Located in northern Sulawesi, a K-shaped island bordering Malaysian Borneo, Manado and the Bunaken Marine Park teem with life; almost 400 species of coral and 90 species of fish reside in the area, making for wonderful opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Within Bunaken are about 20 villages, home to 35,000 people - most of whom reside in the shadow of the volcanoes that dominate the island. With only about 10,000 international visitors a year, Manado and Bunaken are well off the beaten path, and a worthwhile destination.


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Culinary Delights

Manadonese, or Minahasa, cuisine is famous for two things: first, the Manadonese cook almost anything, and second, their foods are the spiciest in the entire country. In addition, sugar is little used; instead, cooks prefer to add flavor through lemons and herbs. Also, as the population of the area is predominantly Christian, the Manadonese often cook pork, and marinate it in alcohol as well.

Diving and Snorkeling

Opened in 1991 as one of the first Marine Parks in Indonesia, Bunaken measures five islands, and approximately 89,000 hectares (roughly 36,000 acres) of warm, tropical waters.

Kali Waterfall

Trek to the Kali Waterfall, a roaring cascade of water that shoots over jungle cliffs. Over the river is a neat little bridge, which offers an excellent vantage point from which to take pictures, or simply admire the beauty of the falls.

Tangkoko Nature Reserve

First established in 1919, Tangkoko Park has seen some several additions over the years, and is now home to hundreds of birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians; notable creatures include the Tarsius monkey, which at 3 inches, or 10 centimeters, is the second tiniest monkey in the world.


A charming little town, Tomohon is surrounded by a troika of active volcanoes. Due to its higher elevation, Tomohon enjoys a cooler temperature than the rest of Sulawesi - and offers a variety of pleasant walking and hiking activities, including art galleries, waterfalls, and traditional markets.

Underwater Life

Within Manado are just under 400 species of coral, about seven times more than Hawaii; in addition, of all the species of fish in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, 70 percent can be found in the confines of the park.


Mount Lokon, Mount Masarang and Mount Mahawu are all within a half hour of Manado. The Mount Mahawu Volcano Trek involves a one hour hike to the edge of the volcano’s crater edge. From this vantage point, trekkers will be able to see the Manado Tua and Bunaken Islands. The bottom of the crater features a steaming lake of sulfur-laced water.

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