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Dive Review of Gangga Island Resort & Spa in
Indonesia/Gangga Island

Gangga Island Resort & Spa: "Land-based Gangga Island Resort, Sulewesi, Indonesia", Feb, 2016,

by linda rutherford, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 17 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 8841 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 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Gangga Island is northwest of Lembeh Strait and is reached from Manado. Each morning we went 30 to 45 minutes away to dive on the rocky points of either Bangka Island or the mainland of Sulewesi Island. Gangga is situated midway between the two.

This resort has developed a loyal following of repeat customers. We spent two weeks here in February 2016, after being on an eleven-day live-aboard in Raja Ampat. Most divers we met here were doing the same thing as we were, relaxing in a peaceful setting either before, or after, diving on a live-aboard. They were not in Gangga as their only destination.

There are a variety of reefs, from distant outer reef points with currents, underwater pinnacles, calm and sheltered coral gardens, or nearby night dives, on Gangga. For the most part, the dives are on sandy slopes with small coral bommies or sloping coral reefs. Near the points, there are small "walls" of coral. The diving allowed nice opportunities to see a variety of small fish. There are very few larger fish in this area.

The casual ambiance of the resort, the food and the spa, provided us with a wonderfully relaxed, vacation feeling... in contrast to our action-packed live-aboard experience. The pace was slower and the cost was lower. Some guests dove only the two-tank morning dive. Lunch and dinner were selected from the daily menu with choices for five different courses: appetizer, soup or salad, pasta, entree, and dessert. The sauces on the meat and fish were especially delicious. The food served is generally quite good.

The wooden bungalows on the sand beach have large windows with sunset views, high ceilings, A/C and an overhead fan. If you set the A/C to low, it could get downright chilly. There was a filtered water dispenser in our large bathroom, a TV, and a phone to call for special services or repairs. Wi-Fi service was good. Our king-sized bed was very comfortable.

While we rarely saw mosquitoes, there were some tiny no-see-ums biting me. Management employs villagers to sweep the beach all day long to prevent breeding areas for bugs -- it's hard work, but it makes a difference. Still a few bugs persist.

When a group of 13 divers arrived, the two of us were provided our own boat and private dive guide and not combined with this group. Soon, three other independent travelers joined us for a week. Our boat was covered and had a toilet -- making it quite comfortable.

Dive guides range in experience from seven months to ten years. Request and reserve an experienced guide when you make your reservation (we didn't).

Diving is very pleasant; however, currents can suddenly emerge. Our dive guide seemed as surprised as we were, when after 30 minutes of mild current, a sudden strong current swept us off course. In strong currents, a shallow sand bottom offers no protection. So our guide directed us to swim against this current, to a coral outcrop not yet visible through the spray of sand.

Since our dive guide seemed to have little anticipation of what kind of current we would encounter, even for a night dive, we wondered if all dive crew knew about or had access to data on tides and currents. However, the inconvenience was minimal.

Two-tank dives departed at 8:00 AM and returned by 12:30 PM for lunch, followed by a 3:00 PM afternoon dive. Night dives were available. It is possible to take long all-day trips to either the muck diving of Lembeh or the reefs of Bunaken. If the weather is not cooperating, those can be long and choppy rides.

Overall, Gangga Island Resort is a well-run and quite pleasant place for diving and relaxing. The resort and dive staff are attentive and skilled. The reefs are not as pristine as, for example, in Raja Ampat, but the diving is pleasant and often rewarding.
Websites Gangga Island Resort & Spa   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving 850+ dives worldwide, primarily Indonesia, Micronesia, Fiji, Malaysia, and the Caribbean
Closest Airport Manado Getting There Go to Manado via Bali, Jakarta, or other nearby locations.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas currents, no currents
Water Temp 78-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-60 Ft/ 8-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We don't remember restrictions.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments The resort has a convenient camera room, near the dive dock. My dive guide always met me there and carried my camera to the boat. There were two water basins on our boat for cameras, but occasionally, there was not enough water to rinse an entire camera. At the end of dives, he also carried it back from the boat and rinsed it off in a tub of water near the camera room. They will do whatever you instruct them to do.

Overall, the facility was totally sufficient for me. If there were a group of 6 or more photographers with big cameras, you would need to request extra tubs of water for between dives. And they would accommodate you. One man with a very expensive camera, just took it back to his bungalow and rinsed and maintained it there.
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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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