North Sulawesi

The province of North Sulawesi, with Manado as its capital, is a land of magnificent coral reefs protecting virgin white beaches and mountains. The Sangir-Talaud Islands to the north of the mainland form a natural passageway to the Philippines. Today, the main industries of the province are copra and cloves. North Sulawesi has the largest concentration of coconut trees in Indonesia.

Manado’s main attraction is off-shore; the truly incredible coral reefs off nearby Bunaken Island are now a Protected Marine Park and offer some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the world.

Read also : Sulawesi Travel Guide

North Sulawesi Places of Interest

Tasik Ria

is situated about 20 kilometers southwest of Manado and has a beautiful sandy beach fringed with coconut trees and is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, diving and snorkeling. Tasik Ria seashores resort features the four-star Manado Beach Hotel, with 250 rooms, a swimming pool, bar and a night club.


15 kilometers further southwest from Tasik Ria, this village has traditionally been the center of Minahasa culture and arts. Traditional dances enthrall visitors at Kemer Garden. There are World War II at Japanese caves at the Ranowangko Dam, and the Kemer natural bathing spot nearby in the shadow of volcano Lokon, Mount Kasehe and Mount Tatawiran.

Watu Pinabetengan

According to Minahasa history, this is the site where the ancestors first divided up the land among the people. A famous megalithic stone here bears crude, mysterious drawings and a script which has never been deciphered. It is located in Tompanso, about 45 kilometers from Manado.

Bukit Kasih

is a picturesque hill situated in the vicinity of Kanonang Village in Minahasa Regency, 55 kilometers from Manado. ‘Bukit Kasih’ or ‘Hill of Love’ is a spiritual epicenter where followers of different faiths can commune, meditate and worship in the fresh air and natural settings.

Manado Tua Island

Manado Tua is the main island of the Manado Bay group of islands. A path to the top of Central Mountain requires several hours to climb, but the view takes in all the islands in Manado Bay. The beach is a mixture of white sand and coral formations. The reef lines the coast of Tangkoko Batuangus is a nature reserve. A permit should be obtained from the Nature Conservation Office in Manado, before heading for its reserve.

Waruga Cemetery

This ancient cemetery of Minahasa ancestor consists of 144 stone sarcophagi, remnants of the megalithic age. ‘Waruga’ sarcophagi are unique square stones with holes in the middle of prism shaped lids. The tombs are carved with various motifs such as human beings, plants, animals, and traditional geometric motifs of clouds, lines, curls and double braids. The cemetery is located in Sawangan Village, about 24 kilometers from Manado.

Tangkoko Batuangus

An open grassland nature reserve covering the slopes of Mt. Dua Saudara, the park is composed of luxuriant green hills and valleys. Black apes, maleo birds, snakes, wild pigs, hornbills and deer live in the 3,196-hectares reserve. There are several cottages and small restaurants nearby. It is only reachable by 4WD vehicle from Girian Village over a rough road.

Dumoga Bone National Park

Located on the border between two districts, approximately 260 kilometers from Manado, this park straddles Dumoga in Bolaang Mongondow and Bone in Gorontalo. Its mountains and hills are blanketed in dense forests, making it an ideal habitat for rare species like the maleo bird, anoa, hornbill and tarsius spectrum (the smallest primate in the world).

Lake Tondano – Remboken

About 36 kilometers southwest of Manado is Lake Tondano, located 600 meters above sea level. The drive to Tondano passes through charming villages and sprawling clove plantations. Situated right on the edge of the lake is the Remboken Tourist site, an excellent place for skiing, fishing and boating. Bungalows, a natural hot water swimming pool and restaurants are available.

Lake Moat

Situated in the highlands about 900 meters above the sea level the lake is surrounded by a dense forest abound with birds.


Sparkling clean natural hot springs set in a gorgeous terraced paddy field make this a popular tourist destination. Bungalows are available at Koya village, about 3 kilometers from Tondano.

Wale Papatupan

Situated at Sonder Village, about 37 kilometers from Manado, Wale Papatupan is a sumptuous tourist spot with bungalows, a swimming pool, steam bath facilities, restaurants, fish ponds, and an open stage for cultural performances. It is easily reachable from Manado by public bus or taxi.

Japanese War Memorial

Bitung played an important part in the Pacific Wars of WWII as the home base for Japanese imperial forces. The Japanese and North Sulawesi governments jointly founded this monument in honor of the fallen.


About half an hour by motorized outrigger canoe from Manado, Bunaken Island is a veritable paradise for snorkeling and scuba enthusiasts. The coral reef off Bunaken Island is particularly noted for the drop-off at Liang Cove. It is described by international divers as being among the most spectacular in the world, with caves, gullies, and caverns harboring an immense wealth of marine life. The water averages a pleasant 28° C and visibility is over 30 meters.


is the provincial capital of North Sulawesi. This beautiful city has both scenic coastlines and a mountain range flanking its sides. Manado possesses an interesting mix of Indonesian, Filipino and Chinese cultural and architectural styles. Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport is one of several entry ports into the Indonesian archipelago. Manado’s fascinating ecotourism is its biggest attraction. Nearby Bunaken Island offers fabulous world-class scuba and snorkeling locations.

Saronde Island

This tiny but exquisite island is bordered by white-sand beaches perfect for swimming, boating, snorkeling, diving, and water skiing.

Read also : Sulawesi Tour