North Sulawesi province with it’s capital city is Manado, is one of the tourist destination areas in Indonesia that has been enriched with beautiful nature. Popular with “ The Land of Smiling People”. Located at North of Sulawesi and lies between i.e 0°30 ‘- 5°35’ North Latitude and 123°70 ‘- 127 °00’ East Longitude in the south.
North Sulawesi has a convenient tropical climate including two major seasons, dry season (April – September) & Rain season (October – March). Offerings difference of unique things, that you can find only in North Sulawesi, as a Marine Tourism and Eco tourism, Art and Culture, supported by the reliable Human resources in all kind of sectors of tourism.
PLACES OF INTEREST :
BUNAKEN NATIONAL MARINE PARK
The Islands – Bunaken National Marine Park was established in 1991 and is one of the first marine parks in Indonesia. The total area of the park is 89.065 ha and includes the five islands of Bunaken, Siladen, Manado Tua, Mantehage and Nain, as well as parts of the coastal area of North Sulawesi mainland. The total area of coral reef is over 8000 ha.
The marine park’s extremely deep seabed, steep coral walls and large sea grass beds are home to an astonishingly rich variety of corals, fish, echinoderms and sponges. In fact the area supports some of the world’s highest levels of bio-diversity. Seven species of giant clams, and many rare or endangered marine animals, e.g. coelacanths, nautilus, dugongs, whales, dolphins and turtles, are found within the park’s area.
The Climate – The climate is tropical with two major seasons. During dry season, which is from April until October, the wind blows from south-east and the sea stays relatively calm. Wet season is from November to March when the cool wind from north-west can bring heavy rains and occasional rough seas. Average air temperature in the region is 27°C varying from 25°C in the wet season to over 30°C in the dry season. The water temperature around Bunaken National Marine Park ranges between 27°C and 30°C throughout the year. Over the reef flats water temperature may be even higher. Visibility in the area varies from 15 to over 30 meters. You can dive throughout the year.
THE PEOPLE – Some 20.000 people live on the natural resources of Bunaken National Marine Park; there are altogether 26 villages within the boundaries of the park. The area has been inhabited for more than a century. Most of the people are farmers or fishermen. Crops of coconuts, sweet potatoes and bananas are raised on the islands, and some farmers cultivate seaweed for export.
BUNAKEN ISLAND – The eastern side of Bunaken Island offers superb wall diving and excellent snorkeling. The vertical wall has many cracks and small caves and is covered with soft and hard corals, gorgonians and huge sponges. Fishes are so abundant that it is impossible to list all the species found here.
Some examples are: barracudas, triggerfishes, parrotfishes, surgeonfishes, unicornfishes, wrasses, drummers, butterflyfishes, trumpetfish, trevallys, groupers, snappers, sweetlips, angelfishes, needlefishes and batfishes. Possible encounters include turtles, whitetip and blacktip reef sharks bumphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, eagle rays and blue-spotted stingrays. The shallows are unbelievably colourful and full of life. Excellent spot for night dives, too.The Southern side of the island has beautiful coral slopes in a deep calm bay, as well as vertical winding walls with stronger currents. This side of the island has a high diversity of fishes, corals and sponges, and good spots for snorkeling.
There are huge schools of fusiliers, pyramid butterflyfishes, bannerfishes and damselfishes. Other species you might bump into are reef sharks, napoleon wrasses, hawksbill and green turtles, great barracudas, eagle rays, snappers, scorpionfishes and leaf fishes. Invertebrates include a variety of differently shaped hard corals, black corals, gorgonians, giant barrel sponges, nudibranchs and giant clams.
The dive sites on the western and northern sides of Bunaken are vertical walls abundant with reef fishes, sharks, lobsters, whip corals and giant gorgonians with tiny Pygmy sea horses. You might also see large emperors, red snappers, groupers, dogtooth tuna, eagle rays, giant trevally, turtles and barracudas. Even manta rays, mola mola, hammerhead sharks and whalesharks have been seen around Bunaken.
SILADEN ISLAND – The southern side of Siladen Island has a vertical wall in large steps. The reef top is spectacular with a huge variety of hard and soft corals, and it is therefore an excellent spot for snorkelling, too.
The northern side of the island has a reef flat with sand, gravel and massive corals. Enjoy your dive amongst reef fishes, moray eels, ribbon eels, garden eels, anemone fishes, dogtooth tuna, stingrays and turtles.
NAEN ISLAND – The island is surrounded by huge fields of hard corals, an amazing diversity of invertebrate fauna, big fishes and deep canyons – to be discovered by you once you get here!
MANTEHAGE ISLAND – Here you can expect to see very large schools of blackfin barracudas, giant and big-eye trevally, dogtooth tuna, great barracudas, napoleon wrasses, emperors, turtles, eagle rays and schools of bumphead parrotfishes. Hammerhead sharks have been encountered in the deeper waters. The amount of different coral species on the eastern side of the island has astonished even the most experienced marine biologists!
MANADO TUA ISLAND – The dive sites around Manado Tua have stunning steep vertical winding walls with many cracks, canyons and small caves. You can enjoy beautiful hard and soft corals, reef fishes, turtles and reef sharks. Occasional strong currents at some sites bring big schools or barracudas and trevallies together with sharks right in front of your eyes.
MANADO BAY – The dive sites on the coast of the mainland, vary from sloping beautiful coral walls, rich with large tabular Acropora sp., reef fishes, nudibranchs, ribbon eels and unusual green tree corals, to sandy bottom environments. There are many excellent muck-diving sites, favourites among uw photographers. Giant frogfish, ghost pipefish, sea horses, mimic octopus, Spanish dancer and many, many more.
