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Month Long Holiday Recommendation

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by echocat, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. echocat

    echocat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    23
    10
    3
    Hi everyone,

    I was given a full month off work to use pretty much whenever I want!
    I've been wanting to dive in the South Pacific for a while now, it's pretty much on every divers' bucket list. But given how far and costly it is to travel from the UK it's always been a bit of a challenge to organize a trip there.

    My wish list would include:

    • PNG
    • Solomon Islands
    • Micronesia (Palau, Truk)
    • Indonesia (Raja Ampat)
    • Timor Leste
    • Tonga
    • Fiji
    • Vanuatu
    • French Polynesia (Rangiroa)
    • Marshall Islands
    Anyone have any advice for a trip that would combine a few of the above destinations?
    Recently I've been focused mainly on big pelagic dives (Malpelo, Galapagos, and the likes)
    I'm travelling alone and trying to aim around $8,000 budget

    Any help would be appreciated :)
     
  2. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,511
    1,780
    113
    I would say given your budget your best option would be a homestay in Indonesia exploring say Sulawesi with a homestay in RA. Rangiroa pensions are around $60 per night with one meal but diving costs will quickly eat through your budget. PNG there are no homestay cheap accom type dive operators. Solomons diving is costly as is almost all the places on your list let alone the cost to get there. I am going to Vanuatu tomorrow and hotels and diving are expensive although there are some approx $60 per night traditional bungalows around - dive prices are around $50 - $60 AUD which will eat up your budget fairly quickly. Will post what I find re Vanuatu if I spot any budget opportunities.

    Best of luck but for a month with 8K I would aim for Indo because you will probably get better bang for your buck there. I love PNG and Rangiroa but 8K will not cut it unless you want to camp on the beach and eat tinned tuna
     
  3. WetPup

    WetPup Weedy Sea Dragon

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kiwiland
    1,106
    660
    113
    Yeah, ditto what Wingy said. You'll be paying about $3-4k a week to stay and dive in PNG and Raja Ampat - which is without flights or anything. And that's on the cheaper end. Your options are very geographically spread out, and you'd have to budget a couple of thousand for flights to get around if you wanted to visit more than one country. You're better off picking one very tight geographic area and sticking with that. Like Wingy said, maybe just stick to Indonesia. Or stick to Micronesia. It'll still chew through your budget pretty quickly though to be honest.
     
  4. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,420
    863
    113
    A week in Palau, two weeks in Chuuk, add a few days for travel and off-gassing, should come in under your budget.

    Alternatively, Indonesia for a couple of weeks (Bali) then hope over to Darwin and on to Timor Leste for a week. Spend a week in the Top End (Kakadu etc). I assume you can get frlights from Bali to Darwin and then Darwin back to Hong Kong or Singapore.
     
  5. dirtfarmer

    dirtfarmer Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern California
    1,118
    781
    113
    Indonesia has plenty to offer, and some fantastic diving. LOB in Raja Ampat if your travelling in season. Or Komodo if it's not.
    Lembeh is great and many budget options are available. Bali, can be the cheapest option in Indo, great muck in Tulamben, good reefs off Lembongan.
    Indonesia is not cheap but it's an excellent value, and offers up some epic diving.
     
  6. echocat

    echocat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    23
    10
    3
    Thanks guys for the insightful input. It certainly seemed like I was a little optimistic with my expectations.
    I have a bunch of air miles which would probably cover the long haul return to Hong Kong or some other major city in the area, but even then it seems like I would still need to hustle a bit.

    I would actually be pretty happy with this trip if I can make it work. Palau has done some amazing conservation work over the past few years and I'd be eager to see how pristine the water is. Would you have any recommendation on dive operators/accomodation? I'm told the Odyssey is the best option in Chuuk but it comes out at $3,000 per week :(

    Thanks Wingy, grateful for any information on budget opportunities you can find! :thumb:

    Re: Raja Ampat, would you recommend a liveaboard? The reason I'm asking is because I was considering staying on Kri Island in this resort. They offer an all inclusive package (4 dives a day) at just under $4,000 for 2 weeks which would be ideal. I'm not familiar with the location of the best dive sites in the region and a quick google search tells me that I wouldn't be able to enjoy the dives around Misool Island. Is this something you would recommend?

    Re: Solomon Islands, there's actually some pretty decent deals offered at the moment with 10-day trips going at just under $3,000 (excl. flights). Would it be completely unreasonable to try to squeeze in a budget trip in Fiji and then fly to the Solomon
     
  7. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,420
    863
    113
    In Chuuk I would stay at Blue Lagoon and dive with them. You will only do two dives a day, but overall will do as many as a week long liveaboard and the dives will be better (more of the deeper ones). Solomons is very good, if you like wrecks Honiara is great.
     
  8. echocat

    echocat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    23
    10
    3
    Thanks, will check it out.
    Just making sure I'm not missing something but how can you do as many dives as on a liveaboard? Are liveaboards also limited to two dives a day? Can you not dive everyday when diving from a liveaboard?
     
  9. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,420
    863
    113
    Stay two weeks at Blue Lagoon instead of one on a liveaboard. Price overall will be same or even less, you will do the same number of dives, but not push it (2 dives a day compared to 4), so can do longer bottom times and do more of the deeper wrecks. On a liveaboard you can only do 5 or 6 deeper wrecks, staying 2 weeks lets you do 11 or 12 deeper wrecks (assuming a day off in the middle). Much more relaxed way to do it (and I have done both ways).

    Hope this explains it better.
     
  10. dirtfarmer

    dirtfarmer Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern California
    1,118
    781
    113
    In regards to Raja Amat, not diving Missol would mean missing the best of Raja Ampat. The area is quite simply stunning and more than mind blowing.
     

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