Location: North Sulawesi is on the Northern peninsula of the island of Sulawesi, South of Philippines and SouthEast of Malaysia. The province's capital and largest city is Manado, which is also the main gateway and the economic center of the province. Other major towns includes Tomohon and Bitung, the latter being the closest town to the Lembeh Strait.
Time Zone: GMT + 8 (same time-zone as Singapore)
Geography: Most of North Sulawesi is mountainous, and it has many active volcanoes, notably Mount Soputan. Mount Klabat on the Minahasa Peninsula rises to an elevation of 6,634 feet (2,022 metres). The coastal lowlands are narrow, the soils are fertile, and there are coral reefs offshore. The uplands are drained by many fast-flowing streams, including the Milango and the Marsa. The highlands are covered with rainforests of oak, chestnut, and various conifers; hillslopes have teak, ebony, and a dense ground cover of grasses and shrubs.
Population: As of the 2016 census of Indonesia, North Sulawesi's total population is 2.771.159.
Religion: Contrary to other province of Indonesia, most of the people of North Sulawesi adheres to Christianity.
Best time to visit: The diving in Lembeh is year-round. North Sulawesi has an equatorial climate with two seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season lasts from about November to March. The temperatures at sea level are uniform, varying by only a few degrees throughout the region, and throughout the year 78°- 82°F (25°- 28°C).
Arrival and departure: Most countries now have free VISA entry on arrival. Please see the How to Get Here page for more information on this. Departure tax: There is no longer any departure tax, at domestic or international airports.
Money Matters: Our prices are in USD. You may use USD, EURO Pound sterling, SIN$ or Indonesian Rupiah to pay. There are ATM machines at the airport. We accept Mastercard and VISA credit cards (we need to add a 2% surcharge on any credit card payments, which is what the bank charges us)
Electricity: European (two rounds pins) sockets, 220V
Basic History: North Sulawesi in the past was an area of spices, rice and gold which became a battleground for the interests of economic hegemony between the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and the Kingdoms around this area, which ultimately led to political and military struggles. The Portuguese first landed on the area in the 16th century. Following decades of war between the Portuguese, the Spanish and the Dutch to control the area, the area ultimately fell into Dutch hands in the 17th century. The Dutch ruled the area for three centuries, before being ousted by the Japanese on the eve of World War II. Following the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Dutch briefly regained possession of the area, before finally leaving for good in 1949. following the Round Table Conference, in which the Dutch recognized the newly created United States of Indonesia (RIS). Thus, North Sulawesi was incorporated into the territory of the State of East Indonesia (NIT). Because it was not in accordance with the will of the people, NIT was finally dissolved and then merged into the Republic of Indonesia. On 17 August 1950, the RIS is officially disbanded and then re-formed as the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. The island of Sulawesi was governed briefly as a single province, before being separated into several different provinces. Thus, the province of North Sulawesi was created on 14 August 1959.
Medical Points: The dive center is equipped with Oxygen and first aid. All boats carry a first aid kit and oxygen. Basic over the counter medicine is available upon request.
Medical facilities in North Sulawesi are basic. There are some hospitals which can handle the basics however for more serious injuries and/or conditions evacuation to Jakarta, Bali or Singapore may be required. All Divers are required to have medical insurance, whose advice will be followed in the event of any emergency. We can sign you up for instant DAN Short Term insurance, valid for either 10 or 30 days. Click here for more info
Malaria does exist in Sulawesi, though tends to be contained to rural areas. We fumigate the resort on a regular basis. No one we know has contracted malaria, but it is always a good idea to bring insect repellent to Lembeh and check with your physician.
Bonus Facts: Dive into Lembeh’s Logo is of the Lembeh Sea dragon (Lembeh Pygmy Pipedragon, Kyonemichthys rumengani) and is a recently discovered species that has been seen for the first time in Lembeh Strait in 2006. It belongs to the Family of seahorses and pipefishes and is closer related to them than to the actual seadragons that are known from Australia