Manado & Bunaken in a Nutshell - Manado is the largest city (and airport) in North Sulawesi. The diving is spread between several dive regions, including mainland Manado, Bunaken National Park and Bangka Island. Each has distinctly different diving, keeping divers dreaming of getting back in the water no matter how long their trip. The islands around Bunaken offer some of the best coral reef diving in Southeast asia, with large numbers of schooling fish racing by on most dives. Some of the best critter diving in the world is nearby in Lembeh Strait.
Bunaken - Lots of butterflyfish, triggerfish and the most fun, turtles. The shallows are filled with small fish rising in and out of the coral that will make you want more than a 3-minute safety stop. Bangka is also very fishy and every reef can be dived wide-angle or macro depending on your interests.
Manado - A focus on reefs and macro for shrimps, crabs, cephalopods, nudibranchs and other abundant critters in the reefs and sand.
Water Temperatures: 81-86°F(27-30°C)
Visibility: 66-115 ft (20-35m)
Average Depth Range: 16 - >131 ft (5 - >40m)
Topside & Non-Diving Activities - Manado and North Sulawesi are filled with topside activities for the adventurous diver looking for some culture. The Minahasa and local island people are genuinely friendly, making interactions with locals an opportunity to learn, share and enjoy new experiences. Touring the Minahasa highlands and beautiful countryside is a nice daytrip. The area has a history of clove and flower growing with beautiful villages and scenery. Farmers create terraces up the sides of Mahawu Volcano, which offers breathtaking views of Manado, the Bunaken National Park and a volcanic crater that is still steaming. Make sure to tour the Tomohon Market, but we forewarned that there is food of all sorts on display. Lunch at Gardenia restaurant (also a mountain resort) offers a sampling of many local Minahasan dishes. Other activities include touring Tangkoko National Park, White Water Rafting and more.
If you have the time, stop by the Tangkoko Nature Reserve - a conservation area for endangered species (about 70 kilometers from Manado). Bring your binoculars and watch tarsiers, black macaque monkeys, maleo birds, and cuscus in their natural habitat.
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Main Airport Code: MDC
Electricity: generally is 220 volts, with 2 round pin plugs (European Standard)
Vaccines: None are essential for US visitors. It is recommended that you are up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis and Polio for any trip to the tropics.
Visa: Short stay Visa Free facility is given to travelers from 169 countries (including USA) for tourism purposes in Indonesia. Make sure your passport has a blank page, and is valid for 6 months.
Language: Bahasa Indonesia is the language of Indonesia. It is very easy to learn, and we suggest you learn hello, thank you, how are you, and what is your name before your trip.
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