The northern part of Sulawesi, previously referred to as Celebes, is an ideal starting or ending point for yacht trips and visits. Manado and Bitung are two cities that provide good amenities for yachts either starting or concluding their journey. Manado, being the main city, offers great provisioning, an international airport, golf courses, national parks, and renowned diving experiences on its surrounding islands. On the other hand, Bitung, the international port located on the east side, is situated in the well-protected Lembeh strait and offers all necessary facilities, from check-in to bunkering, as well as exceptional muck diving.
North Sulawesi boasts some of the wealthiest waters in Indonesia and is a treasure trove of opportunities to explore its natural beauty, both above and below the water, as well as its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes, which include towering volcanoes and lush jungles. The famous diving destination, Bunaken Island, is well-known for its diversity of marine life and easy access to Manado. The region has the highest percentage of endemic bird life in the world and provides a chance to spot the Tarsier, one of the smallest primates known to man. The Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve, just a short distance from Manado, spans 8700 hectares and includes three mountain ranges – Mt Tangkoko, Mt Dua Saudara, and Mt Batuangus. The area protects hundreds of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, more than half of which are endemic to the region. Some of the notable species include the black Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, Sulawesi dwarf cuscus, knobbed hornbill, Sulawesi hornbill, and maleo. One of the most intriguing species is the Babirusa, also known as the “wild pig with a dental problem”. This species have tusks that grow out of the top of their snout and, if not broken or cut, can curve back and penetrate into its forehead. The Togean Islands, are a paradise that offers a unique experience of all three major reef environments – atoll, barrier, and fringing reefs. The islands, with their islets, fringing reefs, and stunning beaches, provide a perfect marine paradise. The indigenous sea people of the Bajau, the 500-meter Colo volcano on nearby Una Una island, the millions of stingless jellyfish in Mariona lake, and the rich reefs, make the Togean Islands a must-visit destination. The area also offers interesting WWII wreck dives, including a sunken B-24 bomber plane at depths of 14 to 22 meters.
Gorontalo is a city with a rich history and stunning scenery. Its fertile valley, naturally defensive harbour, and surrounding mountains made it an important agricultural trading hub for the Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. The Portuguese built Otanaha fortress, which protects the valley. The oceans surrounding Gorontalo are also home to congregations of Whale Sharks, making it an excellent place to encounter these magnificent giants. The remote Sangihe Island group is a string of volcanic islands that extend towards the Philippines. These islands are one of the last frontiers of diving in the region. Each island offers a unique experience, with abundant opportunities to encounter large schools of sharks and active underwater volcanoes. The Mahangetang Underwater Volcano, where you can dive just 6 meters below the surface and immerse yourself in the hot water bubbles.