If you follow us on Instagram, you probably saw our 10 days adventure on Kri island, one of the various islands of Raja Ampat’s archipelago. Here is a summary of our 10 days there, our homestay, the activities, the costs, etc…
Kri is quite a small island. It’s a long, narrow, forested island that is really part of the neighbouring Pulau Mansuar, from which it is separated by a narrow and shallow strait.
In fact, Kri has always been known to its traditional owners as Mansuar Kecil (“Little Mansuar”). It was effectively renamed by an early foreign resort owner who relocated from the original Pulau Kri at Batanta. He didn’t want to change all his promotional material, so… but that’s another story.
Thanks to the “Lonely Planet Effect”, Kri is by far the most popular island in Raja Ampat and – as a consequence – is the location of Raja Ampat’s largest and busiest homestays, mostly in the north. If you’re looking for lots of interaction with other visitors, then Kri is the place for you. If you want the quietest experience possible, head for the south coast homestays.
HOW TO GO ON KRI ISLAND ?
To reach the island of Kri, you have to go to Sorong. Then from Sorong, you have to take the ferry to Waisai (100 000 rupiah per person / about 6€). Be careful, there are only 2 per day (one at 9am and the other at 2pm). All Kri homestays can provide pickups from Waisai and transfers to/from anywhere else.
As it is difficult to find information about Raja Ampat, there is a website full of information and advice about this archipelago: www.stayrajaampat.com. We really encourage you to have a look, you will definitely find the answers to your questions, even more! This is also the best way to book your future homestay, just choose the island you want to stay on. It’s a little bit different from general accommodation booking websites since you can not see the availability of housing. You only have access to photos, description of the homestay and bungalows, prices, a small presentation of possible excursions and reviews. Thus, you must make a reservation request with the dates you want and wait for a response from the manager (usually within 24/48H).
For our accommodation on Kri, we first wanted to book the Lumba Lumba Guesthouse because it was highly rated with a lot of positive reviews, with a dive center and in our prices. However, our request was rejected because it was already full (because we only did the booking 3 days before, as most people book this type of accommodation 6 months in advance). So we made a reservation request to Warahnus homestay, next door, which also has very good reviews. Request accepted, great! We now know where we will spend our next 10 nights. The cost of a bungalow on the beach in this homestay is 600 000 rupiah per couple and per night with 3 meals included. So about 36 € a night for two. A bit more expensive than Indonesia in general, but it’s Raja Ampat.
Once your request accepted, we made the asked the manager by Whatsapp to pick us up at Waisai (it is very common). After agreeing to a meeting, no one came to pick us up. Fortunately, the port of Waisai is always full of tourists looking for boats to join their homestay in different islands. So we asked other tourists if they were going on Kri and we came across a group of 3 Germans who kindly shared a boat with us. The boat costs 750,000 rupiah (about 45 euros) so it’s always better to divide the fees by 5 than 2!
Once arrived in front of our homestay, boom! Dreamy landscape, a real postcard. We are greeted by Barmon, the homestay manager who showed us our bungalow. It is very simple, a mattress, a mosquito net and wires to lay the laundry but it is on the beach, in front of the sea! Obviously, the toilets and showers are common and very basic, just a few steps from our bungalow.
The big pros, internet reception is very good at most homestays on Kri, thanks to the nearby tower on Mansuar. We absolutely had no problem in Warahnus homestay. The food is very good and varied. Nothing is missing and we are even given meal trays for late arrivals. We were also given masks to snorkel.
Speaking of snorkeling, this is another strong points of this homestay, the best place to practice it : right in front of you, at the end of the dock ! Corals are very healthy and varieties of fish are just incredible! We had the chance to see many black and white-tip sharks, turtles, clown fishes, a huge clam and so many others … In the evening, we even observed bioluminescent plankton. Clearly, we were really happy with our stay at Warahnus.
There are 2 big bungalows and 4 smaller ones (where we were). We met so many interesting and different people during these 10 days, great souls with whom we could exchange and share good times, we were never alone.
From Warahnus, you can cross the island by foot, by a little way, and in around 7 min you are on the other side, where there is a long white sand beach, and where you can swim in clear water.
Diving and snorkeling are pretty much what it’s all about at Kri. Many say that Kri’s reefs are the best in Raja Ampat – it is kind of true, but we heard that it is even better in Batanta and West Waigeo !
Great snorkeling is available from every Kri homestay beach and there are a number of homestays with onsite dive centers on the island.
All homestay dive centers dive all of the popular Raja Ampat sites, so (as far as diving opportunities go) it doesn’t matter which one you choose. Raja Ampat can be a challenging dive environment though, so be sure to do your research and choose a reputable operator.
Diving can be arranged by the homestays without dive centers (like in Warahnus), but if diving is your main aim then you’d be better off booking at a homestay with its own dive center, as you’ll have preference when demand is high. I (Elsa) passed my PADI Open Water at Soul Scuba Divers (just behind Warahnus homestay) for 6 million rupiah (around 360 euros). We will do another article about diving in Kri Island.
If you are here for hiking, you will not be satisfied. Although jungle hiking possibilities are very limited on Kri, long beach walks are possible along the north coast at low tide. You can also still go to the « sunset point of view », which is 35/40 min from Warahnus homestay, and you will have the best view of the island !!
In total for 10 nights in Kri island for two persons:
- Boat transfer from Waisai to Kri : around 18 euros (200 000 rupiah)
- 10 nights in Warahnus homestay (with 3 meals included) : around 360 euros (6 millions rupiah)
- Activities : around 30 euros/person for a fun dive (1.1 million rupiah), and 18 euros/couple for a snorkeling tour (300 000 rupiah) to Friwen Wall and Cape Kri, as we wanted to see other places than in front of our bungalow.
Learn more in related article: Diving in Raja Ampat