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Dive Sites in Sulawesi: The Four National Marine Parks

As the world’s 11th largest island, Sulawesi lies in the Wallace line and it has a contorted tropical orchid shape surrounded by coral reefs that makes it one of the best diving destinations on the planet. If you want to see the magnificent underwater view and the creatures live in it, then you should absolutely consider a trip to Sulawesi! There are countless beautiful diving spots in Sulawesi, and therefore it is best to create your bucket list from now. But don’t worry because Blublub will provide you with the recommendations of dive sites in Sulawesi. In this article, you will find out more about those amazing scuba diving sites that are located in Sulawesi’s four national marine parks below.

Bunaken (North of Sulawesi)

bunaken | blublub

Bunaken National Park is considered as one of the most famous and best dive sites in Sulawesi, Indonesia and the world. With a depth of around 5 to more than 40 meters, as well as warm water temperature, Bunaken is regarded as one of the most favourite destinations for underwater photographers and divers to capture a huge diversity of marine life. Here, you can find the most diverse colour of coral reefs and fish swimming beautifully that makes you feel most relaxing. Resident dugongs as well as barracuda and tuna are to be seen in this area throughout the year. If you wish to see dolphins and whales, you should come to Bunaken around the month of July and in March for sperm whales.

Wakatobi (Southeast of Sulawesi)

wakatobi | blublub

The name Wakatobi comes from a combination of the names of four main islands it comprises: Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. All of these islands are surrounded with world-class dive sites in Sulawesi that store an incredible collection of coral reefs and marine diversity. To distinguish it from the other marine national parks in Sulawesi, Wakatobi is particularly known for a luxury diving experience where deluxe accommodations, 5-star dive yachts, and other luxury services are available. Nevertheless, budget travel is also possible without making your diving experience in Sulawesi any less extraordinary.

Taka Bonerate (South Sulawesi)

takabonerate | blublub

The paradise of beautiful coral reefs, Taka Bonerate, is a marine park on the list of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves that has the world’s third-largest atoll area reaching a total wide of 220,000 hectares. This ring-shaped coral reef area of Taka Bonerate is home to 242 species of corals, 526 species of colorful reef fishes, and around 112 species of macroalgae. Around the atoll are 21 islands around which divers and snorkelers may swim closely with dolphins, manta rays, turtles, and many more unbelievably beautiful marine creatures in the astonishingly pristine water. If they are lucky, they may even see sharks or sperm whales passing through. With its slopes and flat seabeds, Taka Bonerate owns around 50 of the whole friendly dive spots in Sulawesi for both beginners and professionals to dive in its wonderful marine life.

Togean Islands (Central Sulawesi)

togean island | blublub

Consisting of 56 islands, three of which are the largest ones, Togean’s underwater is among the most stunning scuba diving sites in Sulawesi that has not been widely exposed. Therefore, it has a reputation as such a place where people find their calming moments, and most importantly, this also means that the reefs are in exceptional condition. If you visit Togean Island between April to October, you will be amazed by hundreds of protected species of corals there. By the way, there is also some large amount of biodiversity that has not been classified yet.

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Diving in Bunaken: Everything you need to know!

Located in the north of Indonesian Sulawesi Island, Bunaken National Marine Park is one of the world’s most beautiful diving sites that you should visit! The park has around 20 dive spots that have a varying depth of up to 1,566 meters. There, divers can encounter some of the world’s most magnificent, varied and colourful sea creatures. The beautiful underwater view that Bunaken National Marine Park has to offer is absolutely breathtaking and should not be missed! If you are interested to go there and see it by yourself, then you should check out the following information that Blublub has gathered for you.

