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About Scuba Diving in Sulawesi

Once you go out to go scuba diving in Sulawesi, you will quickly realize why this is one of the prime scuba diving destinations on earth.

The island of Sulawesi receives life-giving currents from the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it is, therefore, rich with marine life, from colorful corals and beautiful fish to tiny reef creatures.

Scuba divers of all levels can enjoy getting into the warm waters off the north or south sides of the island, where the sea is calm and clear, providing perfect diving conditions. Stick to scuba diving in the northern waters if you are a beginner, as the currents are typically more calm and gentle there.

On the other hand, the southern side of the island may experience calm waters as well as stronger currents that more advanced divers would feel more comfortable and confident diving in.

No matter what time of year or where you dive, whether you are seeking a reef dive, muck dive, night dive, wall dive or the chance to take spectacular (macro) underwater photography, scuba diving in Sulawesi will not disappoint you.

Manado_north_sulawesi
Manado North Sulawesi

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When is the best time to go scuba diving in Sulawesi?

Scuba diving in Sulawesi is done all year round. Depending upon the region you want to explore, scuba diving conditions are most favorable at various times throughout the year.
If you want to scuba dive the waters of Bunaken then you should plan your visit between March and October for the most ideal conditions.

If you are interested in scuba diving Lembeh, expect the best time of year to be between July and August. It is best to dive the Manado area between June and August. Finally, March to December are the ideal months for diving in Wakatobi.

Scuba dive locations in Sulawesi

  • Bunaken National Park – This is a perfect dive location for all levels of divers, and it is often rated one of the top sites in the world. It is a protected area that the people of Sulawesi are working to conserve, offering a huge variety of marine life, making it also perfect for underwater photography.
  • Wakatobi – Located on the southern side of Sulawesi, Wakatobi offers pristine and colorful coral reefs that are packed with marine life of all kinds, and it is also a great for divers of all levels, from beginners to advanced.
  • Lembeh Strait – This area offers a number of dive sites that are perfect for muck diving, and which offer you the opportunity of viewing truly strange marine life, unlike any you will see at other dive sites in the world.

Read more about scuba diving in Indonesia

Marine Life Found in Sulawesi

No matter where you choose to go scuba diving in Sulawesi, you are guaranteed to see a huge variety of marine species, from large and healthy reef systems with diverse corals of all kinds to whales, dolphins, dugongs, sea turtles.

In the Lembeh Strait, you can find everything from frogfish, seahorses, nudibranchs, shrimps, eels, octopus, batfish, angelfish, cowfish, and much more. From tiny shrimp to large whales, you are guaranteed to see every type of marine life in the waters off Sulawesi.

About Sulawesi

Sulawesi is an island that is part of the Sunda Islands of Indonesia and it is the eleventh-largest island in the world. The island is truly beautiful and a natural paradise. It is perfect for nature lovers, as it features eight national parks to explore, half of which are mostly marine parks, perfect for divers and other water sports enthusiasts.

While staying on this incredible island, take in the large variety of wildlife, from marine life to mammals, birds, and reptiles. Once you are done exploring the forests and beaches, enjoy a meal at one of the many local restaurants where you can try the local cuisine. There are also bars to enjoy, along with shopping, museums, and more.

How to Get to Sulawesi?

To get to Sulawesi by plane, Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar and Sam Ratulangi International Airport, located in Manado, have international flights to and from Singapore, Davao/Philippines, and Kuala Lumpur, as well as other destinations in Indonesia.

Once on the island, you can travel around Sulawesi by both bus and taxi. You can also use one of the many Pelni ferry services to get to Sulawesi from other areas in Indonesia.

Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam, he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.

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