Cocotinos hosted our group of 13 snorkelers for 4 nights after our 8 days on a Raja Ampat liveaboard. Our group was made up of advanced snorklers and nature lovers. On arrival we were quickly greeted at the Manado airport by their ground staff and the 25 minute ride to Cocotinos was comfortable. Arriving at the hotel we were met by the staff and given fresh cold towels to cool off from the afternoon sun, and coconuts ready to drink.
Our rooms were spacious, complete with a safe, refrigerator, flatscreen, extremely comfortable king bed, robes, and AC. Everything was spotless, and the extra shelves and hanging areas were very welcome after our small quarters on the vessel. The showers were expansive and gave the feel of an outdoor shower with screened in sections that allowed live plants to grow and sun to filter in. Outside the rooms was either an ocean view or the crystal clear and inviting pool. Amenities include an open bar/restaurant area with free WiFi (in room WiFi available at about US$8/12-hour period), a massage area overlooking the ocean (US$30/hour), and a short walk takes you to the Odyssey Dive center and pier out to the dive boats. Additionally Odyssey has a camera charging room, with computer, Fish ID books, and an assortment of musical instruments.
We had two full days snorkeling the reefs of Bunaken Marine Park and Siladen Island, both about a 40 minute boat ride away. We were given packed lunches and spent our entire day in those areas, snorkeling vibrant and robust reefs. Our third day we traveled to the Tangkoko Forest for a day of primate and bird viewing. Tangkoko is about 2-hours away and Manado is about 25 minutes from the hotel. The hotel grounds also had active sunbirds, eagles, and kingfishers that could be easily spotted each day.
The hotel sits in the small village of Kimo Bajo, our group walked freely in the town and was warmly greeted by the children and the folks that flew kites in the evenings. Our meals were served in the open air bar and were buffet style with multiple, delicious offerings. Each night we had at least four entrees to sample, as well as soup, salad, and fresh local fruits and a dessert. The breakfasts offered equally diverse selections. On our last night the group arranged for the Cocotinos special bar-b-que and they went all out. Grilling fresh farmed fish and shrimp, as well as chicken. They also had a live band. The great food and music were enjoyed by all.
The dive center was great. I did do one dive on the nearby house reef and saw dragonets, pipefish, small shrimp, nudibranchs, and many Banggai cardinalfish. However our group was there to snorkel and that we did, about 5 hours in the water each day. The dive staff provided four guides for our 13 members and took us to great spots pointing out many creatures, and kept us safe in the ever changing currents. The boat used was spacious, covered, with a fresh water shower, and had a bathroom. They provided snacks, purified drinking water, and towels each day. On our return the staff "made" us leave all our gear and they rinsed and hung our equipment, having it back on board the following morning. The shop has all the equipment needed to rent if you did not bring your own. Also the dive guides busily collected plastic pollution as we saw it when snorkeling. It was great to see them do this on their own and by the end of the day we were all pitching in bringing back plastic bottles / bags and various fishing line encountered while snorkeling. Don't get me wrong the reefs were great but as anyone that spends time in the ocean knows plastic pollution is unfortunately everywhere these days.
All in all I would highly recommend both Cocotinos and their dive facilities. It is a great central spot to explore the area, and not as isolated as staying at Siladen or Bunakin would be. During our free time our group was able to arrange tours into Manado for sightseeing. Lembah is about 1.5 hours away and easily accessible for organizing a day of diving if so desired. The spacious clean rooms and quality of care given by the staff make this hotel a "sure" thing for a traveler exploring Sulawesi.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cocotinos Manado is a boutique dive resort located within Wori Bay in the heart of Kima Bajo, a fishing village overlooking the Bunaken National Marine Park, world famous for its astounding wall and macro scuba diving. A mere 25-minute drive from Manado's Sam Ratulangi International Airport brings you to the resort, on the water's edge, in full view of Siladen Island and Manado Tua, a majestic dormant volcano across the Sulawesi Sea. Through the use of selected hardwoods, stone, and other ecologically friendly building materials sourced from the region, the resort blends seamlessly with the surrounding village and coconut grove. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cocotinos Manado Hotel Wori
- Cocotinos Manado Indonesia/Wori, Sulawesi