Ever fancy yourself being a mermaid? Being able to swim in tune with
other creatures of the sea, flipping your bodies to the rhythm of the
waves? In Bunaken Sea Park, you will encounter a real mermaid, and you
can also view a glimpse of the sea life here.
Bunaken is an
island of 8.08 km² at Manado Bay, situated in the north of Sulawesi
Island, Indonesia. This Island is part of Manado city, the capital city
of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Sea Park in Bunaken Island is as part
of National Park of Old Manado Ocean.
In this Bunaken Sea Park,
visitors can see various marine lives at the bottom of Bunaken Sea. To
reach this park, you can go by sea transportation like motor boat.
Visitors are charged 25,000 rupiahs per person for one visit. The trip
to Bunaken Sea Park Location from Manado City takes 40 minutes by motor
Translucent water of Bunaken sea enables people to view
numerous sea biota clearly. There are 13 coral reefs in this park,
dominated by edge ridges of rock and block ridges of rock. The most
attractive view is the steep vertical sloppy coral reef as far as 25-50
Feast your eyes with 91 fish types found in this
Bunaken National Park, amongst other things locally known gusimi horse
fish (Hippocampus), white oci (Seriola rivoliana), yellow-tail lolosi
(Lutjanus kasmira), goropa (Ephinephelus spilotoceps and Pseudanthias
hypselosoma), ila gasi (Scolopsis bilineatus) and so on.
may also meet with mollusk types like giant kima (Tridacna gigas), goat
head (Cassis cornuta), nautilus (Nautilus pompillius) and
BunakenViewing the underwater lives might not
be sufficient to quench your curiousity. Especially when you are on
land and the marine beings appear to be out of reach. For those who
enjoy scuba diving, this is the great place to do so. With about 20
diving spots to choose from, divers will have the chance to swim under
the sea, and frolick joyfully while admiring the sea creatures.
sure to visit Bunaken during its highlight season in May to August.
That way you can explore this place to the fullest.
There Bunaken Island is easily reached from Manado by
motorized outrigger boat, departing from Manado harbor, Molas, Kalasey
and Tasik Ria beaches. The public boats from Manado to Bunaken are
leaving daily around 2 p.m (depending on tide), except Sundays, from
Pasar Jengki near Manado harbor. Back from Bunaken to Manado usually
early in the morning, around 7-8 a.m
There are also chartered
boats scheduled to depart in the morning and return in the late
afternoon. These are usually reserved for travel packages offered by
agents or even hotels.
Getting Around You
can explore the land on foot. And you can use a boat to move from one
dive site to other sites. Even walking around the beach is already an
To Do Most
diving takes place near Bunaken and Manado Tua, because of their many
excellent sites. The following is representative of the diving in the
Lekuan Walls (I, II, III) This long
wall on Bunaken is divided into three sites: Lekuan I, II and III.
Together they represent the park’s best. Steep walls are marked with
deep crevices, sea fans and giant sponges. The shallows are filled with
fishes. The wall, often protected from stronger currents, is frequented
by bumphead parrotfish, turtles, and Napoleon wrasses.
has a knockout reef crest and a wall that attracts thousands of fishes
like schooling fusiliers, surgeonfish, unicornfish, and bannerfish. They
are acclimated to divers and are easily approachable.
Timor There are strong currents and lots of fishes on this
long wall. The shallow reef isn’t as spectacular as some but there are
turtles, sharks, eagle rays, and other big fishes in the blue. Overhangs
and small caves mark the wall.
Tanjung Kopi Tanjung
Kopi is a nice wall with a small school of barracuda and lots of
sweetlips. Visibility in the shallows is not terrific but the numbers of
fishes make up for it. Nudibranches and fire gobies are easy to spot
Siladen Island Siladen has a beautiful
wall of soft corals that bloom when the current is running. The shallows
are nice with lots of fishes and schooling snappers.
Gereja Muka Gereja is a pretty site with thousands of
fishes in the shallows and deeper canyons that lead to the wall.
Point Barracuda Point, on northwest Montehage, is one of
the furthest sites. A school of giant barracuda are regulars along with
jacks and tuna.
Manado Wreck This 60m (200ft)
long German merchant ship sank near Molas Beach in 1942. It sits
upright with the bow at 23m (78ft). The ship is split near amidships
back to the stern, exposing the wheelhouse and cargo holds. Dives finish
up on a nearby shallow reef. Expect 10-15m (30-50ft) visibility.
than diving-enthusiasts, ornithologists and amateur bird-watchers might
find visiting Tangkoko Dua Sudara Nature Reserve entertaining.
Stay On the island you have the choice amongst a number
of homestays, with rates starting at Rp40,000 for one person a day,
including full board. Some of the dive operators on Bunaken are offering
more upmarket accommodation, including running water.
also stay in the hotels in Manado and then book a daily package to
Bunaken, usually leaving in the morning and returning in the late
afternoon. See our Travel Directory for starred hotels in Manado (North
Sulawesi —> Kota Manado)
To Eat There
are several of restaurants and cafes throughout Manado and the islands.
Try their specialties: seafood, bubur manado and food made of coconuts!
To Buy Sea-related products, such as items made of
seashells, corals, etc. The city of Manado also has many kinds of
souvenirs to bring back home, such as signature food, shirts, cloths,
handicrafts and trinkets.
tags and tickets can be purchased through marine tourism operators
based in Manado and in the Bunaken National Park, or can be purchased
from one of three ticket counters in Bunaken and Liang villages on
Bunaken Island and on Siladen Island.
You should be aware that
during the absolute peak season months July and August it usually gets
VERY busy. Many of the better resorts and dive operators will not be
able to accept walk-ins during that time since they are fully booked.
Better make a reservation before.
Try to hire equipment from
larger firms as these tend to be more reliable, but remember: the
responsibility of checking the equipment is ultimately yours.
you’re the more adventurous type, you can try diving in Raja Ampat and