Al Mitch - Bluewater Dive Travel

Al Mitch

Al Mitch

My Dive Map

Reviews (1)

Black Sand Dive Retreat


Lembeh is one of my favorite places to dive and after three trips I think I found my favorite resort. Black Sand Dive Resort (BSDR) is a gem of a place and it is very well priced considering what you get. And you get a huge beautiful bungalow with amazing views, three course meals, and amazing personalized diving. And their house "reef" is one of the top sites to dive at.

They are also about to open their newly built pool (although I personally would have built it in a different location).
On top of all that we lucked into seeing a whale shark!!

We live in Singapore so it is a simple 3hr direct flight to Manado and then the resort is a 1.5hr drive

The resort is set up on the hill with all the bungalows over looking the beautiful Lembeh Straights.

The bungalows are big and spacious! The bed was comfy, the bathroom is "out doors" and beautiful. It was interesting showering in the rain! A double shower. And there is a walk in closet. So all in all the bungalows are really comfortable living spaces. The only thing missing is a hammock!! There was also aircon and a ceiling fan, when the power was on. As you are in Indo power outages are just part of life.

The main reception / dining buidling is also up on the hill at roughly the same level as the bungalows.

The dining area has no aircon nor fans, so if there is no breeze (which there wasn't for much of our stay) it gets pretty warm and muggy. They said they were going to buy fans soon.

The food in general for lunch and dinner was really good. The menu changed each day and you had a choice of three starters, 3 mains and 2 desert. Everyone in the group thought the portions were good and the taste even better. For breakfast you had a choice of eggs and bacon or fruit or pancakes or french toast etc etc. I did not think the breakfast was as good as lunch and dinner. The only real problem we had was that the plates of food would come out to us at odd intervals. Regularly one of us would have finished his/her food before the last person got theirs. It seems like the kitchen just needs a better system.


The dive center is down by the private black sand beach. And there are many stairs to get down and up so make sure you have everything with you before you leave your bungalow.

The dive center is well equipped and there are lots of fresh water rinse tanks for dive gear and cameras. There is also a camera room so you can leave all your gear down where you need it, but it is not aircon'ed.
The diving day goes much like this: 8:30 - 1st dive; then come back for some cake and coffee at the dive center, 11:00 - 2nd dive then lunch, 14:30 - 3rd dive and if you are super keen 17:30 - night dive. You can also just head off the beach at any time you like to dive TK2 which is the house "reef".

All boat dives are done from small fiberglass "speed" boats. They can only fit 4 divers + guide. It is a tad cramped (especially gearing up) but you usually only spend 5-10 min in the boat so it is not a big issue.


In the end our list of critters for the week was:

Octos: Blue ringed, Wonderpus, Long-armed
Shrimps: Bumblebee, Donald Duck, Tiger, Sarin, Harlequin, and many many others
Frogfish: Randal's/ Scarlet (both adult and a juvenile), Hairy, Painted, and the teeny tiny Sargassum Froggy (which the boat captain actually spotted!).
Nudi's & Flatforms: Persian Carpet Flatworm (so so so pretty), and many many other types yet to be identified.
Others: Stargazer, Bobbit worm (Both of these creatures are extras in horror movies!!), Pygmy Seahorses, Robust Ghostpipefish and on and on and on.

We also did one "wide angle" dive at Angels Window which is a pretty dive.

In conclusion BSDR is a small intimate resort

You can see my flikr album here:

Visited on 03/2014 - Submitted on 07/30/2014
Read all Black Sand Dive Retreat Dive Resort reviews


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