Geographically, Manado is located in the north of Sulawesi, Indonesia, and is also a Sulawesi’s second-largest city. Besides Bunaken National Park as one of the most famous destinations due to its stunning underwater landscape, Manado also has a tiny bit of everything: surrounded by beautiful landscape and mountains, highlands, cultures, diverse food, and friendly people; it is also known as the most tolerant city in Indonesia and is home to some most influential churches in the province.
To reach Manado, you can fly to Sam Ratulangi International Airport and using public transportations like bus, taxis, or minibus to get around in the city. There are a lot of hotels, malls, restaurants, ATMs, and other public facilities.
Best things to do around Manado
As one place which has pretty much everything, here are some things to do around Manado, Indonesia:
- Visiting Ban Hin Kiong Temple during Chinese New Year.
- Snorkeling and scuba diving in nearby Bunaken National Park and Lembeh.
- Going up to the peak where Christ Blessing Statue is located; It is Asia’s 2nd tallest and the world’s 4th tallest statue of Christ.
- Cruising under the Soekarno Bridge.
- Visiting the Kampung China, the china town of Manado.
- Chilling in Tondano Lake.
- Trekking Mount Tumpa.
- Discovering some waterfalls, including Tunan Waterfall and Ratahan Telu Waterfall.
- Taking a trip to Minahasa highlands for its magical volcanic mountain landscape.
- Paying a visit to Waruga, the ancient burial site in Sawangan with tombstones.
- Visiting Hill of Love, the location of the five separate places of worship from different religions, where you can also take a walk through the steep steps to the top of the first peak where a big white cross awaits you.
- Exploring Tangkoko Nature Reserve conservation area in Mount Tangkoko to see the fauna and flora, or visiting Tandurusa National Park.
- Sip a fresh coconut in Malalayang Beach while enjoying local dish of pisang goreng sambal roa (fried banana dipped into garfish chili sauce).
- Interacting with the friendly local people of Manado.
Top Dive Sites in Bunaken National Park Manado
Known as one of the top diving destinations in the world, Bunaken national park is located really close by with Manado, about 45-minute trip by public boat. All year long is a good time to go unless during December and January due to strong winds, seas, and storms. Here are some top dive sites in Bunaken:
- Ron’s Point
- Mandolin Reef
- Lekuan I and II
- Sachiko’s Point
- Muka Kampung
- Siladen Wall
- Barracuda Point
- Manado Wreck
- Manado Tua
Accommodations in Manado
If you are wondering on where to stay in Manado and prefer budget stay, you can try to stay in Hotel Sakura, Manado Green Hostel, JLE’S Hotel, or Hotel Celebes. For medium options with more comforts, some available options are Ibis Manado City Centre Boulevard, Grand Luley Manado, Four Points by Sheraton, S Loft Manado, Best Western The Lagoon Hotel, Aryaduta, Mercure Manado Tateli Resort and Convention, or Swiss-Belhotel Maleosan. While if you prefer luxury places to stay during your visit to Manado, try Janji Laut Resort, Beach Villa Robinson, Mapia Resort, or Murex Dive Resort.