Just like flying

Matthias Lebo from Schoener Tauchen Switzerland and his girlfriend Lela visited us last year to check out the resort. Of course he dived a lot while staying here and he shot a few nice videos.

Here is short compilation of a few of the turtles they saw around here :

Thank you Matthias & Lela for visiting us and for sharing this great video, we are looking forward to the next one.

Fish Geek Week 2013

Pseudanthias Charlenae,  beautiful fairy basslet named after Prince Albert of Monaco's bride. Previously only known from Bali and West Papua

Pseudanthias Charlenae, beautiful fairy basslet named after Prince Albert of Monaco’s bride. Previously only known from Bali and West Papua

Because of the huge success of the Fish Geek Week 2012 (report 1 report 2) we have decided to organize another Fish Geek Week this year. Last years findings were unexpectedly good, the standards are set and hopefully this years findings will even better.

Again this year Mark Erdmann will join us for a week full of diving, lectures and workshops. Sadly enough, because of personal reasons Gerald Allen is not able to join us this year.

This year the Fish Geek Week will start on 31.08.2013 and will end on 07.09.2013.

The week opens up with an introduction evening and from the second evening onwards there will be a lecture / workshop about a specific topic every evening. On the last day we will organize a treasure hunt and a special dinner for all participants.

Remember, participating in this event is completely free of charge, all you have to do is book a flight and get a room/cottage at Minahasa Lagoon – Dive & Tours Club and you will be able to join this event and learn a lot about the reef fish that inhabit the surrounding seas. So get you passports out and visit us for another great event.

Digital shoot-out price winner

The winning shot

The winning shot

Every year Minahasa Lagoon – Dive & Tours Club sponsors several underwater photography competitions. One of these was the 10th Annual Digital Shootout in Bonaire in 2011 hosted by Backscatter.

Becky Briggs won the 2nd place in the macro unrestricted category with a beautiful picture of several Squids together. With this she won a 7 night stay at our resort including a 6 days unlimited dive & tours package. Finally this month she was able to cash in her price and she visited us from 17th until 24th of May. She had a lovely stay with us and she was able to do a lot good diving around here. Luckily for her, the resort was almost empty and most of the time she had the boat for herself. Next to spending a lot of hours diving, she also spent a lot of hours pampering herself in our ocean front spa.

Becky has always been shooting a DSLR camera but just before this trip she decided to change over to a mirrorless camera. A big step for her and it needed some adjusting but she got some very nice pictures with. Below here is a gallery with some of the pictures she took while staying with us.

Becky would like to thank Jim Decker and Rusty Sanoian from Backscatter for all their advice and help, for putting this camera together and Berkeley White and Dan Baldocchi for organizing the Digital Shoot Out. And of course a big thanks to Minahasa Lagoon – Dive & Tours Club who sponsored her price.

Last minute Spring offer

Here is your chance to enjoy Minahasa Lagoon – Dive & Tours Club to the fullest in our beautiful Sea View Cottages. But you have to be quick.

From 15 May until 31 July 2013 we have a very special offer for travels within this time frame. Book now a Sea View cottage and pay only €99 per person per night. Usually the price of a Sea View cottages for this period is €290 per Sea View cottage per night, a discount of €92 per night.

Take this chance and enjoy our beautiful Sea View cottages, equipped everything you need to enjoy your holiday. A large king sized bed, a large verandah to relax and enjoy the stunning view over the ocean and a half open shower which makes you feel you are showering outside.

So don’t hesitate and write us an email immediately to get you booking fixed asap. Write to : resort@minahasalagoon.com

The whole Minahasa Lagoon team is looking forward to meet you here and to be of your service.

Minahasa Lagoon Resort, North Sulawesi

Minahasa Lagoon Resort, North Sulawesi

We have a winner!!!

turtle foundationLast weekend during the Fespo travel exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland the annual Turtle-Foundation lottery took place and Minahasa Lagoon sponsored, as always, 1 of the prizes.

The Turtle Foundation is an international charitable organization with offices in the United States, Germany, Switzerland and Indonesia. The foundation is a dedicated volunteer effort. The Turtle Foundation currently operates its own important protection projects in Cape Verde and in Indonesia.

Each year at the Fespo travel exhibition in Zurich they organize a lottery. They sell 200 tickets, each ticket costs CHF 100,- and the whole income from this lottery goes to their two sea turtle conservation projects in Indonesia and in Boavista, Cape Verde Islands.

We would like to gratulate Marcus Engel for winning a 7 nights stay at Minahasa Lagoon including 10 dives. We are looking forward to having him as a guest.

