Renowned for its amazing underwater wonders, the Lembeh Strait by the port town of 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 7th to 10th October 2016.
Preceding the event and forming part of the festival, the Bitung Bahari Berseri (B3) or Bitung Marine Festivity Program will be launched on 13th September 2016 at the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in Jakarta to promote the most fascinating wonders of Bitung.
The Lembeh Strait Festival 2016 will feature exciting activities including an Underwater Photo Competition, Culinary Festival, Masamper Cultural Festival, Motocross Competition, a Maengket Cultural Festival, numerous traditional folk games competitions, and a whole lot more.
Famous for its amazing photogenic, strange underwater critters, Lembeh Strait is a long and narrow strip that separates the mainland of Sulawesi and Lembeh Island. Administratively situated in Bitung City, 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 have made these creatures rare subjects for underwater photographers. For this reason marine photographers call the Lembeh Strait ”the Mecca of Macro Photography”.
If you stay longer in this region, take time to trek into the Tangkoko Nature Reserve, habitat of 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.