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 Official Website of the North Sulawesi Tourism Promotion Board (NSTPB)
A Message from the Governor

Governor North Sulawesi, Drs. S. H. Sarundayang


As the Governor of North Sulawesi, it will indeed be a great pleasure to welcome you to our safe and beautiful Province, which has come to be known as "The Land of Smiling People".

This website is an endeavor by the North Sulawesi Tourism Promotion Board to extensively introduce and offer our province to the international & national tourist. As one of the newest developing destinations in Asia, North Sulawesi has a full range of activities, from world-class diving and snorkeling, to volcano trekking, white water rafting and a variety of historic & cultural attractions to keep all ages captivated.

On behalf of the people of North Sulawesi, we hope that you will choose North Sulawesi for your next vacation. Once you have visited our friendly Province, we are sure that you will share your experiences with friends, relatives and colleagues in order that they, too, may experience, "The Land of Smiling People"

Drs. S. H. Sarundayang
Map of Indonesia
Diving Manado
Visitors from around the world are discovering Manado's sundrenched island paradises and peerless diving and snorkeling around Bunaken, one of the world's most beautiful coral environments. With an almost unbelievable variety of teeming sea life, superb visibility and spectacular scenery, Bunaken is the chief attraction of North Sulawesi for divers and non-divers alike. With much of the best coral just under the surface, the seagardens are easily accessible to snorkelers. Non-divers can experience much of Bunaken's wonder through a glass-bottom boat. Bunaken can be reached by speedboat or motorised outrigger in about 30 minutes from Manado.

5 main sites, one of which is named after the local word for shark, "Gorango". These are usually hanging around here..... likewise at the appropriately named Barraccuda point.

Tanjung Pisok & Manado wreck
Pisok will reveal blue ribbon eels if you look carefully, as well as Barraccuda. Sharks and squids turn up in the afternoon.

Bitung & Lembeh Strait
The abundance of plankton in the Strait results in a greater variety of marine life than in most areas of the Pacific. More unusual species lurk in the depths: octopus, sea-horses, snake eels, scorpion fish..... as well as a WWII Japanese freighter. Visibility: 10-15m.

A hidden paradise further down the coast where experienced divers can join exploratory dives at sites that have been little, or never, dived before.
Local Time Manado:
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The Wonders of North Sulawesi

A Tour of Duty in North Sulawesi

by Adam J. Fenton

The question was a simple one – though it seemed no one had ever thought to ask – what can you do in North Sulawesi besides diving?

It seems that there is still a bit of controversy over who opened the first dive resort in Manado. Some people will tell you one thing while others will say the opposite. Either way, subtle points of historical fact aside, from the mid 1980s onward Manado began to develop a reputation as being one of the most exciting and rewarding places to dive on the surface of our planet Earth. In due course, word got around and people came from far and wide as Manado cultivated its image as the world’s diving Mecca. So what was attracting all those people? As one local dive instructor put it, it all comes down to one simple word: "Biodiversity. Near Manado and Bunaken you can see around 3000 types of fish, and around 300 types of coral. It is very difficult to find anywhere else that has this amount of variety." It sounds simple to say – 3000 types of fish. But think about it, in one relatively small area surrounding the island of Bunaken, you stick your head underwater at any random point and you are instantly transported to a strange new Star Wars universe teeming with bizarre, colourful, unimaginable creatures and corals. For serious divers, an unusual breed who patiently like to catalogue and note down the different species that they have encountered on a dive, this was like striking the mother lode. Word spread fast.

In some ways though, it seems like we might have missed the point, a bit. As one resort manager explained "For many years we in North Sulawesi have always thought of ourselves as a marine tourism destination. The reality is, this is not true!! If one takes the time to travel beyond the dive resort or hotel that you’re staying in, you will find a wealth of culture and adventure right here on your doorstep."

So that was my mission – to discover the non-diving attractions of North Sulawesi. People looked at me with horror and distrust when I told them that I was going to write about tourism in Manado, and NOT go diving! Had I gone insane? Only time would tell.
 Continue Reading: Minahasa

1. Gangga Island, © Gangga Island Resort
2. Juvenile Emperorfish, © William Tan
3. Mount Lokon, © Corine Frischknecht

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