Relax, unwind and enjoy tropical island living for seven nights on beautiful Bangka Island. Murex Bangka is set on a private white sand beach where the crystal clear waters give way to a kaleidoscopic coral reef just steps from the shore. Snorkel over pristine corals while surrounded by a dazzling array of colorful reef fish and explore world class reefs which are frequented by eagle rays, turtles and even occassional dugongs.
From coral gardening beneath the sea to trekking the peaks of the Minahasan Highlands and the Tangkoko Nature Reserve, this stunning region of North Sulawesi is a nature enthusiasts paradise. Look out for Sulawesi cuscus bears, tarsier monkeys, endemic crested black macaques and a myriad of sea birds and tropical butterfly species. From the moment you arrive you’ll feel well looked after by our warm hearted team. Enjoy al fresco dining overlooking the ocean and days filled with exploring and discovering some of the most idyllic landscapes of Indonesia.
Day 1: After welcoming you at Manado Airport we’ll drive to the most northern point of the North Sulawesi peninsula from where we take a short boat ride (20 mins) to Bangka Island. When we arrive at Murex Bangka you’ll be mesmerized by the crystal clear waters and white sand beach – your tropical island holiday has begun! Depending on the time of your arrival, it may be possible to enjoy a snorkeling session on the House Reef with one of our dedicated snorkeling guides in the afternoon.
*Please note that if your flight arrives after 4pm you may be required to overnight at Murex Manado depending on sailing and sea conditions. If an overnight stay is required, we will transfer you to Murex Bangka the following morning.
Day 2: Discover North Sulawesi’s richest coral reefs with a morning of snorkeling at some of our favourite sites. We’ll visit two different locations by boat and you’ll be accompanied by one of our experienced snorkeling guides who’ll point out the most iconic species and help you to identify what you see. After snorkeling we return to the resort for a hearty buffet lunch followed by an afternoon trip to our local island village of Lihunu. Taking a stroll around the village gives a wonderful insight into daily life on the island. The narrow streets are bordered by neat picket fences and the local children love to pose for photographs!
In the evening there is an option to try night snorkeling – a completely unique experience which enables you to catch a glimpse of some of North Sulawesi’s unusual nocturnal marine species. We aim to start snorkeling before sundown so you can see the changes that take place as the sun sets overhead.
Day 3: Visit the Tangkoko Nature Reserve and see some of Sulawesi’s endemic species in their natural environment including tarsier monkeys, the Sulawesi black crested macaque, hornbills and other rare bird species, butterflies and lizards. Lunch includes a traditional barbeque over coconut husks on the beach in Tangkoko.
Day 4: Learn how to recreate the flavors of North Sulawesi at home during a morning cooking class. You’ll learn the secrets behind some of Indonesia’s favorite national dishes as well as Manadonese classics. For those who prefer to stay out of the kitchen, there is the option to spend the morning snorkeling and exploring Murex Bangka’s two House Reefs.
After lunch we combine an Ocean Gardener coral presentation with a visit to our coral nursery. The coral nursery is where we grow coral fragments to later transplant into our coral reef restoration area behind the resort.
Day 5: We board the boat after breakfast and head out for a full day on the water. Highlights of the day include snorkeling at Batu Merah and exploring the mangroves. Mangrove forests are home to birds, and reptiles and they also form nurseries for juvenile fish. As we glide silently through the mangroves we often spot numerous species of birds in the tree canopy and reptiles lazing on the banks. During these trips we look out for Dugong, the Indonesian sea cow which is closely related to the manatee and feeds on seagrass in the shallows. Lunch is served either onboard the boat or on one of the many secluded white sand beaches which we pass along the way. The day is rounded off with a beach barbecue and performances from local musicians back at the resort.
Day 6: Explore the Minahasan Highlands including trekking to the crater rim of Mahawu Volcano, experience the hustle and bustle of a traditional local market in Tomohon, enjoy the views from the Makatete Hills, and relax with a leisurely lunch at 600 meters above sea level on the side of Lake Tondano, the largest crater lake in Sulawesi.
If you’d prefer another day out on the water, this day may also be another full day snorkeling tour with the option to visit the Bunaken Marine Park (Bunaken Marine Park fee and boat surcharge applies).
Day 7: Depending on your onward travel times, enjoy relaxing at the resort or snorkeling on the house reef before checking out and heading back to the airport with our driver – after our team wish you a fond farewell and bon voyage!