< Back

Contact us

Our scuba travel experts are available 24/7 to assist you in planning and booking a fantastic scuba diving vacation

Diving in Bunaken & Siladen

Located in North Sulawesi, the “Land of Smiling People”, Bunaken’s colossal walls, clear blue water and diverse marine life will impress the most seasoned of divers. Turtles, reef sharks and eagle rays are a highlight and the wealth of macro life is equally as impressive. Relax and unwind on this laidback tropical island.

Diving in Bunaken & Siladen

Quick facts

Bunaken Marine Park was one of the first marine parks in Indonesia and includes Bunaken, Siladen, Manado Tua, Mantehage, and Nain Island. The area has outstanding marine biodiversity with staggering coral walls around Bunaken, the more recently discovered muck diving sites in Manado Bay and the stunning reefs around Bangka which, whilst not part of the park, are celebrated for their stunning soft corals, dugongs and marine biodiversity. Bright blue waters, abundant marine life, healthy reefs, a thriving turtle population, resident dolphins and migrating pilot and sperm whales are definite highlights.

When to go

Rain and temperature

Click to expand

Water temperature

Click to expand
USD 1,877Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 3,410Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 939Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
Muka Kampung – A steep drop off, wall and sandy slope combination site located in front of Bunaken Village. Muka Kampung is a turtle hotspot and a great place for macro life and critters. Towards the sandy slope, when you are not being distracted by the dense schools of butterfly fish, look out for passing eagle rays and bottom dwelling stingrays. The shallow reef top is a wonderful area to look for smaller critters in amongst the branching corals. Lekuan 1, 2 and 3 – These three sites combine sloping reefs and some of Bunaken’s most impressive walls. Lekuan sites are packed with diverse marine life and at Lekuan 1 it’s possible to lose count of the number of turtles spotted on a single dive. Corals are vibrant and the walls are punctuated with numerous crevices, ledges and small caves where great macro life and juvenile white tip reef sharks can be found. Keep an eye out for schools of mackerel, fusiliers, green sea turtles, passing eagle rays and clouds of pyramid butterflyfish and redtooth triggerfish. Siladen Point – Located off the tiny island of Siladen, this site offers a stunning wall decorated with a diverse mix of hard and soft corals. The craggy wall is home to a myriad of reef dwellers including scorpionfish, cuttlefish, nudibranch and numerous shrimp species. White tip reef sharks often pass through here as do other pelagics. The shallow reef top is bursting with smaller reef fish and awash with colour. Sachiko’s Point – This iconic Bunaken wall dive site is located on the north side of Bunaken Island and offers an abundance of gorgonian sea fans and a vibrant mix of hard and soft corals. Sachiko’s is one of the best spots for observing passing pelagics including barracuda, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse. In the shallows, the reef top coral garden is a great place for finding nudibranch and other small critters. Batu Goso – A series of steep rock pinnacles just off Bangka Island, Batu Goso offers interesting topography, stunning soft corals and a diverse mix of marine life. The pinnacles attract schools of fish as well as passing pelagics and there are several places where divers can shelter from currents and watch the action out in the blue. Highlights at Batu Goso include black and white tip reef sharks, turtles, groupers, passing tuna and barracuda, schooling mackerel and a plethora of critters.

What to see

Dugongs and pygmy seahorses in Bangka; turtles and reef sharks in Bunaken; seahorses and critters including mimic octopus and cuttlefish in Manado Bay; great macro, turtles and tuna around Siladen and beautiful reefs around Manado Tua. Resident pods of spinner dolphins and pilot whales are frequently seen as well as seasonal sperm whale sightings.

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Location

Bunaken Island is a part of Bunaken National Park and is located on the northern tip of Sulawesi. Island’s claim to fame is its potential as a great scuba diving site. The influx of tourists on the island is mostly because of serious scuba divers heading this way. Over the last few years however, amateur and casual divers have also started taking interest in this area and more and more of them are thronging Bunaken Island. The island is an amazing place for not only diving but also for snorkeling. Bunaken also offers excellent opportunities for hiking the northern and eastern coves, fishing (but certainly not in the park area), boat trips and whale/dolphin watching trips. The diversity of the area can be judged from the fact that nearly 70 percent of the total species found in Indo-Western Pacific can be seen in Bunaken National Park.

Getting there

The nearest airport is Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado (MDC), which receives flights from Singapore as well as Bali, Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia. Manado town centre is around 1.5 hours from the airport. If you are staying on Bunaken it is around 45 minutes by boat from Manado Harbour. Bangka Island is around a 2 hour drive from the airport and short boat ride. Diving is mainly resort based and most resorts offer airport pickups and transfers.