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About Sulawesi Utara

North Sulawesi has a wide variety of accommodations and facilities available to meet the needs of all travelers. From low cost econo-lodges, catering to backpackers and tourists on a budget, to four-star luxurious resorts. North Sulawesi offers full spectrum of scuba diving activities. The diving sites range from the magnificent coral gardens of Bunaken Marine Park and Bangka Strait, to underwater volcanoes and walls teeming with colorful fish on the Sangihe Islands, to the unusual and rarely seen creatures of Lembeh. The Bunaken National Marine Park lies about 30 minutes by boat from Manado. Bunaken Marine Park encompasses five islands (Bunaken, Siladen, Manado Tua, Montehage and Nain) where divers mostly do steep wall diving. The walls are very nicely covered with corals and have small caves and overhangs. The dive sites on the mainland around Manado are also well worth a visit with lots of unusual marine life to be found. Lembeh strait is also one of the most interesting marine habitats. Divers come to Lembeh mainly to do muck diving. There are over 60 dive sites around the Lembeh strait, most of them are either sandy areas or small reefs. Around Lembeh island there are some small but very beautiful coral reefs and at the northern tip, at Batu Kapal, the currents attract large pelagics like mackerels and sharks. There are also four beautifully covered wrecks, two of them large and all within limits for recreational diving.

When to go to Sulawesi Utara

Diving at Sulawesi Utara is possible throughout the year. The average air temperature varies from 26-27C/78-80F. Water temperatures can sometimes be a bit cooler comparing to other parts of Indonesia. In July-August the average temperature can drop to 26C/78F, while during the rest of the year it stays around 28C/82F.

 

What to see

Around the islands in Manado Bay divers have a good chance to see pelagics like sharks, mackerels and tunas as well as marine turtles. Lembeh strait is a good place to see some rare and hard to find species like mimic octopus, frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, harlequin shrimps, wonderpus, skeleton shrimps and numerous nudibranchs. The area features some interesting and unusual fish such as Ambon scorpionfish, stonefish, sea robins, stargazers, devil fish and even the weedy scorpionfish.

 

Most popular dive sites

There are lots of sites worth visiting in the area around Sulawesi Utara. Some of the best sites are Angel's Window, Mawali Wreck, Sahaung, Batu Kapal, Mandolin, Raymond's Point, Hairball 1, Paradise Jetty, Lekuan (1, 2 and 3).