My Snorkelling Experience in Bunaken Island, Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia


I went to Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia end of July 2014. This was my first time travel to Sulawesi Island. Yes, my country is a large with more than 17,000 islands! Sulawesi is one of five big island in the country. Manado can be reached by 3 hours flight from Jakarta, the Indonesia capital city. If you travel from Singapore, SilkAir provides direct flight to Manado. 



Bunaken is an island North of Manado that can be reach by boat around 30-45 minutes. I rent a small boat from the harbour that cost 750,000 rupiah for round trip Manado-Bunaken and several stops at snorkelling spot. After arrived in Bunaken island, I rent mask, fin and snorkelling suit in total 150,000 rupiah. There are some cottage in Bunaken if you want to stay overnight there, most of the cottage/hotel provide pick up service from Manado airport/harbour.

First snorkelling spot is located in Southwest of the island. I brought biscuit to feed the fishes. It was amazing experience when I was swimming surrounded by hundreds of fishes. The coral reef was OK, not too good and not too bad. The water was clear. This was my first experience taking picture underwater. I used my brand new camera Olympus Stylus Tough 3 (TG-3). I am very satisfied with photos and video that I took using the camera. After around 30 minutes snorkelling, we went back to the island and had lunch there. After finished lunch with several grilled fresh fishes, I bought some souvenir at the souvenir stores in the island.

Snorkelling with fishes in Bunaken Marine Park. Photo taken by boat crew.

Feeding the fishes with biscuits in Bunaken Marine Park. Photo taken by boat crew

Hundreds of fishes right in front of me!!!
After finished shopping some souvenirs, we went to the next spot, that located in the eastern part of the island. The coral and reef is amazing, It is better than the first spot.

Coral reef in the eastern part of Bunaken Island. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

Coral reef in the eastern part of Bunaken island. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

Nice coral reef and clear water in Bunaken Marine Park. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014


Blue Starfish in Bunaken Marine Park. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

Coral reef in Bunaken Marine Park. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

After finished in the second spot, I decided to go to Siladen Island in the East of Bunaken Island. I did snorkelling but the coral reef is not as good as in Bunaken. Many people said that Siladen has some best spot for diving far away underwater not for snorkelling in the shallow water.  I continued walking inside the island. Interact with local people and saw the way they living in the small island. After 20 minutes walking I found Siladen Resort. I spent couple minutes there enjoying the day at their bar and ordered Mango Mocktail with Mint. What a perfect day! Time to going back to Manado, Sayonara Bunaken!!
Fisherman boat in Siladen Island. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014
Mango Mint Mocktail at Siladen Resort. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014

I recorded my trip to Bunaken Island on the video below, I hope you enjoy it! :) This is my first underwater video using Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3.

The coral reef and the mountains from Siladen Island. Photo credit - Carl Fakaruddin 2014