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Dive Review of Uli Aritonang/Rama Candidasa in
Indonesia/Bali

Uli Aritonang/Rama Candidasa, May, 2005,

by Carl Scott, TX, USA . Report 1736.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Sulawesi, Thailand, Palau, Philippines, Costa Rica, Caymans, Cozumel, USVI, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 75 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Rama Candidasa does not cater heavily to divers, but the small resort next door provides dive services and excellent shore facilities. The boats anywhere in Bali are traditional wooden outriggers, made from a single tree, so they are narrow and deep. While adequate for diving and equipment storage, there are no speficic facilities for photographers on any of the boats.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments First of all, Rama Candidasa is a first rate seaside resort in a small town on the Northeast side of Bali. The bay where it is located is home to some of the nicest reefs in Bali, and it is about an hour from Tulamben and Amed, which offer excellent photographic opportunities, but little coral. The facilities are in excellent condition, and the staff is as warm and friendly as any I've encountered. Rates are dirt cheap by Western standards, too. I think the rack rate is a little less than USD $50 per day, including breakfast. The only downside during my visit is that the pool and restaurant were being renovated at the time. There are many excellent restaurants within walking (or a $1 cab ride) distance, and meal prices are typically around USD $3. Yes, I said $3.

Uli Aritonang (tarulia@attglobal.net) is a PADI instructor who lives in Jakarta. She leads trips to Bali, Komodo, Alor, Manado and Lembeh Strait (N. Sulawesi), Sorong, and Sangalaki. She will accommodate groups from 1 to as many as you want to bring. She puts together some very economical packages and knows the best places to stay, depending on the level of luxury you want. You are completely in charge of deciding where to dive each day, though she is quite capable of putting together a good schedule, if you wish. You dive your way, on your schedule. She will even help you to barter with local craft vendors, if you wish.

As for the diving, I'd rate it good to about average overall by Pacific standards. With the exception of one area, corals are a little sparse. However, that one exception hosts some huge table corals and a dizzying array of fish both large and small. Never saw any sharks, mantas, or turtles, but there were bumphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, and tuna, as well as nearly any tropical that you could think of. Macro life was quite abundant, as well, especially noticable in Amed (where the coral is starting a comeback from the last el niño) and Tulamben, which hosts a nice wreck just off shore. In what was described as a freak event, water temperatures near Candidasa were in the mid 70's during the first few days of my visit, but typically hover around 82-84 F. If you like nice reefs and huge numbers of fish, that is the place for you.

Bali is a charming island, and its people still hold their traditional way of life quite dear. They are Hindus, and their religious practices are a focal point of daily life, making for interesting topside photography and cultural exchange. It seems that everyone on the island is a craftsman of some sort, and carvings of wood, bone, and stone can be found everywhere, along with handmade textiles, woven items - you name it, they make it by hand. The Balinese are very warm and meek, as well. I found the entire experience quite nice and will definitely return.
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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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