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Dive Review of Celebes Divers/Mapia Resort in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi

Celebes Divers/Mapia Resort, Jun, 2003,

by Carl Scott, TX, USA . Report 1080.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments As a dive operation, I cannot say enough good things about the service! The large traditional wooden boats may look strange at first, but they are very stable and roomy. Staff is friendly and helpful. The Bunaken Marine Park is a very healthy reef system, with some of the most lush stands of antler coral I've ever seen, along with large barrell sponges that would rival those of any Caribbean location I've seen. Large animals are nearly non-existent, though you may see a green turtle or a small shark. Schools of dolphin at the surface are common, however. Reef fish, including schooling jacks, barracuda, etc. are plentiful. You will always be surrounded by a multitude of butterflyfish, anthias, wrasse, etc. when in the top 30-40 feet of the reef. This was my 2nd trip here, and I still saw something on nearly every dive that I'd never seen before. Diversity is the one word that sums up this destination. A new species of something is found their at least once per year in the past decade or so (since being frequented by biologists). This operator is owned by a resident marine biologist, who is impressive with his knowledge of the marine life. If you go, make plans to visit Lembeh Strait on the other side of the island. It's definitely wort the trip and the fee!

Regarding Mapia resort (which is essentially the same operation), it is modest, but adequate. This ain't no Marriott, but it's cozy and clean. The staff is great and will go out of their way to accommodate any request (and they never want a tip). The food is good, but not gourmet. All meals are served family style, except that breakfast is a small buffet of fruits, cereal, and toast. However, they happily accommodated my request for an omelet each morning. Lunch is had on Siladen island, a small romantic, and beautiful island where there is a sister resort. Each day would see grilled fish of some variety, with a couple of vegetables and rice - usually my favorite meal of the day. Dinner, served at 8 PM, is a combination of Italian and Indonesian cuisine, reflecting the owners' heritage and local flavor.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Thailand, Palau, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Belize, Costa Rica, St. Croix
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 80-100 Ft/ 24-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions were ever imposed, outside of the general direction of the dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments While this operator doesn't customarily keep a rinse bucket on board, they would certainly do so, if asked. I have never had more personalized service than is offered by Celebes Divers. They cater to photographers to the point that they often provide a separate guide for photographers in the group! Their guides are highly capable, and eager to find interesting subjects that might otherwise be overlooked, especially macro subjects, such as commensual shrimp and crabs, nudibranchs, etc. There are no shore facilities, per se, but you should have no problem accommodating your equipment at your bungalow, which is always a short walk from the pier.
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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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