Magic Misool

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“In November/ December 2017 we had the pleasure of experiencing Misool for the first time. Located in the pristine Raja Ampat Coral Triangle, with its glorious corals and bountiful fish, it is the most beautiful marine environment we have ever experienced!
Misool caters for professional divers with a well-equipped dive centre, but there are daily excursions for snorkelers such as ourselves and we did not feel deprived or second-class to the divers. Boat-rides to nearby small islands were short 10-minute hops, 20 minutes at most, and the guides were both friendly and professional, pointing out small nudibranches or other items of interest that might otherwise escape our attention.There are turtles, black-tip sharks, big bumphead parrotfish and Napoleon wrasse, large shoals of fusiliers and jacks alongside all the regulars, and we were especially blown away by the psychedelic colourful soft corals. We saw a lot of bigger fish than on snorkeling trips in other locations such as Maldives, Red Sea and Zanzibar, probably due to the fact that Misool has established a no-take zone and rigorously engages local communities about sustainable practices which have allowed marine life to flourish. In addition to these snorkelling boat-trips we spent many hours on the excellent, and extensive, house reef which is easily accessible from the various cottages.
Accommodation is excellent, the bedroom in our Tabisasu Villa had a large comfortable bed, more than adequate shelf space, and a mosquito net which was set up every night while we were at dinner, although with air-con and two fans in the bedroom we hardly ever saw a mosquito. Tabisasu also has a spacious lounge room, with numerous plugpoints and a desk where you can check your Go-Pro footage and recharge for the next day. There are spare beds in the lounge if necessary, and even a day-bed on the deck, where you can spend your spare time gazing out onto the water and islands in the distance. Dolphins swim past, turtles pop up, and the water lapping away underneath soothes you to sleep at night. Tabisasu faces the sunrises and we would often be up early to snorkel the coral gardens in front of us before first breakfast. Misool offers a unique meal schedule with an early breakfast before first dive or snorkel then a 2nd breakfast from about 10.00 when you get back. Lunch at 13.00 is followed by a handy afternoon tea with cookies and snacks to keep you going until dinner at 19.00. Misool goes out of their way to accommodate individual diet requirements and as vegetarians we were very well catered for by the attentive and helpful staff. All the staff, from management to restaurant to boat teams to cleaners give personalised friendly attention to your needs, creating a fantastic relaxing ambience to go with the exquisite layout of cottages and facilities. The resort holds around forty visitors which means it does not feel crowded, there is enough space for interaction with others or privacy, as you prefer. The overall standards at Misool are first class, without touristy pretentiousness – even the word “resort” is perhaps an unfair categorization; it is essentially a place for snorkelers, divers and nature-lovers who care about the world, and marine life in particular. The Misool Foundation has a very credible programme of social engagement activities that reflect the highest integrity, and interested parties can obtain a good insight into Misool, its history and programmes through its informative website.
Getting to Misool is rather arduous, there is a four-hour speedboat journey to follow the various long flights that get you to Sorong, but the admin team will assist with providing you options, based around 7, 9 or 12 day stays. For us, the overall costs were way above our normal travel budget but for such an enriching and inspiring experience, it was totally worth it.”