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Manado, North Sulawesi

Mimic Octopus Eco DiversBunaken Marine Park Eco DiversEco DiversMalcolm Nobbs
  • Mimic Octopus Eco Divers
  • Bunaken Marine Park Eco Divers
  • Eco Divers
  • Malcolm Nobbs

Volcanic and Dramatic

The dominating volcanic landscape creates a dramatic backdrop to the world class diving available in North Sulawesi. Conditions are generally calm all year round, and the deep waters afford excellent visibility averaging 25m. The seas are home to many unusual species, ranging from the prehistoric ‘coelacanth’ fish through to reef shark, green turtles, napoleon wrasse and dugongs. The majority of sites are easily accessible and they are rarely crowded. Manado is extremely popular with photographers, who relish the fascinating marine life, excellent conditions and facilities.

Diving in the region is concentrated over two areas: Bunaken National Marine Park and the Lembeh Straits.

Dive Bunaken National Marine Park

The Bunaken National Marine Park has won numerous international conservation awards and is home to the majority of the dive sites that are accessible from Tasik Ria, Minahasa Lagoon and Siladen Resort & Spa.

Most of the reefs of the Bunaken National Marine Park are rich and unspoilt, offering pristine and abundant soft coral and fish life in huge concentrations. The night diving in the park is spectacular, providing frequent encounters with rare nocturnal creatures. For a change of scenery, the Molas wreck is remarkably intact for a WWII ship, the bow resting at 25m and the propeller at 40m.

The Bunaken National Marine Park consists of five islands: Bunaken, Manado Tua, Nain, Montehage, and Siladen, as well as a part of the North Sulawesi mainland. Diving in and around Bunaken is predominantly wall diving and drift diving. There are also numerous beautiful coral slopes that are suitable for novice divers. There are 22 official dive sites within the park. The variety of both fish and soft coral is outstanding, and marks out this area as one of the most bio diverse marine environments in the world. With visibility around 25m and water temperature 26-30 C, this is an excellent destination for underwater photographers and naturalists alike.

Schools of Barracudas and Jacks, Green Sea Turtles and reef sharks, Sea snakes and Napoleon wrasses are among the resident inhabitants of these steep coral walls fringing Bunaken Island.

View Bunaken National Marine Park dive sites >

Dive Lembeh Straits

The Lembeh Strait is world famous for its macro life and is accessible from Kungkungan Bay Resort and Eco Divers Resort Lembeh. This is arguably one of the finest destinations in the world for macro and photography enthusiasts.

Lembeh plays host to a cornucopia of weird and wonderful creatures that are found here and here alone. Diving is over shallow black sandy slopes where seahorses and nudibranches are found in abundance. Many of the species that are encountered are simply not found elsewhere. Inimicus devilfish, dwarf lionfish, scorpion fish, puffer fish, mimic octopus, pegasus sea moths, frogfish, ribbon eels and flying gurnards to name but a few.

The Lembeh strait is a unique dive destination and a haven for experienced divers who are looking for species that are unusual and rarely seen. The dive guides and instructors are extremely experienced in locating and identifying the many unusual species that are encountered from Kungkungan Bay Resort.

View Lembeh Straits dive sites >

Accommodation Options

Divers can easily combine stays between the resorts of Tasik Ria, Minahasa Lagoon and Siladen Island on the Bunaken side, with Eco Divers Resort Lembeh and Kungkungan Bay Resort on the Lembeh side. In addition the liveaboard Paradise Dancer - please ask for details. For more detailed information on these options, please refer to the individual resort and liveaboard pages and price panels.

Diving at Tasik Ria is with Tasik Ria Divers

Diving at Kungkungan Bay (KBR) is with Kungkungan Bay

Diving at Siladen Resort & Spa is with Siladen Resort & Spa

Diving at Minahasa Lagoon is with Eco Divers Manado

Diving at Eco Divers Resort is with Eco Divers Lembeh

As there are a finite number of dive spaces available at these resorts, divers are highly recommended to prebook their diving, particularly if you require any courses or speciality dives. Please ask us about the 'All-Inclusive' dive packs available with the accommodation.

