Sangihe Islands North Sulawesi

Sangihe Archipelago diving

barracudaThe Sangihe Archipelago is a chain of volcanic islands that stretch northwards from Manado city on the northwest tip of Sulawesi into the Sulawesi Sea.

These remote islands are dived by liveaboard boats from Manado and have some pristine reefs. The surrounding waters are very deep and nutrient rich, contributing to the wide variety of marine life found in Sangihe, including plenty of big fish.

Sangihe is diveable all year round but most trips run between March and November when conditions are best. Visibility is usually excellent. Currents can be strong and divers should have some experience before diving here.

You will almost certainly be the only dive boat in the area giving you the reefs to yourself. Scuba Diving in the Sangihe Archipelago is still in it’s relative infancy. There is so much more still to be discovered here. Exploratory dives often make up part of the itinerary on liveaboard trips to the area.


Sangihe dive sites

Dive sites around the southern end of Sangihe Island and further northeast around Talaud Island have great visibility. Plus the chance to see large schools of pelagics like barracuda, giant trevally, mackerel and dogtooth tuna. Hammerhead sharks can also be seen as can dolphins and manta rays. Currents are strong around exposed dive sites.

To the north west of Sangihe Island is a dive site called the Lost City because in 1963 an earthquake submerged a village there and it is now possible to dive that site.

The tiny Mahengetang Islands have some pristine hard coral reefs in very clear water. The surrounding seas are over 500 metres deep. Underwater boulders can be seen bubbling away as sulphur steam escapes from the rock. It’s an indication of the volcanic power below. Reef life is prolific and big fish sightings are always possible.

coralSiau Island is home to the Karangetang volcano, one of Indonesia’s most active which is often heard rumbling. There are some impressive wall dives here where colourful soft corals and seafans contrast dramatically with the underwater topography created by laval flows. Fish life is vibrant with a huge diversity of species.

Ruang Island also has some impressive wall dives where sharks, rays and other pelagics are seen. Here also, huge subsurface laval flows create a dramatic seascape.

Biaro Island, the closest to Manado, has many excellent dive sites. Submerged pinnacles to the north have excellent coral growth and attract bigger fish. To the west are some sheltered dive sites that offer great day and night dives.