Bunaken Island is a small island located off of the tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia by the City of Manado. Bunaken is overshadowed by the nearby Lembeh which is world known as the Critter Capitol of the world. With Bunaken being so close to Lembeh, it is commonly overlooked or it is a part-two of a Lembeh Trip. What is interesting is the diving at Lembeh is completely different than the islands located to the Northwest. Lembeh is almost 100% muck, with very little or very small reefs. Bunaken is a vibrant and healthy reef with vast amounts of healthy hard corals. Bunaken is known for its wall diving, but it is possible to find muck sites. Others islands in the area will have huge amounts of very colorful soft corals. This area is very diverse and interesting to dive.
Bunaken has very limited infrastructure and many of the resorts are Minahassa style and may even have Mandy style bathrooms. There is limited fresh water and food. Most of the food during my stay was fresh fish or brought in from Manado which is a 45-minute boat ride away.
Bunaken has been a protected Marine Park since 1991. The dive sites are rotated so 1/2 are dived while the other 1/2 are allowed to recover from diving activities. During my visit it was apparent that whatever they are doing is working as the corals were very healthy. Dive sites are located around the islands of Bunaken, Siladen, Minado Tua, Mantehage and Nain.
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