Bunaken: A Must Visit Heaven for Divers
Generally, eastern part of Indonesia is often dubbed as the untouched paradise as they really boast the real natural beauty of Indonesia. The island of Bunaken, in North Sulawesi, has been one of the most visited diving spots both in Indonesia and the world. It is home to some of the highest levels of the world’s biodiversity. 7 of the 8 giant clams species in the world are in Bunaken. Even though the exact numbers of fish species is still unknown, Bunaken is believed to have more fish species than the Phillipines alone. 70 percent of all fish species in Indo-Wester Pacific Ocean are found under the waters of this amazing island. Besides its amazing sea creatures, this island is famous for its crystal clear water. No wonder this beautiful place attracts divers from all over the world.
You can reach this incredibly amazing island by boat from Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi. It takes about 45 to 60 minutes. A public boat departs daily except Sundays at 2:00 to 3:00 PM from the canal on the north side of Manado market. The cost is Rp. 25.000,- one way for tourists and Rp. 10.000,- for locals. It returns to Manado from the jetty in Bunaken village around 8:00 to 8:30 AM every morning except on Sundays. Alternatively, you can go to Bunaken by chartering a private boat from the Manado harbor (behind the Celebes Hotel).
Needless to say, diving centers there are abundant. Here are some top diving centers in Bunaken you can visit:
Raja Laut Dive Resort
One of the best resorts with diving center in Bunaken. Keep in mind that this resort only accepts reservation for divers and those who want to learn how to dive. You must book your reservation by email. In addition, they require a deposit of 25% on the quote (50% for Reservation regarding July or August) to be made by bank transfer (Italian bank account) or via Paypal (+5% Paypal fee). The balance must be paid cash in Bunaken (Euros, U.S. $, Indonesian Rupiah).
You are under the certified instructors there, which some of them are Italians, so you know you are in the right place to learn how to dive or continue your course. From this center, you will be taken to most of the main dive spots such as Bunaken Timur (East Bunaken), Muka Kampung (Front of the village) and so on. There are also other less known but equally stunning dazzling dive spots you cannot simply miss there.
For accomodation, make sure you know that the price set in high season is always higher than that in low season. For example, for superior bungalow with sea view costs 35 Euro per night, while in low season the price is 30 Euro.
You can do a lot of activities here as this place has much to offer, from diving center to spa facilities. You can explore to 30 wonderful dive spots with LumbaLumba Diving. The service is excellent, this place really makes you feel at home.
The prices are subject to change therefore, it is suggested that you always check the price list that is valid until certain period. Like the price of single chalet is 55 Euro until the end of this year. Starting from January 1 until April 30 2013, the price will raise to 57 Euro.
You can have your dive trips arranged there. Do you want to watch closely the stunning coral reefs? You can join House reef dive accompanied by the center’s professional guide.
No matter whether you are a pro or newbie diver, this diving center is always open for you. No wonder they claim as a ‘non diver friendly resort’. The course is tailored to suit what you need. For divers who have not dived within the last six months, it is a must to complete a Refresher course conducted by instructor before joining in dive groups.
Talking about the accommodation, just take a look at all cottages here. All are made of local timber, and special care and attention has been paid to detail to build this accommodation that reduce impact on nature.
There is an alternative you can try if got bored underwater, a tour to Tangkoko Nature Reserve Tour arranged by ChaCha. This national park is home to amazing flora and fauna, good option for conservationists.
Well, there are some great diving centers in Bunaken. Make sure you participate in protecting the creatures. Do not step on the corals, do not make noise and do not take all the living things home. Happy diving!