Manado - Bunaken - Tangkoko - Minahasa - Sangihe/Talaud - Gorontalo - Togians

Bitung and Lembeh Strait

Bitung isn't really a major tourist attraction of North Sulawesi. The city is wide spread out and rather unattractive. However, it will be your entry or exit point to North Sulawesi if you arrive or leave by PELNI ship. There are also local ferries to other destinations, like Ternate in North Molucca. If your ferry leaves early in the morning you might want to spend the night there; buses from Manado are sometimes overcrowded or difficult to get shortly before the departure of a large ferry. I haven't discovered any recommendable budget accommodation but I haven't checked a lot of them. If you know of any please send me an email. If you can afford to spend a bit more money the Wisma Pelaut Bitung seems to be very nice, with swimming pool. Bookings can be made through Manado Safari Tours.

The adjacent island of Lembeh protects Bitung's natural harbour; the strait in between has gained a reputation of being the world's No. 1 place for divers interested in odd and rare macro fauna.

Please note: There is a one-time fee of Rp. 50,000 (US$ 5,-) by the Bitung city administration for diving at Lembeh.

Thre are close to 20 dive resorts at the Lembeh Strait, for all budgets. Some of them are located on Lembeh Island, others on the mainland north of Bitung:

The Lembeh Resort has very nice and luxurious accommodation.

A good and lower-priced alternative is the popular Divers Lodge Lembeh.

The Black Sand Dive Retreat Lembeh is another highly recommended resort, run by Bruce Moore and his wife Fung. Bruce is a real Lembeh expert!

Other options are the White Sands Beach Resort Lembeh by Eco Divers, Kasawari Lembeh Resort and Twofish Divers Lembeh.

This site was created in January 1998; the last major update was in November 2011.