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Dive Review of Thalassa Dive Center/Hotel Santika in

June, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Gary Krippendorf, CA, USA
Contributor   (14 reports)
Report Number 3417
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Dominica, Cozumel, Roatan, Sea of Cortez,
Hawaii, Australia (GBR), Coral Sea, and PNG 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 86    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
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 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  
5 stars  
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 $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
I planned a trip for 8 of us to go diving in North Sulawesi,
Indonesia. We split our stay between 2 resorts. Having been to the same two
resorts in 2004 and 2006, I knew what to expect. This trip report is for
the second of the 2 places we visited which is north of the city of Manado
and adjacent to Bunaken National Park.

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 7 night all-inclusive
package. She took care of everything, including arranging for our rooms at
the Santika Hotel, bus transfer to the Manado airport, etc.

Everything went pretty much as I had planned. The members of the group all
transferred to this resort from KBR 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. Breakfast was a full buffet at the
main restaurant, lunch was served at the dive center, and dinner was at one
of the two restaurants or room service. The massages available through the
hotel were great and we got them several times.

The 8 of us were assigned to our own boat, with the same boat captain and
dive guides for most of 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 100 feet, though we spent most of our time between 50 and 70
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. Four of us did two of the 3-tank
all-day trips to Bangka, while four of the group only went once. The dive
sites at Bangka have more soft corals than the sites in Bunaken, so if you
want a bit more variety, the Bangka trip is well worth the $20 per person
fuel surcharge.

We plan to return to Thalassa / Hotel Santika in 2009 to dive Bunaken and
Bangka again.
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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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