Excellent little diving resort
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Ankermi Happy Dive is perhaps the best choice for committed divers in the general Maumere area, with attractive and simple little bungalows set right in front of an excellent selection of critter diving sites.
The slightly Balinese-influenced resort overlooks the green expanse of Pulau Babi and is dotted with coconut palms. Snorkelling is available off the small cement pier built into the water for the benefit of scuba divers. The bungalows include beds with a mosquito net, electricity and private bathrooms with bucket flush toilets. All face the ocean, except for one bungalow set over the garden, which has air-con and is slightly larger, making it a good choice for families. The restaurant on-site is a real treat, with great chicken curry and mie goreng, and an elaborate presentation of creatively named "gado-bloody-gado". Prices are all quite fair, considering the curious inflation that seems to be the norm in Flores. Beers are iced. Diving is the real draw here, with both shore and island dives available, as well as the usual complement of PADI courses for rank beginners. There's a decent selection of equipment for rent, and the operation seems tightly run. We dove with Kemi, who co-owns Ankermi with his wife Claudia, and enjoyed muck-diving right off the shore, with sightings including a profusion of unusual nudibranches, a reef cuttlefish and a rare and elegant mimic octopus. Kemi even provided us with a detailed list of the species we spotted after the dive for our log book. Be forewarned: Ankermi Happy Dive is a good 40-minute drive from Maumere proper, and communications with the outside world are spotty. Budget in plenty of time to make flights, and hit the ATM before you arrive, as they are cash only.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 27th May, 2014.