Bunaken offers one of the worlds most diverse coral reefs. Hundreds of different corals, thousands of different fishes. Most of them are just beneath the surface of the water. It is not a neccesaty to go diving if you want to see something beautiful on these reefs. Even snorkeling offers you a wide scala of amazing fauna.
Many resorts have fabulous coral just in front of the door. However if you want to see more, you could consider renting a boat to visit the reefs that are a bit less accessable. Most resorts offer snorkeling trips but you can also ask a villager for a tour. Prices go usualy per half day and vary a lot. Another option is to join one of the diving boats The charge for this is approximatly 50.000 rp for a day.
There are many places where you can rent snorkel gear. Prices are 50.000 to 100.000 rp for mask and fins for a day. If you plan to snorkel a lot it is good to think about buying your own. Fins and a mask is not that heavy but it will save you some money and give you a lot of freedom. You could still decide to leave it behind or sell it again.
This tour takes between six and seven hours. We start at around 07:00, and take you to the area that the dolphins commonly inhabit. Within the cobalt waters of Bunaken Marine Park, it is possible to see several different types of dolphins. And if you are lucky maybe a whale too.
The Spinner Dolphin is one of the species you can see in these waters. It is a small mammal that enjoys riding the tumultuous bow wave that occurs at the front of the boat. They are famous for their epic leaps into the air. Unfortunately, the local Spinners do not like to swim with humans.
Other species you may encounter include the Bottlenose, the Common Dolphin, or the Melon Headed Whale. Pilot Whales are also a fairly common sight. For the particularly lucky, you may catch a glance of a False Killer Whale..
The Dolphin Watching package is €70 for four people. Each additional guest raises the price by €5. The maximum group size is 12 people.
For the last hour of the tour, it is possible to snorkel at one of the abundant snorkel spots that litter Bunaken’s coastline. Following this you will be returned to your original resort.
Watch a beautiful sunset from the boat in open sea. We will take you on the boat to a place on open water where you will have a fantastic sunset.
See how quick and how colorful the sun disapears in to the blue ocean.
If you like with life music and also possible some drinks to make this daily event an unforgettable moment of your stay in Bunaken.
This tour starts at 17:00 hours and will last approx 2 hours.
With the boat out a little bit. Possible food and drinks on the boat. On the way to see the sunset. In the mean time accompanied by local music.
Sitting on the roof enjoying the sun sets over the see and Manado Tua.
And then finally the sun disapears into the sea.
A very nice ending of a perfect holiday.
Walking around on Bunaken
Allthough Bunaken is not a big island, it still offers some nice walking.
From the main village untill the other side of the island, takes about two hours. The first half hour will take you along the resorts on the east coast. Then the "road" makes a slight turn and leads you through the jungle untill you arrive in Tanjung Parigi after about one hour.
Here you can decide to go down to the beach on the south side where you will find some other resorts, the ticketing office for the national Bunaken marine park and a small museum about the park. There are a few restaurants as well as some warungs that sell t shirts and other souvenirs.
If you decide to go on then the road will take you through the smallest part from the island. Here the island reaches also its highest point. You will be able to see the sea on either north and south side. This is a one hour walk again you will end up in Alung Banua the last village on the island.
Festivals and events on the island
The island is mainly known for its fantastic diving, hosting hundreds of different species of coral and aquatic life. Snorkeling is also an extremely popular past time. But this is not all: Bunaken has even more to offer.
Aside from diving and snorkeling it is possible to partake in a dolphin-watching tour or to view the secret world of the astounding reef through a glass-bottomed boat.
Additionally, Bunaken celebrates several festivals that make for enchanting viewing (more about these activities later). There is also a vibrant social life on the island catch the local bamboo band playing on a Thursday night, where twenty locals play their assortment of home-made instruments. Visitors are more than welcome to attend.
Bunaken has three villages, the main one is called Bunaken after the island. This village has both a Muslim and a Christian community. There are two churches and a mosque.
During Easter the Christian part is quite busy. For two weeks there are many activities, a lot of small games for the Bunaken society. At the end of Easter there is a kind of a Carnival to close these festivities. It is called "Figuran"
Every year in the second week of September there is thanksgiving. If the weather is ok, many people from outside Bunaken will come too because every house has open house that day. The party is in the village, everybody brings food which they will eat together. Usually after eating there will be a culture dance session, this dance is called “Cakalele”. Cakalele is traditional culture in where people play traditional music and dance together. The dance is a story about a patriot. The locals are so involved, it look like they relay fight with their dance.
Around New Year everywhere is a party, but different in Manado then Bunaken. One week before and after New Year you can see fireworks. The first of January will be open house again. Every house has prepared a lot of food and drinks for the visitors. This goes on for one week.
In and around Manado there are some things to visit:
Tangkoko National Park
About one and a half hour outside of Manado you can find this park where it is possible to see the famous Tarsius. One of the smallest monkey's in the world.We work very closely with several local tour operators. We can arrange and book tickets or a tour for you.