BUNAKEN MARINE PARK SCUBA DIVING
Bunaken National Marine Park (Bunaken National Park) is a marine park located off the coast of North Sulawesi, in the very northern region of Indonesia.
There is some world class scuba diving in Bunaken Marine Park and some of the most diverse marine life. Some of the amazing marine life seen in the Bunaken Marine life include large Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtle, Black tip reef shark, Frog Fish, Orangutan crabs, Blue ring octopus, Madarin Fish, Harlequin Shrimp, Eagle Rays, Kuhl's Stingrays and the beautiful Flamboyant Cuttlefish which changes colours.
There are over 40 good dive sites located throughout the Bunaken Marine Park. The waters of Bunaken Marine Park are quite deep, around 2000 meters at the deepest part. The dive sites are usually found next to the islands within the marine park and most are wall dives. Close to the islands are beautiful coral reefs which drop off dramatically to vertical walls with lots of interesting marine life living along the walls.
The water currents around the Bunaken Marine Park can change dramatically very quickly. Most dive sites around Bunaken Marine Park are for scuba divers with a good number of dives under your belt. There are some dive sites which are suitable for beginner divers. Some of the most dangerous currents for novice divers and the down currents which can come suddenly and push scuba divers down more than 10 meters in just a few seconds.
The area of Bunaken Marine Park is tropical all year round. The water temperature does not vary much throughout the year with the water temp varying between 25 degrees celcius to 28 degrees celicius which makes the conditions perfect for scuba diving. No need for a thick wetsuit in these water conditions.
Read more about the Bunaken Marine Park and the Marine life
Check out our video of Scuba Diving in the Bunaken National Marine Park Indonesia
BEST DIVE SITES IN THE BUNAKEN MARINE PARK
There are plenty of great scuba diving sites around the Bunaken National Park, each with different terrain and opportunity to see some of the amazing marine life of Bunaken Marine Park. Here are our favourite dive sites:
Lekuan II is a wall dive site just off the coast of Bunaken Island. There is a large reef which makes up 3 different dive sites, Lekuan I, Lekuan II and Lekuan III. Of these 3 dive sites Lekuan II is my favourite. The top reef at low tide is at around 5 meters under water. At about 20 meters off the short the reef drops off to a vertical wall which goes down to around 40 meters (don't drop your camera!!). Along the wall of the Lekuan II dive site you can see plenty of marine life. There are a few small caves along the wall where you can see baby reef tip sharks. This is also a very popular area for Green Turtles to hang out. On one dive I did along Lekuan II wall I saw 15 green turtles. Also along the wall you can see the Orangutan Crab, Soft Coral crabs, Scorpion Leaf fish, plenty of Titan Triggerfish, huge pufferfish as well as a good range of Nudibranch.
Lekuan II is one of the dive sites where the current change dramatically in just a short time. One dive there had no current at the beginning of the dive. 40 minutes in we were into a very fast drift dive with strong currents moving across.
Orangutan Crab at Lekuan II dive site Bunaken Marine Park
Sachiko's Point is located on the easten side of Bunaken Island, towards Siladen Island. Sachiko's Point is a sloping wall dive with heaps of marine life including lots of Moray Eels hiding in the wall, Red Tooth Trigger Fish, Green Turtles, Scorpion Fish. The top reef of Sachiko's Point is also one of the best places to come to do snorkeling. The bottom of the wall at Sachiko's Point goes down to around 30 meters.
Sachiko's Point is also a great spot for snorkeling. At the top of the reef, you can snorkel above the coral garden, about 2 meters water depth so you can see loads of fish up close.
Moray Eel at Sachiko's Point Bunaken Marine Park
Fukui is the dive site to go to see the Giant Clams. At Fukui Dive site there are a few Giant Clams at around 18 meters. The Fukui dive site is one of the best sites for beginner divers as there is not much current and there is a gentle slope with shallow waters sloping down to around 18 meters. The Fukui dive site is located at the south western tip of Bunaken Island.
Giant Clam at the Fukui dive site Bunaken Island
Sapsi Point is a dive site located around 30 meters from the beach of Bunaken Island where Bastianos Dive Resort is located. Sapsi Point is one of the places you can do a sunset dive to see the beautiful Mandarin Fish. The Mandarin Fish are a small fish about 2 centimeters long with bright colours, blue, orange, yellow and purple. The Mandarin Fish has an unusual mating performance which happens right as the sun goes down. At this dive site you go out just as the sun is setting. You dive down to only 5 meters depth and lay on the bottom facing a small colour reef. With torch in hand you wait until the sun goes down and the performance begins. You will see the colourful fish slowly coming out of the reef and pair up. The 2 Mandarin Fish dance together facing up towards the surface. After a short period of this unusual dance the male releases his sperm and the female releases her eggs in a puff and the 2 disappear again back into the coral reef. You stay at the reef for about 20 minutes and then after the Mandarin performance is over you can explore the underwater world in the dark to see some creatures come out that you wont see during the day. Creatures like Blue Ring Octopus, Transparent shrimp and small prawns come out during the night time.
Where to stay in Bunaken National Marine Park
There are a number of islands within the Bunaken National Marine Park which has accommodation and dive resorts for your to arrange scuba diving trips. Bunaken Island is the largest island and has a range of dive resorts. Siladen Island is a smaller island close to Bunaken which also has some small quiet dive resorts.
Getting to Bunaken National Marine Park
To get to the Bunaken National Marine Park you need to get to Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi. There are direct flights to Manado from Singapore as well as some of the major cities of Indonesia including direct flights from Jakarta.