The Best Diving Experiences in Sulawesi, Indonesia
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO IN NORTH SULAWESI?
With the mainland of North Sulawesi just a short boat ride away from all 3 destinations, it’s easy to spend a day or two exploring the breathtaking beauty of the nearby national park or volcanoes. Situated at the foot of Dua Saudara Mountain, the rolling hills and valleys of Tangkoko Nature Reserve are home to interesting and unusual plant and animal species, including one of the world’s smallest primates. Further south the two active volcanoes, Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Lokon, offer some nice climbs which are both challenging and rewarding, while the village beneath – known as the Flower City – is alive with picturesque flower gardens and markets. Additionally, Lake Tondano boasts some incredibly scenic floating restaurants serving freshwater fish.
Bunaken Park itself offers some nice trekking opportunities including hiking along the islands footpath or climbing the Manado Tua Volcano. Dolphin and whale watching day trips are also available as well as fishing trips outside of the protected marine park. On Bangka, there is little in the way of roads, but it is possible to trek through the jungle, visiting small villages and spotting wildlife such as parrots, cuscus and monitor lizards.
HOW TO GET TO BUNAKEN, BANGKA, GANGGA & LEMBEH STRAIT
Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado is the closest airport for all three destinations, with frequent international flights from Singapore, as well as regular domestic flights from Jakarta and Bali via Makassar. Boat transfers to Bunaken resorts are usually included within the packages and depart from either the Jenke and Calaca piers in Manado. If travelling to Bangka and Gangga, land transportation to the north takes just over an hour, with a 20-minute boat journey to the islands. Guests travelling to Lembeh will be transported by car to Bitung, taking around 90 minutes, with a further 15-minute boat ride across the Strait to their resort.