Manado Tua Bunaken

Bunaken dive sites

barracudaThe volcanic island of Manado Tua (Old Manado), just to the west Bunaken Island, offers similar diving to the Bunaken Island dive sites with steep coral walls, overhangs, ledges, crevices and caverns. It is regarded as a good place to see larger pelagics that are attracted to the strong currents. Reef sharks are common here.

Pangulingan, on the north east coast and Tanjung Kopi (Coffee Point) on the north west coast feature deep walls and sloping plateaus that are exposed to the strong currents and are therefore the best places to see the bigger fish. Calm surface conditions can disguise the fierce underwater current and surge that makes these dive sites suitable for experienced divers only. Currents often move up and down as well as horizontally.

A good policy may be to find a place to hold on and just watch the action on the wall. Black tip reef sharks and whitetip reef sharks cruise by in deeper water, seemingly unaffected by the current. Hammerhead sharks are seen very occasionally.

Eagle rays also glide past. Giant trevally and dog tooth tuna dart into schools od small fish in hunting raids. Barracuda circle slowly out in the blue.Large schools of big eye trevally, snapper and fusilier hug the reef wall. Batfish are also present in enormous numbers.

Coral coverage is superb with vibrantly coloured soft corals and seafans. The wall is full of moray eels including giant moray, white eyed moray and the less common white mouthed moray. Lionfish and scorpionfish lurk around barrel sponges. Pufferfish hide in coral crevices. Manado Tua dive sites are also full of wonderful macro life including harlequin shrimps, ribbon eels and all manner of nudibranchs.