North Sulawesi has lots to offer in a relatively condensed space. You can dive some of the world’s best coral reefs at Pulau Bunaken one day, explore volcanic scenery near Tomohon the next, and visit the lowland Tangkoko-Batuangas Dua Saudara Nature Reserve and its wildlife the day after. The Bitung area's world-class muck diving (including very quirky macro life) is another huge draw.
Economic prosperity from tourism and agriculture (mostly cloves and coconuts) means that North Sulawesi is the most developed province on the island. The two largest distinct groups in the region are the Minahasans and the Sangirese, but there are many more subgroups. Dutch influence is stronger here than anywhere else in the country: the Dutch language is still spoken among the older generation, and well-to-do families often send their children to study in the Netherlands.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout North Sulawesi.