There are two sides to North Sulawesi Diving and the contrast between them is vast in terms of topography and marine life sightings, yet they are hardly situated far apart. North Sulawesi covers a relatively small area, a star shaped island the region is just one of five finger like points of landmass that jut out into the deep waters of the surrounding seas. In the north the Sulu Sea drops away close the shore line to great depths, these oceanic trenches channel nutrient rich waters which is a reason for the rich abundance of marine life that can be found here. Off the western coastlines of Northern Sulawesi there are a number of islands that make up the Bunaken Marine Park, the reefs here are characterised by plunging wall drop offs, spectacular coral life and colourful reef fish, turtles are commonplace here and pelagics such as baracuda and jacks show up occasionally. Just 1.5 hrs by road transport to the eastern coastline of Sulawesi is the Lembeh Strait, a channel of water no less than a kilometer apart that is home to an incredible diversity of marine life yet all together different topography. As if in complete contrast the magnificent reefs of Bunaken the slopes here consist of black sand and at first appear baron and lifeless. But with time and patience you’ll be rewarded, over generations marine life has adapted and evolved here to create an incredible range of bottom dwellers & invertebrates that compete furiously as predator and prey. Frogfish, gurnards, nudibranchs, ghost pipefish and octopus among many others that would be otherwise rare in other parts of the world are commonplace here.
A combination tour of North Sulawesi featuring Bunaken Marine Park and the Lembeh Straits is the best way to see the regions highlighs whilst enjoying varied and exciting diving. Follow the link for more information on diving in North Sulawesi.