Exceptions to the walls of Bunaken, this dive site has a gentle slope offering fish like ranging from ghost pipefish to Napoleans. An impressive bed of garden eels, a collection of giant Tridacna clams, a popular photo stop and a nearby sea mount that comes to within 10 metres of the surface, which is frequented by schools of batfish, midnight snappers, big-eyed jacks, giant trevally and barracuda. Mola mola, mantas and even thresher sharks have ever been seen here.
This dive site is a signature dive of the marine park. It is located on the south coast of Bunaken island, towards Depan Kampung.
The reef flat is exposed at low tide but the deep vertical wall plummets straight down to over 40 metres. One of three sites known collectively as Lekuan, along this outcrop of Bunaken's fringing reef, the shallow reeftop is perfect for snorkellers. Further down, caverns, canyons, fissures and inlets split the wall. On the reef edge, thousands of Fairy Basslets rise and fall among Acropora formations and Pyramid Butterflyfish feast in the blue water. Like the majority of south Bunaken sites, the site has extensive coverage of stony and soft corals. Sponges in barrel and pipe forms, abound, as well as numerous large and small gorgonians.
This is a good spot for big fish with larger reef species and pelagics schooling off the reef-face in respectable numbers. A small school of Bumphead parrotfish is often seen grazing on the meadow of stony corals. There are many species of jacks and trevallies especially the Golden and Bigeye Trevally. Snappers in red and Midnight varieties are also numerous. There are unicornfish and surgeonfish, though less abundant. Giant groupers and large longnosed butterflyfish are common. Teira batfish, trumpetfish, filefish, huge pufferfish and porcupinefish abound. Big Yellow Tuna and the more common Dogtooth Tuna can often be seen in the blue, as can Great and Barred Barracuda. Sharks are less frequent but whitetip, blacktip and grey reefs can be seen.
Large schools of trevallies, big barracuda and swarms of smappers, unicornfish and other surgeonfish are common here. There are often tunas off the reef, including monster dogtooth tuna weighing close to 100kg.
Giant groupers, big longface emperors (Lethrinus olivaceus). Huge numbers of pyramid butterflyfish. Regal emperor and blue-face angelfish are plentiful. Big whitetip reef sharks, banded sea snakes, moral eels and turtles are all frequently seen.
Bunaken is an area of 8.08 km ² island in the Bay of Manado, located in the northern island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. This island is part of the city of Manado, the provincial capital of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Bunaken island can be traveled by ship fast (speed boat) or a rented boat with about 30 minutes journey from the port city of Manado. Bunaken Island Around Bunaken marine park there which is part of the Bunaken National Park. This marine park has a marine biodiversity one of the highest in the world. Scuba diving attracts many visitors to the island. Overall Bunaken marine park covers an area of 75,265 hectares with five islands within it, namely the island of Manado Tua, Bunaken Island, Island Siladen, Mantehage Island follows several children island, and island Naen. Although covering an area 75,265 hectares, the location of dive (diving) is limited in each of the five beaches that surround the island.
Bunaken marine park has a 20 point dive (dive spot) with varying depth of up to 1344 meters. Of the 20 diving points, 12 points among them diving around Bunaken Island. Twelve point dive is the most frequently visited by divers and lovers of the beauty of the underwater scenery.
Most of the 12 point dive in the Bunaken Island line from the southeast to the northwest of the island. In this region there are great underwater walls, also called the hanging walls, or walls of a giant rock that stands vertically and curved upward. These rock walls are also a source of food for fish in the waters around the island Bunaken.
the most crazy idea comes from us according to bunaken island visit is: make a loop around the island bare feet!
oh yeah! we met people along the way from liang beach to pangalisang beach and they say, "do you need a ride?" in very friendly way. but we keep insisted, "no thank you". since we want to feel this experience. and that's great. except the tiring legs when we reach our bungalow in the evening.
so the enroute as follows: liang beach - tanjung parigi by stairway - annexed small path - secondary forest - coconuts plantation - cacao plantation - 2 villages - passing several diving operators bungalows - pangalisang beach. and it takes about 3.5 hours.
pretty memorable in our mind >> especially when the night fall and the half moon is looked at the sky. we had nice chit chat with locals before comeback to our place.
once you are landed at bunaken island or take a trip by boat around bunaken, you'll not regret. the abundant of marine life just shown in front of your sight.
even for those who decided to stay on the boat [with bottom glass], the underwater scenery looks fantastic. colourful corals just like underwater garden. and the schooling fishes and the echinoderms ... i just hardly breathe to see all of them.
there are two approaching points to visit underwater garden of bunaken: from pantai [beach] liang and pangalisang.
Bunaken have some of the world's most spectacular and accessible coral drop-offs, caves and valleys, full of brightly coloured sponges and fish - you may also be lucky enough to see turtles, eels and sharks.
If you can't swim or dive, don't worry! You still can enjoy the beauty of Bunaken reefs with live corals and many species of sea animals and fishes. Go rent a Katamaran. It's a special boat designed with a clear glass in the middle of the boat that's lowered below the water surface whenever you have come to some sightseeing spots (along Bunaken's sea cliffs, about 200-300m from the beach) so you can have a clear view underneath. You can rent it for approximately 100000-150000 Rupiahs for 45 minutes rides.
Around Bunaken marine park you can go diving, snorkelling, or just looking the beauty of the reefs and fishes from the boat by using special Katamaran boat (see Things To Do section).
In Bunaken island itself there are many traditional restaurants that serves mostly seafood and local dishes.
There are many small wooden cottages should you want to stay longer without the need to go back and forth to Manado. Approximately it costs about 125000-250000 Rupiahs per night.