The world’s best diving spots

bunaken - sulawesi utara | Blublub

Bunaken is a dream destination for divers from all over the world. No matter in which diving level they are, everyone comes to Bunaken to see and explore its wonderful coral gardens where a myriad of marine species live. The crystal clear, tropical underwater of Bunaken is home to a large variety of marine biodiversity, including green turtles, dolphin pods, whales, and sharks. The list of Bunaken sea treasures goes on as there are countless other attractive creatures such as nudibranch, frogfish, butterflyfish, and many more. This adorable sea view can be seen in Bunaken’s top dive spots from Lekuan 1, 2, and 3, to Fukui, Mandolin, Tanjung Parigi, Ron’s point, Sachiko’s Point, Pangalisang, Muka Kampung, and Bunaken Timur. As a hint, Bunaken also offers astonishing sights of the Molas wreck and an epic coral wall of Siladen.

How to get there?

Manado’s international airport of Sam Ratulangi | blublub

The main question is: how to get to this underwater paradise? Well, it is actually quite easy! From Manado’s international airport of Sam Ratulangi, you can catch a taxi and drive for about 40 minutes to Manado Harbor where you can find boats leaving for Bunaken Island. You can choose either a public or a private boat. As for public boats, the ticket costs IDR 50,000.00 for each international visitor and IDR 20,000.00 for locals. Meanwhile, you can rent a private boat for around IDR 1,000,000.00 and have a maximum of 30 people to go together. Of course, you can always make your trip a lot easier with the help of Blublub and enjoy your experience of diving in Bunaken!

The best time for diving in Bunaken

The best time for diving in Bunaken

As the sun is shining throughout the year in Indonesia, you can basically visit Bunaken Island at any time. Normally, the land temperature is relatively warm (35° C) with water temperature ranging from 27° C to 30° C. However, you should pay attention to the rain season which may make your diving experience not as great as during the good weather. So, it is better to plan your trip outside of December. It is especially good to visit the island during June, July, August, September, and October. Anyway, since the peak season lasts from July to August. You may want to avoid coming in these months if you wish you have some more quiet time while diving in Bunaken.

Other useful tips

Bunaken is located quite remote where access to ATMs is not as easy as in the big city. Also, payments (for instance for food, renting equipment, and so on) by credit or debit cards are not common there. Thus, bringing enough cash will be of great use during your stay on the island. Another important thing to remember is to keep the ocean clean and respect the beautiful marine creatures living in it.

Hopefully, this article provides you with some useful ideas before visiting and diving in Bunaken. Anyway, if you are still curious about anything related to Bunaken and other amazing dive sites in Indonesia, you can always reach Blublub team and our dedicated staffs will be very happy to answer any of your questions.

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Spot Underwater Photographers in Sulawesi

Sulawesi is an island that is so rich of beautiful natural landscapes, both on its land areas and underwater. Due to its magnificent underwater life and view, Sulawesi has become one of the
most-visited diving destinations on the planet. The pictures of Sulawesi’s rich marine biodiversity are spreading around the world and thus have invited numerous people to dive in this underwater paradise.

In Sulawesi, underwater photographers can find almost any wildlife one can mention or dream about. If you are an enthusiast who is looking for the best spot underwater photographers in Sulawesi, you will find a long list of names in this giant island. That is why Blublub will help you pick the best of the best spots for your photography journey in Sulawesi.

Bangka Islandnapoleon fish | Blublub

Lies upstream at the most northern part of Sulawesi, Bangka island is only around one hour drive away from Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi. This island is notable among the photographer community as the top spot underwater photographers in Sulawesi with a wide variety of wildlife and other organisms.

Photographers will have the opportunity to capture countless nudibranchs of all colours and kinds, for example. Besides that, there are also beautiful reefs covered with colourful soft corals as a playground for creatures like leafy scorpionfish, angler fish, blue ribbon eels, and many more.

If you are more interested in giant animals, you can also encounter them in Bangka. Napoleons, sharks, trevally and barracudas are just a few large fish to mention.

