Northeast of Manado off the northeastern tip of Sulawesi, the snorkeling in the Bunaken Marine Park is well known for its pristine fringing coral reef formations and the exceptional water clarity. Located in Mando Bay, the Bunaken National Park consists of five islands: Bunaken, Manado Tua, Siladen, Montehage, and Nain, as well as a part of the North Sulawesi mainland. These waters have plentiful biodiversity with over 250 fish species including Napoleon wrasse, barracuda, triggerfish, damselfish, unicornfish, jacks, sea snakes, rays, green sea turtles, reef sharks and hammerhead sharks. The visibility is usually very high up to 80 feet at times.
The most popular island in the marine park is Bunaken Island. It has several dive resorts and is surrounded by numerous dive sites. Alternately, some snorkelers use the city of Mando as a base and use daily dive boats to the best Bunaken Marine Park snorkeling dive sites.
To reach the Bunaken Marine Park snorkeling by air, fly into Sam Ratulangi International Airport (MDC) located northeast of Manado. There are regular flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila and Davao, Philippines.
Tip - While snorkeling off Bunaken Island, make sure to use a diver down flag since the boaters tend to drive fast and be unaware of snorkelers in the water.
Overall, Bunaken Marine Park is the 4th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 8 snorkeling dives in Indonesia.