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Dive Review of Thalassa Dive Center/Hotel Santika in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Gary Krippendorf, CA, USA
Contributor   (14 reports)
Report Number 2664
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cayman Brac, Dominica, Cozumel, Roatan, Sea of Cortez, Hawaii, Australia
(GBR), Coral Sea, and PNG 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No gloves, 3 to 5 minute safety stop, responsible to
monitor own air remaining  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Great visability and lots of things to photograph.
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  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
I planned a trip for 12 of us to go diving in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. We
split our diving between 2 locations, Bunaken and Lembeh Strait. I had been
to the same two resorts in 2004 with a group of 4, so the main differences
this time were I made the trip a few days longer and there were more of us
in the group. This trip report is for the first of the 2 places we visited,
Bunaken National Park, which is north of the city of Manado.

I planned the Bunaken portion of our trip via e-mail with Simone, the
general manager of the Thalassa Dive Center. Simone was very good at
answering our questions via e-mail, and we booked a 6 night all-inclusive
package. She took care of everything, including arranging for our rooms at
the Santika Hotel, bus pickup at the Manado airport, etc.

Everything went pretty much as I had planned. The members of the group made
their own travel arrangements to get to Singapore as several of us were
using frequent flyer miles. We all met in the Singapore airport and were on
the same Silk Air flight to Manado. We cleared immigration and customs, and
were picked up by the Thalassa / Santika Hotel bus for the 45 minute ride
to the resort. We checked in to our rooms, got our SCUBA gear and headed to
the dive center for an orientation.

The Santika Hotel and the two restaurants were very good. The restaurants
had a mix of western and Asian dishes. Our only complaint was that the food
service was rather slow for the dinner meals. The massages available
through the hotel were great.

The 12 of us were assigned to our own boat, with the same boat captain and
dive guides for our 6 days of diving. The water was very smooth most boat
rides were 15-20 minutes to the dive sites. Our maximum depth at Bunaken
was 90 feet, though we spent most of our time between 45 and 60 feet. There
was a mix of walls and fields of coral. On all of our dives, there were
large schools of small and mid-sized fish everywhere. Lionfish, blue ribbon
eels, and the many varieties of anemone fish were among my favorites. Our
dive masters give good pre-dive briefings, which told us about the site and
what kinds of things wed see. Rarely were they wrong. Usually, we saw far
more than promised. One day we did a 3-tank all-day trip to Bangka, which
was well worth the fuel surcharge. 

Would I go again? Im already planning a trip back in 2007.
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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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