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Dive Review of Ecco Divers/Tasik Ria Resort in
Indonesia/N. Sulawesi (Manado)

June, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Richard & Toni Haines, CO, USA
Report Number 2549
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Solomons, Cozumel, Roatan
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
Water Temp
79   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
You were able to dive your computer and stay out of deco, and the only
restrictions really were no diving alone.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Two dedicated fresh water tanks for camera gear, there is a power station
with many outlets for plugging in anything that needed charging. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
I don't think we Americans understand how cool this place is, because they
would be flocking to it. The Tasik Ria Resort is very nice and the staff is
a class act. Bugs were minimal, as they fog the grounds and spray inside of
rooms routinely, but would not recommend not wearing insect repellant for
breakfast or dinner.  Rooms are clean with refrigerator and air
conditioning. They have a very large fresh water pool with pool bar. (Pool
bar is a good place for lunch when not diving) The main restaurant is open
air in the main building, serving breakfast and dinner. (Lunch is usually
on the boat) The other restaurant (the jetty bar & grill opens at
5:00pm) is down where they park the boats and is also very nice. Danny, a
very outgoing "Brit", and trained chef, took over the restaurant
side of the resort two years ago. He (and Cary the dive op manager) met us
the day we arrived and gave us a fruit welcome drink and explained the
different restaurants and food choices. He also assured us that if we had
special diet requirements, he would meet them. This guy made it a point to
chat with us, and others, daily to see how things were going. He also went
out of his way to bring in special things for folks. You can order off the
menu or eat off the buffet or both, and there is a different menu and
buffet every night. Oh and plenty of fresh fruit and pastries too. Every
Thursday they put on a BBQ on the beach, (weather permitting) and they
grill just about everything. Kids from the local area provide live
entertainment as well. IF the weather doesnt cooperate, the BBQ is held in
either the main restaurant or the jetty bar area. I heard in the past, the
quality of the food was an issue, but I can tell you now, the food and menu
is top notch and very tasty. All water and ice used to drink or prepare
food is filtered/purified. They also provide the lunches on the boats. All
in all a class act. 
The resort also has a full spa, and you MUST take full advantage of it.
When you arrive, they give you a free 15 minute jet lag massage to hook
you. For example Mrs. Squeaky took an one hour reflexology massage for only
about $15.00 (us) Then of course she had to visit several more times during
our stay.
The resort offers several other activities as well, including white water
rafting, Volcano trekking, and we took the rainforest tour. (Ecco Divers
Manado) Cary runs the dive operation and does it very well. The operation
is a finely tuned machine. After we checked in to the resort, we stopped by
the dive shop to check in with them. They took all our gear and tagged the
BCDs and wetsuits with name tags. We filled out the required forms and
showed our C-Cards. We were instructed to show early the next morning for
boat orientation, check our gear, and get a feel for the place. The boats
are huge! Two dedicated fresh water tanks for camera gear, and two shower
hoses on the back of the boat to rinse everything else. There are two
restrooms, a water cooler for hot and cold drinking water, and a refrig
with coke. Also, there is a power station with many outlets for plugging in
anything that needed charging. Okay, after you turn in your gear on
arrival, the DMs take care of it from then on. The last day they wash and
dry it for your departure. The DMs are great, and they know every critter's
common and scientific name. Before each dive, the briefing included the
reef and features, the expected currents, profile, (depth and time) and
what critters to expect to see. We were divided into groups, usually 4
divers to a DM. You were able to dive your computer and stay out of deco,
and the only restrictions really were no diving alone. As my wife doesnt
make every dive, I was paired with the DM a few times. After each dive
there is a roll call, and everyone was required to fill in their dive info.
If you had any critter requirements they did their best to find it for
you. Most days, the boat would leave around 8:00 and all three dives would
be in Bunaken National Park. (pronounced: boo naw ken) A few days a week
they would dive twice in the park and then hit the house reef, a very good
dive. All dives averaged 60 minutes, with a 1:30 SI. Lunch was after the
second dive. The boat would return to the resort around 5:00. The planned
night dives are Monday and Wednesday on the house reef, but I got the
feeling you could shore dive anytime you wanted, so long as you asked in
advance. Diving in the Bunaken park was amazing. There are 32 published
dive sites around 5 islands. The reefs are in good shape and every one was
trying to protect it. I noticed on occasion DMs picking up any trash on the
reef and putting it in their BCD, and they were very adamant about not
touching anything. (not even a steadying finger to get that shot) Gloves
were strictly verboten. For those who wanted to experience muck diving in
the muck capital of the world, and if enough divers are interested, (min of
6 I think) they put together a day trip to Lembeh Strait. (pronounced: Lem
bay) It was about an hour and a half to 2 hour drive each way. After the
first dive, we were taken to KBR for lunch and then made the second dive.
It was a really good trip and I highly recommend it for those who would
like to experience it but not spend days doing it. This is a great place!
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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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