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Dive Review of Ecco Divers/Tasik Ria Resort in
Indonesia/N. Sulawesi (Manado)

Ecco Divers/Tasik Ria Resort, Jun, 2006,

by Richard & Toni Haines, CO, USA . Report 2549.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Solomons, Cozumel, Roatan
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions You were able to dive your computer and stay out of deco, and the only restrictions really were no diving alone.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales >2
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Two dedicated fresh water tanks for camera gear, there is a power station with many outlets for plugging in anything that needed charging.

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 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I don't think we Americans understand how cool this place is, because they would be flocking to it. The Tasik Ria Resort is very nice and the staff is a class act. Bugs were minimal, as they fog the grounds and spray inside of rooms routinely, but would not recommend not wearing insect repellant for breakfast or dinner. Rooms are clean with refrigerator and air conditioning. They have a very large fresh water pool with pool bar. (Pool bar is a good place for lunch when not diving) The main restaurant is open air in the main building, serving breakfast and dinner. (Lunch is usually on the boat) The other restaurant (the jetty bar & grill opens at 5:00pm) is down where they park the boats and is also very nice. Danny, a very outgoing "Brit", and trained chef, took over the restaurant side of the resort two years ago. He (and Cary the dive op manager) met us the day we arrived and gave us a fruit welcome drink and explained the different restaurants and food choices. He also assured us that if we had special diet requirements, he would meet them. This guy made it a point to chat with us, and others, daily to see how things were going. He also went out of his way to bring in special things for folks. You can order off the menu or eat off the buffet or both, and there is a different menu and buffet every night. Oh and plenty of fresh fruit and pastries too. Every Thursday they put on a BBQ on the beach, (weather permitting) and they grill just about everything. Kids from the local area provide live entertainment as well. IF the weather doesnt cooperate, the BBQ is held in either the main restaurant or the jetty bar area. I heard in the past, the quality of the food was an issue, but I can tell you now, the food and menu is top notch and very tasty. All water and ice used to drink or prepare food is filtered/purified. They also provide the lunches on the boats. All in all a class act.
The resort also has a full spa, and you MUST take full advantage of it. When you arrive, they give you a free 15 minute jet lag massage to hook you. For example Mrs. Squeaky took an one hour reflexology massage for only about $15.00 (us) Then of course she had to visit several more times during our stay.
The resort offers several other activities as well, including white water rafting, Volcano trekking, and we took the rainforest tour. (Ecco Divers Manado) Cary runs the dive operation and does it very well. The operation is a finely tuned machine. After we checked in to the resort, we stopped by the dive shop to check in with them. They took all our gear and tagged the BCDs and wetsuits with name tags. We filled out the required forms and showed our C-Cards. We were instructed to show early the next morning for boat orientation, check our gear, and get a feel for the place. The boats are huge! Two dedicated fresh water tanks for camera gear, and two shower hoses on the back of the boat to rinse everything else. There are two restrooms, a water cooler for hot and cold drinking water, and a refrig with coke. Also, there is a power station with many outlets for plugging in anything that needed charging. Okay, after you turn in your gear on arrival, the DMs take care of it from then on. The last day they wash and dry it for your departure. The DMs are great, and they know every critter's common and scientific name. Before each dive, the briefing included the reef and features, the expected currents, profile, (depth and time) and what critters to expect to see. We were divided into groups, usually 4 divers to a DM. You were able to dive your computer and stay out of deco, and the only restrictions really were no diving alone. As my wife doesnt make every dive, I was paired with the DM a few times. After each dive there is a roll call, and everyone was required to fill in their dive info. If you had any critter requirements they did their best to find it for you. Most days, the boat would leave around 8:00 and all three dives would be in Bunaken National Park. (pronounced: boo naw ken) A few days a week they would dive twice in the park and then hit the house reef, a very good dive. All dives averaged 60 minutes, with a 1:30 SI. Lunch was after the second dive. The boat would return to the resort around 5:00. The planned night dives are Monday and Wednesday on the house reef, but I got the feeling you could shore dive anytime you wanted, so long as you asked in advance. Diving in the Bunaken park was amazing. There are 32 published dive sites around 5 islands. The reefs are in good shape and every one was trying to protect it. I noticed on occasion DMs picking up any trash on the reef and putting it in their BCD, and they were very adamant about not touching anything. (not even a steadying finger to get that shot) Gloves were strictly verboten. For those who wanted to experience muck diving in the muck capital of the world, and if enough divers are interested, (min of 6 I think) they put together a day trip to Lembeh Strait. (pronounced: Lem bay) It was about an hour and a half to 2 hour drive each way. After the first dive, we were taken to KBR for lunch and then made the second dive. It was a really good trip and I highly recommend it for those who would like to experience it but not spend days doing it. This is a great place!
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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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