If you ask where in Indonesia you should go for a muck diving, we would recommend Bali, Lembeh, Wakatobi, Ambon, or Alor. Depends on how you set up your agenda, these destination can be pieced altogether and you can have them all in one go. Given a limited budget and time availability, you can narrow down your options between Bali or Lembeh (or maybe both!) Anyway, let’s talk more about Lembeh.
How to Reach Lembeh
Lembeh is an island in north Sulawesi, located across the town of Bitung. The strait that forms between Lembeh island and Bitung is a haven to many critters hence it famously known as Lembeh Strait.
To get here, normally you can choose to fly to Manado through Singapore or you can go via Jakarta or Bali with a domestic flights. If an airport transfer is inclusive in your purchased package, your resort would pick you up straight from Manado airport, land transport you to Bitung and cross over to Lembeh island with a boat if the resort is in the island. There are also several resort that are located in Bitung and you might only need to get on the boat in your diving days.
Diving in Lembeh
September to October is known to be the most popular time of visit. Whilst December to February is rainy season, it does not pour much in Lembeh compared to other regions in Indonesia – visibility is not bad either and that it does not affect the diving much. Currents are typically mild to zero so you would expect a relaxed dive trip.
One of the dive sites is known as Nudi Falls. As it name indicates, the site is a home to a variety of Nudibranches. Sightings here also includes striped eel catfish and features a black-saddled toby, whiteface waspfish, plumstriped waspfish, painted anglerfish (frogfish), banded pipefish, bartail moray, princely volute, leaf scorpionfish, decorator crab, anemone hermit crab, nudibranchs, pygmy seahorse, hornnosed boxfish, crocodilefish, anemone crab, saddleback anemonefish, starry night octopus, reef octopus, dwarf cuttlefish and squid. If you are lucky, you may also encounter Lembeh Sea Dragon in this site.
There are several dive centres that may be able to accommodate your requests and they are also varies in terms of budget and facilities. You may email our Dive Travel Consultant the details that you are looking for and they would be more than happy to recomend/arrange something for you.
Non-diving Day in Lembeh
If you prefer to be more adventurous on your non-diving days, you can visit the Tangkoko Nature reserve in Bitung. In here you may encounter the tarsiers, the black macaque monkeys, maleo birds, cuscus and the hornbills.
You can choose to go the extra miles for Minahasa Highland tour to get to know the local culture: From weaving factory, pottery, the macabre local market, the color-changing lake, Chinese temples, and although visiting a cemetery is not everyone’s afternoon tea, Minahasan Ancient Cemetery holds a great historical value that may satiated your curiousity.
Are you ready for both in-land and underwater adventure?