North Sulawesi is one of the 32 provinces in the Republic of Indonesia, with its capital city being Manado (formely also called Menado). This region with an area of 1,533,698 ha is located at 0º30″- 4º 3″ North Latitude and 121º127″ East Longitude.
Provinces & municipalities
Based on the regional government system, North Sulawesi is subdivided into the Manado Municipality, Bolaang Mongondow District, Sangihe Talaud District and Bitung Municipality. To the North this region borders on the Republic of the Philippines, Sulawesi Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The Eastern part is on the Maluku Sea and the Southern side is the Tomini Gulf. The western part borders Gorontalo Province which until the end of 2000 was a part of North Sulawesi and then became its own province.
The terrain is extremely mountainous and hilly, stretching from Lembean – Wulur Mahatus mountain chain (in Minahasa) continuing to Mount Ambang– Mount Gambuta (in Bolaang Mongondow). In Sangihe Talaud there are both active and extinct volcanoes, some towering 1,800 – 2,000 meters. Rich volcanic ash has blessed North Sulawesi with fertile lands; the highlands and lowlands producing rice, coconut, clove, nutmeg, vanilla and vegetables. The plains produce rice and corn in Dumoga, Ayong and Sangkub (Bolaang Mongondow). Plateaus in Tondano (Minahasa) also produce rice and corn, while Modoinding is know for its vegetables. Sangihe Talaud is recognized for its high quality nutmeg and Rumbia Trees (Sago palm, the source of a special flour for traditional cookies/snacks).
North Sulawesi is also endowed with many lakes like Lake Tondano and Lake Moat. The rivers like Ongkag Mongondow, Ongkag Dumoga, Sungai Sangkub, Randangan, Bulia and others are utilized mostly for irrigation of the ricefields. The Tondano River is used to generate electrical power for Manado and Minahasa regions.