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Bunaken trip planning (site recommendations)

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by deeno, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. deeno

    deeno Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Francisco
    I'll be heading to Bunaken (Murex) in September for about a week and would love some help gathering a list of sites to visit vs leaving things up to chance. Assume we have numbers to fill a boat and can decide where and when to go (conditions permitting of course). I am hopeful we will have an opportunity to take an excursion to Bangka on one of the days.

    Barracuda point is at the top of my "must visit" list, but beyond that some of the other typical places seem to get mixed reviews (Lekuan, Fukui, Mikes pt, etc) so I am unsure.

    This is my first trip to the area so any and all advice is much appreciated and feel free to be as detailed as you'd like (ie placeA is only good in the morning if it's calm, or go here if the weather is bad, etc).
  2. stepfen

    stepfen Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    Hi there. My approach to these situations is to let the crew choose the sites. We (divers) need to understand there are more than "I want to see this site" reasons on choosing a site and most of these reasons are to our benefit.

    Yes if you want to see a specific site especially if it is further away (usually requiring some sort of special arrangement plus incurring extra cost for fuel etc) do let the crew know at the beginning of your trip.

    Apart from this, on a day by day base let them do their job. Believe me they DO want to make you (and all the rest of the group) happy because happy customers bring more customers and build the reputation of the place. For example they will not knowingly bring you to the "wrong" place just for their convenience.

    Now about Bunaken in particular as usual it all depends on the moment. A "boring" site can become very exciting at a turn of a current, and a "good" site can become "empty" (I wouldn't call that boring) just because. Remember most of Bunaken is surrounded by (deeeep) walls. Guides try their best to make a nice combination of walls and other sites to make it most enjoyable.

    All the sites you mention as well as others you didn't are famous for a reason (or more). I wouldn't mind diving each of them every day :)

    Relax and enjoy your trip!

    Just my 2c
    Wingy and deeno like this.
  3. BigJeff

    BigJeff Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Wales
    I agree with Stepfen, the sites change throughout the year and day to day with the currents.

    The divemasters will always know which sites are best at any time of year or state of the tide, plus if anything special pops up they will be able to find that for you as well.
    deeno likes this.
  4. Happy Manado

    Happy Manado New

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Manado Indonesia
    Hi everyone. I will try to give some recommendations for Bunaken must try dive spot:
    1. Fukui
    2. Lekuan 1,2,3 (you will see many big sea turtles there)
    3. Bunaken Timur (East Bunaken)
    4. Ron's Point (better go earlier, in the afternoon current is a bit strong)
    5. Mandolin
    6. Muka Kampung
    7. Siladen Spot (in Siladen Island not so far from Bunaken. You can see some baby sharks there. Baby sharks only in Siladen spot. No more baby sharks in Fukui spot)

    Hope it helps and enjoy your diving experience in Manado!
    deeno and scrane like this.
  5. deeno

    deeno Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Francisco
    Thanks all for your thoughts and suggestions.
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    My recommendation is that you spend at least half of your time, if not more at Murex Bangka
    Wingy and Blueringocto_73 like this.
  7. deeno

    deeno Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Francisco
    Murex Bangka was all booked up at the time (we have quite a large group) so we will be at Bunaken for the entire week. Splitting the trip across the two locations would definitely have been preferable, but I am hoping we can still take one day trip out that way.
    chillyinCanada likes this.

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