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Introducing North Sulawesi

Northern Sulawesi has lots to offer in a relatively condensed space. You can dive over some of the world’s best coral reefs at Bunaken one day, climb a volcano near Tomohon the next and visit the lowland Tangkoko-Batuangas Dua Saudara Nature Reserve and its wildlife the next. Economic prosperity from tourism and agriculture (mostly cloves and coconuts) means that North Sulawesi is the most developed province on Sulawesi and prices are higher here than elsewhere on the island.

The two largest distinct groups in the region are the Minahasans and the Sangirese, but there are many more subgroups and dialects. The kingdoms of Bolaang Mongondow, sandwiched between Minahasa and Gorontalo, were also important political players. The Dutch have had a more enduring influence on this peninsula than anywhere else in the archipelago: Dutch is still spoken among the older generation, and well-to-do families often send their children to study in the Netherlands.

The Sangir-Talaud island group forms a bridge to the Philippines, providing a causeway for the movement of peoples and cultures. As a result, the language and physical features of Filipino peoples can be found among the local Minahasans.