Photography at Tasik Ria and KBR

These centres have a worldwide reputation for the quality of their photographic training and services. The dedicated facilities are staffed by qualified photography instructors and technicians, providing guests with some of the best underwater photographic support to be found anywhere.

The centres provides slide film and digital processing, along with both rental and sale of cameras, lens and strobes. PADI photography speciality courses are available and photo seminars with guest lecturers are held regularly through the year. The local crew are experienced in handling cameras and carrying out maintenance and repairs. Slide scanning and saving to CD services are also provided.

If you want to hone your buoyancy & photographic skills, especially macro photography, this is an excellent place to do it.

Tasik Ria Divers

The dive centre at Tasik Ria is managed by the highly experienced team, the '2 'Daniels', part of the original Eco Divers team. The dive centre is a PADI Gold Palm IDC Centre offering fully guided diving from their three purpose built day boats, in addition to two large speedboats and a local style wooden boat.

Day trips are offered to Bunaken Park giving divers a variety of wall, macro and muck diving opportunities. The centre also offer a range of courses taught in various languages by their highly qualified team of PADI and in-house trained NAUI instructors.

The 3 purpose built 16m dive boats have large dive platform plus full safety and navigation equipment. Each boat has a covered dining area, large sun deck, WC and can take 15 guests comfortably.

The centre offers a diver/guide ratio of 4:1 whenever possible, giving great personal service across all dive experience levels and abilities. It can also organise special day trips to dive the Lembeh straits' fabulous muck diving sites. For learner divers looking to take their first steps or gain more experience in a more far flung corner of the work, Tasik Ria offers this chance.

Click here to view a map of Bunaken and Manado dive sites >

Snorkellers / Non Divers

Full day's boat trip: £31
Includes lunch, refreshments and local 11% tax

Children on Boat

Under supervision of their parent/guardian at all times:
0 - 2 years: Not permitted
3 - 10 years: $20
11+ yrs: As adult price

Dive Packs

These prices apply if booking your diving separate to that of your accommodation, if you do NOT want to dive everyday of your stay. The price panels under the individual resorts also offer you the great value option of booking your accommodation inclusive of your diving.

3 days boat diving*    £211
4 days boat diving*    £248
5 days boat diving*  £309
6 days boat diving*     £371
7 days boat diving*    £433

* Includes: Up to 3 guided boat dives a day, air tanks, weights, lunch, refreshments and 11% local sales tax.

Dive Courses

PADI Scuba Diver Course     £201
PADI Open Water Course     £310
PADI Referral Course     £141
PADI Advanced Course      £250
PADI Enriched Air Diver *     £115

Includes: Dive equipment for learn to dive courses, manual (see exceptions to manual*) and certification fee. *Scuba Diver, Open Water Referral, individual Adventure Dives. 

* Includes study pack and certification fee. No dives included, but client will receive 50% off any Nitrox fills they purchase post course completion in resort.

Extras in Resort

  • Night dive: $39
  • Snorkeller/Non-diver full day boat trip including lunch:  $39
  • Bunaken Marine Park fee:
    Per visit: IDR 50,000 or $6
    Per calendar year: IDR 150,000 or $18
  • Lembeh Straits: supplement on prepaid diving day $45 approx + Lembeh Strait fee Rp. 50,000 ($6)

Equipment Rental - pay locally:

  • Full equipment: $30 per day
  • Regulator: $10 per day
  • BCD: $8 per day
  • Wetsuits: $6 per day
  • Masks, fins, boots: $5 each
  • Computer: $5 per day
  • Torch: $8 per day

Local sales tax payable in resort:
Sales tax:  11%

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Kungkungan Bay Resort Divers

The expertly run PADI dive centre at “KBR” is based around 'muck' diving and the area's extraordinary variety of macro life, hiding in the black sandy slopes and stunning coral heads.

A maximum group size of just 4 guests per guide is provided, to allow plenty of space for photographers and a gentle pace of diving. The dive centre have a fleet of fast speedboats allowing access to all 56 dive sites from the resort's own jetty, all within a 15 minutes radius.

