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Featured Indo Locations: Bunaken Island

December 17, 2013

image of Bunaken Marine Park

The Bunaken Marine Park

image of the underwater wall

A photographer takes a picture of soft coral and sponges along one of the wall dives of Bunaken

It was back in 2000 when I was working in the Maldives that one of the diver I was taking care that day came to me and talked to me about this island in the North of Sulawesi called “Bunaken”. Back then it seemed one of the most remote place in the world were only the most experience divers and photographers were going. the few Resorts the

re did not have fresh water and even the accessibility by land, from the airport to the nearest little port, was quite an off road experience.
Bunaken was the place where you could dive easily over 70 minutes along the most pristine and healthy coral reef wall with huge sponges and the most amazing critters. The dive guides were the most amazing, very friendly and unbelievably eagle eyed. One of them, called Pontoh, has got even recognized as the first to have discovered a spec

ies of Pygmy Seahorse, that eventually had been named after him. The Hippocampus Pontohi.


The Hippocampus Pontohi. One of the tiniest Seahorses discovered.

Meanwhile more than a decade has passed and from 2005 until 2011 I actually was in the Bunaken Marine Park managing a couple of Diving Centers. Today we have very well built roads that allow you to get to your resort or harbor withing 30 minutes from the Airport. You can fly almost daily from Singapore to Manado on board of Silk Air and almost all the places have got fresh water and A/C.  The number of divers increased but never went crazy and actually something that really did not change among the years is the quality of diving. Today Bunaken is still a place where, thanks to the great dive guides, you can still find an unbelievable and diverse amount of critter life as well as beautiful healthy coral reef. The fish life has actually increased, thanks to the fact that the island has been protected from commercial fishing since the early 2000. Almost year around, the waters are generally very calm, warm ( 28 C. – 82 F. ) and very clear.


I will be back in May 2014, which is a great time to visit the place. Mike and I will be holding a photo workshop from the 13th to the 19th of May. I am really looking forward.
If you want to join us in May whether you wanna take part of the workshop or just dive with us, contact us at

written by Luca Vaime


Click to get more info about our workshop in May 2014


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Underwater Tribe - Diving, Underwater Photography, and Adventure Travel in Bali and Beyond

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