The dry season from May to October is suitable for travel. It is also the best season for diving in Bunaken. Indonesia is a Muslim country but Manado has a large Christian population. So Easter, Christmas and New Year holidays are generally busy and flight tickets may be expensive.
The wet season starts from November to April and may hamper travel plans but it is less pronounced in North Sulawesi so may not really pose a serious problem. The sea may be rough in the months of December and January and is not suitable for diving. If you don’t mind the rain then the wet season is the best time to find cheap flights and deals on accommodation.
Manado is the capital city of the province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The city is a convenient starting point to explore the attractions of the Minahasa region. The pretty wood frame houses neatly lined with flower gardens and fences, give a European feel. Manado is surrounded by mountains that face the azure sea. The Pierre Tendean Boulevard along the water edge has many restaurants and top class hotels. A 40-minute boat trip from the Boulevard will take you to the island of Bunaken. The island and the Bunaken National Park is popular with the tourists for snorkelling and scuba diving. Wall Diving is also popular in the beautiful Bunaken Sea Garden. You can also enjoy the beauty of underwater life from boats with glass-bottom. A holiday to Manado cannot be complete without a trip to the nearby volcanoes such as Klabat Volcano, Loko Volcano and Mahawu Volcano. The city has some prominent churches along the Sam Ratulangi Street that stand as important landmarks in the province. You can find Asia’s second tallest statue of Christ at Citraland, a suburb of Manado Ban Hin Kiong. Visit the old Chinese temple and interesting shops on D.I. Panjaitan Street, in China Town. The Manadonese are warm and friendly and live up to the city’s slogan -“Torang Samua Bundara” (we are one family). Spice up your holiday with a Mandonese meal for a truly memorable experience. Whether it is the traditional porridge or Nasi Jaha- a concoction of sticky rice, red onion, ginger, bamboo and coconut milk, be prepared for a hot and spicy experience.
The Mikrolet – a light blue car with seats for 9 passengers, is a popular form of public transportation in the city. The destination is clearly displayed on the front so you have to just check you are on the right route before boarding it. Metered taxis and car rentals are also available for comfortable travel within the city and nearby places.
Sam Ratulangi International Airport (MDC) is conveniently located about 8.1 miles (13km) northeast of Manado. Metered taxis are available aplenty at the airport and it may take about 30 minutes to reach the city centre. The Damri bus is also an easy option to travel to the city from the airport.