Sulawesi Snorkeling Photography Trip

From Two Wonderful Resorts, Explore Abundant Coral Triangle Reefs and Get Better at Snorkeling Photography

May 14-27, 2022

Join this 12 snorkeler group on this exciting trip snorkeling some of the most abundant and alive coral reefs in the world, from two stunning resorts in Indonesia. Your guide on this 14 day trip is an award winning underwater photographer who has created this workshop adventure to help you get better at taking pictures as a snorkeler. You will come back with great pictures and a much better understanding of your camera, photo editing, and techniques for the unique challenges of taking pictures while snorkeling.

Colorful Mandarinfish

Both resorts are located in a remote area of the Coral Triangle, in North Sulawesi. First you will be staying at the Siladen Resort (pictured below), which is ideally located for exploring Bunaken National Marine Park. The reefs here are rich with healthy corals, schools of fish in great varieties, and a healthy turtle population. Next you visit Lembeh Island, staying at Lembeh Resort, and will explore the unique sea life in the famous Lembeh Strait. Your photography subjects will be the nearly invisible frogfish, octopus, and colorful but small nudibranchs.

Siladen Island, home of the Siladen Resort.

If that is not enough, you will have a dolphin and whale watching tour, and a jungle hike in Tangkoko National Park where you can see black crested macaque monkeys, hornbills, and tarsiers in their natural habitat.

This trip is being run by our partner and friend Ben and his team. Based in the U.K., they are experts in the Coral Triangle, run amazing excursions, and have a great appreciation for the underwater world.

Green Sea Turtle on a coral reef in Sulawesi Indonesia

Where in the World Do You Get to Snorkel?

Coral Triangle Map

This Indonesian snorkel safari starts in Manado on North Sulawesi, where you will be met by your tour guide, and then take a short drive and boat ride to Siladen Island and resort, which is within the Bunaken National Marine Park.

You will have seven nights at the Siladen Resort, using it as a home base to explore nearby snorkel spots by boat. There will also be a morning dedicated to dolphin and pilot whale watching.

Sulawesi Snorkeling Photography Trip Map 1
Sulawesi Snorkeling Photography Trip Map 2

From Siladen you will be transferred by boat to Lembeh Resort.

You will spend six nights at Lembeh Resort with two days exploring the reefs around Bangka Island, and you will also have an afternoon of trekking around Tangkoko National Park on North Sulawesi Island.

Finally your group will be taken back to Manado Airport, which is the end of the tour.

What Will You Learn About Snorkeling Photography?

Snorkeler taking a picture of a Banded Sea Krait

Besides seeing amazing reef life, this trip is unique because it will be focused on helping you get better at your snorkeling photography. It is for every level of photographer, from beginner, to advanced, for any type of camera, from a tiny GoPro, to an Olympus TG series, up to a SLR in a massive housing if that is what you have.

Snorkeling photography offers unique challenges compared to diving photography. Snorkelers work in shallower water, with lots of available light. And if you duck dive you have to get your shot on one breath of air while controlling your depth.

Your teacher and snorkel guide is an award winning underwater photographer who has published many articles and images, and also has guided many snorkeling trips, so he is very familiar with the challenges of taking pictures as a snorkeler and will help you get the best out of your camera and your snorkeling technique.

Photography Instruction Will Include:

  • Evening presentations on a variety of photographic topics
  • In-water training focused on finding good subjects, improving your duck dives, and any other help you need
  • Individual help and picture critiques
  • Camera setting tutorials
  • Photo editing software tips and techniques
Split-shot of a reef underwater and the landscape and sky above the water

Watch This Short Highlight Video


Siladen Resort - What the Snorkeling and Resort Are Like

Snorkelers at Siladen Resort
Beautiful green nudibranch on Sulawesi Indonesia coral reef

You will be staying at the Siladen Resort for seven nights. The island is in the Bunaken National Marine Park, which offers huge biodiversity and rare and endangered animals. The 343 square miles of protected marine park boasts an astounding variety of hard and soft corals, beautiful fans, seven species of giant clams, 33 types of butterflyfish, Bumphead Parrotfish, and a massive variety of other fish species. Bunaken Island also has a large turtle population.

Abundant coral reef with fish in Bunaken National Marine Park
Anemonefish in the tentacles of an anemone

The island reefs start very shallow near shore, then drop off into steep walls that plunge down into great ocean depths. These depths create ocean currents that bring cooler waters and nutrients, which is one reason why the reefs are so full of life and healthy.

Shallow hard coral reef

Snorkeling along the shallow reef tops allows you to see colorful corals and abundant fish life in warm tropical waters. There will be six full days of snorkeling, from the excellent house reef, and from two all snorkeling boat trips per day to different unique reef areas. Also included will be a dolphin watching excursion, where you also have a high chance of seeing the hundreds of pilot whales in the marine park.

Massive school of barracuda in Sulawesi Indonesia
Siladen Resort's snorkeling boat

Your daily snorkeling adventures are from the comfort of a large wooden snorkel boat with full shade, lots of seating, refreshments, freshwater soaking bins for your camera, and a marine toilet. There are ladders to make getting back on board easy. And back at the resort there is a dedicated camera station, for storing and charging up your camera gear.

Dedicated camera station at Siladen Resort

When it comes to an exclusive island experience Siladen Resort is hard to beat. Your private, well appointed and air-conditioned accommodations are meters from a white sand beach with beautiful garden views. The resort has a pool, lounge, and spa to pamper yourself with a massage or scrub.

