Weather :

Timings : 24 Hours

Time Required : 24 Hours

Entry Fee : Adult: 50,000 IDR
Children: Free
Annual Passes: 150,000 IDR

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Bunaken Island, Manado Overview

Bunaken Island is a part of the Bunaken National Marine Park which covers a length of 890 square kilometers and includes other islands like Manado Tua, Siladen, Mantehage, Nain and Nain Kecil apart from the Bunaken Island. The island in itself stretches over a distance of 8 square kilometers and it is located at the northern end of the Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. The island is well known to water sports enthusiasts as it offers a great spot for scuba diving, snorkeling, etc.

Bunaken is also known for the beautiful, clear waters with almost 35 meters of visibility and the flora and fauna found in the area. There are at least seventy different types of corals, five species of sea turtles and a wide range of fishes with almost 70% of the species found in the Indo-Western Pacific Ocean that are found at Bunaken. Apart from these, the white-tip and black-tip reef sharks can be found along with dugongs, tuna, barracuda and saltwater crocodiles.

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Cost and Entry Timings

The admission fee is 50,000 IDR per adult for a day and 150,000 IDR for annual passes, and there are no charges of admission for children below 10 years of age. There are no proper regulations for the payment of admission fees but visitors must go ahead and pay themselves, for which they’ll be given a waterproof plastic band that is to be carried at all times. Not doing so might result in getting caught by patrol boats that frequent the waters at all times.

Things to Do

Visitors can indulge in various activities like beach-combing, hiking, fishing, dolphin and whale watching, etc.

1. Beach-combing: Beach-combing is best enjoyed when the reef top is accessible during low tides and hiking can be done at the secluded coves present towards the northern and eastern parts of the island, although the trails are not well marked.
2. Fishing: Fishing is not allowed within the Bunaken Park boundaries but can be done outside the periphery by hiring a boat or by simply joining the local fishermen.
3. Dolphin and whale watching: Dive boat trips are best for dolphin and whale watching, otherwise, visitors can opt for hiring private boats. 
4. Diving: There are 20 diving spots available for the tourists, but only some of them are appropriate for beginner level divers as most of these spots have very steep walls and rapidly changing currents that can only be dodged by professional or advanced divers. The dive shops have special Open Water Dive courses and introductory lessons for beginners. The dives cost around 480,000 IDR to 640,000 IDR, excluding the equipment provided, and the prices are always subject to change.
5. Snorkelling: Snorkeling can be done in front of resorts or around the island, as the reef lies 40 meters from the shore. The currents tend to get strong so it is advised for visitors to wear flippers and not stray too further out into the waters.
6. Kayaking: Kayaks can be rented from the only two kayaking shops available in front of the church, at around 50,000 IDR for half a day.

How To Reach Bunaken Island

The Bunaken Island can be reached by boat from Manado, which would take around 45 minutes to an hour at the maximum. There are public boats available, namely Stella Maris, Batera, Sumber, and Karunia, which cost around 50,000 IDR for a one-way journey for foreign tourists and 20,000 IDR for local visitors. These boats can be boarded from Kalimas, the harbor at the north end of the Manado market, behind the Celebes Hotel at 2:00 p.m. from Mondays through Saturdays and the same boats are available for a return trip from the Bunaken village jetty, which is located in front of Arto Moro Bunaken, or from the beach that faces the church at around 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Visitors can also opt for the private boats offered by various resorts, depending on their lodging.

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