Diving Bunaken – World Class Dive Sites in Indonesia
Have you heard about the world class scuba diving in Bunaken Marine Park? Do you know where it is and which sites are best to explore? Read on to find out more about the phenomenal dive sites of Bunaken!
Overview of Scuba Diving Bunaken
The Bunaken Marine Park is a marine protected area in North Sulawesi, a province of Indonesia. Indonesia is world famous for its incredible reefs and marine life and is often cited as being home to the best scuba diving in the world – and Bunaken certainly lives up to this stellar reputation.
As you would expect from diving in Indonesia, Bunaken offers crystal clear, tropical waters and a myriad of marine species including resident dolphin pods and migrating whales. It is also home to a large resident population of green turtles and sharks are not an unusual sighting. For macro underwater photographers and those who prefer to hunt for critters, there are innumerable species of tiny crustaceans, nudibranch, frogfish and other underwater treasures. Are you a wreck enthusiast? There is one of those too!
The dive sites in Bunaken are typically wall dives or slopes and in some places, the walls plummet down to the sea floor which lays almost two kilometers beneath you. It is this unique topography which makes Bunaken a very special place to dive.
Bunaken Marine Park’s protected location means that it offers year-round good conditions and is suitable for all level of divers from beginners through to seasoned professionals. Here are some of our favorite dive sites which should not be missed when diving Bunaken Marine Park.
This vertical wall dive is located along the south of Bunaken island and it’s one of Bunaken’s most popular sites. Both macro and big fish enthusiasts will be happy here as the wall is home to all manner of critters, huge green sea turtles rest on the ledges, white tip reef sharks are often spotted in caves in the wall, and keep an eye out to the blue for predators hunting as schools of fusiliers stream by.
Ron’s Point is located on the southwest corner of Bunaken Island and features a sloping reef running out into a large plateau for advanced divers, which sits at 35 to 40 meters.
This dive site is the perfect spot to see pelagic species like sharks and eagle rays as they pass through. For less experienced divers the slope attracts all manner of marine life and the shallows are bursting with tropical reef fish weaving in and out of the corals.
Sachiko dive site offers a sloping topography which is littered with wire corals. Frequent fish sightings here include Napoleon wrasse, batfish, moray eels, jacks and schools of smaller species. Look out for green turtles – and while your guide is searching for critters for you, keep looking out to the blue for other passing pelagics.
Located on the south side of Manado Tua, Pangalingan is an exhilarating dive for those who enjoy drifts. This vibrant dive site offers a chance to see schooling snappers, fusiliers and other reef fish while gliding over the pristine slopes with little swimming required. The currents which run through this site bring with them nutrients which attract abundant marine life – you never know what you might see here so expect the unexpected!
Siladen Island is the smallest island in the Bunaken Marine Park and this dive site is situated on the southwest side of the island, featuring a colorful and vibrant coral wall. This is a classic Bunaken dive site which gives divers the chance to spot larger species as well as a plethora of critters. Look out for cuttlefish, turtles, nudibranch and ribbons of schooling fusiliers passing by in the blue.
Manado (Molas) Wreck
While the Molas wreck actually lays just outside of the boundaries of the marine park, to the east of the city of Manado, it certainly deserves a mention. There are several theories regarding where the wreck came from and how it came to sink but it is believed that it met its demise around the time of WWII. The wreck sits at the bottom of a slope at around 40 meters. The shallower parts of the wreck offer some penetration opportunities but the real highlight here is the marine life which is attracted to the wreck and the adjacent slope. For macro enthusiasts, this is a good site for spotting pipefish, nudibranch and a plethora of other critters.
These are just a handful of the sites which we visit when diving in Bunaken – there are many, many more (see dive site map below) and all offer unique opportunities for spotting some of Indonesia’s most revered marine species combined with incredible coral reef diversity.
Logistics of Diving Bunaken
We are extremely fortunate that the Bunaken Marine Park is just a 35 minute boat ride from our Murex Manado Resort and we are often accompanied by pods of dolphins jumping in the wave break along the way! If you’d like to join us for diving Bunaken Marine Park, we make a two dive trip each morning and return to the resort for lunch. We can also offer 3 dive trips with lunch on the boat (or beach) for those who prefer to stay out longer on the water.
Staying at Murex Bangka Resort? Not a problem, join us for a 3 dive day trip to experience Bunaken.
Explore More, See More, Dive More with a Passport to Paradise
Why not enhance your time in Indonesia and discover three of North Sulawesi’s best diving areas in one incredible trip: Bunaken -> Bangka -> Lembeh? Join us for a Passport to Paradise and after diving the epic walls of the Bunaken Marine Park you’ll discover kaleidoscopic reefs surrounding Bangka Island and experience the world’s most famous muck diving and Luxury Resort in the Lembeh Strait. With seamless boat diving transfers from resort to resort there’s no wasted transfer days and no gear drying or packing – just dive your way around North Sulawesi!
To make an enquiry about diving Bunaken; joining us for a Passport to Paradise or to make a booking, contact us at [email protected]
We look forward to welcoming you to our Indonesia Dive Resorts soon.