Bunaken Bunaken National Marine Park is considered one of the world's top marine park and top diving destinations, located in the Manado Gulf in the center of the Coral Triangle of the Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, providing habitat more then 390 species of coral as well as many fish, mollusc, reptile and marine mammal species.
Bunaken National Marine Park is geographically included in the waters of "Golden Triangle" area is a habitat where more than 3,000 species of fish. Waters "Golden Triangle" which is meant that connects the ocean waters of Papua, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Because of its inherent wealth, government and non-governmental organizations (national or international) work together to run a program of conservation of coral reefs and mangroves in the area of Bunaken. Coral reef conservation program aims to protect thousands of species of marine fish from extinction ...
Please find the following of most and the top of Bunaken National Marine Park Dive Sites :
Lekuan 1 is another long beautifully covered reef, located in front of Bunaken Island, which seems impossible to be done in one dive. With visibility often 30 to 40 meters, sightings of larger species such at blacktip sharks, turtles, and schools of trevally and Napoleon wrasse are very common. Start on the sandy slope, which slowly get into the wall part of the site. Bannerfish and Napoleon Wrasse are resident in this famous diving spot including school of Pyramid Butterflyfish. Small whitetip reef sharks can be found sometimes here sleeping in crevices.
Continuing the first part of the famous long reef located in front of Bunaken Island is Lekuan 2. It is a vertical wall covered with different types of hard and soft corals, which have beautifully decorated this site and welcome a wide array of marine live. Great overhangs and small caves covered with soft corals combined with it's crystal clear water are one of the main reason for wide angle photographer's to visit this site. Napoleon Wrasse and big Green Turtles often visit this area. It is also a good place to find Purple Dart and Sailfin Gobies. Lekuan 2 located on the south coast of Bunaken island, towards Depan Kampung.
One of Bunaken Best dive sites, as it starts with a nice sandy slope with underwater pinnacles and continues to a wall, which drops to over 200m. Groups of Jacks and Barracudas are often found. Not to miss the small creatures that are resident to this site too, like cleaner shrimps, a nice variety of Nudibranchs and Flatworms to name a few. Gorgonians and big sponges decorate the wall in a magnificent way and complete it with a huge range of colorful fishes.
Celah - Celah.
This site offers a deep wall with large cracks everywhere. A great site especially with a bright sunlight passing through and brightens up the blue water. It is one of the favorite areas for photographers, due to its lunar landscape.
Mandolin sites is tops out near the surface, with a wall that is alive with fishes such as fusiliers, surgeon fish, unicorn fish and bannerfish. Mandolin is named after the same traditional musical instrument due to its shape from a bird's eye view. Small schools of Reef Fish, Angelfish, Bumphead Parrotfish and Gobies are there for your enjoyment. Not to forget the groups of large sized Barracudas, together with different colors and types of sea fans. In the deeper part, there is possibility to see Blacktip Reef Sharks. Dominant Species is Fusiliers, Pyramid Butterfly Fish.
This area of Bunaken is always protected from the big thunderstorms of the bad season, and it permits an unusual growth of many species of hard and soft corals. This is the point with the highest coral biodiversity all around the area. Spectacular also for snorkeling, if you are lucky can spot also turtles and eagle rays swimming in the blue. Bottom contour is Drop Off and Slope.
Located on the north west of Bunaken Island, this site was named after well-known underwater photographer, Mike Severns. A wall covered with a great variety of different, colorful corals is a home for a huge range of tropical reef fish, which makes it perfect for fish portrait photography. Big fishes are common guests to this site too, as it often has a strong current that is affected by the tides. The reef floor is covered in different types of Sponges that make it a great area for deeper diving. Coral reef dominant is Soft rock, Mixed, Soft rock and Mixed.
It is located exactly in front of the village of Bunaken. Strong current are prevailing in the area caused mostly by the location of the site. However, it is an interesting drift dive to cover a lot of area. Numbers of large Sea Turtles are common residents here. The site itself is well decorated with hard and soft corals along the wall with some overhangs and crevices where the small critters will draw your attention. School of Jacks and Barracudas can easily to be found as well as humphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse and big Dogtooth tunas patrolling along the reef. The top of the reef is a perfect place for the safety stop, with depth around 4-5 meters. Bottom contour Slope and Steep Slope.
This site has excellent macro objects to offer. One thing for sure is that you have to pay attention on the disguised creatures. Leaf fish, Ghost pipefish to name a few creatures, which have been seen here. The wall also offers beautiful caves, which often became a sleeping place for white tip reef shark. Sea Turtles and Eagle Rays are something that you may also see. Bottom contour is Drop Off and Steep Slope.
Located on the southwest side of Bunaken. Named after a Japanese dive instructor who first described the site in the 1980's, Sandy slopes leading to patches of hard and soft corals. This is one of the dive spots around Bunaken Island with no deep wall reef. Going down to around 15 meters only, there are 3 Giant Clams that are placed in a row, always surrounded by loads of Butterflyfish that are not shy to approach divers, this dive site has a gentle slope offering fish like ranging from ghost pipefish to Napoleans. An impressive bed of garden eels, a collection of giant clam Tridacna. Coral reef dominant is Hard rock.
South from Mike's Point lays a beautiful wall covered in sponges, with hard and soft corals. The rich environment of the wall has its own charm. This site also has a large cave and due to the strong currents often present, is the Bunaken site richest in Wire corals.
Coral reef fish is Butterfly, Cardinal, Angel, Grouper, Damselfish, Anthias, Batfish, Wrasse, Parrot, Surgeon, Trigger, Box, Puffer, Porcupine, with depth 5 - 20m.
A sandy slope site with occasional visitors such as Tuna, Jacks, Barracudas and not to forget Whitetip Reef Sharks and even occasional sightings of Gray Reef Sharks occur. The coral covered reef is not to be missed and observed as you can find Ghost Pipe Fish, Leaf Fish and also different type of anemone and Clown Fishes. Bottom contour Slope and Steep Slope.
A very steep Reef decorated with amazing soft and hard corals in the shallower areas of the reef. It is a vertical wall on the northeast side of Bunaken, with visibility frequently in the 30 to 40-meter range. In midwater, away from the reef, there are literally thousands and thousands of schooling red tooth Triggerfish. Large Gorgonians can also be found in the area. The slight current here means larger pelagics such as sharks, turtles, barracuda, and Napoleon wrasse, frequent the area other critters typically found here include moray eels, sea snakes, leaf scorpionfish, nudibranchs, crabs and shrimp. Bottom contour Steep Slope.
Siladen Island is a small island surrounded by a beautiful white sandy beach. The southern side of Siladen Island, Siladen has a vertical wall in large steps. The reef top is spectacular with a huge variety of hard & soft corals, and it is therefore an excellent spot for snorkeling. The colors of the corals here are just amazing - it is always amazing to find up to 10 different-coloured feather stars attached to a single large sponge. the sandy bottom offers lots of tiny creatures to be observed. White tip Reef Sharks are regular visitors as current is often present on this site. Bottom contour Drop Off and Slope.
Situated on the north side of the island of Siladen. After reaching the wall, the dive leads to a channel cutting the plateau, where a magnificent panorama of coloured corals, housing every type of marine life, appears: Napoleon, turtles, sleeping white fin sharks and sea eagles. The current varies according to the tides.
The site is situated towards the east of Muka Gereja. Currents are very much depending on the direction and strength of the wind. With the same great visibility, there is the possibility to see Silvertip Sharks, on its sandy slopes around the 30 m mark. Around the wall, which is decorated with a huge variety of beautiful soft corals, resident habitants like the Banded Pipe Fish, Angelfish and other Schooling fish are almost certain to be seen.
A magnificent wall with many small terraces and caves, where sponges, some of them over one meter in diameter, as well as soft corals are very frequent. Enormous schools of striped catfishes are so dense they can be mistaken for small whales. The current is smooth and the visibility from good to excellent. The picturesque volcano Manado Tua, ca. 800 m above sea level, makes this site really special.
Located in the Eastern part of Manado Tua Island, This site starts off with a slope going down to 30m and then continues to a vertical wall with a large reef flat rising to about 5m. Large Schools of big sized Barracudas, Batfish Napoleon Wrasse, schooling Banner fish and Butterfly fish can easily be found in this area. There are quite strong prevailing currents on this site, which make it a good place to see Sharks and Spotted Eagle Rays.
A dive in which the current can carry you a long way bypassing a big and interesting wall. In the upper part of the reef it is possible to sometimes spot dugongs (sea cows). Blue spotted rays, scorpion fishes and lion fishes are much more frequent. Many multicolour invertebrates, such as nudibranchs, ascidians and sea anemones make out of this dive a very colourful one, while sea snakes are almost never missing on the surface. The visibility here is usually between 15 - 25m.
Because of the frequent strong currents, this site is recommended to experienced divers only. On a mesmerizing wall next to a spacious coral plateau at a depth of about 20 m, it is possible to admire barracudas, jack fishes, reef sharks and big tuna fishes, often together with schools of catfish and hundreds of small barrier fishes in the upper part of the reef. This so impressive sight, together with its various species of multicolour corals, brings the dive to a wonderful experience even during the security stop.
A very long reef, impossible to explore in one dive only. The barrier life is extremely developed on this wall and frequently you see groupers, sharks, barracudas and sea eagles. During the tide changes, the visibility might be reduced from 15 - 25m.
The site is exactly in front of a Manado Tua Church. The waters around Muka Gereja are generally calm and offer excellent visibility with moderate to strong currents. It features an interesting, beautifully covered wall, with big barrel sponges, some of them almost 1 meter in diameter. The fascinating thing about this dive site is not only about what it has to offer underwater; the great volcano is an amazing sight when you surface. Bottom contour Drop Off and Slope.
The dive site on the coast of the mainland which is called Tanjung Pisok has a reef flat sloping to 15-20 meters depth, and is very rich with large tabular sponges, reef fishes, nudibranchs, ribbon eels and unusual green tree corals. Bottom contour Slope, and bottom composition Coral and Rocks.
A wonderful dive on a bank connected to the reef of the volcano Manado Tua offers, on the most external part, a fall in the dark blue. Being exposed in the channel between the islands of Bunaken and Manado Tua, makes this dive suitable for very experienced divers. Frequently seen are schools of barracuda and jack fish.
There is also a diveable wreck, the Japanese Cargo named Molas, which from what we can discern, takes its name from the village of Molas, on the more Northern side of Manado. The history books are not too clear about its fate, but we again have good reason to believe it was torpedoed around 1942. Sitting upright starting around 10m the propeller sits at 40m. Although not safe for penetration, remember to bring your dive light. You can opt to sit out the wreck and explore a reef close by instead.
A wordplay coming from Better than Lembeh, describes this site perfectly well. This is like true muck dive like those found in the Lembeh Straits, but with warmer water and better visibility. In the shallow water extensive beds of Sea grass are found, where you can find different kinds of moray eels, pipe fishes, sea snakes, nudibranchs as well as seahorses and Frogfish. The black sandy slope has hardly any patches of reef but is full of concrete and sand filled bags with ropes attached, which hold the Oyster farm in place, which floats above water. Those offer excellent hideouts for an amazing array of critters and the ropes are used by big schools of long finned squid to attach their eggs. The whole range of special critters can be found on this site and photographers can easily dive here for days and days.
Batu Hitam in Indonesia call it black stone, this site is the continuation of the Molas wreck reef slope in an easterly direction. It is a gentle dive with hardly any currents and great for macro lovers. The reef consists of a sandy slope with coral patches and finishes off as a little wall. Great for critters like ribbon eels, rare nudibranchs, leaf fish and frogfish, crocodile flatheads and such. It is a perfect dive to do in combination with the Molas wreck.
The name of the village located on the south part of the island of Montehage, gave the name to this pleasant dive site, where colonies of soft corals are developed in an extraordinary way. The visibility varies between 20 to 30 metres with normally soft currents, but a possibility of increase.
Gorango means shark in Manado dialect but, in spite of the name, you will not meet more of them than in other dive sites. The wall is very long, takes more than one dive to visit it all and is covered by soft and hard corals; the visibility might change from 15 up to 35 metres.
The name reveals already everything: lots of barracudas, sometimes more than one hundred. It also hosts big tuna fishes and jack fishes are permanently present. The frequent and strong currents, ascending and descending, attract big pelagic which find abundant food here. Recommended for expert divers only.
Batu Kapal in English Literally translated it boat of stone, it is a massive bank, which roof starts at a depth of about 37 metres. The fall in the dark
blue is breathtaking; very technical dive and not suitable for recreational diving.
The wreck, probably a Dutch merchant ship approx. 60 metres long, sunken on 22. February 1942, lies in front of the area of Molas (external of the marine park) and is found at a depth of 26 to 38 metres. It is an excellent dive spot, rich in marine life all over the wreck. The two propellers resting in the sand with one of them in perfect condition are a refuge for every variety of fish, nudibranchs, Napoleon and soft coral. The depth and poor sight recommend this dive to advanced divers only.
We can translated with one way, describing the only access for boats to the small island of Nain. Found here is the most spacious reef of the whole marine park, more than four times the size of the island itself, populated by every species of colourful barrier fishes, sponges, sea stars as well as big sized fauna like rays, sharks, barracudas and turtles. Normally the visibility is good, with light currents.
One of the most renowned dives of the marine park, south area. Beautiful coral barrier, alternated by slides and sandy channels; it is possible to meet turtles and also big fishes.
And many others dive sites.