Living Colours Dive Resort is a wonderful affordable option in Bunaken Island. We are both avid divers and underwater photographers. My wife and I idea was to dive in Bunaken and relax. We certainly did find what we were looking for. We are 42 years old and we are outdoors type people; both with over 1500 dives. So here it is:
Diving: This is what you come to Bunaken for! There is nothing else in the island to do or buy. The village is small and you have to walk quite a bit to get there between a jungle path. Living Colours knows that you are here for diving and they do everything in their power to make it "hassle free". Your equipment will be setup and ready to go in the morning and for every dive. They do it right all the time! Two dives the morning, come back to the resort for lunch and you can optionally go for 3rd dive and/or a night dive. No need to describe Bunaken Park diving... it's spectacular! If you are looking for "big" fish, this is not your place! Go to Malvides instead. This is a place for corals, lots of great rare underwater animals and beautiful walls. If you are an underwater photographer... then wide angle will be your most used lens. They do take you for a couple of muck dives; but if you are into that, go to Lembeh Strait. Some things you should know: They don't have a dock, and tides could be up/down 2 meters. If tide is high, no problem they bring the boats down to the beach; if the tide is out, you need to walk about 1/2km to the neighbor resort and then walk through the mangros to reach the boat. The boats are old wooden boats, but they work well and have everything you need to stay between dives in comfort; they have bathroom and they bring water, coffee, tea and fruits for the surface intervals. Kelo was our divemaster; he was top notch! All of they are, but Kelo did went his way to make our stay super! Another great thing is that being in Bunaken all the dive-sites are minutes away! A great plus over other operations in the mainland that wait in the boat and have to travel over 1 hour to travel to the dive sites each way, everyday.
Food: Food is awesome. Buffet style for all meals. We stay 10 nights, and after that time it gets a bit repetitive, but we did not go hungry at any time and for the price you are paying is a steal. They don't have beef in the Island. So if you are a beef eater like me... you are out of luck! Lots of fish, chicken, pork, pasta, vegetarian and rice! Lots of rice! Their food is on the sweet side but it is great. If the resort is full... get to the restaurant early (as soon as they open) as hungry divers sometimes have doubles with disregard for the rest of the guests.
Accommodations: The resort has cabanas up in the hill for all guest (quite a walk up and down... 70 large steps). Our cabana was awesome, very comfortable with a beautiful view of the Strait. They face east, so you can enjoy the sunrise in the deck while having coffee and you will have cool afternoons as the sun is on your back. This is important, as it gets really hot here! if the cabanas were facing west, you will be sweating the the whole afternoon. They are open and rustic, with only the essentials, but we love it! Very romantic setting. The best part... they are supper private! you don't feel any noise and/or see your neighbors. No A/C, only a fan, it was not a problem for us.. it takes a day or two to get adapted to the humidity and then you will be asking for blankets :-) The bed has a bug net all around it... you need it! If you are terrified of bugs, the tropics is not your place! They are some cute bugs here and there, but they were never an issue for us. We did tuck the net under the mattress to be sure we didn't share the bed with any bugs :-) During our stay, we had a hand full of encounters with bugs, but like I said... you are in the middle of tropical forest! The showers have hot water and that's a real bonus! You do need a hot shower after diving the whole day. It is hard to believe how cold you get even in these temperatures. The internet connection is an added bonus! and it works great.
Overall: If you are looking for the best SCUBA DIVING budget accommodations in the island, extremely organized and hassle free, this is it. Many reviewers commented about the owners. We had no issue and all the staff including the owners were great. They are a lot of guest from Finland due to the owners nationality, but we love them all! They are very great people and with unique sense of humor.
- Bring everything you need for personal care (including shampoo and hair conditioners, sun screen lotion, mosquito repellent) They will bring whatever you need from Manado as they go every day, but it is expensive and it takes time.
- When traveling from Manado in the boat, bring sandals or diving boots handy as you may be landing in a lower tide and had to walk in the water to the resort
- If you are disabled or unfit, going up the stairs to the rooms every time could be a challenge. Consult with the owner to see how can they accommodate you.
- Bring cash to tip the staff (rupians not euros or dollars)
- Bring 220v/110v power adapters
We had room 3, but all cabanas are great and very, very private!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC