Bunaken National Park

Weather :

Tags : National Park

Time Required : 3-4 hours

Entry Fee : Rp 50,000 per day
Rp 150,000 per calendar year

Planning a Trip? Ask Your Question

Bunaken National Park, Manado Overview

The Bunaken National Park is a marine park located on the north-west side of Indonesia near the Sulawesi Islands. This biologically rich region is located near the centre of the Coral Triangle and is home to 390 types of coral, fish, molluscs, reptiles and other various marine mammals. It covers a region of 890.65 kmĀ² out of which 97% is the marine-based environment. The remaining 3% of the Park includes the five islands of Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen. In 1991, it was formally set up as a national park and is now among the first of Indonesia's developing marine parks.

The Bunaken National Park is a representation of a typical Indonesian tropical water environment, which comprises of extensive mangrove stretches, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. Some of the land animal species that exist on the coast are Timor deer, Sulawesi bear cuscus, Celebes crested macaques and polecats (Ailurops Ursinus). It is also wealthy in its flora with diverse types of palm, sago, woka, silar and coconut. The area is densely populated and provides a strong and rich tourist experience.

Read More on Bunaken National Park

Diving at Bunaken National Park

One of the highlights of visiting Bunaken National Park is scuba diving. You are bound to witness the highest levels of biodiversity here as compared to the whole world with a myriad of fish variety and world-class walls. The warm waters contain a number of fish, coral and sponge species. Here you can see 7 times more genera of coral than in Hawaii and 33 species of butterfly fish along with over 70% of all fish species known to the indo-western pacific region. Bunaken National Park offers underwater videography and photography.

Diving Sites

  • Black Rock, also known as DJ Point is one of the main sites. It drops over the slope of Batu Hitam. This place is decorated by commensal shrimps, emperor shrimps, decorator crabs and candy crabs - all these creatures can be revealed after some investigation. 
  • Celah Celah, another site is located on the south side of Bunaken island and this is a favoured spot for many villagers to rejuvenate. The sea is usually calm above the surface. However, below the sea level, the strong current sets people up for some excellent drift drives.
  • Depan Kamppung is another site that offers several underwater terrains. There are vast numbers of pyramid butterflyfish, juvenile redtooth tiger-fish, and black damsels. There are also clusters of neon and yellow dash fusiliers scattered across the site. Pink hydroids and green cup corals dominate the steep slope. 
  • Fukui Point is one of the most frequent points visited by travellers. Here, you are likely to spot the white-spotted moray eels and red-tooth triggerfish. Fukui point, being a cleaning station makes it more likely for divers to run into big fish, colonies of garden eels and the giant clams. 
  • Lekuan 1, 2, and 3 are very popular due to the variety of fish and turtles present. There are around 10 green turtles present on Lekuan 1 alone.  Lekuan 2 has particularly deep sections. These three points are perfect for both - day and night diving. 
  • Mandolin Point is named so because of the number of coral strings present in this point. There are whips corals at this point, playing host to the number of shrimps and gobies. This point is unusual and there is no shortage of marine life to keep you engaged. It is unlike any other site in the diving heaven of Bunaken National Park. 

Some of the other famous sites include: Sachiko's Point, Tanjung Kopi, and Bunaken Timur.

Diving Season

Bunaken Island and scuba diving here can be enjoyed all throughout the year but the best season for dive conditions are from March to October. This is because, in the months of November to late-February, the winds and the rains make the surface conditions rough. The water temperature is around 27-30 degree Celsius and this remains constant throughout the year. However, the visibility decreases as it rains. Many creatures here are year round. However, certain months are better for some marine life. For example, June is considered to be an excellent month for sharks, July is deemed to be good for dolphins and whales. Sperm Whales migrate during March and July and August, usually when there are a lot of people present in the area.

Flora and Fauna

A large portion of Bunaken National Park is encompassed by a wonderful and thriving aquatic life. It is joined by the fringing reef and barrier reef corals. There are around four hundred types of coral recorded in the waters of the Park. A particular element is a 25-50 meter vertical coral divider which is dominated by 13 different coral species. The corals that can be found here comprises of Caulerpa, Halimeda, and Padina pavonica species, as well as the predominant seagrasses, specifically in the islands of Montehage and Nain, are of the Enhallus acoroides, Thalassia hemprichii, and Thalassodendron ciliatum types. The Park is undeniably rich in its diversity. One can spot uncountable varieties of fishes, mollusks, marine mammals, reptiles and well as winged animals.

There are about 2000 types of fish that live in the waters of the marine park, some common examples being the head angelfish, bluestripe snapper, spotted seahorse, Almaco jack, pinkish basslet, and two-lined monocle bream. The types of molluscs include the horned head protector shells, mammoth shellfish, loaded nautilus, and ascidians. This Park has more types of coral than Hawaii and over 70% of all the known fish types of the Indo-Western Pacific. The islands are bountiful in types of palm, sago, woka, silar and coconut. Among the varieties of mammals that live on the land and the shorelines is Celebes peaked macaque, Timor Deer, and Sulawesi bear cuscus. The mangrove forest of the Park contains, among others Rhizophora and Sonneratia species. These woods likewise have a number of types of crab, lobster, mollusc, and winged ocean animals, for example, herons,  gulls, ocean pigeons, and storks.

How To Reach Bunaken National Park

To reach the marine park, you will need to go toward Manado - the second biggest city in Sulawesi after Makassar, which is situated 50 minutes by boat from Bunaken Island. To reach Manado, the ideal route is to board a plane from Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Bali. Usually, there is a stopover at Makassar airport. 

The majority of the hotels organize a private boat or charter boat for your travel. Unlikely, if not, you can take the public ferry leaving every day (except Sunday) at 2 PM. The ride usually costs around Rp 25000 for foreigners and Rp 10000 for a local. One also has the option of renting a personal boat. Bunaken is a little island and getting around is simple. There are no cars or cabs on the islands.

Top Hotel Collections

Bunaken National Park Reviews

Your rating

Have a Question on Bunaken National Park?