Sangihe Islands

Dugong - sangihe island

Your next destination for spot underwater photographers in Sulawesi should be Sangihe Islands! Can only be reached by liveaboard vessels, this untouched islands of Sangihe offers a fantastic water visibility that is great to capture its magnificent hard coral reefs.

This spot underwater photographers in Sulawesi is best known for an amazing collection of big fish such as orcas, humpback whales, schools of hammerhead sharks, dolphins, manta rays, giant trevally, barracuda, among others. If you are lucky, you will also see one or two dugongs.

Another special thing about Sangihe Islands is that the diving site is an active underwater volcano with hot lava bubbles to be found in some spots. The glowing lava flow out of the volcano at night will absolutely become a spectacular view to capture and an extraordinary life experience to remember.

Lembeh Strait

lion fish | blublubFinally, if we are talking about the best spot underwater photographers in Sulawesi, then we should also talk about this one. The phenomenally incredible diversity of Lembeh Strait will make a perfect underwater photography experience throughout your life!

Featured with black volcanic sand, sheltered bays, rocky pinnacles, rubble slopes and fringing reefs, Lembeh Strait is home to an abundance of truly unique and awesome critters. Name any unique sea wildlife and you will find it here! That is just how the water of the Lembeh Strait is really wealthy.

The next thing you should expect here is the experience to see and take the pictures of some rare species such as dugong the sea cow, mimic octopus, coral catsharks, sponge crabs, slipper lobsters, anemone hermit crabs and many more. It is not surprising that many divers regarded this spot as the mecca for macro underwater photography.

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Spot Muck and Macro Diving in Sulawesi

The sea reserves a whole lot of biodiversity and natural beauty. If you are a great admirer of the underwater world, then you must already be familiar with Manta Rays, Whale Sharks, Mola Mola,  Green Turtles and many more beautiful, giant creatures. But, how about the tiny ones? Have you ever considered going deep into the sea to watch and capture Spot Muck and Macro Diving in Sulawesi? In the diving community, these types of diving are called muck diving and macro diving.

Unlike macro diving where the focus is on small stuff only, muck diving means to dive with small critters in muddy and murky seafloor. In Sulawesi, you may find some of the most beautiful spots for both muck and macro diving, which offer a completely different experience compared to other types of diving. In fact, spot muck and macro diving in Sulawesi should be on every
diver’s bucket list!

Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi
Banggai Cardinalfish | Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi | Blublub

In the world’s best muck diving spot of Lembeh Strait you will find some of the rarest and strange macro creatures on earth. This Critter Capital of the World is especially suitable for experienced divers as the water visibility is quite blurry and requires extra tools to bring with.

However, when you are there, you will find unique species such as Harlequin Shrimp, Banggai Cardinalfish, Waspfish, Bobbit Worms, Ghost Pipefish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Scorpion Fish, Devil Fish, Mimic Octopus, Mantis Shrimp, Nudibranch, Squat Lobsters, Hairy and Orange Frogfish, Seahorses and many more.

The unique ecosystem of Lembeh Strait offers not only the collection of small critters but also interesting shipwrecks and colourful soft coral gardens. The best time to visit Lembeh Strait as spot muck and macro diving in Sulawesi are July and August, or when the critters are around. Otherwise, you can also visit this spot from October to December when the water visibility is at its best.

Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi

Cuttlefish | Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi | Blublub

If you are a beginner-level or intermediate-level diver, Bunaken could be an ideal spot muck and macro diving in Sulawesi for you. The impressive marine biodiversity in Bunaken does not merely include giant wildlife like Whale Sharks and Manta Rays, but numerous other wonderful tiny creatures such as Leaf Fish, Cuttlefish, and a range of invertebrates hiding amongst the colourful sponges, fine silt, rocks and bubble coral. As an epicenter of biodiversity, Bunaken comprises several diving spots and among the best ones are Siladen Wall, Lekuan, Ron’s Point and Sachiko.

