August 24, 2022

Underwater World of North Sulawesi

Scuba divers and diving enthusiasts looking to embark on a thrilling scuba diving holiday would find a magical underwater world in Sulawesi that is second to none. One of Indonesia's four Great Sunda Islands, also known as Celebes, Sulawesi is the 11th most significant island in the world and is located in the heart of the Coral Triangle.

Nestled between the Celebes Sea and the Philippine Sea, this region boasts an incredible diversity of marine life and stunning underwater landscapes. From vibrant coral reefs to mesmerizing drop-offs and unique marine species, the underwater world of North Sulawesi is a paradise waiting to be discovered. Divers would find rare and unusual marine life here in North Sulawesi, in destinations such as Lembeh, Manado, Bangka, Gangga, and Bunaken National Marine Park. North Sulawesi is also a popular destination for underwater photographers. Here are the goals in North Sulawesi that we recommend for their uniqueness.

Pygmy Seahorses at Lembeh Strait - North Sulawesi

Lembeh Strait

For those seeking a unique underwater experience, the Lembeh Strait is a must-visit destination in North Sulawesi. Known as the "Critter Capital of the World," Lembeh Strait is celebrated for its abundance of rare and exotic marine creatures. Underwater photographers and macro enthusiasts flock to this area to capture images of the elusive creatures that call these waters home. From flamboyant cuttlefish and mimic octopuses to colourful nudibranchs and pygmy seahorses, Lembeh Strait offers a window into a world of tiny, intricate wonders. Some of Lembeh's most iconic species include the Hairy Frogfish, Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse, Wunderpus, Mandarin Fish, Mimic Octopus, Rhinopias Scorpionfish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Blue Ring Octopus, and so much more.

With hundreds of unique critters inhabiting more than 30 diving spots in the Lembeh Strait, it is easy to understand why many divers, especially those interested in underwater photography, flock to this mecca of muck diving.

The Bluestripe Snapper at Bangka Island

Bangka Island

Situated off the northeastern coast of Sulawesi, Bangka Island is famous for its unspoiled reefs and diverse marine life. The island offers various diving experiences, ranging from gentle drift dives along vibrant coral walls to exploring underwater caves and caverns. The clear waters around Bangka Island are teeming with marine biodiversity, including schools of fish, turtles, and even dolphins that occasionally grace divers with their presence. If you are lucky, you can spot Whitetip Reef Sharks, Mobula Rays, Dolphins, Pilot Whales, Sea Turtles, and Eagle Rays in the fast-moving water.

Gangga Island

Gangga Island

Just 20 minutes away by boat is Gangga Island, another excellent dive site in North Sulawesi. Here, you will find spectacular small creatures in the reefs, soft corals, table corals, and sponges. There are shrimp and Lobsters, Cuttlefish and Octopus, Eels, Parrotfish, and several species of Scorpion Fish. While in Gangga, head to Lihaga Island to view the Mandarin Fish doing their courtship dance!

Diving in Bunaken

Bunaken Marine Park

The Bunaken Marine Park is one of the most renowned diving destinations in North Sulawesi. Located just off the coast of Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi, Bunaken is a haven for marine biodiversity. The marine park covers an area of over 89,000 hectares and encompasses five islands: Bunaken, Manado Tua, Siladen, Montehage, and Nain. The crystal-clear waters of Bunaken are home to over 300 corals and more than 2000 fish species, often referred to as one of the world's top 10 dive destinations, great for all levels of divers, making it a must-visit destination for snorkelers and divers alike.

Nain Island

One hour away from Bunaken is Nain Island, a beautiful dive site great for advanced divers and home to large schools of Barracuda. Your guide will take you to several small dive sites around the island with less intense currents. If you are lucky, you can see some Hammerhead Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks, and Eagle Rays.

Best Time

The best time to dive in North Sulawesi would be March and December. The high season would be April/May and September/November. Temperatures remain the same all year round at 32 degrees Celsius.

Sunset at North Sulawesi

Whether you are an experienced diver or a curious snorkeler, North Sulawesi beckons with its enchanting underwater world. From the diverse marine ecosystems of Bunaken Marine Park to the mesmerizing critters of Lembeh Strait and the unspoiled reefs of Bangka Island, this Indonesian province is a paradise for underwater enthusiasts. Embark on an unforgettable journey to North Sulawesi, and prepare to be captivated by the beauty and biodiversity that lies beneath the waves.

When you book with Discover Luxury Indonesia, you will have access to even more benefits and privileges that you will not get anywhere else, including exclusive VIP access and add-ons, and not just with Indonesia's most coveted, award-winning resorts and venues but also with leisure activities and amenities like yachts, watersports, and phinisi.

Private traditional Indonesian yacht charters are also available to explore the spellbinding waters of Sulawesi in absolute privacy, luxury, and comfort.

North Sulawesi Map

Ready to learn more? Contact Discover Luxury Indonesia today, and we will be more than happy to answer all your questions and curate a particular bespoke luxury itinerary just for you!

Open chat
Hello Travelers, Can we help you?