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.
It is all about making divers happy: Excellent selection and great variety of dive sites, engaged cruise director round the clock, each of the crew members very helpfull. Good mixture of diving and land excursions. Saw the first sun fish in our lifetime!
Stay away!!! Unprofessional, unsafe instructor and unacceptable staff behaviour. With a CMAS 2 and over 70 dives across several seas I have never lived such a bad experience with a diving centre that clearly has no respect for divers and worst for safety. Briefly summarised; cruel safety issues, lies seems to be common and we were finally mocked and threatened by the staff... Aware of difficult dive conditions around Nusa Penida (strong changing currents) we decided to change diving centre...
I did my PADI Open Water course with Manta Manta Diving, Bali. They were fantastic and offered a great course which was very well priced. My instructor; Stuart, was patient, reassuring and a great teacher who makes the course educational and fun. The instructors here are very knowledgable, experienced and enthusiastic. I will dive with Manta Manta Diving, Bali again and will recommend them to all my friends. Thank you Stuart & Manta Manta Diving, Bali.