Bunaken is an 8.08 km² island in the Bay of Manado, situated in the north of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Bunaken forms part of the administrative city of Manado, capital of North Sulawesi. The marine Park around Bunaken is part of the National Park that also includes the ocean around the island of Manado Tua, Siladen and Mantehage. In the Bunaken Marine Park, you will encounter a real “mermaid”, and you can also get a glimpse of sea life. Within the Bunaken Marine Park, visitors can see various strange and colourful marine life along its sea bed. To reach this park, you can take a motorboat. The journey from Manado takes around 40 minutes.
The translucent waters of the Bunaken seas enable people to clearly view numerous sea biota. There are 13 species of coral reefs in this park, dominated by edge ridges and block ridges of rocks. The most attractive view is the steep vertical sloppy coral reef that plunges down as deep as 25-50 meters. Feast your eyes on 91 types of fish found in the Bunaken National Park, amongst which are the locally known Gusimi Horse Fish (Hippocampus), the White Oci (Seriola rivoliana), Yellow-Tailed Lolosi (Lutjanus kasmira), Goropa (Ephinephelus spilotoceps and Pseudanthias hypselosoma), Ila Gasi (Scolopsis bilineatus) and others. Divers may also meet mollusk like the Giant Kima (Tridacna gigas), Goat Head (Cassis cornuta), Nautilus (Nautilus pompillius) and Tunikates/Ascidian.
For those who enjoy scuba diving, this is a great place to be. With about 20 dive spots to choose from, divers will have the chance to swim below the sea, and frolic joyfully while admiring the sea creatures. Most diving takes place near Bunaken and Manado Tua, because of the many excellent sites. The following are representative of dive spots in the area.Lekuan Walls (I, II, III)This long wall at Bunaken is divided into three sites: the Lekuan I, II and III. Together they are 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. You can also explore the island on foot or you can take a boat to move from one dive site to the other Just walking around the beach is already a most enjoyable experience.
You can also explore the island on foot or you can take a boat to move from one dive site to the other. Just walking around the beach is already a most enjoyable experience.
The island of Bunaken is easily reached from Manado by motorized boat, departing from Manado harbor, Molas, Kalasey and Tasik Ria beach. Ferries from Manado to Bunaken leave daily around 02:00 PM (depending on the tide), except on Sundays, when they leave from Pasar Jengki near the Manado harbor. The return journey from Bunaken to Manado usually leaves early in the morning, at around 07:00 AM - 08:00 AM. There are also charter boats that depart in the morning and return in the late afternoon. These are usually reserved for travel packages organized by agents or hotels.