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Dive Review of Celebes Divers/Mapia Resort in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi

June, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Carl Scott, TX, USA
Report Number 1080
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Thailand, Palau, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Belize, Costa Rica, St. Croix
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions were ever imposed, outside of the general direction of the
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
While this operator doesn't customarily keep a rinse bucket on board, they
would certainly do so, if asked.  I have never had more personalized
service than is offered by Celebes Divers.  They cater to photographers to
the point that they often provide a separate guide for photographers in the
group!  Their guides are highly capable, and eager to find interesting
subjects that might otherwise be overlooked, especially macro subjects,
such as commensual shrimp and crabs, nudibranchs, etc.  There are no shore
facilities, per se, but you should have no problem accommodating your
equipment at your bungalow, which is always a short walk from the pier.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
As a dive operation, I cannot say enough good things about the service! 
The large traditional wooden boats may look strange at first, but they are
very stable and roomy.  Staff is friendly and helpful.  The Bunaken Marine
Park is a very healthy reef system, with some of the most lush stands of
antler coral I've ever seen, along with large barrell sponges that would
rival those of any Caribbean location I've seen.  Large animals are nearly
non-existent, though you may see a green turtle or a small shark.  Schools
of dolphin at the surface are common, however.  Reef fish, including
schooling jacks, barracuda, etc. are plentiful.  You will always be
surrounded by a multitude of butterflyfish, anthias, wrasse, etc. when in
the top 30-40 feet of the reef.  This was my 2nd trip here, and I still saw
something on nearly every dive that I'd never seen before.  Diversity is
the one word that sums up this destination.  A new species of something is
found their at least once per year in the past decade or so (since being
frequented by biologists).  This operator is owned by a resident marine
biologist, who is impressive with his knowledge of the marine life.  If you
go, make plans to visit Lembeh Strait on the other side of the island. 
It's definitely wort the trip and the fee!

Regarding Mapia resort (which is essentially the same operation), it is
modest, but adequate.  This ain't no Marriott, but it's cozy and clean. 
The staff is great and will go out of their way to accommodate any request
(and they never want a tip).  The food is good, but not gourmet.  All meals
are served family style, except that breakfast is a small buffet of fruits,
cereal, and toast.  However, they happily accommodated my request for an
omelet each morning.  Lunch is had on Siladen island, a small romantic, and
beautiful island where there is a sister resort.  Each day would see
grilled fish of some variety, with a couple of vegetables and rice -
usually my favorite meal of the day.  Dinner, served at 8 PM, is a
combination of Italian and Indonesian cuisine, reflecting the owners'
heritage and local flavor.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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