Likupang: 4 Celeb Recommendations For Your Next Trip There

Likupang: 4 Celeb Recommendations For Your Next Trip There

The abundant natural wonders of North Minahasa and Likupang are like a secret waiting to be told.

Bound by mountains and a place where two oceans meet, Likupang is smack right in the heart of the coral triangle. The beautiful waters of this North Minahasan region is home to some of the world’s best marine life and a diver’s paradise. 

The gateway to this part of the country is Manado and getting there from Jakarta by flight will take you 3.5 hours with an additional 40-minute car ride from Sam Ratulangi airport. Once you arrive, spare some time to plan your itinerary to discover the region’s vibrant culture and exotic sealife. 

Not sure where to start your journey? Here are the top 4 recommendations of things to do from your favorite celebrities at this Best Ever Destination.

EXPLORE THIS: Unforgettable marine life in Bunaken National Park

Fancy a meet and greet session with giant sea turtles? Bunaken National Park is the place.

Celebrity thumbs up: Travel influencer Marischka Prudence recommends you to spare at least a day to explore the amazing corals of Bunaken National Park.

One does not travel to North Minahasa without visiting Bunaken National Park. This world-renowned underwater ecosystem is a feast for the eyes, and has one of the highest marine biodiversity on earth. Getting here from Manado’s airport will take you an easy 20-minute car ride.

With 25 dive spots in the park, the deep blue sea of Bunaken is also home to seven giant clam species. Keep your eyes peeled when exploring the colorful corals and you might just spot other unique species like green sea turtles, dugongs and bumphead parrotfish.

DO THIS: Kayak between lush mangroves in Likupang

Paddle your kayaks through meandering canals of the mangroves while taking in the view.

Celebrity thumbs up: Actor and adventurer Hamish Daud recommends paying a visit to the mangroves and watch the trees reflect in the water for an ethereal experience

With an underwater oasis like the waters of North Minahasa, the mangrove forests in Likupang are essential to the ecosystem as they are nature’s coral reef protectors. Roam around these green sanctuaries on your kayaks to see how nature connects with one another and how life thrives surrounding the aerial roots.

PACK THIS: Your trusty diving gear and underwater camera

The photogenic, postcard-worthy underwater views of Sahau is a beauty at every turn.

Celebrity thumbs up: Award-winning singer Isyana Sarasvati recommends diving in the waters of Bangka island at Likupang to spot moray eels, lionfish, and pygmy seahorses.

Take a 90-minute drive from Manado to Likupang and rent a boat out to Sahau. Located at the southernmost tip of Bangka Island, this tropical paradise is smaller than most soccer stadiums with a larger-than-life underwater scene. Divers consider this spot as one of the best to go down underwater with its amazing visibility for spectacular soft corals and pinnacles. The best part is, you just have to open your eyes to see the magic happening right there in front of you!

WATCH THIS: The intense Kabasaran Dance that scared off the Portuguese during war times

The daunting yet thrilling dance ritual of Kabasaran will lift your spirits, but be careful with those swords!

Celebrity thumbs up: Actor Mike Lewis recommends watching this for a breathtaking performance that will send shivers down your spine

North Minahasa’s rich culture and heritage is no less vibrant than its remarkable underwater scenes and that is evidently proven through the riveting Kabasaran dance ritual. Historically, this was a sacred performance that prepared warriors for battle. Donned with a traditional red warrior costume that represents courage, the skulls of their fallen enemies were also worn to represent bloodthirst. 

Back then, it was customary for the descendants of kawasara dancers to take part in the ritual and anyone who disrupts the dance may face death. Nowadays, it is performed as a tribute to the ancestors who died on the battlefield. With fierce battle cries that mimic a fighting cock, it’s hard not to be pumped with adrenaline at the end of the dance.

Health & safety protocols to note

When you’re traveling around Indonesia, don’t forget that health and safety protocols are still strictly enforced. Major tourist destinations will have temperature checks and won’t let you enter without your masks. Vaccine certificates are also required upon entry across all establishments, so have it ready from your PeduliLindungi app. 

Certain international travelers are allowed to enter Indonesia with strict regulations, so be sure to keep checking before you book your tickets and start packing. Domestic travel across the archipelago is open for vaccinated travelers, but remember to remain safe and be responsible for yourself and others. 

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