Bunaken, Manado is one of the great SCUBA diving destinations in the world, with diving conditions that are usually rated as excellent. The best diving months are May to October during the dry season, but the water temperatures are a comfortable 27-30 degrees Celsius with a gentle current most of the year. There are more than 30 different Bunaken diving sites available. Many of them provide deep waters, sea walls, and rare aquatic life. Within the Bunaken diving area, the three best dive sites are Likuan I, Likuan II, and Sachiko’s Point.
Likuan I is located in the southern part of Bunaken, and is accessible from shore. This dive is ideal for expert divers. The visibility is absolutely amazing with light currents and warm water temperatures providing great year round conditions. The best diving depths ranges from 10-25 meters. The dive has a large wall descending into deeper waters, where divers will find excellent opportunities to explore small crevices and the amazing variety of marine life including manta rays, blacktip sharks, and a host of crustaceans.
Likuan II is located next to Likuan I at the southern end of the Bunaken diving area. This site is also a great challenge for expert divers with the best diving hitting depths in the 10-25 meter range. The water is crystal clear providing astounding year round visibility, although the water currents run a little stronger than those in Likuan I and would be rated as medium currents. The same descending wall is available for exploration and great photo opportunities. This site has a great coral reef and is also accessible from the shore.
Sachiko’s Point is one of the northern most sites available at Bunaken, and is yet another great site you can access from shore. Providing the current remains calm, this is a great dive site for all experience levels. The dive contains a giant steep wall in Bunaken Marine Park, featuring sizable fish such as tuna and large emperors, as well as massive coral formations. The sea life is not as diverse as some of the other Bunaken diving sites, but still has some interesting and rare species.
Check out this incredible video from our heroes over at Bubble Vision that expertly showcases the beauty of Bunaken diving.
Images via Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten