It may lack the well-developed, sybaritic appeal of Bali to the southwest, but Indonesia’s North Sulawesi has charms all its own. The lush province, set along the volcanic Pacific Ring of Fire, teems with biodiversity- from forested nature preserves to the world-class Bunaken marine reserve, home to more than 2,500 varieties of fish. Though the island has maintained a low profile, it’s definitely on the rise, thanks to direct flights from Singapore to its capital, Manado, and a wealth of sustainable ecotourism projects in the works (including a recent, successful campaign to prevent a gold mine from dumping its harmful tailings into the sea). The pick of the province’s resorts is the year-old Kima Bajo Resort & Spa (62-43/186-0999; www.kimabajo.com; doubles from $230) set on remote Wori Bay. Here, a collection of 32 elegant suites and freestanding thatched-roof villas- some with outdoor rain showers and bathtubs- and a serene spa cascade down a hill to a volcanic-sand beach. Guests spend their days cruising Bunaken and the surrounding islands, dining on superb Indonesian fare, and taking in the breathtaking sunsets over Manado Tua, a dormant volcano rising from the sea.

While There

Organize a hike with Tangkoko Ecotourism Guides Club (62-43/187-1845; www.neba.nl) through the densely forested 21,745-acre Tangkoko-Batu Angus Dua Saudara National Park to spot the fabulously eccentric spectral tarsier, a tiny nocturnal primate with enormous eyes that can swivel its head 180 degrees and jump 10 times its body length. Try finding that on Bali.

This review appeared in the February 2007 issue of Travel + Leisure Magazine, USA edition. Prices were correct at the time of publication.