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Dive Review of Villa Markisa in
Indonesia/Tulamben, Bali

Villa Markisa: "Great Muck Diving", Oct, 2014,

by David E Reubush, VA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 62 reports with 30 Helpful votes). Report 7926 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I am a macro/muck diving enthusiast. This was my second trip to Villa Markisa in 2 years. While the diving is not Lembeh it can still be very rewarding. Christiane, one of the owners, is what I will call a "nudi nut," and, as a result, the dive masters are all very attuned to finding nudibranchs of all sizes and descriptions. In addition to a plethora of nudibranchs and flat worms I saw baby frogfish about 1/4 inch long, baby Ambon scorpionfish about 3/4 inch long, harlequin shrimp, ghost pipefish of various descriptions, several rhinopias, a translucent baby lobster, octopi, etc. etc. It was just great muck diving. The resort has 2 small, covered boats which generally go out for a single dive and return to the resort between dives. This trip we went as far North as somewhat beyond the Liberty wreck and South perhaps 10 minutes from the resort. The house reef is also great. This trip we did all the night dives on the house reef as most nights my roommate and I were the only ones diving. All the dives were black sand/muck except one dive on a coral reef somewhat south of the Liberty wreck, but north of the resort. For boat dives you put your wetsuit on on-shore, wade/swim out to the boat with your mask and fins, and climb into the boat with the crew handling your BC, weights, and camera. For shore dives you put all your gear on on-shore and wade out to the point where you can put your fins on. The dive masters will carry your camera for you. The downside of both procedures is that the shore is rocks, not sand, and it can be difficult with gear on getting through the surf while wobbling on the rocks. The next time I go I will get a pair of hard-soled booties instead of the soft-soled ones I currently have. When you return from a dive there is an ambient temperature (cool but not cold) shower in the gear-up area to use to rinse off so that you don't have to go all the way back to your room to get the salt off. The resort has beautiful grounds with lots of chaise lounges around the property where you can rest and take in the scenery between dives, plus a beautiful pool. The room I shared this year was large, with plenty of storage space, and had a huge bathroom. The bed was very comfortable. The food is very good, particularly breakfast and lunch, both of which offer a variety of foods on the menu to choose from. Dinner is a buffet which is set out fairly early. Perhaps this is why many people skipped the night dive as, by the time we got back from night diving and got cleaned up it was 8:00 and the food had been sitting for more than an hour. However, in my opinion, that was a small price to pay for what we saw on the night dives. Another positive is that you can make the ordeal you go through to get to Indonesia more worthwhile while not breaking the bank. A typical live-aboard will run in excess of $500/night. My cost for Villa Markisa, including room, board, diving (including nitrox), and transportation to/from Denpasar worked out to less than $250/night. To quote Arnold, "I'll be back."
Websites Villa Markisa   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Caymans, Curacao, Galapagos, Indonesia (Wakatobi, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Lembeh, Bali, Banda Sea), Philippines, Red Sea, Southern Bahamas, St. Thomas, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport DPS - Denpasar, Bali Getting There Just a LONG flight from the US. About 2.5 hours from the Denpasar airport, but Villa Markisa will arrange transportation for you at a very reasonable rate.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Don't go into deco and come back with 500 psi, but nobody checked.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Boats are relatively small so there is no special accommodation other than a soft mat to put the cameras on and the crew handles them carefully. There is a large rinse tank on shore and a camera room in the main building which offers plenty of outlets (220V), towels, and plenty of space to work.
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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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