Diving in Indonesia, Sulawesi Island

North Sulawesi – Sangie Talaud Archipelago

According to Computerannals.com, the islands north of Manado, forming a kind of bridge between Sulawesi and the Philippines, make up the Sangie Talaud archipelago – one of the last pristine, virgin corners of the planet. The archipelago includes 77 remote, hard-to-reach islands of volcanic origin, forty-seven of them are inhabited by people. On the islands covered with green jungle, there are many volcanoes, including active ones, so these places, along with Hawaii, are included in the so-called “Circle of Fire”.

Traveling here from Manado by speedboat takes about six hours. The main city of the archipelago and its administrative center, Tahuna, is located on the island of Sangie Besar. Here you can find a couple of modest but quite tolerable hotels, several bars and restaurants, local shops sell ebony crafts and hand-embroidered fabrics. The island has Gunung-Au volcano (1320 meters).

In its crater, a beautiful lake sparkles with contrasting tricolor water – dark green, light green and white. Just 30 kilometers from Takhuna, in the middle of the sea, one of the most unique dive sites in the region is located – the active underwater volcano Mahangetang, whose peak rests at a depth of 8 meters. In the coastal waters of the archipelago, “sea” crocodiles are found, reaching seven meters in length and distinguished by rare viciousness.

Type of reefs – dumps, underwater peaks, walls;
accessibility – safari boat; visibility – average, about 10-15 meters;
current – strong, unpredictable;
corals – in a good condition;
fish – in very large numbers, extremely diverse;
the main advantages are the wealth of the underwater world and the underwater volcano.

You can get to this island only on a safari ship, the situation with which in North Sulawesi is, to put it mildly, tense. But the journey is worth it. In addition to the magnificent views that open from the deck of the ship, the virgin beauty of the underwater world brings great pleasure and satisfaction from the journey. Coral gardens are magnificent, reefs resemble tropical aquariums.

An underwater volcano deserves special attention – a completely cosmic landscape, a mass of unusual yellow and brown algae and corals. Perhaps in Indonesia there are more beautiful and picturesque sites, but it is unlikely that they are more unique and unusual. Another memorable place is the mysterious sunken village that sank to the bottom of the ocean as a result of the devastating earthquakes that hit the region in 1963. At a depth of 25 meters, you can see the remains of stone houses with doors and streets. A very strange sight.

Recommended dive sites:
Mahengetang (underwater volcano).
Drowned Village (sunken village).
Nenung Pinnacles (underwater peaks, caves, sharks, sponges).

South and central Sulawesi

Type of reefs – atolls, walls, dumps;
accessibility – speedboat;
visibility is excellent;
current – from moderate to strong, especially during high and low tides;
corals – in excellent condition;
fish – in very large numbers, extremely diverse;
the main advantages are atolls.

South and Central Sulawesi cannot compete with the northern part of the island either in popularity or in the degree of development of diving and tourist infrastructure. However, for those who prefer to dive in wild, little-studied places, where you won’t meet a single diver’s soul for kilometers of water, these places will seem like paradise.

One hundred and fifty virgin coral reefs, a huge variety of fish, excellent visibility, unexplored wrecks from the Second World War at 20-40 meters, fantastic walls near the islands of Kaposang and Lanyukang (depth 200 meters) – Cousteau and the Calypso team admired the beauty of this region for a reason ! There are atolls, barrier reefs, deep vertical walls, underwater rocks. Diving is especially good in the Spermonde archipelago, which is considered one of the most biologically rich regions in eastern Indonesia, the Tukang Besi archipelago and the Togian Islands.

Unlike the northern province, where you can dive all year round, it is better to go to South Sulawesi from March to November. Ideal months for diving: April-June and September-November. The monsoon season from December to February should be avoided as the sea is rough and it rains heavily during this time.

Recommended dive sites:

Ujung Pandang (magnificent corals – more than 300 types of hard corals, wrecks, sharks, groupers, Napoleons).

Bira/Selayar (excellent visibility, manta rays, dolphins, sharks, walls a few meters from the shore, very beautiful corals, lots of fish).

Tukang Besi archipelago (fantastic corals, nautiluses, dugongs, whales, dolphins, killer whales).

Diving in Indonesia, Sulawesi Island

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