The Island Hopping Sailing was a really great trip along some of the Indonesian Islands from Bali to Komodo with many cultural and snorkelling stops. We were very well looked after on the boat and our guide, Narto, was fascinating and very personable. The food was good, accommodation comfortable, altogether a great trip and we'd highly recommend it.
Just back from diving with manta rays in Komodo with Aqua Firma and almost can't find the words to describe the sheer beauty, thrills, fun and joy of the whole trip. There was so much thought and preparation, endless advice about add-ons and excellent organisation on the trip itself. Charlotte's infectious enthusiasm spread throughout the group and added another level of pleasure to this life-changing experience. We saw some of the best coral and marine life we've ever encountered, with humbling experiences amongst majestic manta rays. There was very professional support and encouragement for us as novice divers and in the evenings, really interesting talks. We couldn't have asked for more and recommend this trip with five stars out of five. Thanks to Ralph for making suggestions, Jen for her brilliant organising and to Charlotte, Simon and Lisa for guiding us through this wonderfully uplifting and exhilarating experience. See you on the next one!
(Jane Prowse and Ian Sutherland, UK)
Bali to Komodo Island Hopping Sailing Voyage & Komodo Manta Ray Research, Coral Triangle & Dragons
Couldn't have asked for a better and more relaxing trip. Full of insight, professionalism, fun and most of all spectacular creatures (the mantas yeah!!) this trip was a delight from start to finish. The add on (arranged by Aqua Firma) chose the right places to chill out. Bali and Flores were both great. The companionship of the other travellers added to the fun. Love this travel/experience company - well done, again, Aqua Firma. You will see me again soon.
(Betsy Stanko, UK)
Komodo Manta Ray Research, Coral Triangle & Dragons & Snorkelling in Bali
We had a fantastic time. It was clear how much care and thought Aqua Firma had put into every aspect of the trip and we will definitely be coming on future trips.
The itinerary was perfect, the hotels were comfortable and well located, the dive outfit was excellent, and the excursions were really interesting. Overall, the pace was right and no time was wasted. The fellow travellers made the diving, and the spare time, a pleasure.
We found the involvement of Charlotte and the researchers was a huge plus - lots of interesting information and advice on hand whenever we needed it, and Simon's knowledge improved my fish identification skills no end!
The marine life and quality of the corals in the Komodo National Park were stunning. Mantas galore, turtles in silly numbers and fields of pristine hard and soft corals. Komodo dragons are lazy blighters, but I suppose you don't want to meet a hungry one moving fast!
A 10/10 trip in every way.
John & Sue Bennett (UK)
Komodo Manta Ray Research, Coral Triangle & Dragons
We had a wonderful time in Raja Ampat and Bali the whole trip ran like clockwork. Both hotels in Bali were very good with the one in Candidasa being exceptionally nice, quiet and relaxed with a very nice restaurant called "Vincents" up on the main road a fifteen minute walk away. I recommend the Seafood Mimpang.
The Raja Ampat Liveaboard was fantastic with some exceptionally nice dive sites including the amazing Magic Mountain with its friendly Mantas :) Luckily the visibility was good at Magic Mountain but with it being New Moon visibility generally over the whole trip was disappointing, never the less we saw everything we wanted to :) The trip back to Sorong had an added bonus in that we came across a number of Brydes whales heading west to the amazment of some of our American friends who when I said I thought I had spotted a whale they said "No, you do not get whales here!", thankfully my whale friends popped up to say hello 10 minutes later!!
I have not sorted through my photos and video yet but will send some on to you when I get organised!
Thank you for organising us a wonderful trip and the birthday wishes for Jayne.
Next stop Silverbanks!!
(David and Jayne, UK)
Raja Ampat Dive Liveaboard & Land-Based Diving in Bali
Thank you to Charlotte for being a lovely travel buddy - it was a great trip and I'm still feeling relatively relaxed. I'll send you a memory card for seahorses and mantas and wobbegong and epaulette action - thanks very much.
(Deborah Allen, UK)
Sarah had asked Ralph at Aqua-Firma to come up with something special, and he did. Five days diving at Bunaken, then four days at Lembeh and then a couple of days to chill before we flew back. I work in the business of producing trips of a lifetime, and in a former life worked for two of the best dive operators in the world at the time, so I like to think I know a good operation. Thanks to all, it was perhaps the best dive trip I've ever taken! It wasn't a cheap holiday by my (or many people's) standards, but we both agreed we got a bargain.
We were at Bunaken for the diving, and it delivered in droves. The dive guides were good company, superb in the water and at finding critters, and the walls may be the best I've seen in twenty years of diving. Breathtaking stuff.
Our time on the boats and the operation at Lembah was fabulous. Yulius and Iwan were our team for most of the four days, and again we almost had the boat to ourselves. They and the other guides had a lovely, easy manner on the boat and an uncanny guiding and critter-finding ability in the water.
The diving and the critters were stunning. Four days was not quite enough. We found everything I could have hoped for except the Mimic Octopus, which means we'll have to come back...
(Jamie Watts, UK)