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“Diving & relaxing in paradise!”

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Lumba Lumba Diving Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We started our two month trip around Indonesia here and stayed in one of the Living Colour-rooms with shared bathroom. Rooms were indeed very colourful en nicely decorated, clean and with a balcony and hammock that had oceanview. Pretty nice to relax in! Shower had only cold water (not really a problem because of the Indonesian temperatures :-) - bungalows do have hot water) and they have a western toilet, both basic but clean.

At the diveshop there's also a relaxing area where you can hang out, go on the internet (wifi is stronger the than in the rooms), read a book (they have small liberary) or just enjoy the view of this little piece of paradise. They have drinks at the diveshop but for food you go down the beach with a choice of 5 or so restaurants, max 3 minute walk. Very cheap to eat and drink, but be prepared for a long wait, 'cause when you order they start making it from scratch - so be patient! :-) And be prepared for a LOT of begging cats!

My boyfriend took an advanced diving course and had a great diving instructor - JP - (together with just one other "student") and a friend of ours had Sonja as instructor for an open water course and was also very happy. They really let you decide your own pace, make sure the course and dives suit your personal experience and take their time for you. Safety and that you feel good with what you're doing is their main concern. Also the diving sites around Sabang were amazing and just 'cause he couldn't get enough my boyfriend added a few fundives. 

The locals among the staff were great - very helpfull en very friendly - JP and Sonja were very nice as well. Just ask them if you need anything at all. We can really recommend this place to anyone who likes to dive (less for non-divers, although you can also snorkle or rent a motorbike to drive around the island). Good value for money!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Caroline_Goris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 - 172 of 266 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2013

The main building includes the office, a lounge area, the dive equipment storage and the compressors (as of the 31st of December 2012 they supply Nitrox through continuous flow, replacing their partial pressure process). Rental equipment is in good condition - everything seems relatively recent.

The bungalows are very comfortable. No air con (which for me is actually a plus), large bed, very neat veranda with a hammock - good accommodation with a good value for the money. They also have budget accommodation but I didn't check it out. The only thing I found amiss was a place to rinse the feet before entering the bungalow - would have come handy to clean off the sand.

The operations are very professional which makes everything smooth. The dive schedule was kept strictly - I had only one delay that was communicated in advance, and did not exceed the 10 minutes (kudos for the expectation management).

Overall, and though I was not too impressed with the diving (good diving but my expectations are always very high in Indonesia), the Lumba Lumba Dive Center provided with a great week of diving - surely if I decide to return to Pulau Weh this is the dive center I'll come to.

Check my full review at http://lifesauntering.blogspot.hk/2013/01/diving-pulau-weh-banda-aceh-indonesia.html

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank jpalcg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

Its not easy to write in few sentences about Pulau Weh and specially about Lumba Lumba but in my opinion the best review is that many people planing to stay there for few days stays weeks or even months including myself and coming back every year.
The owners Ton and Marjan do a great job. They set up the schol starting from nothing and even after tsunami day never gave up. Family atmosphere base on local people make You feel like home away from home. Of course its not a place that You go for crazy parties but is that always a point? In Gapang, Lumba Lumba and Pulau itself its more about diving and people. Easy going with great diving still a bit undiscovered coz its definatelly not on a main tourist trail. Obviously someone can complain about equipment which is in my opinion good and well maintain or about long waiting time in few local restaurants on the beach but thats the point it is not a factory it is not a hot touristic spot thats way its so great!!!
To be honest I am not a very experience diver but I try it in few places in the world (like Thailand,, Andamans, Zanzibar, Poland and Australia) and everywhere is different but up this moment Pulau Weh for me is the best. Staring from the house reef, great for macro and maybe even better for a night dives. Then few relaxing dive sides and also really challenging places for those who like adventures, current and big fishes ending with underwater hot springs, and few wrekcs - like Sophie Rickmers for those who likes going very deep. All of that easy reachable from Gapang Beach (not more then 35 minutes).
If its not enough to live in small Gapang beach take a motorbike and go around. Enjoy the tiny little villeges, perfect sunset points or try a famous tiramisu in Lucas Place.
So if You want to become a better diver or You are lokking for a great diving itself, easy going place, a lot of smiling faces, good food and family ambience come to Pulau come to Gapang stay in Lumba Lumba or just nearby!!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Jarek C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

The owners are rude and arrogant, there only aim is to make money. The way they are treating there local staff is really not fair. The western staff is not helpful at all and really not respecting divers who want to go pro. And the worst is the hired equipment, broken fins, damaged and dirty wet suits... and so on. Do not get in the trap of there fake smiling when you arrive, it's just a frontage smile. The good point is the accommodations quality, but they are over priced. Finally the diving spots have nothing exceptional at all... I just get my rescue there and ran away instead of doing my dive master.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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7  Thank samguven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