Cocktails on Siladen Resort's Beach
Your Siladen accommodation features an open air bathroom.

The inside of your Garden View Villa at Siladen Resort.
Siladen Dinner Table

And the restaurant serves an excellent and delicious mix of international and local dishes.

They are usually able to accommodate guests with special dietary requirements.

Fresh seafood and produce on the menu at Siladen Resort.

Lembeh Resort - What the Snorkeling and Resort Are Like

You will spend six nights at Lembeh Resort, which is located on the famous Lembeh Strait, home to some very unique underwater environments and creatures.

With 14 snorkel sessions included, some days will include morning and afternoon boat snorkel trips to explore neighboring reefs, returning for lunch. The resort also has a house reef you can snorkel.

Aerial view of Lembeh Resort and its house reef
Unique frogfish in Lembeh Indonesia

Lembeh is known to be home to a variety of unique and sometimes bizarre creatures, like frogfish, nudibranchs, and octopus. They make for great photographic subjects for a snorkeling photographer. The area has volcanic sand banks which support shallow coral reefs and rare marine life.


Newly hatched sea turtle floating on the surface of the water

From Lembeh you will have two full day trips snorkeling the sites around Bangka Island, with a pack lunch on the boat. Bangka Island is known for its beautiful sloping fringe reefs.

Hard coral reef over a drop-off in Sulawesi Indonesia
Shallow hard coral reef in Sulawesi Indonesia
Lembeh Resort's snorkeling boat

The snorkel boat you will venture out on each day is large and comfortable, with full shade, a marine toilet, and refreshments. There is a comfortable ladder for getting back on board from the water.

The garden view rooms at the resort are well appointed and air-conditioned, with en-suite bathrooms.

Garden View Room at Lembeh Resort
Lembeh Resort

You will be eating well at Lembeh. Thanks to the many regional farmers, produce and fruits are delivered daily and are as fresh as you can get. The chef prepares international & Indonesian cuisine, and can accommodate most dietary needs.

Lembeh Resort Meal

There is also a dedicated area to store your camera and to charge it up between snorkeling sessions.

Lembeh Resort camera storage and charging room
Split-shot with sea grass and sea stars underwater and a sunset over a volcano above the water
Black crested macaque monkey

You will also have a half day tour/trek through the Tangkoko National Park on North Sulawesi Island.

You will have the opportunity to see interesting forest creatures like the black crested macaque monkeys, hornbills, and tarsiers in their natural habitat.

Trip Details & How to Sign Up

This is a small group trip and we expect it to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.

Trip Date:
May 14-27, 2022 - Available.

Price:
$4795 US per person (Twin/Double Share)
Single Person Supplement: $700

The initial deposit for this trip is $800 US per person. At six months before departure there is a $1000 US per person interim deposit. The final balance will be due three months before departure. A few payment options are available including debit and credit cards.

Individual travelers - Ben will happily find someone of the same sex for you to share a room with to avoid the single person supplement. If he cannot find you someone, no single supplement surcharge will apply.

Inclusions:

  • Group transfers throughout
  • 7 nights at Siladen Resort in a Garden View Accommodation with full board (all meals)
  • 12 snorkeling boat sessions and a dolphin watching trip from Siladen, including guides and photo instructor
  • Unlimited house reef snorkeling at Siladen
  • 6 nights at Lembeh Resort in a Garden View Accommodation with full board (all meals)
  • 14 snorkeling boat sessions, with 2 days around Bangka Island, including guides and photo instructor
  • Unlimited house reef snorkeling at Lembeh
  • Services of underwater photography instructor and snorkel guide
  • Marine park fees
  • Excursion and entrance fee for Tangkoko National Park, including English speaking naturalist guide

Exclusions:

  • International and domestic flights (booking available on request)
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Tips
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, laundry and general sundries
  • Spa services

Trip Organizers
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers and leaders of this trip (more about them below). Galen & Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all signups, trip organization and payments are made to and managed by Ben's team. TropicalSnorkeling.com does receive a referral fee in exchange for promoting the trip, at no extra cost to attendees.

How to Sign Up or Learn More?
Use the contact form below to contact Ben and his team to request more information about them and express your interest in signing up. They will get back to you shortly with full details.




More About Ben & Our Partnership

Ben and Nicole heading out on the snorkel boat in Alor, Indonesia.

Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have around twenty years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 and is primarily offering guided snorkeling trips, but he started with diving. He began offering snorkeling specific trips because he was aware that snorkelers often get the short end of the stick when thrown in with divers. He and his team love the freedom and low stress of snorkeling, and are very aware of the different needs of snorkelers versus divers, in terms of the reef depth, and calm surface conditions needed.

From our experience going on one of his snorkeling trips we found it very well organized, the guides were fantastic and very helpful, and the underwater experiences were exceptional. Snorkeling groups really get the benefit of all of Ben and his guides' years of experience in the water, and with different resorts and liveaboards.

All of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio of snorkelers to guides. And for where they visit, and how packed they are with experiences, they are affordable.

His company is licensed and insured. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips, and all funds are held in a trust until the trip is completed giving you 100% financial security if they or any of their suppliers go out of business before the trip happens.

Learn More About The Resorts

Siladen Resort Website

Siladen Resort TripAdvisor Reviews

Lembeh Resort Website

Lembeh Resort TripAdvisor Reviews



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