Manado and the Lembah Straits
Most divers who visit North Sulawesi head for Manado, focusing on the wall-dives around Bunaken National Park and the remarkable biodiversity of the Celebes Sea. Two hours from Manado the Lembeh Straits provides a different style of underwater exploration, with fewer divers in the water, plenty of fish and the added bonus of muck diving through the volcanic black sands. Throw in a really good resort with genuine five-star standards and you have a unique destination for pleasure above and below the water.
Singapore Airlines combine with SilkAir to offer flights into Manado from anywhere in the world. For travellers from Australia the route via Singapore instead of Jakarta is less hassel and quicker when clearing passport control.
Lembeh Hill Resort is one of those places where luxury comes with a smile and a bit of personal style. Dive packages are well priced and the remote location is its own kind of lixiry.
Gardenia Resort offers views of the volcanoes and a serenely green environment with lovely hosts, cultural connections and great cuisine.
Tasik Ria Resort is popular with divers heading into Bunaken National Park. Comfortable accommodation with an excellent dive team operated to international standards.
For a little more detail and inspiration on Sulawesi, read the travel feature in Escape from August 14, 2011...
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