My husband and I done our PADI open water here and we just loved it. We are obviously new to diving but our experence at lumba lumba now has us hooked on diving. Our instructor JP was really great, so patient, nice and very professional. We done the discover scuba dive course first to see if we like it. After it, we were hooked and continued with the PADI course. All of the staff were very nice and the atmosphere was very relaxed yet professional The accommodation was very good with a good range in prices to suit your budget. The diving itself was really amazing. We were very sad to leave but since leaving we have continued with our diving in Indonesia and have just completed our advanced course so thankyou to all at Lumba Lumba for introducing us to the wonderful world of diving. Pulah Weh and gapang beach is a beautiful place, hopefully we will return someday.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bongodublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

beautiful people! if you want somewhere to hide from the world and do some serious relaxing this is your place. owners are a lovely hands on dutch couple and their staff are friendly too. the diving is great especially for people who want to get experience doing more challenging diving like deeper dives or dives with more current. saw a lot off cool wild life from big stuff like devil rays and black tip reefies to smaller stuff like leaf fish, octopus, star gazers and heaps of scorpion fish.the area is predominately muslim so dont expect a crazy night life and ladies definitely recommend a more conservative dress sense. we stayed in the accommodation there which was a lovely double room with a shared balcony. we loved the hammocks dotted everywhere... perfect place to chill out after a dive!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Kate H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Found out about this place when planning my second dive trip. You can reach the place by local taxy available upon arrival on Balohan Port which will take about 30-40 minutes drive through the hills. You'll find gorgeous views along the way, a mix between mountains, hills, beaches, and let's not forget the sunset. The dive center is located in Gapang Beach, which is pretty much more secluded than Iboih I suppose, since the dive center is the only busiest place on the beach, along with other restaurants owned by the locals. The dive center is owned by a Dutch couple (Ton and Marjan), who have been running the place for 16 years.

Accommodation:
Bungalows
The bungalows are located right behind the dive shop. Which, in my opinion, totally worth the price. Each bungalow is designed for 2 persons, and extra bed is available on request. All of the rooms are non air-conditioned, but the weather is chilled at night despite the mosquitoes during the evening. U can also use wi-fi connection in each room, hot shower, a small kitchen, a small fridge, and the porch of the room is always the best place to lay back when you're not going to dive. They said they have bigger rooms for bigger groups, but I haven't checked yet.

Dive Shop and Dive activities
The dive shop, which is the main reason of why I and other divers are here, is definitely well organized. You can actually email your requests prior to departure, make arrangements on the dive trips, even to the smallest things as how many dive per day and gear rental. Upon arrival, you'll have to fill in several paper works, then they will show you around the dive shop. They will give you a box to put in all of your basic gear, and store it in the dive shop so you don't have to carry around your stuff from your room. Inside the dive shop, you'll find some seats to relaxed a bookshelf filled with novels to read, internet connection and 2 fridges of soft drinks and a small kitchen. About payments, you don't have to worry for carrying a lot of cash with you, as the dive shop accept credit cards, I think Visa and Mastercard are available (with surcharge).

Dive
At the front desk, you'll find a huge whiteboard about all dive trips going everyday. for those who are there for fun dives, you can just write your name in any trip with available seats, check the time, and that's it. Most favorite sites are Bate Tokong, Pante Panateung, the Canyon, and several other sites around (I think between 10-20 sites are available, excluding the Sophie Rickmer's wreck). Bate Tokong is nice for deep dive up to 30m depth. You'll get the chance to see sharks, mantas, and other big guys. And Weh island is famous as the capital city for all known kinds of moray eels. So be sure don't miss the chance to see all kinds of moray eels down there.

For those who are going to take diving license (any level), they will brief you the day you're arrived, depending on what time. As an example, I took my advanced open water license there. Got a Japanese guy as the instructor, who is super helpful with enhancing your diving skills. FYI, the dive shop currently provides PADI certification. The biggest advantage of this dive centre, is that its location in Gapang is near to most of the dive sites in Weh Island. So, more or less, you'll just have to spent around 30 minutes max to the farthest dive site in the island, while on the other hand you can dive in the house reef for relaxed diving right in front of the dive shop.

F&B
While the dive shop provides you with beverages, you will have to walk along the beach to find some food in the restaurants owned by the locals as the dive shop does not provide any food (I think this is what they mean by mutual relationship LOL but good point). Basically all of the restaurants serve the same thing with reasonable price, but not don't expect too much about the food as it's pretty much standard. More info on the restaurants around may be found in the bungalow, the dive shop has this book to make you familiar with the things available around to cover your needs. The only rule to remember is that, never go to the most crowded restaurant since there will usually be 2 persons who are cooking for the whole customer for each restaurant. In my personal opinion, you can satisfy your culinary sense once you're in Banda Aceh. After all, you're there for the dive.

In conclusion, I love this place. Though I haven't tried other dive places available on the Eastern side of Indonesia, this is definitely the best place for divers on the West side of Indonesia. I will definitely make another trip there as I haven't checked out all the dive sites.

Safe dive!
Hafidz

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Nasutionhafidz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lumba Lumba Diving Centre

Address: Gapang Beach, Pulau Weh, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sumatra > Aceh > Pulau Weh
Amenities:
Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Weh
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a professional Dutch-Indonesian dive operation in a great dive shop. Open since 1998, Lumba Lumba Diving Centre has become a meeting point on Gapang Beach, a hub of activity from where the diving starts, a friendly and welcoming place where you can feel at home. Still being an insiders’ secret, and off the beaten track, Pulau Weh offers unspoiled and uncrowded divesites. Add our team’s dedication, experience and love for the ocean and you’ll get unforgettable dives, from spectacular full-adrenaline dives to long slow relaxed macro spotting dives. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lumba Lumba Diving Hotel Pulau Weh

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