The resorts guides have finely tuned vision to spot a dive site's rare critters, finding camouflaged and elusive creatures where you swear there are none! The dedicated dive team, headed up by Stefan Soh, will look after your equipment, rinse it down after a days diving and store it for you in a security watched area. At the end of the week the centre will wash and dry your equipment ready to take home. 

Group Offers

1 free in 10 on accomodation & diving - conditions apply

Dive Packs

These prices apply if booking your diving separate to that of your accommodation, if you do NOT want to dive everyday of your stay. The price panels under the individual resorts also offer you the great value option of booking your accommodation inclusive of your diving.

2 Boat dives     £63
4 Boat dives    £125
6 Boat dives     £188
8 Boat dives     £251
10 Boat dives     £282
12 Boat dives     £338
14 Boat dives    £394
16 Boat dives     £451
18 Boat dives     £508
20 Boat dives     £533
4 House reef dives    £31
6 House reef dives     £63

Includes: Boat dives, air tanks, weights, guide and local taxes at 21%.

Dive Courses

PADI Scuba Diver Course     £155
PADI Open Water Course     £233
PADI Referral (4 dives)     £108
PADI Advanced Course      £188

Includes: Dive equipment for learn-to-dive courses, manual and certification fee.

Extras in Resort

  • Lembeh Strait fee: Rp. 50,000 (approx.$6)

Equipment Rental - paid locally per day:

  • Full equipment: $45 per day
  • Regulator: $17 per day
  • Computer: $17
  • BCD: $12 per day
  • Wetsuits: $12
  • Mask: $8
  • Fins: $8
  • Boots: $8
  • Torch: $12

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Siladen Resort & Spa Dive Centre

Siladen Resort & Spa's PADI dive centre operates exclusively to guests staying at Siladen Resort and Spa. Running a professional and small, friendly outfit, they place high emphasis on protection of the national marine park and its environment.

The multi-lingual dive centre operates with a maximum of 5 divers to each guide and offers an intro dive to non-divers free of charge if staying 7 nights or more. It has access to 50 excellent dive sites and special trips on request to Lembeh, Bangka & Popo. Night dives are offered every night.

There are no shore dive sites available; the diving is operated from 3 traditional Indonesian style vessels with a maximum of 8 to 12 guests per boat.

It is compulsory to dive with a dive computer in resort. Each diver must have their own computer.

Diving with knives and gloves is not permitted in the Bunaken National Marine Park.

Dive Packs

We recommend you pre-book your dive packs with Regaldive prior to departure in order to secure your diving benefit from slightly lower rates than you will pay in resort. Pre-booked rates include the locally charged 21% government and service taxes.

Dive Pack Prices 

From 01 May 2013 After 01 May 2014  
6 boat dives (Air) £163 £182 
11 boat dives (Air) £275 £333
15 boat dives (Air)     £344  £407
20 boat dives (Air)     £417  £543
25 boat dives (Air)     £470  £626

Includes: Guided boat dives with air tanks, weights, weight belts, refreshments and local 21% government sales and service tax.

Dive Pack Prices

From 01 May 2013  After 01 May 2014
6 boat dives (Nitrox)  £182 £213
11 boat dives (Nitrox)  £310  £390
15 boat dives (Nitrox) £391  £485
20 boat dives (Nitrox) £480  £647
25 boat dives (Nitrox) £548  £757

Includes: Guided boat dives with Nitrox, weights, weight belts, refreshments and local 21% government sales and service tax.

Dive Courses

A variety of PADI courses are available on request in resort.

Extras in Resort

  • Nitrox: €5 per fill
  • Special trips to Lembeh, Bangka and Popo on request

Equipment Rental:

The resort carries 100 x 12 litre aluminium tanks with INT and DIN valves along with smaller tanks for children. DIN Adapters are also available.

