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Passport to Paradise - Bunaken, Bangka, Lembeh in North Sulawesi, Indonesia


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I am seriously thinking of booking a trip to these three Indonesian (North Sulawesi) destinations, using the 'Passport to Paradise' combo deal offered by Murex Resorts with transfers between them by dive boat.

I was thinking of 5 days in each - maybe a couple extra in Lembeh which I've always wanted to dive.

Anyone tried this Murex deal?

Thoughts on how to split the trip eg. equal days in all three?

Suggested time of year?

 

And finally, I've heard that Lembeh is so popular these days that diving there is crowded and not so good any more. But I really want to get stuck into the muck diving there...

Thoughts?

Is Murex a good dive operator for Lembeh?

Thanks in advance...

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I haven't done the Murex deal but I know people doing it in a month or two. 

 

I went to Diver's lodge Lembeh when I did Lembeh a few years back and I would highly recommend them.  They have as standard 2 divers one guide, though they now have a private boat scheme which may add to the costs if you are travelling alone.  They will also pick you up of drop you off at other resorts.  An additional consideration is they will dive the far side of Lembeh Island at the right time of year which has coral sites as opposed to muck sites being at the SW end of the island the trip around to coral sites is relatively short.

 

In addition, food is good, accommodation comfortable and pricing reasonable.

 

https://www.diverslodgelembeh.com/

 

also see their FAQ page about timing.  I was there in November just as the wet season was kicking off so it was drizzling a bit.  Some critters are seasonal for example Ornate ghost pipefish are most sighted June-October.  This guide may be useful:

 

https://critters.lembehresort.com/ornate_ghostpipefish_solenostomus_paradoxus_c62.html

 

Just type in critters you are interested in and it says where they are found and any seasonality.

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Just got back from Lembeh and used Dive into Lembeh. It was not crowded bc they have great guide to diver ratio and if we saw boats could move dive sites. The popular sites were busy on one or two occasions but didn’t find it an issue at all. Maybe depends on the dive resort and guests etc and dive itinerary 

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We're headed for north Sulewesi a month from today, our first trip to this area.  We're doing a modified "passport"--a week at Bunaken Oasis, five nights at Murex Bangka, and a week at Lembeh Resort (NAD was booked solid, but completely happy with prospect of LR).  Boat transfers with a couple of dives between each site. 

 

Dentrock asked whether Murex is a good Lembeh operator.  My understanding is that Murex doesn't have a separate operation in Lembeh, but partners with Lembeh Resort.  All of the major Lembeh operators seem to have good reputations and committed fans, no?

 

We had planned to go to Little Cayman during the same period, but after seeing the devastating bleaching in nearby Cuba in January, we revised our plans.   

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