Wakatobi in South East Sulawesi

sergeant majors | Wakatobi | Blublub

 

Last but not least, you should also visit Wakatobi for an amazing muck and macro diving experience in Sulawesi. Roma and Cornucopia are the two most stunning spots that you
should consider. Wakatobi offers you some of the planet’s most magnificent small creatures that will blow your mind.

The bizarre and fascinating biodiversity of Wakatobi includes Mandarin Fish, Rabbitfish, Banded Sea Snakes, Sergeant Majors, Pyramid Butterfly Fish, Nudibranch, Redtooth Triggerfish, and many more, as well as abundant elegant and colourful coral gardens and sponges.

Designated as a UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve, Wakatobi is home to some of the world’s greatest and most varied marine life diversity. If you are looking for spot muck and macro diving in Sulawesi, this one should be on the top list.

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Dodoku: The Best Dive Centre in Ternate, Indonesia 

Indonesia has many diving sites which are considered as hidden gems in the eye of the world. Today, we are taking you to Dodoku, one of the best dive centres in Indonesia located in Ternate, North Maluku. 

Introducing Dodoku as one of the best dive centres in Ternate, requires a lot more than meets the eye. That is why we have arranged an interview with the owner, Ibu Sisca Dewi.

“A bridge to the underwater world” –  or locally spoken in manado “Dodoku”, which translates to “bridge”. In Ternate, locals and visitors would refer to this as a pier widely known for its breathtaking sunset and panoramic views of the coast, the Dodoku Ali pier. 

For beginners, Dodoku has a program called Open Water Course, a diving certification program ranging from PADI to SSI accredited. However, Dodoku is not only about diving. You could also experience one of the best land tours of Maluku while visiting. 

The Impact of Pandemic to Dodoku  

We’ve all witnessed how the pandemic has forced businesses of all levels to close store fronts. Dodoku being one of them was closed shortly after the news of the virus broke out. The ministry of tourism had decided to reopen key tourism resources again with updated terms and conditions. A special standard of procedure has been carried out so that visitors can once again experience Dodoku’s and ternate’s diving oasis. 

However, the team over at dodoku have their own way of getting used to the new normal. Maintaining a positive team spirit is essential for any business. Apart from a go-to stress release activity, diving in the waters of ternate 

Safety Protocol for Divers

Measures to control and reduce the spread of the virus are being well implemented at all times, disinfecting one’s diving gear being one of them . Divers also need to keep their oxygen cylinders sterilized in a special room with a compressor. Not to mention that each diver has to have a cylinder themselves. Moreover, it is essential that divers maintain their equipment for both safety and health concerns.

Everything is perfectly safe. Dodoku’s instructors are committed to implement the latest measures being advised by governments in efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. To ease your mind, they also share SWAB and RAPID test results to make sure everything is safe.

These systems help people feel safe while visiting Dodoku. It is a pact to serve the best service for any tourist and customer. 

Ternate Muck Dive, A Unique Experience

Once you reach Ternate, you could try almost any kind of diving activity, one that we particularly recommend for divers and underwater photography fanatics is muck diving. Muck diving is considered unique to ternate and its sites are unrivalled, allowing you to go up & close to micro marine ecosystems.

The Best Time to Visit Ternate 

Any time is the best time to visit Ternate. Unlike Raja Ampat, you could never be bothered with Monsoon out here. However, if you don’t like to experience disturbance, you should avoid visiting in April and May. 

There are a lot of islands to visit around Ternate, with each one having its own prowess. They can be alternative destinations for those who like to unravel the archipelago. 

Best Diving Sites in Ternate

Pulau Hiri is the best diving site you can find in Ternate. The island provides diving experiences much like any other Pacific Ocean diving sites. But the best thing about this island is the underwater fauna. You could expect to encounter Barracudas, Schooling Jack Fish, Manta Rays, Sharks, and if you’re the luckiest person enough, Dugongs. 

