Manado city is the provincal capital of North Sulawesi. Manado is the starting point for exploration of the Minahasa region's many attractions. Fun-loving and extroverted, the Minahasa people live in neat wood frame houses, with fences and flower gardens, giving Manado a European feel.
A former stronghold of the Dutch and the cultural center of the Minahasa people, for a long time Manado prospered through trade with the nearby Philippines and the spice trade with the rest of the world with many visitors going to the islands and reefs of nearby Bunaken.
There is a wide range of hotels and restaurants. Those with an adventurous palate should try the famously hot and spicy Minahasa cuisine. The city's numerous shops and markets are filled with an abundance of consumer goods and agricultural produce, while behind every building are glimpses of emerald hills and azure sea.
Inland from Manado, a trip through the Minahasa Highlands will take you to intriguing prehistoric above-ground burial sites, volcanoes, hot springs, the highland lake Tondano and breathtaking panoramas of lush mountains, coffee and coconut plantations, orchid gardens and terraced hillsides. From Manado, also be sure to visit the Dua Saudara Nature Reserve - Tangkoko, home to birds and other wildlife unique to Sulawesi, such as the Tarsier - the smallelst monkey, cus cus, Hornbill and more...