Connect with us


Murex Resorts: Passport to Paradise!



passport to paradise

Are you planning your next tropical diving holiday? With literally the world at your feet and so many different types of diving to choose from it can be tough deciding where to go.

The Indonesian province of North Sulawesi lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the most marine rich region on Earth. North Sulawesi offers incredible wall diving in the Bunaken Marine Park; wreck, critters and reef combinations in Manado Bay; colourful coral reefs surrounding Bangka Island; and the world’s best muck diving in the Lembeh Strait. So how do you begin to choose which destination to visit?

Whilst many divers have heard of these world class diving destinations, some may not realize the close proximity within which they are found. Taking a scuba diving holiday in North Sulawesi does not mean that you have to choose between locations – you can see all that is on offer in one trip with a Passport to Paradise.

Dive Your Way from Resort to Resort

The idea of moving from resort to resort can seem arduous and result in wasted diving days – but in North Sulawesi this does not need to be the case. Murex’s Passport to Paradise is a unique concept and an experience unlike any other. Stay at Murex Manado (for diving Bunaken and Manado), smoothly transition to Murex Bangka and then on to Lembeh Resort. You can choose the number of nights you wish to stay in each location (and the order) and boat transfers include two dives along the way. The seamless boat diving transfers ensure that there are no wasted diving days, no time-consuming logistical planning, and no drying and packing gear between destinations. Dive your way, hassle free, from one resort to the next.

Let’s take a look at the beautiful resorts and the world-class diving that awaits you in North Sulawesi….

Stay at Murex Manado Resort

This beautiful resort is set amid lush, tropical water gardens, overlooking the ocean with stunning views of Manado Tua volcano and Bunaken Island. The resort’s landscaped gardens feature lily ponds, koi ponds, spring fed streams, mature fruit trees, tropical flowers and turtles are known to nest on the black sand beach.

Passport to Paradise

Accommodation is a mix of comfortable and spacious Deluxe Cottages and there are two Premium Deluxe Cottages that are even more generously proportioned and include additional storage and beautiful organic decorative touches. All accommodation has ensuite bathrooms with hot water, air conditioning, either a king size bed or twin beds, verandas with comfortable seating, and thoughtful finishes.

When you are not diving, enjoy the infinity pool with sunlounges overlooking the ocean, sea kayaks are available, there is a variety of land tours to choose from or indulge yourself with a relaxing spa treatment.

Passport to Paradise

Diving in the Bunaken Marine Park

Just 30 minutes by boat from Murex Manado Resort lies the world renowned Bunaken Marine Park. The Bunaken Marine Park was one of the first regions in Indonesia to be declared a Marine Protected Area by the Indonesian Government, and it shows! No fishing is allowed on the reefs and this is a no-anchoring zone, utilising mooring buoys instead to protect the corals from anchor damage. Dive sites around this small island are characterized by staggering coral walls that descend into the depths and are teeming with life. The resident population of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) has grown from strength to strength over the years, so much so that at some sites you’ll lose count of the number of turtles you see in a single dive. Hawksbill turtles are also known to frequent the marine park.

Passport to Paradise

Other highlights of diving in Bunaken include phenomenal visibility, huge schools of pyramid butterflyfish and red toothed triggerfish, passing white tip reef sharks, broadclub cuttlefish, an array of nudibranch species, hunting banded kraits, a plethora of macro critters and look out for occasional spotted eagle rays gliding in the blue.

Diving in Manado Bay

Manado Bay is home to wide ranging marine life and diverse dive sites. This area is becoming increasingly recognized for its black sand muck diving sites that are home to an abundance of unusual critters from numerous cephalopod species through to seahorses, nudibranch and crustaceans. The Molas wreck is an exciting wreck dive and also offers a myriad of fish and critters. The Bay is an underwater playground for marine enthusiasts and photographers alike. Another highlight of diving here is night diving, which is when the critters really put on a show! To the south of Manado Bay lays Poopoh, a record breaking site where 385 different species of fish were recorded in one dive.

Passport to Paradise

Stay at Murex Bangka Resort

Situated on a palm-fringed white sand beach, Murex Bangka Resort offers a truly tropical island experience. When staying at Murex Bangka you won’t see a single road or vehicle, just a beach, the ocean and bright blue skies.

Accommodation options include Oceanfront Cottages, Premium Oceanfront Cottages, and Hillside Deluxe Cottages. All accommodations have ensuite bathrooms with hot water, verandas, either a king size bed or twin beds, and comfortable seating. Deluxe and Premium accommodations are beautifully appointed and more generously proportioned with additional daybeds and storage space. All Oceanfront accommodations offer stunning sea views and Murex’s Oceanfront cottages are an ideal option for solo travelers.

Passport to Paradise

Bangka’s cottages have 24/7 electricity, powered largely by solar). Rooms are fan cooled during the day with air conditioning running from 5pm – 7am to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. Murex Bangka’s Dive Centre has individual gear lockers and boasts an impressive spacious camera room – a major plus for underwater photographers.

Passport to Paradise

Diving Bangka Island, North Sulawesi

Bangka is as beautiful underwater as it is on land.  Dive sites around Bangka Island feature pinnacles, sea mounts and white sand muck. Bangka offers a spectrum of critters combined with schooling snappers and larger species including reef sharks. If you are interested in underwater photography, you’ll be spoiled for choice whether your preference is wide angle or macro.

Passport to Paradise

Bangka’s pinnacles are a major highlight. Every available surface is adorned with kaleidoscopic soft corals – expect an overload of colour! Some of Bangka’s most notable dive sites include Sahaung, Batu Goso, and Batu Mandi.

