BUNAKEN NATIONAL MARINE PARK
The Bunaken National Marine Park (BNMP) was formally established in 1991 and is among the first of Indonesia’s growing system of marine parks. It was one of the first underwater photography attractions in the area. Scuba divers from all over the globe flocked to Indonesia a decade ago for a glimpse of the coral triangle. The park covers a total surface area of 89,065 hectares, 97% of which is overlain by sparkling clear, warm tropical water. The remaining 3% of the park is terrestrial, including the five islands of Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen. Although each of these islands has a special character, it is the aquatic ecosystem that attracts most naturalists.
The waters of are extremely deep (1566 m in Manado Bay), clear (up to 35-40 m visibility), refreshing in temperature (27-29 C) and harbor some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Pick any of group of interest – corals, fish, echinoderms or sponges – and the number of families, genera or species is bound to be astonishingly high. For example, 7 of the 8 species of giant clams that occur in the world, occur in Bunaken. The park has around 70 genera of corals; compare this to a mere 10 in Hawaii. Although the exact number of fish species is unknown, it may be slightly higher than in the Philippines, where 2,500 species, or nearly 70% of all fish species known to the Indo-western Pacific, are found. The National Marine Park is where the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet. It covers a total area of over 890 square kilometers, hosts 390 different species of corals, is a center of marine global biodiversity and ranks among the top diving destinations in the world. It offers unforgettable diving and snorkeling.
The Marine Park is known for its rich macro life and is mostly characterized by wall dives rich in hard and soft corals. Pelagics such as reef sharks (black tip, white tip), eagle rays, barracudas, tuna, napoleon wrasses and turtles are also a common sight. There are over 50 dives sites within easy reach of the Resort. All dive sites around the 5 islands of the Marine Park are wall dives whereas dive sites alongside the coast of North Sulawesi are mostly dark sandy slopes with corals.