THE WRECK – Half way to Manado on the coast of the mainland lays a 60-m long W.W.II shipwreck at about 25-40 meters depth. The wreck is covered with color full soft corals and it is a perfect hiding place for reef sharks and numerous other fishes. Highlights are different color leaf fishes, scorpion fishes and nudibranchs. Next to the wreck on a sandy slope you can find an unbelievable variety of coral crabs, shrimps, nudibranchs, pipefish, ghost pipefish, crocodile fish, ribbon eels and garden eels as well as other interesting creatures.
MT. LOKON – MT. MAHAWU – The volcanic mountains Lokon (1,580 m) and Mahawu (1,311 m) both have crater lakes of considerable beauty. Lokon is considered the more beautiful of the two but Mahawu is safer to climb. The trip to the top of Lokon should be made only byclimbers in reasonable condition. The steaming crater lies 600 m below the peak of the mountain and the lake is about 60 m deep.
TINCEP WATERFALL – Located in Tincep Village, Sonder, about 35 km from Manado, this natural 60 m waterfall is an ideal place to enjoy nature and fresh water pools at the base of the falls. It is easily reachable from Manado by public transportation followed by a short 10 – 15 minute walk past the village.
WOLOAN VILLAGES – This village is a center for traditional Minahasan wooden house-building. It is located just a few km from Tomohon.
TEMBOAN & RURUKAN VILLAGES – Both these villages were launched as village and community based model tourism villages. They are located approximately 30 km from Manado, and can be reached by bus. The abundance of flowers, cash crops, cool fresh air and the beautiful view to Lake Tondano and Bitung Habour make both of these villages an interesting stop. The villages have convenient homestays as well as a cultural performance stage.
TONDANO LAKE – A large scenic lake with clear water, overlooking the Lembean mountain ranges. This 4,278 Ha lake is surrounded by picturesque villages, rice fields and in some parts, green hills. Its abundant fish provide a livelihood for the native population nearby.Good for boating, fishing, and water skiing.
RANOPASO HOTSPRING – The name “Ranopaso” means hot water. Hot springs are scattered across this lovely area of traditional villages. Located in Koya Villages, 3 km from Tondano, it is worth a visit.
PULUTAN VILLAGES – This village has a pottery industry. It is located just a few km from Tondano. We can see the locals producing a pottery from the clay.
WATU PINAWETENGAN – Pinabetengan village, about 50 km from Manado, is the home to this ancient stone, shaped like a table. It measures 4 m long by 2 m high and is one of the remnants left by the Minahasan tribes where they negotiated the territorial division and unification. Pictography carvings on the stone have not yet been deciphered.
RAFTING NIMANGA & RANOYAPO RIVERS – Located near Sonder Village. Rafting on the Minanga River is becoming more and more popular for sport enthusiasts. It offers a variety of white water rafting challenges with difficulty levels from 3-4. This river has also two waterfalls, one in Tincep village with a height of 70 m and the other in Timbukar village with a height of 90 m.
WARUGA – A place where you can see the unique way of Minahasan ancestor to buried the corpses, not under the ground but inside the stone. Located in Airmadidi.
LEMBEH ISLAND – Located about 45 KM from Manado and the Airport, Underwater hidden paradise offer you the best muck diving all over the world. White & black sandy beaches became a places for many small critters to growth up. The biggest harbor close by is make the area easier to explore. Lembeh Straits is become populer as one of the best places for underwater videograph and photography.
TANGKOKO NATURAL RESERVE – About 8000 hectars with in for tourism activity is about 3000 hectars. Hiking and trekking si fantastic among the primary rain forest. Many kinds of best quality wood and rare animal is entertain during the visits. Located about 20 Km from Bitung (Girian), reachable by public or private car or bus. Tarsier claimed as the world smallest primate is available during the trip, also some other wild life such a Hornbill, Macaque Nigra, Cus-cus etc. The area is enjoyable for all age levels.
LINOW LAKE – A small, highly sulphurous lake of 35 Ha, which bubbles at the edges and has steam jets.The lake changes color, depending upon the light and viewing perspective, to shades of light blue, green, or turquoise.Take a microlet from the Tomohon bus terminal, get off at the intersection at the lake, and walk ( about 700 m ) along the access road to the lake from Lahendong village.
HOW TO GET THERE :
:: International Flights.
- From Europe you can chose flights to the cities in Indonesia such as : Jakarta, and Denpasar and conect your journey with domestic flights for North Sulawesi – Manado, Indonesia as Jakarta – Manado within Garuda indonesia airlines, Lion Air 0r Denpasar – Manado within Garuda Indonesia Airlines, Lion Air.
- And also, Manado-North Sulawesi is reachable from another Asian countries as Singapore within SILK AIR serve 4 time in a week covering Monday – Wednesday – Thursday – Friday – Saturday.
- From Malaysia within Air asia , flies from Malaysia, Kuala lumpur to Makassar, then connect your flights to Manado with domestic flights : Garuda Airlines. And Lion air to Manado about 1,5 hours flight and it’s a : Daily Flights, about 2 – 3 times a day.
:: DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
- From Indonesia – Manado is well connected of most Indonesian cities within daily flights arrive from Jakarta and Surabaya in Java, Ujung Pandang or Makassar in South Sulawesi, Denpasar in Bali, Balikpapan in Kalimantan also Sorong in Papua.
Connecting flights from other cities fly usually via Jakarta or Ujung Pandang. The following airlines fly to & from Manado.
- Batavia air
- Garuda Indonesia
- Lion air
- Sriwijaya air
- Merpati airlines
- Wings air
- Express air