North Sulawesi


The Province

North Sulawesi is a land of magnificent coral reefs protecting virgin -white beaches, mountains and active volcanoes, reminding the islanders and the world of the potential power of one of the earth's most awesome forces. The people of North Sulawesi can be classified into four groups: Minahasa, Bolaang Mongondow, Gorontalo and the Sangir-Talaud. The Minahasans are centered around the Provincial capital of Manado, but the entire province has a strong tra-dition of trade and contact with the outside world. The Sangir-Talaud island to the north of the mainland, form a natural bridge to the Philippines providing a convenient route for peoples and cultures to easily move between Indonesia and the Philippines, and many traces of Filipino culture can still he found here. Apart from introducing a Strong political and religious structure, the Filipinos encouraged the local populations to raise coconuts, copra and nutmeg. Today the main industries of the province are copra and cloves. North Sulawesi has a larger concentration of coconut trees than any other part of Indonesia.

The Dutch, however, have had the strongest influence on the development of the region. First contact with European traders came in the 16th century with the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese, and with them they brought Chris-tianity. It wasn't until the arrival of the Dutch that Christianity became the predominant religion of the area. The provincial capital of Manado is one of the international gateways into Indonesia. Regular flights to all parts of the Indonesia archipelago service this beautiful town, as well as the smaller airports of Gorontalo, Tabuna and Talaud. Manado's main attractions are off-shore: the truly incredible coral reefs off nearby Bunaken island are now a protected Marine Park and offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world.

Places of Interest

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