Uncover North Sulawesi – Bunaken & Lembeh

Make as many as 18 dives in Bunaken, Lembeh AND Bangka during this wonderful combination trip in North Sulawesi.
Travel period
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Boatdiving, Shore diving
Starting at
12 days from €1809,- p.p

Combination diving trip in North Sulawesi

Would you like to make as many different dives as possible in one diving vacation? Come to North Sulawesi in Indonesia! We have put together a beautiful combination trip in collaboration with Lumbalumba Dive Resort and Pulisan Dive Resort. The combination of a diving vacation to Bunaken National Park, Lembeh Strait and Bangka Island in Indonesia offers divers the opportunity to experience the very best of the country’s marine biodiversity. Each destination has its own unique features and diverse marine life.

Bunaken National Park, located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, has more than 90 different types of coral and more than 390 species of fish, including large schools of fish, sea turtles and even the occasional shark.

Lembeh Strait, on the other hand, is considered the “muck diving capital of the world” and is known for its unusual and rare species. The strait’s sediment-rich waters and unique topography attract an incredible variety of critters and macro life, such as the mimicking octopus, blue-ringed octopus, flamboyant squid and many species of nudibranchs.

Finally, Bangka Island offers a different diving experience, with its volcanic black sand bottom and the presence of many species of hard and soft coral, and a wide variety of fish. The island is also known for its excellent macro diving, with the presence of many species of pygmy seahorses, ghost whistle fish and angler fish.

  • Visibility is 15 to 35 meters
  • Currents are usually mild and sometimes strong
  • Plenty of dive sites for the novice diver
  • Late December to late February more wind and then the resort is closed.

Best travel time: The best time to dive in Sulawesi is between April and November. This period is considered the “dry season” with the least amount of rainfall and the calmest seas. Visibility is also at its best during this time, allowing divers to fully appreciate the vibrant coral and varied marine life the area is known for.

Good to know: You can also take this trip the other way around, meaning you go to Pulisan first and then Lumbalumba.

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Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for Bunaken, Bangka and Lembeh

A 3 mm wetsuit is recommended. Water temperatures in Bunaken, Bangka and Lembeh range from about 27-29°C throughout the year.

What will you experience on this trip?

View itinerary here

Day 1 - Travel to Manado

Today begins the journey to Manado in Sulawesi. From Europe, you go either via Singapore or via Jakarta to Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi. The trip takes about 20 to 25 hours, depending on the route and airline. Many airlines, including Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways, offer good flights to Manado. If desired, we will arrange a hotel at the first stop so you can continue your journey the next day rested.

It is a hefty trip be but the reward is the wonderful diving experience and the natural beauty of the area.

Day 2 - Arrival in Manado

Today you land at Manado airport, where your adventure begins. Your first dive destination will be Bunaken National Park, and you will dive using the Lumbalumba dive resort. Upon arrival at the airport, a Lumbalumba staff member will already be waiting to take you to the resort. The ride usually takes between 40 and 60 minutes.

Once you arrive at the resort, it’s time to check in and settle into your accommodations. The vacations have really started now! After such a long trip, it is great to relax for the rest of the day, and the resort’s pool provides the perfect opportunity for this. You can also have a preliminary chat with the dive instructors and staff at the dive center to discuss which dives you will be doing over the next few days.

Day 3 to 6 Diving around Bunaken & Manado

Over the next 4 days you will make 2 dives each day in Bunaken. Lumbalumba dives in small groups and works with flexible schedules. They have a private pier across the resort (just cross the main road) with the dive center. There are professional and well-trained dive guides employed to take care of everything for you so no lugging your own diving equipment. Everything is rinsed and dried for you.

A diving day usually begins at 8:30 a.m. With the boat you sail to the dive sites and make two dives in the morning. If you wish you can add a 3rd dive to this, then enjoy a delicious lunch on the boat and sail back to the resort after the 3rd dive. Included in the package, is one unguided (but with your own buddy) house reef dive, during the day. A night dive is also possible on the house reef or a nearby reef, accompanied by a dive guide, for an additional fee.

Day 7 - Transfer by boat to Pulisan

By boat you will sail from the Lumbalumba resort to the Pulisan resort. Along the way, you will make two more dives.

The total duration of the boat trip is about 6.5 hours, including the dives.

In case you don’t feel up to such a long boat ride after all, we can also arrange a transfer by car over land. Then you can make 2 more beautiful boat dives at Lumbalumba in the morning and leave for Pulisan by car after lunch. Feel free to indicate this if you prefer.

Upon arrival at the Pulisan resort (around 2:30 pm) you will check in, your dive gear will be moved to Pulisan’s dive shop and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 8 - Diving at Bangka Island

One of the highlights of diving at Bangka Island is the diversity of coral formations. The island is covered in colorful soft coral and there are also impressive pinnacles, muck diving sites and challenging reefs to be found.

