Dive sites around Bangka

(Sulawesi Utara)

Dive Information: dive operators, liveaboards, dive safety, dive conditions
Photos: look at underwater photos taken in North Sulawesi (except Lembeh)
Print version of this page (mostly dive sites)
Indonesian dive terms
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Bangka, Gangga, Pulisan and Benteng

This group of islands and the adjoining coast is known for the strong currents (like a washing machine) and the pelagic fishes and large schools of fish you find here. What impresses me again and again are the beautiful colors of the reef here - orange, yellow and red soft corals everywhere and rare nudibrachs that want to vie for attention.

Bangka Island is located just north of the tip of Sulawesi. There are 4 villages around the island located along the shore. It can be reached from Manado, Bunaken or Lembeh but there are also two dive resorts on Bangka and the neighbor island of Gangga. You can also go overland by car to Pulisan or Benteng. The interesting dive sites lie all to the east of Bangka and along the northeast coast of the mainland.

Map of the Bangka islands (print version)

Map of Bangka and surrounding islands (Lehaga, Gangga, Talise, Tamerong, Kinabohutan, Tindila)

Dive sites mainland North Sulawesi:

1. Tanjung Tarabitan (Torowitan)
2. Marina Unsrat
3. Paradise
4. Yellow Koko
5. Tanjung Sampini
6. Simone Point
7. Batu Mandi
8. Tanjung Slop (Pulisan)
9. Lion head
10. Batu Pendita
11. Batu Punteng (Ponteng)
12. Batu Putih

Dive sites Lehaga, Gangga, Talise:

13. Lehaga (Lihaga)
14. Gangga house reef
15. Aer Banua
16. North Talise Pinnacles
17. Tanjung Lampu (Arus)
18. Batu Goa

Dive sites Bangka island:

19. Batu Kapal
20. Kahuku Point
21. Busa Bora
22. Tanjung Husi
23. Blue Bay
24. Sahaung pinnacles
25. Lihunu Rocks
26. Batu Tiga
27. Tanjung Totohe
28. Batu Gosoh



Bangka and Gangga island group

Lehaga or Lihaga (No 13): Come here around five thirty in the evening and you will see Mandrine fishes doing a courtship dance. The male (larger) displays his dorsal fins to attract the female. Soon they rise together from their lair, side by side, and head for open water to release spawn and eggs. See photos.

Gangga island house reef (No. 14): this is a volcanic slope covered with soft corals, table corals and sponges. If you stay at the resort you can make a night dive. They told us you can see shrimps and lobsters, sometimes cuttlefish and octopus and several species of scorpion fish.

Aer Banua I (No 15): This dive site lies on the west of Talisei Island. You dive on drop-off with a very nice top with good coral cover, lots of gorgonians, colorful soft corals and large sponges. With luck you can even find a green Halimeda Ghostpipefish (see photos) hiding in the seagrass in about 20 meters. Also a good dive site for night dives.

Sahaung (Sahaong) (No. 24) is my favorite dive site around the Bangka islands. The dive site consists of a series of large underwater pinnacles that brake the surface. There is an area where the pinnacles seem to form giant steps. The landscape is very beautiful with orange soft corals, sponges and sea fans. Everywhere are snappers, surgeon fish, fusiliers and trigger fish. I was hanging about on the edge and observing this huge fish soup - beautiful! We also saw pygmy seahorses, moray eels and a school of glasfishes on the top and on another dive an eagleray! And most times there are small sharks under the table corals. If you are with a dive guide who knows the place you might also be able to find the elusive Hippocampus pontohi, a tiny brownish seahorse. There can be strong currents and surges at shallower depths. The southeast tip of Sahaung is also very good for diving.

Batu Gosoh (No. 28): This is an underwater pinnacle, the reef is very steep and there are some small caves. We saw schools of fish (batfish, butterflyfish, bannerfish, snappers) and two turtles. Our dive guide said, there are sometimes mackerels and dogtooth tunas.

Northern coast: Pulisan, Benteng and Ponteng

Pulisan, Benteng and Ponteng are small fishing villages on the north and northeast coast of Sulawesi. They can also be reached by car from Manado.

Tanjung Tarabitan (Torowitan) (No. 1): a steep wall with lots of cuts and overhangs and swim throughs. Nicely covered with hard and soft corals. You finish the dive on a reef flat with sand and rubble. We was some large Napoleon wrasses and quite a lot of fish.

Batu Mandi (No. 7) is located just opposite of Bangka Island close to Pulisan (Sulawesi main land). This dive is on a wall with a sandy bottom. This is a shallower dive ranging from 5 to 25m. We saw mackerels, a ribbon eel, several fire dartfish, jawfish and even a stonefish in the shallow part. The coral cover is really nice and colorful.

Tanjung Slop (Pulisan house reef) (No. 8): We dived at the house reef and I liked it a lot. Just at the beginning we saw a humpback scorpionfish, then a blue ribbon eel. But my favorite was a small yellow frogfish that I could observe for a long time. It opened its jaw several times and it started to move its lure again and again. We also found a nice pink leaffish in a whitish gorgonian fan and several nudibranchs.