Volcanic activity

Since July 2011 the volcanoes in North-Sulawesi have been very active but he last few months there has been much more activity. Almost every week mount Lokon spits out its sand, dust and smoke. Lava streams are rarely seen but the volcanic dust is everywhere. All these eruptions pose no real danger to the surrounding area, only everything gets covered in sand and dust from time to time. We have been lucky until now, the wind is blowing most of it in the other direction and the resort stays clean.

Four days ago our guests went diving in Bunaken. In the afternoon they came back from the islands when Lokon erupted again. It was not very clear day but you could clearly see the ash cloud being spat out and growing slowly larger and being blown away by the wind. Below are 2 pictures which they took from the boat.

Lokon EruptionLokon Eruption
So next to diving, rain forests and the beautiful highlands, you can also watch erupting volcanoes. Another reason to visit North-Sulawesi

Thank you Roberto and Francesca for sharing the pictures.

Exhibition time

As every year Minahasa Lagoon will be present at the upcoming European dive shows :

BOOT Show – Duesseldorf, Germany
From January 19th until January 27th. You can find us in Hall 3 at the Indonesien Pavillion.

FESPO Ferienmesse – Zurich, Switzerland
From January 31st until February 3rd. You can find us in Hall 6 in the Booth of Schoener Tauchen Switzerland.

We are looking forward to meet you there. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email : resort@minahasalagoon.com

fespo boot2013

First timers

Last month Regina and Dominique Nuessli from Switserland came for the first time to North-Sulawesi, actually it was their first time ever in Indonesia. After spending several days in Lembeh they came over to Minahasa Lagoon to spend a week of diving here. And they loved it. They are real macro lovers and they dove all the local dive sites. But it would have been a shame to come all this way and not dive the walls around Bunaken island. So they went twice to Bunaken and Dominique changed his macro lens with his fish eye lens to capture some wide angle subjects. Below is a gallery of some of the pictures Dominique took while diving with us. Have a look in particular at the shot of the hatching cuttlefish. Next to the diving they enjoyed our spa and relaxed in the resort. They enjoyed their stay here very much and they will be back next year.

Minahasa Lagoon Early bird Booking off 10% for all Category Room

Started as a personal dream by a diver and European industrialist, Minahasa lagoon opened its gates to the public in early 2004. The lagoon is situated on the mainland coast of North Sulawesi, surrounded by the tropical rain forest and faces the ocean with an expansive private beach. It is 30 km South-West of Manado, and encompasses over 13 hectares of land, crossed by a picturesque mountain river fed by a stunning waterfall.

Luxury is part of the accommodation at Minahasa. With 22 luxury private cottages, you are guaranteed the best room in the lagoon. There are also 2 cottages that are connected by a covered terrace to enable one communal cottage for group stays or families. Feeling restricted by your wheelchair? Don’t! We are happy to provide 2 additional cottages that are wheel chair accessible, as are most of the Resort facilities.


Privacy is granted in the 15 cottages, all with same layout and standard, approx. 70 sqm each. 2 cottages are
connected through a covered terrace, to enable one communal cottage for group stays or families, 2 more
cottages, as well as almost all Resort facilities, are wheelchair accessible.

Room Facilities

Each cottage comprises of a spacious bedroom, an adjoining room with a bunk bed, an airy open bathroom and
a large wooden terrace with ocean view. All cottages are equipped with AC, ceiling fan, mini bar, tea and coffee
facilities, hot water, IDD phone, possibility for internet connection, safe, hairdryer and toiletries.

Minahasa Lagoon Early bird Booking off 10% for all Category Room

Get 10 % off Discount and Saving your travel expense for booking minimum 21 days prior to arrival

Rate Inclusive:

  • Daily Fullboard ( Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner )
  • Welcome Drink
  • Daily 2 Bottles Mineral Water

book now shanti collection

Fish Geek Week UPDATE!!!!

Here is, as promised in our previous blog post about the Fish Geek Week, an update about the findings of Mark Erdmann and Gerry Allen during this week. Below is a summery of all the findings they did with several pictures they took.

These findings show that we are really diving on the richest reefs of the earth. Everybody knew this already but North-Sulawesi has never been surveyed properly in the years before and now for the first time it shows with official numbers how rich these reefs really are. With fish counts on a single dive exceeding 300 species (310 species on Poopoh/Malcolm) right at our doorstep, several likely new discovered species on Bunaken and a prediction of 1020 species for the whole of North-Sulawesi; it’s clear that there is still a lot to discover. Hopefully we can get Mark and Gerry back next year to continue their surveying and counting. Take your time to read the article below and feel privileged to be able to dive in such a rich area.


From previous informal surveys that Gerry Allen had conducted in the 1990′s, he had recorded 712 species from 282 genera and 78 families. After their survey (1 week in Minahasa Lagoon + 5 informal days in Lembeh Strait), they have increased this total to 967 species from 329 genera and 84 families. That’s a 36% increase in species diversity and they feel this is far from what could be there. They didn’t have the possibility to survey all the possible habitats which exist in this area during this survey, and after each dive they added 25-40 new records to their list.