Equipment Rental Prices per dive:

  • Full diving equipment (6 dives or more per day): €16
  • Fins, Mask, Snorkel: €5
  • Boots: €5
  • BCD: €5
  • Regulator: €5
  • Wetsuit: €5
  • Computer: €3.50
  • Torch: €5

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Eco Divers Manado

Based at the beautiful Minahasa Lagoon, Eco Divers offers its renowned personal diving and snorkelling services. A maximum group size of just 4 guests per guide is attained whenever possible, to allow plenty of space for photographers and a gentle pace of diving and the dive centre is kitted out with a dedicated camera room and well-designed jetty.

Eco Divers Manado have purpose built dive boats with modern facilities in traditional style, equipped with toilet, rinse tanks and sundecks. Small groups of 8 divers are taken out for 2 morning dives and a leisurely afternoon dive if you have booked that option. A variety of speciality and further dive education courses are also available in addition to those listed below.

Group Offers

  • 1 free in 10 on accomodation & diving - conditions apply, please enquire

Extras in Resort

  • Bunaken Marine Park fee:
    Per visit: IDR 50,000
    Per calendar year: IDR 150,000

Equipment Rental guideline prices - EURO per dive - paid locally:

  • Full equipment (Regulator, BCD, Wetsuit, Mask and Fins): €8
  • Regulator: €8
  • Computer: €6
  • BCD: €6
  • Wetsuit: €6
  • Mask: €4
  • Fins (and boots as required): €4
  • Torch: €4

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Eco Divers Resort Lembeh

Well established in Manado, Sulawesi, Eco Divers Resort Lembeh offers a small, professionally run dive experience. Divers join the boat Nautica, 15 minutes drive from the Eco Divers Resort. Nautica is your floating base during the day, taking you from site to site. Nautica offers a shaded salon, two toilets, shower, tea and coffee facilities and a large sundeck. A hot buffet lunch is served on-board each day.

Dives are conducted from 2 speedboats, with jump gate for ease of entry / exit and steel ladder. Each boat takes 8 divers and has tank racks and a seated dive deck. Wherever possible, a ratio of 4:1 divers: guide ratio is aimed for. Guests may charge their cameras or bring their laptop onto the boat as an onboard generator is available.

Dive Packs

Included in the package (except day of check-in and check-out). Full day boat trips with up to 3 day-dives per day, air tanks and weights. Refreshments are included during diving.

Dive Courses

A range of PADI and CMAS learner diver, further training and speciality courses are available, please enquire.

Extras in Resort (pay locally)

Nitrox fill: €5 per fill
Night Dive: €40 per dive

Equipment Rental guideline prices - EURO per dive - paid locally:

  • Full equipment (Regulator, BCD, Wetsuit, Mask and Fins): €8
  • Regulator: €8
  • Computer: €6
  • BCD: €6
  • Wetsuit: €6
  • Mask: €4
  • Fins (and boots as required): €4
  • Torch: €4

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Manado is easily reached via Singapore with a connection flight time of around 3.5 hours, into Manado International airport. There are 4 connections per week to/from Singapore - Manado and daily flights to Singapore from the UK.

Flights may also be available with Etihad, Emirates and Gulf Air, with separate ticket Jakarta - Manado with LionAir.

Getting Around

Anyone booking the full package through Regaldive will receive local supplier assistance from the moment they exit customs at the airport, and all our packages include land and boat transfer where applicable, unless otherwise requested.

Taxis are readily available, but it is recommended that you seek assistance from reception at your local place of stay for any additional travel and excursion arrangements you may wish to make in situ.

Climate

You can enjoy fine diving year round in Manado.  Located just above the equator, temperatures remain constant throughout the year with highs near 33°C and lows that rarely fall below 27°C.  Humidity may be high during the rainy season.  The water temperature ranges between 27°C and 29°C.

The sunniest season is from April to November.  It does rain through out the year, with rainfall rising between December and March. Showers tend to be brief and heavy.

If you are looking to enjoy some rainforest walks or white water rafting, it is better to travel in the rainy season (but again it is year-round) because that is when the forest and highlands are watered and are at their most lush.

In Water Protection

We suggest a 3mm or 5mm full suit (or dive-skin for those who do not feel the cold) for divers and snorkellers, to protect against any stinging hydroids.

