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Dive Review of Tauch Terminal/Tauch Terminal Resort Tulamben in
Indonesia/NE Bali, Tulamben

Tauch Terminal/Tauch Terminal Resort Tulamben: "Tauch Terminal Tulamben, Bali: USAT Liberty", Aug, 2016,

by Michael Wood, WA, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 9024.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I chose to dive a few days prior to my Komodo area liveaboard on the Dewi Nusantara (separate review) at the Tauch Terminal Tulamben (TTT) resort in NE Bali in order to acclimate and dive the USAT Liberty. I landed at 3pm in Denpasar from Hong Kong on my lovely Cathay Pacific business class trip from LAX (on Alaska points, best deal in the airline industry). I had a little trouble finding my driver from TTT because of the multitudes holding up signs, but after my holding up a sign with my name on it, he spotted me and we were off in our air conditioned van.

The main bypass out of town is finally complete since I visited Denpasar/Pemuteran 3.5 years ago. It still took us 3 hours to navigate the windy road with hundreds of cargo trucks, motorcyles and people along the side of the “highway” to Tulamben. I fell asleep for a while given my jet lag, but was glad I went direct to the resort instead of overnighting in Denpasar. We arrived at 6:30pm, where I checked in, unpacked and had a nice dinner on the water at the resort restaurant. I put my camera rig together before going to sleep.

The first dive was the next morning at 8am on the wreck of the USAT Liberty, a WWII era sunken ship. The dive guide to diver ratio is great—1:2-3. I got one-on-one attention for half of my dives, as it happened. My dive guide and I walked the 200 meters on a path behind the resort to an area with platforms and a couple of dozen other divers getting geared up. Women porters bring your tanks/BCs to the beach. One wades out through the big black, smooth rocked beach with some waves, making it tricky if you don’t have semi-hard dive boots—I dive full foot, long Cressi dive fins with socks, so my feet took a beating. I chose to scout the first dive without my big camera rig, which I’ve always found to be a wise policy.

I switched up and rented booties and fins the last few dives, which helped. Oh, and get there early to beat the crowds—try to head out at 7:45am. Coming back to the shore side of the ship got to be somewhat of a cluster.

The wreck is enormous—120m long, largely fallen apart with a few swim-throughs, marvelously encrusted, fishy and awe-inspiring. It starts out shallow on the shore-side of the wreck and goes down to a mere 80 feet at its end, making a 50-60 minute dive quite feasible with a 3,000-3,400 c.f. fill and good air consumption. You have to gently kick about 5-8 minutes to get to the wreck, but there are some good macro subjects along the way—nudis occasionally, a mantis shrimp here and there. There was no current and viz was about 50 feet, sometimes 75.

There was no current on any of my 4 dives on the wreck. I shot wide-angle for 3 of the dives, and macro one dive. I spotted a leaf fish, scorpionfish, silver dollar fish in a compartment hiding away and numerous tropical typical of Bali—Moorish Idols, Royal Triggerfish, Surgeonfish, Chromis, Lizardfish galore, Queen Triggerfish, schools of Big-eyed snappers. The encrusted coral on the ship’s structure were a rich delight to peer at for several minutes—lots of small sea squirts of various colors, Christmastree worms, various small soft corals and tubeworms.

The second dive each morning at 11am was “Drop Off”, a nice large coral reef with lots of life, including a few small eels, leaf scorpionfish, lionfish (nice to see only a few vs. hordes in the Caribbean), lots of tropicals, an occasional barracuda, a horde of catfish under a ledge.

I asked for a 3rd dive one day, which was termed a “boat dive” at 2pm. We took the dive truck to a beach for, to my delight, a nice muck dive. I had 2 divemasters and a diveguide in training all to myself, so 4 sets of eyes spotting ghost pipefish, nudis, stonefish. Not Lembeh, but we saw a few good things.

I scheduled myself for 4 dive days, and in hindsight I would have done 2 or 3 instead. I dove one more 8am wreck dive on my travel day back to Denpasar, and would skip it if I come back. Three days of diving here is plenty. Two would probably suffice, actually. Water temp was a steady 86F.

The breakfasts were varied and quite good, as was the coffee. The food otherwise was good, not great. Staff were friendly, attentive, polite, welcoming and willing to do anything for you. When my mask strap broke getting in to the water on one dive, my guide got out and literally ran back to the resort to get my other mask for me, with a smile. They handled my camera well (and carried the monster for me to the dive sites). The dive shop was fairly well organized, but I had a different dive guide every dive, pretty much, which was ok since I usually had only one other diver with me if any.

The room was beachfront and very nice, albeit the shower controls were in sad shape and in need of replacement. I had good air conditioning in my room, 2 nice small pools, beach umbrellas (fake beach up above the actual beach, which is black stones). All guests were European, from Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, UK. Not another American in sight, mainly families on dive holidays for a few days, usually there as a part of a larger, multi-destination trip. The constant, intermittent roar of the small waves lapping the shore were a nice constant to lull you to sleep. A minor complaint: I had to buy 2 liter bottles of water once a day, as they did not have any water in the rooms, so I just carried it to each meal and on “the beach” when I was relaxing, reading and looking out into the beautiful blue, especially at sunrise.

If you are heading out of Denpasar to catch a liveaboard or diving Pemuteran or Lombok, TTT is a nice thing to add on for 2 days of diving.
Websites Tauch Terminal   Tauch Terminal Resort Tulamben

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Indonesia, Maldives, PNG, GBR, Philippines, Hawai'i
Closest Airport Denpasar Getting There 3-4 hour van ride from Denpasar airport, provided by the resort

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 86-86°F / 30-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 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 N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments In your room. Not many outlets, but I managed for re-charging.
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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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