Passport to Paradise

Some of the unique critters you’ll find here include 3 species of pygmy seahorse, harlequin, tiger and mantis shrimps, a treasure trove of nudibranch species, octopus including blue rings, long arm, and mimic octopus. For those who prefer larger marine life, Bangka is also known for being one of the best places in North Sulawesi to have the chance of a dugong sighting.

Stay at Lembeh Resort

Known as Lembeh’s premier and most luxurious dive resort, Lembeh Resort is located in a secluded bay on the banks of the Lembeh Strait. At the heart of the resort is the architecturally impressive main restaurant, swimming pool, dive centre, camera room and esteemed Backscatter Authorized Photo Centre.

Lembeh Resort’s accommodation, as one would expect, is spacious and thoughtfully finished with absolute comfort in mind. Choose between 3 types of accommodations: Garden View Rooms, Hillside Luxury Cottages, and Premium Luxury Cottages.

Passport to Paradise

For those seeking a truly exclusive experience, Lembeh Resorts boasts a beautifully appointed Cliffside Villa. The villa is perched on a green hillside with a floral garden, private swimming pool and offers 180° views of the Lembeh Strait below.

All accommodations include ensuite bathrooms with hot water, hairdryers, air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds, hot and cold drinking water, complimentary tea and coffee, mini-bars, Wi-Fi, and electronic safes.

Passport to Paradise

Diving in the Lembeh Strait

Over the years, the Lembeh Strait has been named as the ‘Critter Capital of the World, a ‘Muck Diving Mecca’, and the ‘Twilight Zone’. All names of which Lembeh Strait is certainly worthy!!

It’s undeniable that Lembeh is one of the most unique places to dive on the planet. While ‘muck diving’ might not initially sound so appealing, do not be deceived. This is any marine life enthusiast’s dream.

Passport to Paradise

Lembeh Strait’s sheer abundance and density of rare and unusual critters is unrivalled anywhere on earth. Just a few of the highlights include; 3 species of pygmy seahorses; flamboyant cuttlefish; mandarin fish mating; 8 species of frogfish; tiger, mantis and harlequin shrimps; Bobbit worms; stargazers; multiple species of ghost pipefish; bobtail squid; octopus species including mimic, wunderpus, blue ring, coconut, hairy, longarm, and starry night; a rainbow of nudibranch species; and  the list goes on… and on.

Needless to say, this is why underwater photography professionals from around the world visit the Lembeh Strait time and time again.

Passport to Paradise

All resorts include full board accommodation: 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, Wi-Fi, unlimited complimentary drinking water, tea and coffee – and exemplary service comes as standard.

For those of you who want to experience the full diversity of Indonesia in comfort, have a choice of up to 150 dive sites, and maximize your diving opportunities – a Passport to Paradise is the dive trip of a lifetime.

Passport to Paradise

Contact Murex Resorts now and get a spending voucher worth 10% off your next holiday with them!

Contact Murex


The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch



the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Book Review: Plankton



Plankton: A Worldwide Guide by Tom Jackson and Jennifer Parker

This is a book that jumps off the shelf at you. The striking front cover demands that you pick it up and delve further, even if you may not have known you wanted to learn more about the most diminutive life in our ocean, plankton!

Small it might be. Much of the imagery in the book has been taken under huge magnification. Revealing stunning beauty and diversity in each scoop of “soup”. There is lots to learn. Initial chapters include interesting facts about the different vertical zones they inhabit, from sunlight to midnight (the darkest and deepest areas). I loved finding out more about the stunning show that divers oft encounter on night dives – bioluminescence.

The black water images are wonderful. So this is a book you can have as a coffee table book to dip in and our of. But, these tiny organisms are also vital to our very survival and that of all the marine life we love. They provide half the oxygen produced on our planet. They are also responsible for regulating the planets climate. And for a shark lover like me – they are food for charismatic sharks and rays like the Basking Shark and Manta Ray, along with a huge number of other species. This book contains great insight into their biology, life cycles, migration, and how the changes in currents and sea temperatures affects them.

This is a book that is both beautiful and packed with information about possibly the most important group of organisms on our planet. Anyone interested in the ocean should have it one their shelves.

What the publisher says:

Plankton are the unsung heroes of planet Earth. Passive drifters through the world’s seas, oceans, and freshwater environments, most are invisible or very small, but some are longer than a whale. They are the global ocean’s foundation food, supporting almost all oceanic life, and they are also vitally important for land-based plants, animals, and other organisms. Plankton provides an incomparable look at these remarkable creatures, opening a window on the elegance and grace of microscopic marine life.

This engaging book reveals the amazing diversity of plankton, how they belong to a wide range of living groups, and how their ecology, lifestyles, and adaptations have evolved to suit an enormous range of conditions. It looks at plankton life cycles, the different ways plankton feed and grow, and the vast range of strategies they use for reproduction. It tracks where, how, and why plankton drift through the water; shares perspectives on migrations and population explosions or “blooms” and why they happen; and discusses the life-sustaining role of plankton in numerous intertwined food webs throughout the world.

Beautifully illustrated, Plankton sheds critical light on how global warming, pollution, diminishing resources, and overexploitation will adversely impact planktonic life, and how these effects will reverberate to every corner of our planet.

About the Authors:

Tom Jackson is a science writer whose many popular books include Strange Animals and Genetics in MinutesJennifer Parker is a zoology and conservation writer and the author of several books. Andrew Hirst is a leading expert on plankton whose research has taken him around the world, from the Antarctic to Greenland and the Great Barrier Reef.

Book Details

Publisher: Princeton University Press


Price: £25

ISBN: 9780691255996

Published: 9th April, 2024

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: or call 01483 411590 More Less

Instagram Feed