Best Diving sites in Bunaken, Manado

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If you have dived in Bunaken, Manado before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

Scuba diving around the Bunaken islands is terrific. The waters around the park are as deep as 1600 meters which gives you the opportunity to experience some of the best wall diving experiences in the world!

Moreover there are a lot of fishes. You can find some rare macro species and maybe spot a manta ray gliding gracefully into the blue. School of eagle rays is also quite common as well as whitetip, blacktip reef sharks and turtles. You can also spot larger sharks like Silvertip shark on some dives sites like Mike’s Point.

Bunaken Island Manado Tua

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattkieffer/5287993734/

For the macro lovers, you will find many nudibranchs along the walls, as well as rare species of crabs and plenty of shrimps, perfect for underwater macro photography.

There are more than 30 dive sites so you will not get bored here even if you dive there for two weeks!

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Bunaken, Manado.

Photos Bunaken, Manado

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Best Dive Review

Bunaken is a destination suitable for all level of divers but the steep wall going down to the abyss offers a great opportunity to dive deeper and it is better to be an advanced diver to fully enjoy the dive sites.

On the shallow part of the reef you will always find a superb and colourful coral garden around 4 meters deep and it is a great way to make your safety stop and get last underwater shots. These coral gardens are regarded as the best in the world making it a great playground for snorkelers too.

All of the diving centres are affiliated with a resort so choose carefully your accommodation.

You can also explore this underwater world on a Liveaboard trip that generally combines Bunaken National Park, The Bangka Island and the Lembeh Strait. I usually use this website to book in advance my Liveaboards in Indonesia as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because they have an easy booking system.

The best dive sites are:

See the map below.

Bunaken Sites Map

bunaken map

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Bunaken, Manado as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Best time to dive in Bunaken, Manado

It is possible to enjoy the Komodo marine reserve all year round.

  • Dry season runs from May to October, average temperature of 30°C. The water visibility is at its maximum and just fantastic up to 50 meters!
  • Rainy season from November to April, but the monsoon is much less pronounced here than in other parts of Southeast Asia. The temperature is very nice (not too hot) but the water visibility can be affected by the heavy rains.

The best season would be from May to October during the dry season but good diving all year round is possible.

Top liveaboards in Bunaken, Manado according to divers reviews

Scuba Diving conditions

Conditions are most of the time excellent with just a gentle current (but always be careful as it can rapidly change) and an astonishing visibility; It can go to 50 meters and it really something to see! Water temperature ranges all year round from 27 to 29 °C so no need to dive with a full wet suit.

Snorkelling in Bunaken, Manado

Bunaken offers excellent Snorkelling! There are huge Shallow Coral Garden perfect to to observe the teeming reef life. Your resort can arrange for you Snorkelling Day tours to explore the best spots around the Islands. Snorkelling is also most of the time possible directly from the beach but watch out for the current. You can also ask to diving centers if they can take you with them.

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Bunaken, Manado, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Bunaken, Manado Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

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Dive spots reviews in Bunaken, Manado

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Raymond's point is a vertical wall with usually strong current, making it an ideal place for drift dives in Bunaken. The...
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Mike's point dive site in Bunaken is a very beautiful wall with a shape of an amphitheatre. The wall is covered with mas...
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Likuan II is very close to Likuan I. This is also a very nice dive site with a wall descending in deep water. Along the ...
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Lekuan III is a good diving site to see black-tip reef sharks, barracudas and even manta rays if you get lucky! The wall...
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Celah Celah dive site is located very close to the Bunaken island beach. It is a perfect spot for a night dive. During t...
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Alung Banua dive site is a vertical wall like often found in the Bunaken Nation Park. The wall has a lot of cracks, crev...
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Fukui Point is a popular dive site in Bunaken national park. It is a nice slope covered with very beautiful hard corals ...
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Mandolin dive site is a wall going deep down with large steps. On the bottom on the wall there are numerous small caves ...
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Bunaken Timur dive site is a steep wall with a good reef life. It is an excellent place for macro photographers as there...

Liveaboard Reviews in Bunaken, Manado

KLM Sunshine

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KLM Sunshine Liveaboard Review

Diving centers in Bunaken, Manado

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14 dive logs in “Bunaken, Manado

  1. very nice dive site with excellent visibility in september. In Dec, the visibility is a bit less. excellent service of the dive guides.

    • Panorama Divers (old Sulawesi Dive Quest) and cottages on Bunaken is a fantastic deal. Sven and his family offer dive packages, inexpensive huts w/ showers, spectacular food, good service. Forget about staying in manado, it truly is the armpit of the universe.

