What is covered by the expedition costs?
Expedition fees paid to Operation Wallacea cover most of the costs associated with your expedition. Specifically, these fees cover accommodation, meals, transfers between sites, on-site training courses (excluding optional dive courses), diving (includes tanks, weights, boats, qualified dive staff), comprehensive medical and evacuation insurance, on-site medical support staff, as well as academic support staff for research projects, and participation in any of the research projects being offered.
Expedition fees, however, do not include Park Entry charges ($25 per site), optional dive equipment hire (BCD, regulator, mask, snorkel, fins), any additional dive courses beyond PADI Open Water, snacks and souvenirs purchased locally, visa fees (if applicable) and your travel costs to and from the expedition start and finish points.
Optional training courses and equipment hire
In the forest there is the option of completing a canopy access training course ($170 or £110). There is plenty to do without including this optional course but it is available should you wish to complete the training.
If you have opted to do the PADI Open Water dive training course the training and diving is included in the expedition costs but you have to bring with you a PADI Open Water Manual with PIC card (approximately $75- $125 depending on the country from which you are obtaining these Manuals). Other additional PADI dive training courses (PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW), Emergency First Response (EFR) and PADI Rescue Diver) can be done on site but are charged for as additional optional courses (AOW is US$220 and Rescue with EFR is US$400. If you wish to undertake the PADI Divemaster course, this can be done by signing up for this option on booking. The costs are therefore included in the expedition costs but it is an intensive course requiring 4 weeks of dedicated time on site and you will need to bring your own Divemaster crew pack with you.
If you are snorkelling or diving you can either bring your own dive equipment or rent equipment available on site. School participants are required to pre-pay for all dive equipment rental prior to their expedition commencing (to be arranged through your local Operation Wallacea office). University and Research Assistant participants can either pre-pay for equipment rental or pay for rental once on site (both options to be paid to our Indonesian partner, Wallacea Institute). If paid by June 15 on the year of your expedition, dive equipment rental will incur the following ‘pre-season’ rates: mask/snorkel $3 per day, fins $3 per day, BCD $4 per day, regulator $4 per day (or $14 per day for a full set of diving equipment). After June 15, the following ‘in-season’ rates will apply: mask/snorkel $4 per day, fins $4 per day, BCD $5 per day, regulator $5 per day (or $18 per day for a full set of diving equipment).
There is also limited supply of booties available for rent, although we highly recommend that you bring your own, as these will also be needed at the forest site for river crossings. Weights, dive belts and dive tanks are provided free of charge.
Please note that wetsuits are not available for rent. A full length 3-5mm (minimum 3mm thickness) wetsuit is compulsory, so you must bring your own out to site with you. You will not be allowed to enter the water without a full length wetsuit.
Travel, excess baggage and visa costs
You are responsible for your own travel costs to and from the start and finish points of the expedition (see travel advice page).
If you are a nationality included in the Visa free list for Indonesia, and you are not staying in the country for more then 30 days, then you should be able to enter the country under this scheme. If however you are not a nationality on this list, or you are staying in the country longer than 30 days then you will need to check if you are a nationality on the Visa on Arrival scheme in Indonesia. If you are under this scheme then you can get a Visa on Arrival (VOA), which currently costs $35 on entry.
If you are staying over 30 days in Indonesia and need to extend your visa on site then you are responsible for paying an agent (we will arrange an agent for you) to complete this extension (approx $60). If you are staying over 60 days in Indonesia then you will need to enter on a Sosial Budaya visa and this will need to be obtained in advance of entering the country (see visa page) and you will need to schedule a visit back to Bau Bau or Wanci to be interviewed by Immigration at the end of 60 days in the country so your extension can be issued. You are responsible for the travel and any hotel costs for this visa extension as well as the visa extension costs (approx $60)
Depending on your airline for your internal flights, the baggage allowance can be as little as 10kg. However, it is common for people to exceed this weight allowance, and excess baggage can be paid for when checking in for your flight. It is charged at approximately $2 USD per kilo, and will need to be paid in Indonesian rupiah, or by credit card. Please bring enough money to cover any excess baggage charges on both your incoming and outgoing internal flights.
Spending money on site
You will need enough spending money to cover personal on-site expenditure. If you have not pre-paid then you will also need enough to cover payments for the optional extras and dive hire described above. Note at the Hoga marine site there is the option to pay by credit card (note there is a 3% charge for using this facility).
Laundry; Rp3,000 – Rp7,000 per item
Items from the bar or small ‘shops’ in Labundo, on Hoga and in Pantai Nirwana (please note all of these shops only accept Indonesian Rupiah, stocked items will vary per location);
- Cold drinks, chocolate bars, snacks etc. Rp10,000 – Rp20,000 each
- T-shirts, hammocks etc. Rp100,000 – Rp150,000.
- Gifts and souvenirs Rp50,000 upwards.
- Beer Rp50,000 (limited to one per night)
SIM cards; Rp25,000. Mobile credit; Rp25,000, Rp50,000 or Rp100,000 (Remember to bring an unlocked phone with you)
All payments made on site are denominated in Indonesian rupiah and other than the credit card facility on Hoga Island all payments need to be made in cash. Foreign currencies, including US Dollars and Pounds Sterling, and debit cards are not accepted at any site.
Whilst payments made on site should be in Rupiah only we suggest that rather than obtaining currency prior to departing your home country where the rates can be very poor we suggest that you either use an ATM which are readily found in Jakarta, Bali or Makassar or alternatively, convert foreign currency at local ‘money changers’ upon arrival into Jakarta or Bali airport. There are ATM’s in Bau Bau and Wanci however we cannot spare the time when travelling from the local airports to site to allow everyone to use the ATM therefore we strongly advise you do this prior to leaving Jakarta / Makassar. If you are travelling as part of a large school group, then your best option may be to exchange money in your home country prior to departure, as this will save time in the airports.
IMPORTANT: Please check with your bank to ensure your existing ATM card is compatible with overseas ATMs.
No money changing facilities exist in Bau-Bau and traveller’s cheques are generally not accepted.
Please also consider arranging a contingency fund to cover any emergencies.