Tips for Visiting Ternate 

It is normal to worry about travelling in times of a pandemic. But, you should not let such anxiety get to your head. These are some of the things you can do to prevent the spread of virus while visiting Ternate: 

  • Take the RAPID test before travelling 
  • Keep your oxygen cylinder and other equipment to yourself, if you are renting, make sure it is a new one.
  • Obey all the procedures in order to protect yourself and everyone else, that includes wearing a mask when in land and crowds
  • Stay positive, rest assured a dive center’s number one priority is your own safety, when you’ve taken all necessary precautions, there’s no need to panic.

 

Dodoku Expectation toward The Diving Industry of Indonesia 

There are a lot of hopes and expectations for the future of the diving industry in Indonesia. First, Mrs. Sisca Dewi suggests that the government provide subsidy for airplane fare to the East Indonesia area. This policy would definitely raise the amount of tourists visiting Ternate. 

With full support from the government, the East Indonesia area can offer more than Bali and Komodo island. The prospect for development should not only stop in the diving industry. The east Indonesia area has more potential for tourism. 

Ternate, for instance, offers plenty of beautiful landscaping scenery like no other as well as wonderful underwater adventure. If the government gives more attention, Ternate can become an unstoppable attraction for international tourists. 

Conclusions

For people seeking to blow off some steam from the current situation, Dodoku is the perfect choice. Friendly and experienced diver instructors would guide you to a world of water you can never imagine before. The view is not the only thing that matters. Dodoku is always packed with safety procedures and health measures to keep you safe when diving and visiting. So, what are you waiting for? Come and join us for the best diving experience!

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Diving Tips for Beginner that important to know

Diving is a fun activity that everyone must try. This kind of activity, even though fun and appealing for most people, are not designed to be done without supervision. Even though there is much more to prepare in this activity, we cannot deny the appeal of it. As a beginner, of course, it is important to understand the basic tips for diving. And we will try to explain several diving tips for beginners so you can enjoy this activity safely.

Several Diving tips for beginner that must be known

  1. Always follow the command and recommendation from your divemaster / instructor.

The first and the most important diving tips for beginners is that we need to follow every instruction that the instructor commands us. From knowing the basic hand signals to how to always stay close to your buddy. You need to remember some of the hand gestures. We cannot speak underwater, therefore, the only way to communicate is by using a simple hand gesture. Make sure that you do not go too far away from the diving instructor. It is dangerous to go without any supervision, especially if you are a beginner. Even though it feels tedious and boring, some of these instructions will save our life in a pinch. Additionally, if there are things that you don’t understand, it is a very wise idea to ask the instructor about it. 

  1. Check all your gears before going for a dive

Next diving tips for beginners is to check your gears and your buddy’s too. From the BCD, weight, air, regulator, everything must be set perfectly. Your BCD should inflate and deflate properly, put on a weight according to your needs, don’t forget to open your oxygen tank so that the air can flow through your regulator, breathe to check your regulator if it’s functioning, and finally check your buddy too. 

  1. Do not hold your breath when underwater

Another diving tips for beginner is that often, beginners hold their breath underwater. This is dangerous because it can harm your lungs in the process. Instead make sure that you breathe normally using your mouth as you have been equipped with oxygen tank. Additionally, breathing normally will make sure that your body remains light underwater.

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Diving In A Time Of Pandemic, Several Important Things That We Need To Know!

Diving has been a very interesting and also fun activity to do. Having the time to enjoy aquatic life and dive around the depths of water are a very relaxing and also satisfying experience. However, in this time of pandemic due to coronavirus or Covid 19, we need to know that diving activity has undergone several changes. Especially how the regulations are applied for people who are doing this activity.

