HomeBlogs Old Manado Island Manado Tua--or Old Manado--island, together with the islands of Bunaken,
Siladen, Mantehage and Nain form the Bunaken-Manado Tua Marine
National Park. The Park lies just off shore from the city of Manado,
capital of the province of North Sulawesi, site of the first World
Ocean Conference 2009 which held in May. Covering a total of 89,065
hectares, the Bunaken-Manado Tua park is among the most spectacular
dive sites in the world. The islands are separated from the mainland
by a submarine trench that reaches a depth of 1,200 meters, and keeps
these waters relatively free from city garbage and silt. The reserve is
protected by law from spearfishing and coral or fish-collecting, as
well as from dynamite fishing. Only one hour by motor boat from
Manado town, the island of Manado Tua is distinguished by the majestic
perfect cone of the extinct volcano that formed the island, which is
capped with a rainforest on its summit. Around the island are
underwater plateaus sloping from 5 meters to 30 meters, fringed by
vertical coral walls plunging 25 to 50 meters down, and large caves
with hanging coral reefs: a truly amazing sea garden. Next to Manado
Tua is the more well-known island of Bunaken.
To Do On
land and underwater, Manado Tua is photogenic. Here, you can find the
bigger fish such as the napoleon wrasse, giant trevally, eaglerays,
snappers, groupers, and--occasionally--a hammerhead shark. But as
currents here can be strong, only advanced divers should venture in
these waters and best be accompanied by a diver experienced to these
On the east coast of Manado Tua, at Tanjung Kopi,
or Coffee Point on the reef underwater plateau there are blacktail
barracuda and large schools of fish. Tanjung Kopi is also where hundreds
of turtles lay their eggs at full moon.
For those who do not
dive, one can go snorkeling or watch the underwater sea life from
glass-bottom boats. There are also jogging tracks and facilities for
mountain biking and camping.
The island has some 3,200
inhabitants forming a tight-knit community of farmers and fishermen from
the Sangir region. This community has been actively restoring damaged
reefs with the assistance of Seacology. Here EcoReef--snowflake-shaped
ceramic modules--have been placed as shelter for fish and to build new
reef. The Ministry of the Environment informs that credit for the
preservation of the Bunaken-Manado Tua reserve is due to the Nusantara
Diving Club which in 1985 urged the government to protect these amazing
waters from pollution and damage from shipping, and to move Manado’s
harbor to Bitung, on the east side of the peninsula.
the Park can be done year round, yet currents and waves can be rough
between January through March. During the peak season in the months of
July and August dive operators are busy, therefore it is best to book
way in advance. Best dives are in August and September when one has a
better chance to watch whales and dolphins glide by.
Getting There The Sam Ratulangi International Airport of Manado receives SilkAir flights 4 times weekly from Singapore.
Indonesia, Lion Air and Batavia Air and a number of other domestic
airlines operate daily domestic flights from Jakarta and Makassar to
Manado, and also from Surabaya and Bali.
From Manado there are cabin cruises available to the Park or motorboats for hire.