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

Thalassa Dive Center/Hotel Santika, Jul, 2006,

by Gary Krippendorf, CA, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports). Report 2664.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No gloves, 3 to 5 minute safety stop, responsible to
monitor own air remaining
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments Great visability and lots of things to photograph.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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