Of course, as people who obey the law and regulation, especially ones that make sure that our health and safety are assured, we need to obey these new protocols. For you who want to do some diving in time of pandemic, here are some important things that you must know, according to Kemenparekraf and Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

Important things to know when diving in this pandemic time

  1. The diving equipments need to undergo disinfection process regularly after use

One of the additional regulations that are added due to the pandemic. When diving in time of pandemic, the diving equipment needs to be regularly disinfected each time they are used. This regulation is applied in conjunction with cleanliness, health safety and environment regulation which is also known as CHSE. This is important as Covid-19 virus can spread into the equipment which can transmit it to other people. Having a disinfection process will minimize the virus to spread further.

  1. Bring your own diving equipments

Another interesting recommendation for diver out there when trying to dive in a time of pandemic, is that it is recommended to use our own diving equipment. Therefore, the chance for Covid 19 virus to spread is minimized effectively because we only use our own equipment without having the need to give it to another person, which has the chance to spread Covid 19 virus even in the slightest.

  1. Social Distancing

Coronavirus spreads through droplets so it’s important to keep practicing social distancing wherever you go and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at the surface before and after a dive. Under the water, you don’t need to distance yourself with others because buddy contact is important for safety and control.

New regulation for diving license

As we already know diving activities also have their own license even before diving in time of pandemic. Without a license, it is impossible for people to do diving in some area, especially specific areas which need expert diving skill. Just as before pandemic, diving license process will also be altered specifically for this pandemic time. Diving in time of pandemic means that every instructor will have their own policy on the license. Because different place have different situation. Additionally, there will also health checkup before a person want to do test to get their diving license.

Conclusion

All of these new regulations are designed specifically to make sure that both instructor and also people who want to do diving to be safe from Covid 19. Adding some of these regulation will have good effect because it will absolutely minimize the spread of Covid 19 in general. However, in the end, Covid 19 are still dangerous. Therefore, it is actually recommended for people to delay their plan to diving in time of pandemic in order to avoid Covid 19 pandemic out there completely. This will be a better solution to avoid Covid 19 in this time of day.

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Why Indonesia Should Be Your Number 1 Diving Destination?

There are many diving locations that we can try to explore. Some of them will offer a beautiful underwater vistas with large number of underwater creature that we can admire. However, if we are talking about one of the best place to do diving, then search no more, because Indonesia is absolutely need to be in your number one location to visit. But, why Indonesia? We will try to explain some of the reasons on these several points.

Several Reasons why Indonesia should be your number 1 diving destination

  1. Numerous diving spots to discover and explore

The number one reasons is that Indonesia is an island country, which means there are millions of islands that have limitless diving spots or locations to discover and explore. From the famous one such as Raja Ampat, Karimunjawa, Bunaken, Wakatobi, Derawan Islands, Bali, Komodo Island and many more, this means that we as a diver can choose. One of the many reasons that Indonesia is the heaven for every diver in the world. 

  1. There are many diving instructor and license to get

One of the most important factor when diving is that we need professional and experienced diving instructor that can help us dive safely. Not everyone know how to dive professionally and safely. Which means in some place, not everyone will be able to be diving instructor for us. However, Indonesia usually have many professional and experienced diving instructor that can help supervise our diving activity make sure that our diving experience are safe and fun. Additionally, some of these instructor can help us to get diving license that can help us diving in different locations. This is why Indonesia should be your number 1 diving destination.

  1. The locations are still well-preserved

The next reasons on why Indonesia should be your number 1 diving destination is because, many of the diving locations in Indonesia are still well-preserved because some places are far from human civilization and only fully equipped people will go to the diving location. Unlike in other locations where some diving locations are pretty close to the civilization and some people may have desecrate it with trash and disturb the underwater population as a whole.

And those are several reasons on why Indonesia should be your number 1 diving destination. Pretty easy to understand right, on why this country is elected as one of the best diving destination. Therefore, if you are a diver wherever a veteran of a beginner but never gone to Indonesia, then it is your time to prepare yourself and your budget. As Indonesia is one of the best place to do diving with its numerous diving location that will blow your mind.

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