Diving in North Sulawesi

They call it The Land of Smiling People and you could well join them in their grins if you choose it for your Indonesia diving holiday. Fast becoming one of the best diving destinations in the world, this island province promises dazzling coral reefs, amazing muck diving and all creatures great and very, very small. Here you will have access to a whole variety of dive sites, more than 100 in all. If you want to snap otherworldly critters on a muck dive then head to the Lembeh Strait where you can see a lot even on shallow dives as this is where hairy frogfish and harlequin shrimp like to hang out, along with octopus and eels. For good, healthy coral covering walls and bigger marine animals such as turtles, then you should try Bunaken National Marine Park, while macro-lovers should head to the nearby islands of Bangka and Manado Tua and the Sangihe Archipelago is home to active volcanoes, including one underwater that gurgles sulfur dioxide bubbles. The best time to dive North Sulawesi is from July to October, although you can dive all year round, with slightly worse conditions during the December to February rain season.

Dive Sites in North Sulawesi

Featured places to go in North Sulawesi

Manado is the provincial capital and a great jumping-off point for dives both in Manado itself and in nearby Bunaken National Marine Park and Bangka Island.

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Promising some of the best diving in Indonesia, Bangka Island is famed for its wild scenery and fantastically-preserved dive sites.

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Considered one of the best muck diving site in the world, Lembeh offers a whole host of macro delights among the fine black sand that blankets the seabed.

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Aquatic Life in North Sulawesi

North Suwalesi is synonymous to muck diving, thanks to the gloriously weird critters you can find among the fine black sand. If you love macro, you will enjoy spotting everything from sea horses to Ambon scorpionfish, skeleton shrimp to the oddly patterned and oddly named wonderpus. But here you are also in the middle of the coral triangle, so you can also expect dives with amazing hard and soft coral sheltering colorful reef fish as well as trevally, tuna, snapper and barracuda. You could also spot turtles while pilot whales can sometimes be glimpsed from the boat.