These dive sites are not only beautiful to see, but also home to a variety of marine life that you won’t want to miss.

For example, dugongs are one of the most iconic sea creatures you can encounter at Bangka Island. These cute manatees love to swim around in the warm waters around the island and are a rare and unforgettable sight for divers. Other interesting animals you may encounter while diving at Bangka Island are white tip reef sharks, pygmy seahorses and angelfish.

All this just a 15-minute boat ride from the Pulisan Resort!

Day 9 - Diving at Lembeh Strait

Diving in Lembeh is an unforgettable experience. The Strait of Lembeh is known for its vast black sand areas, where you can discover a special underwater world found nowhere else. It is one of the few places in the world where you can find a large number of unusual and rare marine species found nowhere else. While diving in Lembeh, look out for the unusual critters scouring the sea floor: hairy angler fish, (mimic) octopuses, stargazers, nudibranchs, seahorses, flamboyant cuttlefish, graceful pipefish, scorpion fish and more.

In addition to the extraordinary critters that live on the sea floor, Lembeh is also home to countless beautiful corals and sponges.If you love underwater photography, Lembeh is the perfect place for you. Underwater photographers from all over the world come to Lembeh to photograph the rare and unusual critters found here.

Best of all, Lembeh is easily accessible from Pulisan Resort, with only thirty-five minutes by boat. This means you can be at the dive sites in no time and enjoy the beautiful underwater world of Lembeh.

Day 10 - Diving at Sulawesi Cap

One of the highlights of diving in the North Sulawesi Cap are the beautiful coral reefs. Dotted with soft and hard corals, these reefs offer a brilliant color spectrum and an abundance of fish species. Divers may encounter schools of colorful reef fish, nudibranchs and sea turtles here, among other things.

The pinnacles in this area offer a challenging diving experience with stunning ocean views. In these locations, there is a good chance of seeing large pelagic fish such as sharks and rays.

Diving along the drop-offs in the North Sulawesi Cap offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the dramatic underwater landscapes this region has to offer. At these sites, divers can enjoy spectacular views of deep chasms and vertical walls covered with beautiful coral and a variety of marine life.

With only a fifteen-minute boat ride from the Pulisan Resort, the dive sites of the North Sulawesi Cap are easily accessible.

Day 11 & 12 - Return home

The beautiful combination trip is over. Today you begin your journey back to the Netherlands. Often the flight is in the afternoon or evening, so you can still do 2 dives on day 10. The Pulisan Resort will transfer you to Manado airport after which you will board the plane to Europe.

Not had enough of Indonesia yet? Did you know that you can fly directly from Manado to Raja Ampat (Sorong)? Raja Ampat, located in the famous Golden Triangle, is No. 1 on the bucket list for many divers thanks to its great biodiversity. Did you know that as many as 1,300 species of fish have been counted? Bizarre. Oh and there are mantas!

The accommodation

The stay and surroundings

Lumbalumba Resort Manado

Lumbalumba Resort is beautifully situated on a hill with breathtaking views of Bunaken volcano. Despite its small size, Lumbalumba offers an array of amenities, including a swimming pool and a beautifully landscaped garden of no less than 3.5 acres, which has been meticulously cared for.

The resort features 4 detached chalets, each with its own name – Dolphin, Eagle Ray, Sea Horse and Turtle – each accommodating up to two guests. Located on a mountainside, these chalets offer spectacular views. Each chalet has a private bathroom with a sink, shower and toilet. In addition, the chalets are equipped with air conditioning or a fan. In the evening, you can relax in a hammock from your veranda and enjoy a breathtaking sunset.

In addition to the individual chalets, there is also a family chalet with 3 rooms – Starfish, Mandarin and Sepia – which can also be used separately. In addition, there is a new 2-bedroom double chalet at the top of the hill. These rooms, called Frogfish and Napoleon, are more spacious and an extra bed can be placed if necessary.

Pulisan Resort

Pulisan Resort is beautifully located away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. The resort is tucked under rolling hills and next to cliffs on the Minahasa Peninsula in North Sulawesi. Here you really experience a sense of seclusion. Just a stone’s throw from your bungalow you will find a soft white sand beach, with breathtaking views of Mount Tangkoko and Pulau Lembeh. So grab a book or your headphones, lean back in a hammock and enjoy relaxation time. Accommodation at Pulisan is on a full board basis, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinking water.

You cannot expect luxury at Pulisan; it is a simple accommodation where you can really disconnect from the everyday world. For the comfort of our guests, we book a Deluxe Room by default. The Deluxe Bungalow is decorated in the traditional Minahasa style and is located right on the beach, with stunning sea views. Deluxe bungalows offer a more spacious veranda, a western shower, a sitting toilet and a comfortable double bed.

Travel costs

What is included

This travel package is €1809 per person based on two people in one room. The trip can be extended as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.

Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.

Want to know more about the possibilities? Get in touch with us!

Included in this trip, from €1809,- p.p.

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