Gerry over the years has developed a “Coral Fish Diversity Index” (CFDI) that allows one to take the numbers of 6 easily seen and censused reef fish families (butterflyfish, angelfish, damselfish, surgeonfish, wrasses, and parrotfishes) and predict the overall diversity. The theory here is that it is hard to truly count all the reef fishes in a site in a short period of time because many of them are highly cryptic and secretive and require a LONG time to truly census them all. By using the CFDI, you can take the numbers of these easily seen “diversity predictor” families and then predict the total diversity. If we do this with Gerry’s original species list from North Sulawesi, he predicted a total of 867 species (less than what they counted on this last go round!). Using their new numbers, the CFDI now predicts 1020 species for North Sulawesi (Bunaken to Lembeh, NOT including Sangihe-Talaud).

A very exciting point was the extremely high per-dive site fish diversity. In general, any counts of over 200 species on a single dive is considered a very high diversity site. Of the 9 sites that they surveyed, 6 were higher than 200 species (67% of sites), and two of them broke 300 species (Poopoh/Malcolm had 310 species and Sachiko’s on Bunaken had 301 species)! To put this in perspective, in over 40 years’ of survey work around the Coral Triangle region, Gerry Allen has only documented three sites that have broken 300 species: Kayoa Island, Halmahera (303 species), Tanjung Papisoi in Kaimana, West Papua (330 species) and Cape Kri in Raja Ampat (374 species). So Poopoh/Malcolm is now the 3rd richest fish site ever recorded, and Sachiko’s the 5th. Note that these counts are done in a single dive. Actually Gerry and Mark surveyed Poopoh/Malcolm twice and if they combine the counts from these 2 surveys they get to a total of 386 species, a huge number.

Some of the really exciting fish finds for them included both a number of potential new species, as well as a number of exciting range extensions (ie, fishes that were previously not known from anywhere near North Sulawesi) and exceedingly rare fishes that had never before been photographed live that they now were able to photograph in their natural environment.

A quick summary of these include:


  1. Deepwater Chromis damsel on Bunaken walls
  2. Surge zone damsel Chrysiptera brownriggi, that has bright orange stripes through face and may well be a new species
  3. Surge zone damsel Chrysiptera cyanea where the males are pure bright blue with no orange in tail and fins which may also be a new species
  4. Coral dwarfgoby Eviota that appears new.
  5. Siphonfish Siphamia that is either new or a never-before live photographed animal.
  6. Several species of coral goby Trimma that are likely new species

Likely new species Deepwater Chromis damsel on Bunaken walls

Coral goby Trimma that is likely new species


  1. Heteroconger cobra. A garden eel that Gerry Allen discovered with Jack Randall from Guadalcanal in the 1970′s and has not been recorded anywhere in 39 years! Not only is this a big range extension, but also we were able to get the only live photographs in existence of this beautiful species.
  2. Pseudanthias charlenae. A beautiful fairy basslet named after Prince Albert of Monaco’s bride. Previously only known from Bali and West Papua, now known to be common on Bunaken’s deep walls!
  3. Salarias alboguttatus. A blenny that had never previously been recorded from Indonesia.
  4. Siganus unimaculatus. A rabbitfish that was previously only known from northern Philippines and Ryuku islands in Japan, as well as one remote population in western Australia’s Rowley Shoals. Now known from Manado as well.
  5. Meiacanthus crinitus. A fang blenny previously only known from New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
  6. Trimma papayum. A coral goby reviously only known from Raja Ampat and Flores.
  7. Tomiyamichthys latruncularias. A shrimp goby previously only known from Red Sea and Maldives, with one record from Java Sea – this is furthest east ever recorded.

Heteroconger Cobra, a garden eel that Gerry Allen discovered in 1970′s

Pseudanthias Charlenae, a beautiful fairy basslet named after Prince Albert of Monaco’s bride. Previously only known from Bali and West Papua


Salarias-alboguttatus, a blenny that had never previously been recorded from Indonesia

Trimma Papayum, a coral goby reviously only known from Raja Ampat and Flores.


  1. Lutjanus dodecacanthoides, the sunbeam snapper. Described in 1854 from a fish market specimen in Ambon. It has since been recorded from India, Negros (Philippines) and southern Japan, but only from fish market specimens. No live photographs known to exist. They were able to photograph it live!
  2. Symphasandon katayamai. Previously only photographed from fish markets in North Sulawesi, but now with a live photo.

The sunbeam snapper, no live photographs known to exist and only known from markets.

Symphysanodon Katayamai, previously only photographed from fish markets in North Sulawesi

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