Lembeh-Wakatobi

Critters Galore & Krisses: Bitung- Kendari o BauBau.
The wild east of Sulawesi

This route starts in Bitung right in fornnt of the Lembeh island just 90 minutes drive from Manado. After embarking and diving the best sites in Lembeh we will sail down south along the east coast of Sulawesi passing Gorontalo, the Banggai archipelago and Buton island. Depending on weather conditions and the scheduled length of the cruise we may continue towards Wakatobi and finish in Baubau, the capital of Buton island or else in Kendari.

  • Embarking port: Bitung. Closest airport: Manado.
  • Disembarking port and Closest airport: BauBau or Kendari.

Itinerary:

We sail down the east coast of Sulawesi, the island with the weirdest shape in Indonesia. The north of the island with Bunaken Marine National Park is well known and heavily visited but the east coast is a real haven full of diving gems. from Lembeh to Buyat Bay, Tanjung Flesko, Gorontalo, Banggai islands and Wakatobi.

Lembeh Strait:

Known worldwide as the “Muck diving” paradise: Frogfish, Rhinopia, Mimics, Wonderpus, Nudis,….you name it! Every single critter in the book seems to be here together with some wrecks and with very easy diving conditions for photographers and UW Video.

Banggai Archipelago:

Mostly unexplored for commercial diving is home of some isolated sites with beautiful drops, drift dives and many surprises.

Wakatobi or Tukangbesi Archipelago:

It owns the reputation of having the nicest “Home Reef” in Indonesia, this together with being far from any turistic area is the guarantee for enjoying some of the richests marine life despite the lack of big fish and pelagicss. A unique destination.

Main dive sites:

In Lembeh, Hairball and Jahir, are two black sandy slopes well known by its variety of critters. The island of Pulau Racun in Buyat Bay is a beautiful coral garden with schools of fish and reef sharks. Batu Gong, is a hill covered with deep black coral and full of fish. Blue Corner in Wakatobi, is a hill formed by a reef of hard corals and barrel sponges with schools of fish and the occasional visiting of pelagics. Batu, Tetek, Vesuvius Reef and Outer Pinnacle are also some of the common dive sites in this itinerary.

Type of diving:

This route combines muck diving on black-sanded slopes with underwater hills and coral ridges swiped by currents. Very good coral reefs, sharks, turttles and good macro. The rare sponges named “Salvador Dali” are found in Gorontalo.

Land tours:

  • Deserted paradise white sand beaches
  • Bajo villages where the sea gypsies live in Banggai and Wakatobi.

 

Recommendations:

Bring light clothing. Use sunscreen during the day. Water temperature is 26º-28º C.  3-to 5mm wetsuit is reccommneded. Visibility is variable and averages 15m. This destination is ideal for shooting wide angle, but there are very interesting macro subjects too. Presents like clothes, t-shirts and specially school materials for the children of the village are always welcome. Please avoid any plastic goods which may end up in the sea.