      Bill Neptune1751@aol.com

  2. We stayed a few days at Two Fish in 2007. It was great. The vertical walls are exceptional and the guides also. There are a few too many black plastic bags in the water column. The last day there, on a deep dive, we were dismayed to see yet another floating along the wall, but this time it was a lovely eagle ray! We recommend going out as early as possible to increase the chance of being accompanied by dolphins, rather than sleeping in due to merrymaking the night before. We also enjoyed the town of Manado. Next time we would include a couple of days at Lembeh and maybe a mountain search for the tiny primate. But mostly….great walls and amiable people.

  3. We were on a diving cruise with Wallacea (which I recommend!!!) for a week. We started and ended the cruise in Bitung so we went along the Lembeh Strait, up to Bankha, Manado Tua, Bunaken…
    I would say that I prefer the Lembeh Strait as you can encounter many very rare species (especially during night dives!!!). However, Bunaken was amazing with bigger stuff: sharks, tuna… and up to 8 turtles in one dive!!! great memories

  4. how about staying in Minahasa Lagoon. besides can go to bunaken directly, you can booked for tour to highland tour for local market,., hiks

  5. We dived here three weeks ago and having heard and read so much about it I have to say it certainly lived up to my expectations. We did five days diving in total and three dives every day, including two night dives which I would highly recommend. We stayed at Sea Breeze Dive Resort which was great and the owners Terry and Diane and all their staff were very friendly and welcoming. The diversity of life on the reefs here is quite stunning and it is a photographers paradise! Highlights for me had to be the walls at Lekuan with their many resident turtles and the beautiful soft corals at Siladen. To be honest it is very difficult to pick favourites as all the diving was easy, very enjoyable and with a huge amount to see. I wouldn’t hesitate to return to Bunaken again and hopefully will, but there are many, many other places I hope to make it to also. I’m currently sorting through the photographs that I took (there are literally hundreds!) and sharing the pick of them on my website – http://www.immersedblog.com

    During our time in Indonesia we also dived at Tulamben in Bali on the wreck of the Liberty and at the Drop Off – both of them excellent dives.

    Great website by the way! Must have a good look for some inspiration for my next dive trip but Indonesia is definitely high on the list.

  6. Any recommendations for our family (adults both certified divers, kids want to gain open water certificates- aged 13 and 15)- we’re tossing up between Gili T, Komodo & Manado. Will be flying into Denpasar from NZ in June/ July.

  7. Has anyone dived Bunaken in late Feb/early March 2014? Wondering what the impact of the floods in January have been and if the silt runoff from the rivers has affected visibility?

  8. I dived Bunaken today – Lekuan 3 and Fukui pt – and I must say I was quite disappointed. While the underwater landscape is quite amazing and there are many fishes, there is so much trash floating on the surface and all kinds of trash sinking down into the waters. It is very sad. I was informed that the national park fee just goes into the pockets of the officers that are collecting the money. Although the trash comes from Manado, this is not an excuse.

  9. I am planning a trip on a live aboard at Bunaken and Lembah, are the operators critical of having Advanced Open Water or is Open Water sufficient.
    Thanks appreciate your feedback .

  10. We spent 7 days diving Bunaken in December 2104 and stayed at the Siledan Resort. The diving and resort were fantastic (a little expensive), and the dive guides were great! We went to Bunaken for the wall diving (our favorite) and were not disappointed. All the dives were great. Visibility was about 20 to 30 meters and the fish life was very abundant. We stayed at three dive resorts in Indonesia during December and were the only guests at all three resorts. We left just before the Christmas crowds. The best three weeks of diving ever (so far) and if there weren’t so many places to dive in the world we would go back.

  11. We took the Advanced PADI course in Bunaken a few days ago on November 2015 and it was great. Visibility was very good, great wall dives, nice temperature, fantastic corals and lots of life. Fortunately we didn’t find much trash. We stayed 8 days at Cakalang Bunaken. Basic but good accommodation, great food and very good guides and diving materials.
    Answering to a previous comment, you don’t need to be advanced to dive in Bunaken and also there are some fantastic snorkeling spots just in front of this area of the island. In front of Cakalang, Bunaken Beach, Two Fish, Sea Breeze, etc.

  12. I dived / my wife snorkeled here last march and we saw a lot of animals we never have seen before, although we have been already on Bali and on Komodo – here we have a separate world! We decided to come here again next spring, now more than two weeks!
    Here we have not only the phantastic diving and snorkeling spots, we have too the interesting and fascinating area of north Sulawesi country!

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