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Dive Review of Black Sands in
Indonesia/Lembeh Strait

Black Sands : "Black Sands Dive Resort - Extraordinary value", Feb, 2018,

by Eileen J Councill, Not in U.S., China (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 10262 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We NEVER return to a resort. Black Sands is an exception and exceptional in every way. We are seasoned travelers having visited more than 80 countries and have literally dived around the world. There is no place like Black Sands. We returned to Black Sands because we were diving in Bunaken and were disappointed; we were disappointed by the dive operation, the quality of the diving, the visibility, the animal life, the amount of Chinese tourists that were standing and walking on the reefs, the number of divers underwater at every site, returning to the same sites daily as they catered to the OW classes, the constant smoking on the boats, the promise of snacks between dives but in reality there was nothing, the lack of care of our gear, the incompetence and lack of communication by the office manager, etc. After 4 days we knew we needed to leave. The place guaranteed for great service...Black Sands!

The resort itself is small on a hill overlooking the strait. The views are breathtaking. The attention to the details of landscaping and neatness are amazing. They keep the place pristine including the cabins. The cabins are beautiful as is the outdoor bathroom. The owners are just amazing. We feel like family. They cooked us our favorite things (they remembered from our last visit 2 years earlier), gave us homemade soap to use, talked for hours about different animals and their behavior. They are attentive and helpful in every way. I appreciate that no detail is too important to overlook. It's a holistic experience not JUST diving.

The dive shop sits off of the most luscious, black sand beach. The sand is like silk - incredibly soft and beautiful. The dive crew was attentive and helpful. There were 3 of us in one boat with two guides - one just out with us to help spot. That was a lovely addition as 5 sets of eyes are better than 4. Dives were 75-90 minutes long and the guides were usually in between 60-70 minutes. They are VERY chill. The dive shop is great and the boats are clean. The drivers do a great job caring for cameras, lights, etc. They are very careful and reliable.

The camera room just off the dive area is superb. It has about 16-18 cubby stations and each one has enough power outlets to charge 5 cameras. It's excellent and they provide camera towels. Between dives, you can relax at the's lovely.

There is no place like Black Sands! We cannot say enough good about this resort.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Galapagos, Bali, Egypt, Philippines, Indonesia, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mozambique, South Africa, Hawaii, Pacific, Palau, Guam, Yap, Maldives, Lembeh Strait, Kenya
Closest Airport Manado Getting There via Singapore or Denpasar or Kuala

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-30 Ft/ 6-9 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions You could dive your own profile but why would you want to? The dive guides are the best in the business and their whole purpose is to help you find great animals.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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