Batu Ponteng (No. 11): This is a very nice dive site on the east coast towards Lembeh. Several pinnacles rise from about 31m up, all covered with orange and yellow soft corals. There are fish everywhere, but also take a look at the reef, because there are nudibranchs, flatworm and shrimps to be found.

Batu Putih (No. 12): The best diving is on the two large rocks lying on about 26m. Just on the rocks we found four different species of nudibranchs, one of them (Hypselodoris iacula) I hadn't seen any other place before. We would have liked to stay longer, but our computer told us to go up. Fortuately there was a lot more to see on the slope: ribbon eels, juvenile sweetlips and more nudibranchs.

Photos from Bangka

Further information about Bangka and Gangga

You can find detailed information about dive operators, liveaboard operators, dive safety (hyperbaric chambers), dive conditions, climate, hotels and how to get to northern Sulawesi on a separate page ready to print.

Map of Sulawesi: click on dive sites

Map of Sulawesi with links to dive areas

Diving around Manado
Bunaken, Siladen, Manado Tua, Montehage, Nain islands
Manado area
island and Pulisan

Diving in Lembeh Strait
Lembeh strait near Bitung - auf Deutsch

Siau and Sangihe
Siau, Sangihe and Talaud island

Diving in Central Sulawesi
island Group
islands and Bualemo Peninsula
Donggala close to Palu

Diving in Southern Sulawesi
Ujung Pandang (Makassar)
Pulau Selayar and Bira

Diving in Southeast Sulawesi
Tukangbesi islands
Pasarwajo and Muna island

More information about diving in Southeast Asia

Description of dive sites

Asia: Burma / Thailand
Indonesia: Bali (east, north, south) / Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Alor) / Sulawesi (Bunaken, Manado, Bangka, Tukangbesi islands, Makassar and Selayar, Lembeh strait, Siau and Sangihe islands, Palu, Togian and Banggai islands / Gorontalo) / Kalimantan / Moluccas (Ambon, Banda, Halmahera)
Malaysia: East coast (Perhentians, Redang) / Overview Borneo / Sabah and Sarawak / Lankayan / Mabul and Sipadan
Philippines: Visayas (Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Siquijor) / Sangat and Palawan (Tubbataha Reef)

Special topics

Wallacea - Dive safety in South East Asia - judge the currents
Coral reefs - The ocean - Major endangered reef regions (biodiversity hotspots) - Conservation of our marine ecosystems - Indonesian dive terms

Bali - Bohol - Borneo - Burma and Thailand - Cebu - Lembeh - Leyte - Malaysia (east coast) - Manado and Siau islands - Leyte - Negros - Nusa Tenggara (Komodo, Flores) - Sangat - Sulawesi (Central- and South-Sulawesi) - Tubbataha
Fact sheets

Bali - Borneo and Kalimantan - Burma and Thailand - Malaysia (east coast) - Manado, Lembeh and Siau islands - Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores, Alor) - Moluccas (Ambon, Banda, Halmahera) - Palawan (Sangat, Tubbataha) - Sulawesi - Sulawesi central - Visayas (Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Siquijor)

Print version reports
Print version maps

Alor - Ambon - Apo - Bali - Bohol - Borneo - Burma - Gorontalo - Kalimantan - Komodo - Lankayan - Lembeh - Leyte - Lombok - Malaysia (east coast) - Manado - Palawan (Tubbataha) - Sangat - Siau - Sipadan-Mabul - Siquijor - Sulawesi south - Togians
Map of Wallace Line and Indonesian Throughflow - Indonesia climate (rainy season, dry season)

The Daymaniyat Islands (Oman)


Dive sites around the Daymaniyat Islands, Kharabah, Fahal in Oman (maps, descriptions) - print version


The Galapagos islands (Ecuador)


Galapagos islands: center Galapagos, north Galapagos, southeast Galapagos, west Galapagos
Fact sheet of the Galapagos Archipelago
Galapagos photos
Map of dive areas in the Galapagos islands (also in color)
Marine animals of the Galápagos / Endemic fishes in the Galapagos


German - Deutsch


Indonesien allgemein - Bali - Bali Nord - Bali Ost - Bali Süd - Bunaken - Bangka - Manado- Lembeh


Bali - Bunaken, Manado, Lembeh, Siau

Druckversion Karten

Indonesien (Strömungen und Wallace Linie) - Klima-Karte Indonesien - Bali Tauchplätze - Lembeh Tauchplätze - Bunaken und Manado Tauchplätze - Karte der Tauchplätze in den Galapagos - Druckversion

Druckversion Texte

Indonesien allgemein - Bali Nord - Bali Ost - Bali Süd - Bunaken - Bangka - Manado - Lembeh

Spezielle Themen Grundsätze zur Berichterstattung über Tauchgebiete

. Copyright Teresa Zubi (write to me)