Manado is the main gateway to access one of the most applaud dive destinations in the world, Bunaken Marine Park. Over 70% of all the fish species in Indo-Western Pacific can be found in this region. The marine biodiversity is magnificent!
Manado city is the capital of North Sulawesi, a province of Indonesia. The economy of the city was previously driven by trades with nearby cities in Indonesia and Philippines. As time goes by, ecotourism took lead in bringing economic growth to the city. Scuba diving and snorkelling in 30 over diving sites in Bunaken National Marine Park, nature attractions in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve, and cultural sites in the Minahasa Highland are prime areas for tourism activities. The diving and non-diving activities make it an ideal destination for divers visiting with their non-diving family members.
Manado’s most popular dive sites include Mandolin, Timur and Siladen where the biodiversity of marine life is rich. On top of that, due to the regular visits by divers, the marine life at these sites are used to divers maneuvering around them making it easy for divers to take down beautiful shots with their cameras.
Although there are several dive resorts and hotels in this area, visitors are encouraged to make reservations for their stay prior to arriving. This is to prevent disappointment when the resorts and hotels are fully packed during peak seasons.
In terms of shopping, Manado may not be the best place to go for a shopping spree as there are only two big shopping malls here, Mega Mall and Bahu Mall. Although their range of products are not comparable to major shopping malls in Jakarta or Bali, the two shopping malls have shops and restaurants (including KFC and Pizza Hut) that will be able to meet all the basic requirements of visitors during their stay here.
Manado is also 90 minutes away (on car) from another city of North Sulawesi, Bitung, located at the east coast of North Sulawesi and faces Pulau Lembeh. Lembeh is another famous dive site in Asia, known for its muck diving.
Best Time to Dive Manado
You can dive all year-round at Manado. The best time to dive will be from April to October when the wind blows from south-east and the water stays relatively calm. Visibility averages at 25m and may go beyond 30m on some days.
Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport is linked directly to Singapore by SilkAir. The airport also serves domestic flights from Jakarta, Balikpapan, Surabaya, Makassar, Ternate, Denpasar/Bali, Timika, Sorong, Merauke, Jayapura and Bilu.
From the airport to Manado city, there are two types of land transport to choose from, Oplet or taxi. Oplet is a public transport (mini van) that charges between IDR 1,500 and IDR 5,000 per person for transportation from the airport to the city. The taxi charge to city will normally cost around IDR 50,000 to 60,000. The journey from the airport to city will take about 30 minutes. For comfort and safety reasons, foreign visitors are encouraged to take the taxi from airport.
Depending on the arrangement with the accommodations you are staying in, the transportation from airport to the accommodation can be free.
The following table lists down the flights arrival at Sam Ratulangi Airport. For the air transfers’ rates between Manado and the country of origin, you may visit http://www.wego.com/ and check out the list of flights available and their respective rates.
Manado arrival flights Garuda Indonesia departing daily from Jakarta, arriving Manado at 12:50, 23:30 and 09:10 local time. Lion Air departing daily from Jakarta, arriving Manado at 23:05, 09:10 and 14:00 local time. Batavia Air departing daily from Jakarta, arriving Manado at 20:30 and 12:50 local time. Silk Air departing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Singapore, arriving Manado at 13:05 local time. Merpati Nusantara Airlines departing on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Jayapura, arriving Manado between 15:00 and 18:00 local time. Manado departure flights Garuda Indonesia departing daily for Jakarta at 13:30, 07:00 and 10:30 local time. Lion Air departing daily for Jakarta at 06:55, 09:50, 14:45 local time. Batavia Air departing daily for Jakarta at 07:00, 13:35 local time. Silk Air departing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for Singapore at 13:45 local time. Merpati Nusantara Airlines departing on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays for Jayapura 04:45 local time.
Dive Site Family Diving Liveaboard Diving Wreck Diving Technical Diving Shore Diving 1. Pulau Siladen 2. Bunaken: Sachiko’s Point 3. Bunaken: Timur
Single Twin Triple Cocotinos Manado Resort fr S$440 fr S$300 fr S$270 La Rascasse Dive Resort fr S$550 fr S$370 fr S$350 Tasik Ria Resort fr S$410 fr S$300 fr S$300
For more details, refer to the Dive Resorts page.
The land and sea transfers are inclusive in all the diver and non-diver packages with any of the Manado Resorts.
Direct transfer from the Airport to the resort is available daily. The transfer time between the Airport and the resorts ranges from 25 minutes to an hour. No transit accommodation is needed in Manado. For transit accommodation in Jakarta, you may visit AsiaRooms to check out a comprehensive list of accommodations available.
One of the world most applaud dive destinations with more than 70% of all the fish species in Indo-Western Pacific, Manado has continuously been drawing avid divers from all over the world. This list of hand-picked dive packages offers the best of scuba diving in Manado.
Check before you go
- Passport expiry date (most countries require at least six months prior to the expiry date)
- Visa requirements
- Travel Insurance (make sure coverage for Scuba Diving is included)
- Medical status (Visit your doctor if you are unsure)