Land Clothing

It is normally shorts and T-shirts by day (even if it rains, because it is warm tropical rain) in resort.  The night time dress code is light and casual.  If you are venturing any further, we recommend more modest dress with loose fitting clothing.

Time

Manado is +7-8 hours ahead of GMT depending on summer/winter time in UK

Languages

The official language spoken is Indonesian.  English is widely spoken.

Currency

Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Approximate rates:
£1 = 14,500 IDR
€1 = 12,000 IDR
$1 = 9,500 IDR

As of May 2012.

All resorts accept Rupiah, Euro and US Dollars. Exchange rates are usually published every day at the reception.  Visa and Mastercard are also accepted in all the resorts but may incur a local bank charge and card transactions are billed in Rupiah.  British Pounds are not accepted in Manado - only US Dollars, Euros and Indonesian Rupiah.  USD$ from 2001 or before are not accepted in most of Manado (also ripped/dog eared/written on) so it is better to get new issues if possible.

You can withdraw cash in Rupiah from the ATMs at the local banks, provided you have your PIN number with you.  Also, if you make it to town before 2pm, you can draw up to Rp 3,000,000 on a Visa card or Mastercard inside the banks (you must present your passport with your credit card).

It is not possible to use travellers' cheques in local shops, dive centres and resorts. Travellers' cheques can only be cashed in the bank by the owner of the cheque, with a form of photo I.D.

Tipping

Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world.  Some local staff look to guests for personal recognition of particular services offered.

Electricity

220 volt electricity with standard European round pin electricity plugs.

Activities

Manado is the regional capital of North Sulawesi and serves as an ideal base to explore this area of outstanding natural beauty. Trek to the Kali Waterfall and the "Tangkoko" rainforest where the world's smallest primate, the Tarsier monkey, lives. You can climb a volcano or take to white-water rafting. Then there's the geography of the area including paddy fields, spice plantations and markets. Excursions are available from all the resorts.

Night Life in Manado

Should you wish to try the local cuisine in town one night, you can reach Manado town from Tasik Ria Resort in around 30 minutes by taxi. These can be easily ordered through the hotel reception and cost about US$6 each way. Manado's "Warung" restaurants offer excellent seafood, Asian and (some) western food cuisine. Eating out is extremely cheap, with most meals costing only around US$5. After dining, there is a reasonable but limited nightlife - a few good bars with live bands playing most nights; you can also shop at night for clothes and snacks.

Guests at both Siladen Resort & Spa and KBR are more limited in outside evening activities due to their location. Guests staying in Eco Divers Resort Lembeh are based on the outskirts of Bintang town.

Flight Information

Flights with Singapore are with Singapore airlines, via Singapore into Manado International airport. There are currently 4 connections per week to and from Singapore to Manado. Flights from London Heathrow to Singapore are daily.

Flights may also be available with Etihad, Emirates and Gulf Air, with separate ticket Jakarta – Manado with LionAir.

Flight duration:

London - Singapore 12 hours and 40 min
Singapore - Manado 3 hours and 35 minutes.

Departure tax:

Domestic travel: 40,000 Indonesian Rupiah
International departures: 100,000 Indonesian Rupiah

Passports

Passengers travelling to Manado should have minimum six months valid on their passport from the date of return to the UK, plus one full page free. Hotel receptions may be required to take a photocopy of your passport for registration purposes.

Visas

Visitors to Indonesia require a visa, which can be purchased on arrival at the airport. It is your responsibility to check that your passport complies with ndonesian entry requirements.

A 30 day visa costs US $25.
A 3 day visa costs US $10.

Vaccinations

There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Manado, although we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure with your GP or local travel clinic. There are plenty of chemists and dentists in Manado and the general hospital has a good recompression chamber. Further information on vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.

