We couldn't leave Indo without squeezing in one last trip and it of course had to be a dive trip. We couldn't decide which location should be our last and after speaking to a couple of people that have visited North Sulawesi we decided on Manado. We initially wanted to go to the Bunaken National Park on the Bunaken Island but because we weren't so keen to take our (then 5 month old) baby on a boat we opted for a resort on the main land.
Friday, 8 October 2010 - We arrived in Manado at around 10am and were greeted by the driver from the Cocotinos resort where we were booked to stay for 3 nights. It was only a short 20 min drive and we stopped outside the resort. Cocotinos is the closest resort to the airport and this of course has it's pro's and con's. It meant that we didn't have to sit in the car for hours and could get straight to the relaxing part of our weekend break.
The downside is that the resort is in the middle of a kampung (village) so don't expect a breathtaking view and definitely not piece and quite. I'm not actually sure about other resorts in North Sulawesi, maybe they are all like this but there were no other restaurants or shops around so once at the resort you stay there. Quote from their website: "Unless you want to go and explore a number of other villages nearby, where you can experience genuine local culture in the everyday life of the villages".
This didn't bother us at all though. I just thought I should mention it as it wasn't quite what we expected from looking at the pictures on their website. I would describe this resort as a rustic but leisurely dive resort. Emphasis on dive...
We thankfully booked the Posi-Posi suite, which is what made our stay at Cocotino's worth it (well for me at least). The room was very comfortable and ideal for me and Svea to hang out in while Marc was out diving.
Because of the very small pool (no kiddies pool) with no steps and non-descript pool and restaurant area, we spent most of our time in our room.
Our suite on the water's edge. The Posi-Posi suite is a fantastic room and it does look exactly like it does in the pictures on their website.
The view to the right from our balcony.
On the left, a ship yard which was quite an eye sore.
View of a volcano, one of many in the area.
We went with an all inclusive package for approx. $200 per night, which in hindsight is very expensive for what we got. When there are more than 10 guests, meals are buffet style. But, because there were only 4 of us that weekend we chose meals from the a la carte menu and although the food was ok, I think the buffet would have at least been better value for money.
It is a 20 min boat ride to the dive sights in the Bunaken National Park.
The Cocotino's pier.
The view of the resort from the pier.
Over all we did have a very nice and relaxing weekend. Marc, as always enjoyed the diving so he was happy with the choice in the end. I however, definitely wouldn't recommend this resort for non-divers.