Raja Ampat Homestays aren’t exactly what the name says, so here’s a little bit of info on what you should expect.
In case you weren’t sure, I’ll tell you were Raja Ampat is first.
Located in Indonesia, Raja Ampat sits at the northwest top of the Bird’s Head on the island of Papua and is home to some of the world’s best marine sights. Homestays are a budget accommodation option available for travellers looking to experience Raja Ampats secluded destinations.
For more information on Raja Ampat, see here.
Though you may know homestays as sharing a family’s home, in Raja Ampat you are a guest of a Papuan family to stay in housing built on their land. All meals are included, and many of these homestays will pick you up from Waisai upon arrival.
Homestays are basically just enough to live off of – providing the basics.
It’s likely that they will not have:
- Air conditioning
- Internet connection / WiFi
- Insect-free rooms
- Flushing toilets
- Drinks menus
- Room service
- Reliable hot water for showers
Homestays are eco-resorts built using traditional construction materials owned by local villagers, so you will probably be sharing your room with some of the local wildlife, and plenty of mosquitos! Most will have a dive centre run by the owner, so you can get a chance to explore the underwater beauties.
Though homestays are a budget accommodation option, they are not cheap compared to budget accommodation in other Southeast Asian destinations. The main reason for this is because the “local people to be able to generate a sustainable living that provides for their aspirations and removes the economic pressure to sell their land to developers.” Factors affecting Raja Ampat accommodation prices include:
- Raja Ampat is very remote
- Fuel costs
- Establishment/maintenance costs and occupancy rates
- The benchmark set by the dive resorts
- Government policy
What to Bring
- Insect repellant
- Sandwich bags or containers to keep food in (to keep the bugs out)
- Towels (after use they may not dry due to the humidity)
- Extra clothing (for the same reason as above)
Things to Know
> Prices range from US$35-80
> English may be limited
> Most of the Homestays are in North Raja Ampat (around Waigeo Island)
> If you stay for 5+ nights, the hosts will typically cover the cost of transport to/from Waisai/Sorong
> To be culturally sensitive you shouldn’t plan any arrival or departure dates for Sundays as they are a day of rest and church for your hosts. There are no organised activities available on Sundays.
> They will offer tea, coffee and drinking water (the tap water is not drinkable)
> Some will provide western style food for guests
This story was adapted from my own personal experiences and from the information provided on StayRajaAmpat.com