Macro Diving in Sulawesi

Indonesia is renowned for its high levels of biodiversity and world-class macro diving. As part of the infamous Coral Triangle, it doesn’t take much work to spot the abundance of interesting creatures, hidden in plain sight among the vibrant reefs and sandy shores. While there are countless sites across the Indonesian archipelago for diving, macro diving in Sulawesi is particularly impressive, thanks to areas like the Lembeh Strait and Bunaken National Park - both must-visits for any macro enthusiast. As keen divers ourselves, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite spots for macro diving in Sulawesi. Here they are:

Bunaken National Park

Bunaken National Park in North Sulawesi was established in 1991, covering an area of 220,160 acres. The park is situated in the heart of the coral triangle, boasting astonishing levels of biodiversity. It's estimated that the park is home to up to 2,000 species of fish and 390 types of coral, as well as several rare and endangered species (including dugongs, nautilus and coelacanths).

Unsurprisingly, the park is filled with amazing dive sites, but Muka Kampung is firmly on the list as one of our favourite places for macro diving in Sulawesi.

The site is located on the southeast tip of Bunaken Island and, like the majority of dives around Bunaken, it's a drift dive. It begins on a steep sand and coral-rubble slope, with divers drifting along a mild to medium current, before reaching an impressive coral wall roughly halfway through the dive. A closer look at the wall reveals nudibranchs, minuscule crustaceans and flatworms, tucked within the colourful reef.

Lembeh Strait

The Lembeh Strait is already well-known as one of Indonesia's top muck diving destinations, and as it stands, we think it's one of the best places for macro diving in Sulawesi. The narrow channel between North Sulawesi and Lembeh is teeming with dive sites, making it ideal for diving holidays.

The Lembeh Strait has sites suitable for all levels of diving, but as an area known for muck diving, beginners should be able to manage their buoyancy so as not to disturb the seafloor.

Two amazing sites for macro diving are the aptly-named Nudi Retreat and Critter Hunt. Nudi Retreat is a reef slope in a sheltered cove just off the Sulawesi coast. The slope begins at three metres, before plunging to depths of 28 metres, with all manner of creatures living on the coral wall. As well as colourful nudibranchs, divers have spotted cockatoo waspfish and even pegasus sea moths. Critter Hunt, as its name might suggest, is filled with interesting creatures. The site comprises a mixture of sand, rubble and reef, and is home to frogfish (painted, hairy, giant and warty), nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, blue-ringed octopus and more.

When macro diving in Sulawesi, you're almost guaranteed to spot something interesting. The area's rich biodiversity and sheer number of dive sites make it a spectacular choice for a diving holiday. If you're thinking of planning a trip to Sulawesi, our expert team can help you craft the perfect itinerary, with everything to suit your needs.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Macro Diving in Sulawesi' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972