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Dive Review of Tasik Divers/Tasik Ria in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

Tasik Divers/Tasik Ria, Sep, 2009,

by Gene Huff, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 5108.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes when diving on the big boats with the group, longer when we went as our foursome in a smaller boat for muck diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Big boats had dedicated tubs. Small boat used cooler. There is a camera room with dedicated stations with 110 and 220. Stations can be covered and locked so you can leave you chargers. Room has no A/C though so it was a sauna.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Tasik Ria is an inexpensive, diver-oriented resort about 45 minutes from the Manado airport and within the Bunaken National Park. The island of Bunaken is about an hour's boatride away. The resort is somewhat spread out and feels larger than it really is. Garden view rooms overlook a very large pool while sea view bungalos do just that. The rooms are a bit worn, but fairly large and comfortable. The well-maintained pool and inexpensive spa facilities were hits for our group of four. Meals are taken in a large dining hall with a buffet breakfast and about half the dinners being some type of buffet and the other half off a menu of Indonesian, Asian and traditional fair. If you do three dives a day, lunches are on the boat. All the meals were at least good with a few excellent dishes. There is a small bar in the dining area and a very nice, but underutilized jetty bar.

The resort caters mostly to divers from Europe and Asia although both the dive and resort staff spoke English. Since it is more than a walk from town and somewhat isolated, there is not much else to do in the immediate area for non-divers so they get almost exclusively divers according to Dan, the very amiable resort manager.

Diving is done off one of three larger boats that will accomodate up to 20 divers, or if pre-arranged can be done off a smaller boat taking up to about six for local dives. The larger boats make the run each day over to Bunaken or one of the other islands. Two dives are done there in the morning, then lunch and a motor back to the mainland area for a muck dive closer to the resort. The diving aroung Bunaken is great wall diving in clear water with very healthy corals, sponges and decent fish life. Although not quite as colorful as Fiji, Bunaken holds it own overall. The muck diving near the resort did generate some unusual critters like flamboyant cuttlefish, hairy frogfish, stargazers, ghost pipefish and waspfish. However, it is not in the same class as Lembeh.

Dive days when on the big boats started with an 8:00am departure and about an hour to the first dive site. First dive around 9, then a surface interval with snacks and a second dive around 11:30. Lunch around 1 and then motor back to Sulawesi for a muck dive around 3:00 or so. If you arrange to be on the small boat the morning times are roughly the same, but you stay on the Sulawesi side and do muck dives with an earlier end time. We did that on three days. Acho, our very good guide, stayed with us for the week on each boat but that does not seem to be the norm. The groups were moved around between one or two boats the week we were there depending on the number of divers. The boat dive staff was very attentive and handled all our gear, including wetsuits, after we dropped it off the first day. Nitrox 32 is avalaible and was very cheap when we bought a pre-paid package for the week. The dive staff, and Camillo the dive manager, were all very helpful and accomodating.

Shore diving was marginal. They are in the process of building steps off the jetty and that will certainly make shore diving more inviting. The area near the resort is pretty silty though and it's a fairly long kick to the better spots. We did two shore dives the week we were there and I would not plan to do much more. They also offer night and dusk dives for mandarin fish.

Overall the diving was very good with a mix of wall, reef, wreck and muck diving, although not outstanding in any one area. The Bunaken area is probably best suited for those looking for just that kind of mix. Tasik Ria is well worth the money and I'd certainly recommend it, especially as a place to get some variety diving in for a few days after Lembeh. I'd also say it is an alternative to Fiji with not quite so much color but more variety, or an inexpensive way to get introduced to Indonesian diving.
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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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