Before you leave Bunaken island, don't forget also to buy some souvenirs like Bunaken t-shirts and jewelry/knickknack made from seashells, which sold by local people who live in Bunaken island.
One day i spend several hours crawling in the mangrove. It is overlooked by most people, and it certainly isn’t as spectacular as the reefs. But here you will see the young stages of many of the reef fishes who use this sheltered environment as a nursery. There is some strange creatures to be seen. You will swim, and crawl, in a landscape of sand and mudbottom, treeroots branches and logs. Some places the water is crystalclear and you have a strange feeling of beeing in a freshwateraquarium. It is fun for a while.
Whitetip and blacktip reefsharks are seen all the time at Likuan, a drop of site. It is facinating to see those perfectly shaped, but usually harmless, sharks patroling the sea with their elegant and perfect manouvers. They are so flexibel, elegant and fast, yet they are in total control and are supplied with their own sort of dignity. Some meetings was more memorable than others. I mention the full size grown whitetip, 2,5 meter long, who was sleeping on the sandbottom at the foot of the shallow part of the drop of wall. It was five of us, hovering over it, but it didn’t take any notice. Then there was the young shark we found hiding in a hole in the cliff. Young sharks have their enemies to fear, and this one was quick to retreat as far as he could into his little cave.
Sharks are only one of many attractions at Likuan. At the same time as i studied two different, but closely related species of lionfish, some napoleonfishes ranging in weight from 50 to far above 100 kilos came up to investigate us. Luckily they are friendly, easily distuinguished by their bulb on the forhead. The lionfish have long spines who can inject venom directly inbto the blodstream of a human. Unless treatened they will not use their horrific, but usually not lethal, weapon against us. In the drop of wall i also saw a range of scorpionfishes, very well camouflaged. They are venomous, some are lethal. I also saw something that looked exactly like a stonefish. They are lethal. Rule number one on the reef is simple:don’t toutch anything. There is also a wide variety of nameless and harmless fishes in the reefwall, outside schools of other fishes, like different tunas or batfishes patrol. In the wall itself i saw several lobsters. Beside one of them one adult and curious murayeel put his head out of the cave. Here he is a toppredator with little to fear. At the end of the dive i enjoyed the overwhelming richness of colours and patterns of the fishes living on and just behind the edge of the drop of.
Oe of the strange institutions of the seas are the cleaning stations, at Fukui, there is two. There cleanerfishes remove parasites from bigger fishes. The cleaner get an easy meal, the customer get rid of a plague. The cleanerfish even swim into the mouth of the customer, removing whatever in there. Cleaningstations are demilitarised zones where species usually regarding eachother as prey and predator are served side by side. It is observed that smaller fishes tease bigger sharks. There is a snake in paradise. It is a fish looking like cleaningwrasses. Instead of removing parasites, they take a lump of the flesh, or even gills of the unsuspecting customer. Cleaningwrasses usually live in groups, where a male keeps an harem. He have his own private spawningground from where all rivals are driven away. Females are able to change sex, it happens if the male dissapears. The most dominant female will become the new male after short time, and again it is buissness as usual in the wrassworld. At Fukui there is a colony of giant clams, some must measure a three digit number of kilos. But they are harmless. Getting caught between their “jaws” are easily avoided as they close slowly. The biggest of them are around half a meter across. Despite their size, gigant clams can’t make it on their own. In their tissue there is some algae, called zooalgae because they are more like planctonic annimals than algae in the traditional sense of the word. They produce a big fraction of the carbohydrats needed by the clam, 90% in some species. Kept out of sunlight the clam will die. The algae are also found in the coralls, without them there would be no reefs. A third permanent institution found at Fukui are the guardian eels, living on a flat sandplain. Divers can see them standing vertically in the water with the tailend in their hole dancing in the current. A funny sight. Fukui are a easy dive. Depths are 5-25 meters, and there is little current. There is no drop of, instead there is plains and slopes.
The boxfishes are usually a small, almost boxshaped fish, it looks lumsy and charming in a way. When they are threatened, they inflate themselves to a footbalsized ball with unapetising spines, few predators manage to eat them then. In order to do this trick, the fish has evolved a pumpmecanism. First it fill the mouth with water, then a watertight seal is pressed from the floor of the mouth towards the back of the teeth, finaly a pump driven by a modified gillbow project the water into the belly. They have a second weapon also. Tetradotoxin-nervepoison. It is stored in the skin and the flesh. Some species are even able to release it into the water, but they die just as quicly as the enemy as they aren’t imune against their own poison. In Japan this fish are eaten under the name Fugu. Yearly 30-100 persons are poisoned, some of them die. The poison work a little like curare, paralysing the body, and the breath. And just as in curarepoisoning, the unlucky one are concius until death strike. The poison break down by heat and those people are poisoned because the fish has been unproperly cooked. Despite their nasty venom, all the boxfishspecies are harmless if left unintimidated.
Several of the damselfishspecies are farmers. They eat algae, but instead of swiming around looking for it, they confiscate an area where it grows. From then it agressively defends it against others. It clean the crop from debris every day, and if it feel that an increase in production is required, it simply clean away the surrounding corals. You find them on the reef flats.
The parrotfishes are one of the most important group of species. They have got the name from the beaklike mouth formed by teeths grown together. They use that beak to eat coralpolypps, and to grind coralskelletons in order to get to the algae living in there. In the other end, it release coralsand, one fish can produce as mutch as one ton of it yearly. Usually they eat in small groups, if you see one, hold your breath, and you will kear the sound when they bite the corals. At bedtime some species dig theirselve down in the sand, other produce a cokon of mucus where it hides. This makes it more difficult for predators to locate them.