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Via Singapore

The most direct way to reach Manado is via Singapore. Singapore Airlines offers reasonable rates from most European, North American and Asian cities. Singapore to Manado is on SilkAir, Singapore Air’s regional wing, with four direct flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). During summer months a fifth weekly flight can be added.

Flight time from Singapore to Manado is 3 hours and 20 minutes and many of the overnight flights from Europe and North American arrive early enough in Singapore to connect with the flight to Manado, with just a short transit (flights from Singapore to Manado depart at 9.25 in the morning).

Visit Silk Air's website

Baggage Allowance on Singapore Airlines and Silk Air flights

With effect from 15 Nov 2013, the Free Baggage Allowance (FBA) will increase by 10kg per passenger in all cabin classes on all MI and SQ operated flights under the Weight concept. For all other airlines, please ask them for their policy or ask your booking agent.
Visit Silk Air's website

If you’d prefer to break up the trip, you can stop over on the way or on the way back and take in the atmosphere of Singapore, this unique city-state. Singapore is efficient, clean and offers some excellent shopping and nightlife opportunities. For hotels in Singapore, ask for a “Singapore Stopover“, which is a special rates deal offered only by Singapore Air. Note that you must book your “Stopover” at the same time that you pay for your flights.

 

Important – this can also be a popular route and you should check with your booking agent about seat availability very early in your booking process, especially if you’re a group*. In high season the price of the seat can go up quite a bit and this is even more likely for last-minute bookers, so book early!

 * Group Bookings: please note that Singapore Air sometimes charges a surcharge for groups of 9 persons or more, so it is adviseable to check on their current policy with your booking agent. If you are in doubt, it may be safer to split the booking into more than one group. Also, if you can’t get all the seats you need on the same flight, why not split your group and let some people have one night stopover in Singapore on the way to Manado and the rest have a night on the way back?

Via Jakarta and Denpasar/Bali

There are daily flights to Jakarta and Bali from many European and American cities. From there to Manado there are sometimes direct flights and sometimes a short stop is required, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and several other airlines connect Manado with those airports, please check with your booking agent about flight details and prices.

Certain nationalities need to obtain a visa to visit Indonesia. This depends on the purpose of visit and the length of stay. Some may obtain a visa upon arrival in Indonesia, and some will need to apply for a visa in advance, at the nearest Indonesian Overseas Mission.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival and have a valid return ticket; please make sure that you have one entire blank page for the placement of your visa. If there is no page available, you run the risk of being turned away from Indonesia. The immigration officer at the port of entry may ask the passenger to produce any necessary documents (such as hotel reservation and proof of finance).

Prior to arrival, foreign passengers are normally given ‘arrival and departure’ cards and the ‘departure’ portion is necessary to be kept as it needs to be returned to the immigration officer upon leaving the country.

 

VISA-FREE SHORT VISIT FOR TOURIST

Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Indonesia for a short visit of up to 30 (thirty) days:

Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Philippine, Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, Chile, Morocco, Vietnam, Ecuador, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar.

 

VISA-FREE SHORT VISIT FOR TOURIST EXTENDED TO 75 MORE COUNTRIES

In 2015 the visa free has been widened to 75 more countries:

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrein, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican, Venezuela.

Nationals of these 75 countries wishing to visit Indonesia for tourist purposes ONLY should, however, please note that entry can ONLY be made only through 5 designated Airports and 9 designated Seaports as follows:

International Airports:

Soekarno-Hatta, Jakarta
Juanda, Surabaya
Ngurah Rai, Bali
Kuala Namu, Medan
Hang Nadim, Batam

Seaports:

Sri Bintan Pura, Tanjung Pinang
Sekupang, Batam
Batam Center, Batam
Nongsa Terminal Bahari, Batam
Marina Teluk Senimba, Batam
Citra Tri Tunas (Harbour Bay), Batam
Bandar Bintan Telani Lagoi, Tanjung Uban, Bintan
Bandar Sri Udana Lobam, Tanjung Uban, Bintan
Tanjung Balai Karimun, Tanjung Uban, Bintan

As Manado is not on the list, travelers entering Indonesia via Manado must apply for a Visa on Arrival (please see below).

Exit can be made only through Immigration Checkpoints in 19 International Airports, 29 Seaports, and 2 Land borders (please check with the Indonesian Embassy in your country).

Please be advised that Visa-Free Short Visits may only be extended upon approval from the Minister of Justice and Human Rights/Director General of Immigration of the Republic of Indonesia based on natural disaster, illness or accident, and cannot be transferred to another type of visa. Overstay visitors incur to pay a penalty of US$20.- per day (for under 60 days stay) whilst over 60 days stay will be a 5 (five) year prison sentence or a fine of IDR 25.000.000 (local currency).

 

VISA ON ARRIVAL (VOA)

Nationals of the following 62 countries may apply for a Visa on Arrival for a length of stay of 7 days by paying US$15 or 30 days by paying US$35 at major entry points:

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan Territory, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA.

