What to Expect From a Snorkelling Trip in North Sulawesi

As you fly into Manado, North Sulawesi you can’t miss the incredibly clear water below you. This is a beautiful feature of the region that tempts divers and snorkelers from all over the world to visit. At Gangga Island you will be able to dive and snorkel to your heart’s content, taking in rich marine biodiversity and pristine underwater landscapes. Today we’ll be focusing on snorkelling so you will know what to expect from a snorkelling trip in North Sulawesi.

Diverse Marine Life

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North Sulawesi is known for its vibrant coral reefs, not only around the Bunaken National Marine Park but also towards Gangga Island, Bangka Island and the Lembeh Strait. You can expect to see a wide variety of hard and soft corals.

Of course, these reefs are home to plenty of colourful tropical fish, including clownfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and butterflyfish.

You might also encounter larger marine life such as turtles, reef sharks, and rays. Occasionally, lucky snorkelers may spot dolphins or even whale sharks.

Snorkelling Locations

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There are some excellent snorkelling spots just a few minutes out from Gangga Island for shorter trips or a little further off at Bangka Island. If you want to join a dive trip, the Lembeh Strait, Bunaken Marine Park, or Siladen Island are good choices.

The Lembeh Strait is more famous for muck diving but also offers unique snorkelling experiences with a chance to see unusual critters. Siladen Island offers beautiful coral gardens and is less crowded compared to Bunaken.

Water Conditions

Snorkeling in North Sulawesi

Visibility is generally excellent, ranging from 20 to 30 meters, which makes it easy to spot marine life. The water temperature is also warm and comfortable, typically between 27°C to 30°C (80°F to 86°F).

Currents can vary, with some areas having strong currents. Your guides from Gangga Divers will choose sites based on safety and your experience levels.


Gangga Divers at Gangga Island Resort and Spa

There are plenty of airlines that fly into Manado, North Sulawesi’s main airport. From inside Indonesia, Bali, Jakarta, and Surabaya have direct flights. If you are coming from outside of Indonesia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Japan, China, and Brunei are possibilities.

If you are staying at Gangga Island Resort & Spa, all snorkelling trips are either half-day or day trips. You can join dive boats and snorkel or request specific snorkel excursions.

If you are a diver and are flying out of North Sulawesi, snorkelling is the perfect way to fit in some extra underwater time. Your preflight surface interval should be at least 12 hours, but you can snorkel with no problems right until you leave.

Environmental Awareness

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There are ongoing conservation projects in the region, and visitors are encouraged to practice responsible snorkelling to protect the delicate marine ecosystems. This means no touching or disturbing marine life or corals while you are snorkelling. We also advise guests to wear reef-safe sunscreens and avoid any body lotions or hair products that could be toxic to sea life.

A snorkel trip in North Sulawesi is a fantastic way to experience one of the world’s most diverse and vibrant marine environments. You are sure to have memorable encounters with stunning underwater scenery and marine life.

Are you a fan of snorkelling? Tell us about your best snorkelling experience in the comments box below.

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