Dive and Snorkel at the Bunaken Marine Park
The dive centre at Siladen Resort & Spa is a 5 Star PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Resort. Our highly qualified PADI instructors and experienced diving and snorkelling guides will ensure that your experience with us will be a safe and memorable one.
Located in the heart of Bunaken National Marine Park, we have easy access to over 50 world class dive sites, of which, more than half are also excellent snorkelling sites.
Surrounding the 5 islands of Bunaken Marine Park are shallow reefs which make for excellent and varied snorkelling, before the water dramatically plummets deeper. Most sites surrounding the islands are either vertical walls or steep slopes, although there are a few exceptions. The sites along the North Sulawesi mainland are mostly dark sandy slopes mixed with healthy and vibrant coral reefs, and there are some fantastic shallow reefs for snorkellers too. A World War II era shipwreck is also available for experienced divers.
For divers wishing to experience some of the world class muck diving North Sulawesi is known for, we can organise full day trips to the southern section of Bunaken Marine Park (Manado Bay), on the other side of Manado. Here we can discover the vast array of extraordinary critters that live in the volcanic black sands. Due to the change of seasonal winds, the critters can vary throughout the year. When conditions are good, we can expect to find critters such as frogfish (paint, clown, giant, hairy, etc.), ribbon eels, mimic, wunderpus, or blue-ringed octops, flamboyant cuttlefish, mantis shrimp (both spearing and smashing), ribbon eels, and many different varieties of nudibranch.
If you have never experienced muck diving before and would like to learn more about it, please read some tips here.
We also often organise day trips to the Bangka archipelago, roughly 1 ½ hours to the north of Siladen. Here you can find very different underwater topography to that within Bunaken Marine Park. Instead of deep, dramatic walls, around Bangka we can find gentle slopes, seamounts, and pinnacles. The area is home to many amazing critters, but is perhaps best known for its beautiful and incredibly healthy soft coral gardens. The stunning corals go right into the shallows and are teeming with fish life, making Bangka just as amazing for snorkellers as it is for divers.
Check out a recent video of one of our Bangka day trips to see what it is all about.
Our PADI dive centre is fully owned and managed by Siladen Resort & Spa, so you can guarantee you will experience the same level of luxury and professionalism while diving or snorkelling as you would when visiting the spa. To fully enjoy your time in the water with us, we have a maximum dive/snorkel guide to guest ratio of 1:4, trying our utmost to match experience and interests level within a group. We also offer a full set of PADI courses and programs, ranging from beginner to professional in several languages — English, Indonesian, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and more! To learn more about what PADI courses we offer, click here.
For diving and snorkelling rates, please click here.
Our dive centre is equipped with multiple Bauer compressors, a Nitrox membrane system plus a Nitrox continuous flow system, and five diving boats — each holding a maximum of 10 or 12 divers or snorkellers depending on the boat.
Our standard scuba cylinder is 12 litres (80 cubic feet) aluminium with both International (Yoke, INT) valves, or DIN valves. For those with higher air consumptions, we can offer 15 litre (100 cubic feet) cylinders, and for those who always have gas left at the end of the dive and prefer a lighter, smaller cylinder, we have 10 litre (60 cubic feet) cylinders available too.
Both air and Nitrox are available on site (Nitrox qualification required to use nitrox), and each boat is equipped with gas analysers. If you are unsure whether you would benefit from diving with Nitrox, please read our blog on the subject.
Please do not harass or touch any animal and comply with all Bunaken National Marine Park rules. Please take care to minimize the impact of camera lighting on the delicate critters by only taking a few shots.
Be aware of your surroundings. Practice good buoyancy, don’t lie on or touch the corals.
Moving animals is not permitted. Let the dive centre know if you need any help refreshing your buoyancy skills.
Proper weighting and correct weight placement can go a long way.
Gloves and knives are not permitted in the Bunaken National Park.
Diving at Siladen is organized to offer you the maximum comfort. At 8am every morning divers meet at the Diving Center. Boats leave right after 8am to allow guests to enjoy two morning dives and return to the Resort for lunch before 1pm.
Afternoon diving is available everyday at 3pm.
Mandarin/Dusk dives are available with right tidal conditions and only need a minimum of 2 divers, the boat leaves at 4:30pm.
Night diving is available every evening at 5:30pm, as long as there is a minimum of 2 divers interested. The maximum number of dives per day is 4, including the night dive. There is NO extra surcharge for night or mandarin dives.
We offer dives to observe the mating of the beautiful Mandarin Fish and we also offer night dives in the rich Bunaken corals or on the sandy slopes of the mainland. These dives may count towards your prepaid dive package (NO surcharges) or can be purchased separately.
Our traditional style wooden boats are spacious and have all the necessary amenities such as marine toilets. All our boats provide covered seating and dry storage areas for cameras & personal belongings. In addition, all boats are staffed by licensed captains and an assistant. Each vessel is equipped with first aid and emergency oxygen as well. Drinking water, coffee and tea are available free of charge on all boats and fresh fruit and snacks are provided after every dive. Towels are also available onboard.
The dive guides at Siladen Resort and Spa have extensive dive experience diving in North Sulawesi. Their main role is to guide you and sport all the wonderful critters for you. The dive guides are keen underwater naturalists and will help you find and responsibly photograph the critters on the reef. Guides are also happy to help and advise on all diving related issues. Please let them know about your dive preferences, they will do their best to find that critter on your wish list. To experience a Private Dive Guide please ask the Dive Center Management for details.
For those looking to follow their own schedule or choose their own sites, our private boat service will provide you with your own boat and dive guide. Please inquire in the Dive Center as to availability and cost for these services.
Snorkelers are encouraged to join the boats for snorkeling.
All reefs around the islands of the Bunaken National Marine Park are suitable for snorkeling as they come up as shallow as 3m or 10ft in depth. Like the divers, you will have a briefing from your guide. The boat crew will pay close attention to any snorkelers in the water and will pick up snorkelers whenever signal is given. We recommend a wetsuit for sun and jelly fish sting protection, along with suitable mask, snorkel and fins, due to possible currents.
Snorkeling by boat has a charge.
Guests can also enjoy great snorkeling off the beach on Siladen, just next to the old jetty, a few minutes walk from the Resort entrance.
We recommend all our guests use Nitrox, as it provides not only extended no-decompression times, but also provides an added level of safety when used properly. Nitrox is available for a surcharge for those guests with a Nitrox certification. We provide a 32% oxygen mix, but we are able to provide up to 40% custom blends as well. Please enquire in the Dive Center as to price and availability. Your dive guide will help you analyze your tank onboard.
Not certified? Please let the Dive Center Manager know if you wish to get certified.
Diving and snorkeling equipment is available for rent. Click here to see the list of equipment and rental pricing.
A camera room is available for photographers/videographers and our dives guides are accustomed to working with them.