Situated in the middle of Manado Bay sits Indonesia's picture perfect Bunaken island.
There is a marine park which surrounds the island that forms part of the bigger national park which includes the sea of Manado Tua. I reached the island by taking a 40 minute boat ride from Manado and the crystal clear waters surrounding the island allows you to easily see the colorful reefs and fish species.
In total, there are over 90 species of tropical fish found in these waters and approximately 20 spectacular diving spots for scuba divers and snorkelers to choose from. However, the most popular diving spots are usually found just off the coast of Bunaken island and in Manado Tua. Here I have listed some of the scuba diving spots in that area.
The Lekuan Walls
The Lekuan Walls is the most popular diving spot on Bunaken Island. It's long so it has been divided into 3 sections known as I, II and III. The walls are very steep but in the shallows you will find a variety of fish species such as parrotfish, napoleon wrasses and even sea turtles. It's a great spot for beginners and amateurs such as myself because the walls protect divers and snorkelers from strong currents, however it can get a little scary in some places.
Mandolin is home to one of the best reefs in the area. Most of the fish here are used to scuba divers and because of that I could easily approach them without scaring them away. Expect to see lots of bannerfish, surgeonfish, fusiliers and unicornfish.
Bunaken Timor is best suited for experienced divers because of the strong currents found here. The reef found here is not as good as those found in other spots but you will be able to see some turtles, eagle rays and even sharks. There are also some small underwater caverns that can be explored if you don't get claustrophobic easily.
The visibility at Tanjung Kopi is not that clear but the abundance of sweetlips, barracuda, fire gobies and nudibranches makes it well worth it.
At Siladen Island you will find a wall covered with beautiful corals that actually bloom when a light current makes its way past. The area is usually frequented by schools of snapper fish.
Muka Gereja is a beautiful diving spot. There are many fish species here but most of them are in the underwater canyons and diving there is only for highly skilled divers so my diving instructor wouldn't let me go :(
Barracuda Point is the furthest site and sits close to Montehage. As the name suggests, a lot of barracude can be found here along with the occasional tuna and jacks.
The Manado Wreck
The Manado Wreck is an incredible spot and when I was here I had clear visibility of up to 50 feet. It's a 200 foot long merchant ship from Germany that sunk here back in 1942. The wreck has been split into a few sections and the entire cargo area is left exposed. There is also a shallow reef found about 100 feet from the northern tip of the ship. The ship sits at a depth of 18 meters and would make a great shipwreck dive for first timers.