Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bunaken National Park

Hello guys. Have you heard about the coral reefs off Bunaken National Park?
This island located about 15 km from Manado, capital province of North Sulawesi in Indonesia. These magnificent virgin reefs are still relatively unspoiled. The drop-off walls at Liang cove are not only rare in the world, with caves, gullies and caverns, harboring an immense wealth of marine life. Spectacular formation of reefs begins with flat at about 5 m depth. These plunge downward to form underwater vertical crevices with often reach depth on several hundred meters. On these beautiful reefs, a wonderful collection of marine life thrives.

The Bunaken reef is a chain of over 40 five star dive spots. The Marine Park is spectacular with the greatest concentration of tropical fish, coral species and world famous wall diving.
Clear, warm waters with sea temperatures usually range between 27-30 Celsius degrees, light currents and calm seas allow easy access to the underwater attraction awaiting visitors to the five-islands of the Bunaken-Manado Tua National Marine Park which sits directly offshore of Manado. Bunaken is the standout favorite, with the highest density of schooling fish and the greatest probability to see larger species such as turtles, sharks, and napoleon wrasse. There are enough sites here to keep any diver happy for over a week without going elsewhere.

Getting Bunaken is easily. If we reached from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, takes about 3 hours by plane to Manado (there is one hour time difference between Jakarta and Manado where Jakarta's time is 1 hour advance than Manado), then from Manado by motorized outrigger boat start from Manado harbor, Molas, Kalasey and Tasik Ria beaches. The public boats from Manado to Bunaken are leaving daily around 2 p.m., except Sundays, from Pasar Jengki near Manado harbor. Back from Bunaken to Manado usually early in the morning, around 7-8 a.m.
On the island you have the choice amongst a number of homestays, with rates starting at Rp. 40,000(about US$ 4.5) per day and person including full board. Some of the dive operations on Bunaken are offering more up-market accommodation, and even running water.

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