This 30-day visa is renewable for an additional 30 days and the cost for this extension is approximately $35 USD and takes 1-2 days to be processed at all international points of entry. (Note: 60 day VISAS can also be obtained at an Indonesian Embassy if they are presented with an itinerary that extends over the 30 day period, we suggest you call first before travelling or sending your passport to an Indonesian Embassy.)

Please be advised that Visa on Arrival may only be extended upon approval from the Director General of Immigration of the Republic of Indonesia in case of natural disaster, illness or accident, and cannot be transferred to another type of visa. Overstay visitors incur to pay a penalty of US$20.- per day/person (for under 60 days stay) whilst over 60 days stay will be a 5 (five) year prison sentence or a fine of IDR 25.000.000 (local currency).
Nationals who are not eligible for visa free or VOA need to apply the visa at an Indonesian embassy or consulate.
 
Nationals of Afghanistan, Cameroon, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, and Somalia are required approval from Immigration Office in Indonesia before travelling for Business, Tourist and Social Visits purposes. This policy is called ‘Indonesian Calling Visa’, a visa that is issued upon approval.
 
For any further question, please contact the Indonesian Embassy in your country.

You can dive year-round in Manado if you are on the right boat. The sunniest season is April to October. That’s when the sunbathing is best, but you can also still get rain at any time of year. The nice thing about the rain is that it’s warm.

If you’re coming to visit the rainforest or go rafting, we actually prefer the rainy season (but again it is year-round) because that is when the forest and highlands are watered and are at their most lush.

In-Water Protection

Not too much thermal protection is required, however we suggest a 3mm or 5mm one-piece (or dive-skin for those who don’t get easily chilled) – make sure it’s full arms and legs, to protect against any stinging hydroids.

Land Clothing

It’s normally shorts and T-shirt by day (even if it rains, because it’s warm tropical rains) and at night in town the dress code is casual, nothing more than light trousers or jeans and a golf shirt is required. There is no need whatsoever for a sweatshirt.

To enter Bunaken National Park each visitor should pay a IDR 150.000/visit.

For more info about the park and its fees here.

There used to be a fee to dive in Lembeh Strait until 2 years ago, the local government did cancel it and to date there is no plan for a new one.

1 USD is exchanged approx. to 13.000/14.000 IDR and 1 EUR approx. to 14.500/15.500 IDR.

If paying in cash, payment should be made in Indonesian Rupiahs (IDR). Eco Divers uses as main currency EUR and accepts USD cash too, but will convert from EUR at the day’s bank exchange rate. Alternatively, payment can be made by Visa or Mastercard credit card, in IDR, converted at the day’s bank exchange rate.

Due to a recent change in Indonesian banking policy, you can no longer use traveler cheques in local shops, dive centers and resorts. These can now only be cashed in local banks by the owner of the cheque. (Please note that the only Traveler Cheques accepted by the local banks are American Express USD cheques.)

You can draw cash in IDR from the ATMs at the local banks using your PIN (personal identity number) and you can draw up to IDR 3,000,000 on Visa or Mastercard at the local banks but only before 2pm (you must present your passport with your credit card). Banks and ATMs offer a reasonable exchange rate.

At Eco Divers both the CEE 7 standards and Europlug fit into the socket.

CEE 7/4 (German “Schuko”; Type F), CEE 7/7, CEE 7/16 “Europlug” (Type C), CEE 7/17 (German/French) fit all in our socket, or generally almost any 2 pins plugs fits in (as usually they have flexible pins able to fit in sockets with holes with centres spaced at 19 mm.

The provided voltage in Indonesia is 220-240 V/50 Hz, please note that due mainly to the lack of electricity production, the voltage is not stable and power cut are very frequent, however at Eco DIvers a back up is done using generators.

Manado is the ideal base from which to explore North Sulawesi, an area of outstanding natural beauty. After diving, there are many additional activities for you to enjoy. White-water rafting, a relaxing visit to Kali Waterfalls or to a craft center. Perhaps a stimulating trek through a lush, primeval rainforest takes your interest or a trip to the paddy fields of Lake Tondano? Wander through the markets and absorb the exotic aromas of tropical fruits and spices. Arrangements can be made for your excursions to start from Eco Divers Resort Lembeh and Minahasa Lagoon, just ask to our reservation staff.

Manado is tropical and so malaria cannot be discounted. We suggest you follow your doctor’s advice regarding malaria tablets. Officially, North Sulawesi is non-malarial, but if the tablets don’t bother you too much it’s always best to err on the side of caution. We also recommend that you spray anti-mosquito spray onto your arms and legs before going out at night.

The odd case of dengue fever has been reported in North Sulawesi, though these tend to be in the villages where rubbish is sometimes not properly cleared.

There are plenty of chemists and dentists in Manado and the general hospital has a good recompression chamber. Manado is the regional capital of North Sulawesi and around 400,000 people live here, so facilities are generally available and are decent, if not fancy.

Please note:

Although the facilities and service are often basic, the people of North Sulawesi are friendly and willing. Manado is a dive destination that’s off-the-beaten-track and is not a mainstream tourism resort – that is part of its appeal. It also means that Manado doesn’t offer great shopping opportunities (but Singapore certainly does!), that there’s nobody trying to annoy you by trying to sell you souvenirs and there are not masses of tourists making too much noise.