The Lembeh Strait Festival 2017: Famed Underwater Site of Colorful Macros

26 Sep 2017

Renowned for its amazing underwater wonders, the Lembeh Strait by the port town Bitung near the city of Manado, capital of North Sulawesi Province, will come alive with a large variety of festivities when the Lembeh Strait Festival takes place from 6th to 10th October 2017.

Image source: Kabar 24

Lembeh Strait Festival is an annual event held in conjunction with the anniversary of Bitung Town which falls on 10th October 2017. Presenting the intriguing splendors of Lembeh Strait, the festival will be highlighted with an array of exciting activities including a Colossal Traditional Dance Performance, a Culinary Fiesta, Ships and Boats Parade, Tuna Festival, Swimming Competition, Coral Planting, an Art and Cultural Performances, 10K Run, Photography Competition and a whole lot more.

Famous for its amazing photogenic and curious underwater critters, the Lembeh Strait is a long and narrow strip that separates the mainland of Sulawesi and Lembeh Island. Administratively included as part of the port city of Bitung, situated not too far from Manado, here one can discover a completely different world filled with fascinating and most colorful tropical underwater life. The Lembeh Strait stretches 16 km long and is only 1.2 kilometers wide, yet in these narrow waters no less than 88 diving spots have been discovered.

Dive sites here go to a depth of between 15 to 25 meters. There are hardly any currents, and throughout the year the waters remain a warm 24 to 30 degrees Centigrades only. Its unique eco-system has made this the home of nudibranch, flamboyant squid, mimic octopus to furry frog fish. Their exceptional beauty has made these creatures rare subjects for underwater photographers. For this reason avid marine photographers have dubbed the Lembeh Strait ”the Mecca for Macro Photography”.

If you stay longer in this region, take time to trek into the Tangkoko Nature Reserve, habitat of the black macaque monkeys and the cute fist-sized Tarsiers with big saucer eyes, the icon of the region.

The port town of Bitung is only a little over an hour's drive from Manado. There are public buses that serve the route between Manado-Bitung, but alternatively you can take taxis or rent a car to get to the port town. To reach the strait, upon arrival at Bitung, continue to Ruko Pateten Pier where are boats to cross to Lembeh Island. En route you will see many different kinds of vessels with various sizes, from dugout canoes, traditional sailboats to large navy frigates and other warships.

And you must most certainly not miss the unforgettable yummy seafood of Bitung,

Diving aficionados and tourists already in or near Manado, do not miss these fun annual festivities. 

Related articles:

  1. Lembeh Strait Festival 2016 Near Manado
  2. The Faithful and Romantic Tarsius, Icon of Bitung at The Tangkoko Nature Reserve
  3. The Tangkoko Nature Reserve: Habitat of Tarsiers, Macaques, Maleos and Cuscus
  4. Photographing Endemic Wildlife of North Sulawesi
  5. Exciting Experiences In and Around Manado
  6. Deliciously Hot Manado Foods


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