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Dive Review of Lumba Lumba Diving in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi

Lumba Lumba Diving: "Great diving at a small, personalized resort", May, 2018,

by Christian Andersen, OR, US ( 2 reports). Report 10577.

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 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Lumba Lumba is a top-notch resort that caters to divers of all levels wanting a personalized dive vacation. The resort is small and very well maintained, with beautiful gardens and walkways plus an infinity pool, all set on a steep hillside overlooking the ocean. The only (partial) negative is that the resort is a 4-5 minute walk (or ride if you prefer) from the water. The resort setting provides beautiful views and sunsets, but it was less convenient for snorkeling or swimming from the dock. There are staff everywhere, tending the gardens, making meals, carrying gear, and always available for guest requests. They have accommodations for a maximum of approx. 18 people, but during our stay, the number never exceeded 11 (including the 7 in our group). The food was outstanding and varied, with a soup, two entrees, and multiple side dishes each night. Breakfasts had fresh fruit, eggs cooked to order, and interesting pastries. Juud and Roel often joined us for dinner and told interesting stories of building the resort from the ground up. We were made to feel completely welcome and pampered.

The boat and crew were incredibly accommodating and we were never rushed. The dive boat was well maintained and had a large partially enclosed cabin with ample seating for divers. Although the boat was not fast, it was comfortable and customized for diving. Travel time to/from Bunaken (the dive location) was about 1.5 hrs each way, which may seem long, but it was a nice time to visit and look through the numerous reef and fish ID guides onboard. On one trip to Bunaken, we came across a pod of dophins, and the captain circled in the same spot for over 20 minutes while they played (and we took pictures).

Two members of our group were completing their open water certifications during the first couple of days, and Kres was an excellent instructor for them. He served as their personal dive master for the entire trip, tailoring their dives to their level of comfort. In addition to our group, we were joined by one other diver (during our stay the boat never exceeded 8 guest divers). Incredibly, for the eight divers we had no less than 6 crew members- one dive guide for every two divers, plus a captain and tender. Each group was allowed to tailor their dive route and profile- it was not uncommon for each dive group to end up on a completely different portion of the reef, and in some cases different reefs, waiting for pick-up. Our dives averaged over 60 minutes, with some shallower dives approaching 90 minutes- each diverís downtime was determined by their air consumption, not by other group members.

Diving at Lumba Lumba is a whole day adventure- depart after breakfast at 8:30, with the first dive occurring 10-10:30, followed by lunch on the boat, and a break before the afternoon dive when we could snorkel or swim. The boat generally returned to the resort around 4:00. My understanding is that we could have requested 3 dives each day, with the boat returning around 5:30, but we decided on two-dives per day during our stay. It was the most relaxing and accommodating dive charter I have ever been on.

The diving was outstanding and included walls, currents and shallow sloping reefs. We saw 3 frogfish on one of our first dives, which was astonishing to those of us who spend most of our time diving in the Caribbean. In addition to frogfish, we saw ghost pipe fish, leaf scorpionfish, ribbon eels, turtles, cuddlefish, numerous species of nudibranchs, schooling striped catfish, and amazing coral diversity. Although Bunaken offers the most diversity, some of the best sites were within a 10 minute boat ride from the resort. Our only disappointment was seeing a lot of floating plastic and garbage in the water, which unfortunately is becoming more common.

The level of concern and the commitment of resort staff was outstanding. Upon arrival at the airport at the beginning of our stay, a member of our group required medical assistance in Manado. The staff (Kres, the divemaster) picked him up at the airport and drove him directly to the hospital to act as a guide/interpreter. The remainder of the group was picked up by other resort staff and taken directly to the resort. All turned out well, and we were extremely grateful for the assistance after two days of air travel- it set the tone for the rest of our stay.

Websites Lumba Lumba Diving   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Mexico, Cayman, Belize, Bonaire, Fiji, Pacific Northwest
Closest Airport Manado Getting There Flight through Singapore

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
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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