Experience the best of Indonesia overland and underwater on our 15 day snorkel and wilderness safari through North Sulawesi and the fabled Raja Ampat. Traveling through these iconic areas the highlights should include encounters with manta rays and turtles, exploring some of the richest reefs found anywhere on the planet, and remote snorkeling sites back dropped by stunning scenery. En-route we’ll take time to explore topside wonders from visiting volcano peaks to jungle trekking and beach time on idyllic islands far from civilization.
We’ll be based from 3 different resorts split between Northern Sulawesi and Western Papua (Raja Ampat). Whilst no two days will be the same, our snorkeling days usually involve a morning and an afternoon session with a variety of land tours included over the 2 weeks.
As with all of our group safari's this tour is fully guided by a member of the Snorkel Venture team and will assist with everything from start to finish.
This group tour is exclusively for snorkelers. All trips are accompanied by at least one Snorkel Venture guide as well as local guides who are all well versed in the marine life and the reefs. Staff are available to help with water entry and exits, and all snorkel sessions have boat surface support to ensure our safety.
The itinerary for this tour includes 7 nights in North Sulawesi, followed by 7 nights in Raja Ampat.
The star shaped island of Sulawesi is located in central Indonesia, just east of Borneo. It offers a wide range of contrasting snorkel opportunities, all of which are easily accessible, either by boat or just a few feet from your private bungalow.
North Sulawesi includes the Bunaken Marine Park which consists of 5 different islands. The visibility is generally very good here and you can expect beautiful snorkeling over fields of colorful corals and breathtaking walls. One of the creatures most iconic to this area is the green sea turtle who can be seen on just about every site in large numbers.
Siladen Island, one of the smaller islands in Bunaken Marine Park, is a quintessential Indonesian island with it's lush tropical interior, quaint local village, fringed by a fantastic beach which leads to the reef tops that start right at the water's edge. This island is home to the charming Siladen Resort and Spa, who have built a solid reputation as one of Indonesia's best resorts through their award winning hospitality.
In between snorkeling destinations we'll spend an afternoon exploring the Minahasa Highlands which comprise a number of active volcanoes with stunning vistas out to the neighboring islands alongside lakes and traditional townships. We'll also visit the Tangkoko National Park where we'll enjoy some jungle hiking and wildlife encounters with animals unique to this area.
From Sulawesi we travel east to Raja Ampat. There are few locations on earth which parallel Raja Ampat for sheer diversity of marine life. Based from Papua Paradise Eco Resort we'll enjoy morning and afternoon snorkel sessions on some of the most bio diverse reefs on the planet. Aside from very healthy reefs we'll enjoy encounters with masses of schooling fish, and have very good chances to see manta rays and sharks as well as some weird and wonderful critters!
Siladen Resort: Large wooden boats complete with covered gear up area and sun deck. Marine toilet and fresh water bins for equipment and cameras are onboard all boats. Average travel time from the resort to the sites is twenty minutes. Exit the water via ladders on the side of the boat.
Papua Paradise: Spacious fiberglass speedboats with enough room to easily store snorkeling equipment. The boats do not have a toilet onboard but do offer a full canopy for sun protection and a ladder to help exit the water. Average distance from the resort to the site is about 20 minutes.
Day 1 - Arrive Manado - Siladen Island Resort
- Arrival into Manado airport. Collect your luggage and make your way through to the arrivals hall where your guide from Snorkel Venture will be waiting to welcome you to Sulawesi
- You will be transferred to the Siladen Island Resort by road and boat transfer, a journey of approx. ninety minutes
- Check in to the resort with the rest of the day at your leisure to relax after your journey and to get to know your surroundings
- This evening sit down for a welcome dinner and get to know the rest of the group
Overnight Siladen Resort, including full board
- Check out of the hotel today as we journey to mainland Sulawesi, and drive towards Mount Mahawu where we will go for an hour long walk around the crater rim. Here we can enjoy stunning views of Manado Tua and Bunaken Islands.
We will spend the first part of the tour at a wonderfully secluded resort on a small island in the heart of Bunaken National Park, Siladen Resort.
Siladen Resort and Spa is set around a large pool, with bungalows dotted around the manicured garden and beachfront, each with ensuite facilities, air conditioning and private patio. The resort faces west towards Manado Tua, and we will be treated to gorgeous sunset views.
Meals include a variety of local and international fare prepared by professional chefs. Meals are served at a beachfront restaurant, tables are available under the rooftop or outside under the trees. The beach bar serves a variety of beverages and is a wonderful place to meet before dinner for a drink after a long day of snorkeling. The full-service spa offers a wide variety of treatments by experienced therapists.
Gardenia Country Inn
We spend one night in a gorgeous inn, set in beautiful gardens- Gardenia Country Inn. This is the ideal location to enjoy some of Sulawesi's lakes, volcanic hikes and natural beauty. This lodge offers rooms with ensuite bathrooms, private balconies and beautiful views.
We then spend one night in the Novotel in Manado, the perfect rest stop after a day exploring some of the regions topside beauty. Located close to Manado Airport, the hotel allows us to get a good night's rest before traveling to Sorong the following morning.
Papua Paradise Eco Resort
We then fly to West Papua, to Sorong. From here we transfer by speedboat to a spectacular corner of the world- Papua Paradise Eco Resort. Situated in the heart of Raja Ampat, Papua Paradise Resort offers 26 waterfront stilted en-suite bungalows overlooking a long stretch of house reef and backed by lush jungle white sandy beach. The Seaview Restaurant serves a variety of European and Indonesian cuisine on an elaborate buffet. Meals are prepared using homegrown veggies, and other locally sourced produce wherever possible.
The resort is built over a huge and healthy house reef, available for snorkeling at any time. The array of coral and fish species here is simply staggering. One can also see “walking sharks” in the evening right off the shore in the shallows. Other inhabitants include is mandarin fish, bamboo and reef sharks, wobbegongs, and manta rays. Raja Ampat snorkeling will not disappoint- the colors, variety of species of fish and coral and overall reef condition is simply stunning. With some of the liveliest reefs in the world, sightings of schooling fish, manta rays, turtles, eels, and sharks including the elusive wobbegong are common.
Land Price - US$5,760 per person (Double/Twin Share) 2021, please note price increase for 2022 bookings.
Single Supplement - US$800 per person
How to book your place?
Initial deposit to secure your booking $400 per person
6 Months before departure interim payment of $1000 per person
Balance due 3 months before departure
The tour starts in Manado and ends in Jakarta. In terms of the flights, you would need to do one of the following:
1. Via Singapore There are direct flights from Singapore to Manado and also from Jakarta to Singapore with Singapore Airlines.
2. Via Jakarta Regular flights from Jakarta to Manado and from Sorong to Jakarta
There are many flight options leaving from the UK to Indonesia's two major airports - Bali, Denpasar (DPS) and Jakarta (CGK), all of which fly indirectly via Singapore (SIN), Dubai (DXB) or Hong Kong (HKG) with an average travel time of 15-17 hours. From the US flights also route indirectly via Hong Kong (HKG) or Tokyo (HND) with an average travel time of 18-22 hours.
To find out the latest availability on this tour click on the link below:
Both tours we have been on exceeded our expectations. Cheryl, March 2020
Enquiry for Sulawesi & Raja Ampat Snorkeling Safari
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