Tasik Ria Resort

Relaxed resort, very friendly and good dive centre

"I stayed at Tasik Ria for 7 nights in March which is quiet season. The resort is simple, but cheerfully relaxed and the staff incredibly friendly and helpful. The room was spacious, well equipped and clean with a lovely view of the pool and gardens. The bathrooms are a little tired but I understand these are scheduled to be updated soon. I hadn't dived for a while and needed to hire BCD and Regs. The quality of the equipment was good and they had an extra small which was great! The boats were fine if a lttle well used and the crew were fantastic. We were a small group and things might have been a bit less comfy if the boat was full. The diving was great, lots of interesting things to see and visibility was better than expected for the end of the rainy season. There were some currents and drift dives were order of the day. The 4:1 ratio for divers to guide was great and the guides were brilliant at spotting things I would have missed. It also gave me some reassurance as I was the least experienced of our group with only 40 dives.

For postives and negatives:

Positives: Daniel the Manager was outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble. As we were a small group he arranged for us to eat together and decide our preferred menu style. The food was great, we all the liked the spicy local variety of Indonesian food and the chefs were great. Lots of fresh fish and seafood, noodles, rice and vegetables. Other likes were the local beer and the quiet relaxed feel of the resort. I took the optional trip to Bunaken which was amazing. I hadn't muck dived before and we saw so many weird and wonderful things - a real must if you go- though I wouldn't spend a whole trip there.

Negatives: the biggest issue relates to the area generally rather than the resort - and that is plastic litter. Some areas were sadly spoilt by litter floating in the sea. The Indonesian government really needs to provide better waste collection and education before the area is ruined. Bunaken was particularly bad, although the wildlife has adapted and actually uses some of the debris for shelter."

Paula Kingdon - Devon, UK | 03 April 2013

8
Guest rating: 8/10 (1 vote)

Kungkungan Bay Resort

KBR

"The good - the diving! It really is critter capital. It's also diamond service - no lugging kit back and forth, it's all done for you - now I'm a bit obsessive about my rig and wouldn't dream of getting in water without checking it myself but these guys are good - it was right every time.
The dive guides are good - there's a wish list on the white board and these guys really do try and find what people want to see. Only very minor gripe - I booked dive packages via Regal based on two dives a day and three is very much the norm so I paid in resort prices for additional ten dives.
Accommodation ? Fine, ageing slightly but still very much fit for purpose.
Spa - Used by my non diving partner and apparently amazing and excellent value.
Excursions - off gassing day - we went on "jungle" walk to see Tarsier - good value for money.
Pool bar - mmm - didn't see it open all week.
People - absolutely brilliant - seemed totally and genuinely happy to help and to see people have a good time.
My bucket list of destinations is extensive but I might well take a return trip to KBR."

Don Moffat - Bristol | 29 October 2013

9
Guest rating: 9/10 (1 vote)

Kungkungan Bay Resort

KBR

"This trip was our third visit to KBR, as with the two times before it was amazing. From the welcome at the airport to the whole experience everything continues to exceed our expectations. The staff are always happy and smiley and can't do enough to make your stay even more wonderful. The accommodation is clean, tidy and very spacious. The food is al a carte and freshly cooked at every meal. The diving is basically a land based liveaboard, the dive guides are truly amazing and try their upmost to find the critters that you wish to see, and how they spot the little critters remains a mystery to us!!! Everybody that we have spoken to, that have been to KBR always say that it is the best place they have every been to. "

Anna and Ivor - Uk | 14 March 2014

10
Guest rating: 10/10 (1 vote)

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5

Manado, North Sulawesi accommodation options

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Please email us any questions or booking enquiries...

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Questions or for help on choosing your trip call

01353 659 999

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Manado, North Sulawesi accommodation options

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Please email us any questions or booking enquiries...

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Questions? For help on choosing your trip call:

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Indonesia Facts

  • Area: 1,904,569 sq. km
  • Population: 237,424,363
  • Language: Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Time: GMT + 5-8 hours
  • Electricity: 230v, 50Hz, 2 pin plug

Manado, North Sulawesi Accommodation

View:

Eco Divers Resort Lembeh

Eco Divers Resort Lembeh offers the fantastic

Tasik Ria Resort

Tasik Ria Resort with its on site dive centre,

Kungkungan Bay Resort

Kungkungan Bay Resort is an impressive and

Minahasa Lagoon

Surrounded by tropical lush vegetation, the

Siladen Resort and Spa

Siladen Resort & Spa occupies a secluded