa Double / Twin Share with 18 boat snorkel sessions
    • 7 nights Papua Explorers Resort full board in a Deluxe Room Double / Twin Share with 18 boat snorkel sessions
    • 1 night Novotel Manado with full board in a Standard Room Double/ Twin Share
    • Unlimited house reef snorkeling at all resorts
    • Manado – Siladen – Kusu – Papua – Jakarta: All Flights, transfers & connections. Includes 44Lbs luggage allowance on flights
    • Accompanied by a member of the Snorkel Venture team

    Excludes:

    • International flights
    • Snorkel gear rental
    • Gratuities and sundries
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Marine park fees for Papua Explorers: 100 USD paid locally (subject to change)
    • Travel and health insurance
    • Spa services

    *Fees and surcharges are subject to change

    two batfish beneath island
    Dinner on the beach at Siladen Resort
    Aerial view of Kusu island resort
    school of batfish in coral reef
    water villa at kusu island resort
    water villa at kusu island resort
    Aerial View of Delux room at Papua Paradise
    octopus standing up
    Food options at Siladen Resort
    Large school of fish over coral reef
    View of sunset from papua paradise restaurant
    lion fish with sun behind
    Dining room at Siladen Resort
    snorkeler swimming through overhang in reef
    Split shot of coral reef below and raja ampat islands above
    aerial view of snorkelers on house reef at Kusu island resort
    Aerial view of Papua Explorers resort
    Papua explorers water bungalow
    Lagoon in Raja Ampat
    large school of fish in front of orange sea fan
    walking shark in halmahera indonesai
    View of pool and bar at Siladen Resort