Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on January 7, 2024
Just 12 miles south of Manado, the Lumbalumba Resort has a rather interesting house-reef for snorkelers. If its coral reef is less spectacular than those of the neighboring Bunaken National Park, the sandy areas of the back reef offer an experience close to muck snorkeling. If you have a keen eye, you can spot seahorses, shrimpgobies, scorpionfish, snake eels and sometimes small stingrays.
The Lumbalumba Resort is a small hotel located about 12 miles southwest of Manado, the main city of North Sulawesi. Manado, which is home to a major airport (Sam Ratulangi International Airport, 12 miles north of the city), is also the gateway to the Bunaken Marine Park, home to world-class snorkeling spots like Siladen Island or Bunaken eastern drop-off.
Whether from the airport or the city center, you can easily reach the resort by taxi. If you are not staying at Lumbalumba Resort, you can request permission to enter the water from the hotel jetty.
The most convenient snorkel entry is from the concrete steps located at the dive center (see map).
The recommended snorkeling area extends between the coast and the front of the coral reef, which is more or less at the level of the jetty. Most visitors snorkel on the right side (zone 1 on the map) but you can also snorkel on the other side of the jetty (zone 2). In this case, watch out for boats when snorkeling around the jetty.
Between the coast and the reef, there is a shallow area where you will encounter sandy bottoms, rocky scree, and a few roots (↕2-6 feet/0.5-1.5 m).
Don’t overlook this bare underwater landscape: it is home to species typical of “muck snorkeling”, such as scorpionfish, snake eels, shrimp-gobies, and above all fascinating seahorses. The latter are sometimes present on the sand, clinging to small marine plants, only a few meters from the shore. These sandy areas are also frequently visited by bluespotted stingrays.
As you swim opposite to the shore, the seabed gradually becomes covered with corals. These are rather in poor condition, and alternate between patches of living corals and dead corals/coral debris (↕3-10 feet /1-3 meters).
Despite the seabed aspect, you’ll see a lot of fish on the reef: several kinds of anemonefish, scorpionfish, batfish, damselfish, and many more colorful species (see species list at the bottom of the page). On the front of the reef, the sea becomes too deep to be snorkeled.
This spot is the house reef of the Lumbalumba Resort, but you have to cross a road to access the shore from the hotel.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Vibrant reef drop off with turtles and shallow seagrass meadows
Free shore access
Vibrant reef drop off and shallow seagrass meadows
House reef with a lush coral drop off and sea turtles
Vibrant coral reef with an abundance of fish
Vibrant reef drop off loaded with fish
Healthy coral reef with fish and turtles