Manado in North Sulawesi is in easy reach of world-class diving and some of the best Indonesia has to offer. North Sulawesi is reached by flying to Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado from Singarpore or from Denpasar, Bali. There are several good dive centers in Manado that offer diving in the whole area of North Sulawesi. Each area, like Bunaken and Lembeh Strait also has dive resorts that focus on diving in that area in specific. Liveaboards that combine all dive areas in North Sulawesi allow the diver to do up to 5 dive a day and really get up close and personal with the best of North Sulawesi diving.
Bunaken national park was established in 1991 and covers over 89.000 hectares, of which 97% marine territory. Dive sites in Bunaken national park can be explored with dive centers in Manado, or divers can choose to stay on Bunaken island itself. Both options are within short reach of all the mayor dive sites in and around the park. The Thalassa dive center is located in the mainland at the Santika Seaside resort, only 15 km north of Manado. This 5 star dive center takes divers to the best sites in Bunaken national park, but also arranges dives to the Bangka Archipelago and Lembeh Strait. On Bunaken island, only 60 minutes by boat from Manado, several good dive resorts offer accommodation and dive packages. Bastianos and Living Colours are two comfortable and well reviewed places to dive with.
Lembeh Strait boasts some intimate experiences to get to know the best of Lembeh diving. Upscale dive resort Kungkungan Bay is right at the doorstep of all Lembeh Strait dive sites and, situated in a private bay, even had an exclusive private house reef. A more budget friendly option to dive Lembeh Strait is with Nomad Adventure Divers, which is well equipped for underwater photographers.
Liveaboards that combine the best of North Sulawesi diving include the Wallacea fleet, a professional operator of two boats. For underwater photography enthusiasts, ReefWreck & Critter, organizes a liveaboard dive trip focused on underwater photography.
Diving was mostly great. A few days visibility could have been better. Disappointing to see do much trash floating around some dive sites. Maybe if each boat scooped some up, it could help. But overall great!
Well organised well conducted with an excellent staff no one exepted. Everybody did his utmost to let us feel at home. Choise and locations off divesites were superb. Food excelent. Atmosphere perfect. MINUS it lasted just 10 days