If you are planning a trip to Sulawesi, then Bunaken probably comes up as one of the first destinations. It is one of the most beautiful diving destinations in the world. Although almost everyone always speaks of Bunaken, this area consists of 5 islands: Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen. Most accommodations can be found at Bunaken, but you can also spend the night on the tiny Siladen. If a visit to one of the islands is planned, this is probably to visit the gigantic Bunaken Manado Tua Marine National Park.
Bunaken has grown enormously in recent years. This makes the island full of hotels, homestays and hostels. They are often simple accommodations in different price ranges. The island is not really nice beaches, but the coral is breathtaking.
If you have a larger budget than we definitely recommend you to spend the night on Siladen. This island is next to Bunaken and is really a paradise with white beaches and crystal clear water. In a little half an hour you walk from North to South. The island is very quiet, so the chances are that you have the beach all to yourself. Here you will also find a beautiful coral reef around the island. There are a few resort / hotels where you can stay overnight.
To do in Siladen
Diving in Bunaken National Park (or snorkeling)
Every year this park is visited by numerous divers and snorkelers. In this area you will find gigantic coralwall. His deep walls are full of coral. Some hundreds of meters deep. Due to the depth and current in the area, the coral is still in perfect condition. Underwater you will find the most special soft and hard corals.
The area is really gigantic, so a dive spot is never very crowded. So you can always dive peacefully. Visibility is also often brilliant. So sometimes you have a visibility of more than 30 meters. In Bunaken National Park you will find more than 3,000 fish species and also 300 coral species. Soon more about our diving experience with Celebes Divers in Bunaken.
Are you not such a diver or do you fancy a day doing something different, then the dolphin trip is highly recommended. With a boat you leave for an area where many dolphins often occur. They guarantee almost 100% that you will spot dolphins. So you have the chance to spot hundreds of dolphins at the same time.
Enjoy the beautiful beaches on Siladen
Also a day relaxing on one of the fantastic beaches on the island of SIladen is absolutely not a tedious task. Although Bunaken is not really suitable for a beach holiday, Siladen is absolutely. Here you will find pearly white beaches and also a great house reef.
A day trip to Bunaken
If you do not have enough time or would prefer to stay on the mainland, you can also book a day trip or diving trips from Manado to Bunaken.
Tip! Do you want to stay in Manado, but not the fan of the busy city? Then book a room at Mapia Resort, part of Celebes Divers. Read more about this resort here.
Best time to travel Siladen
The best period to visit this area is from July to October. Especially August and September are perfect periods for diving in this area.
Transportation in Siladen
Transportation can often be arranged through the resort. This is somewhat less regulated, but therefore often also slightly more expensive. You can also take a boat daily from Manado or arrange a boat in the harbor. The boat trip takes about an hour and costs around 25 euros.
The cheapest option is the daily public ferry. It costs around 4 euros and departs every day between 2 and 3 am on Sunday.
Which budget is needed in Siladen?
For Siladen you need a slightly larger budget, but the island is worth it. You already have accommodations for around 80 euros per night full board, such as the resort Onong Onong. On the neighboring island of Bunaken you have some cheaper homestays, but the island is not nearly as beautiful as Siladen.
Important to know is that you have to pay about 10 euros for the National Park.
Recommendations to stay in Siladen?
Spending the night on Siladen does not have to be expensive. So you already have a wonderful room for about 85 euros at the Onong Onong. This is then full board. Moreover, this resort has a very professional diving center. The resort is right by the sea with a beautiful beach.
If you have a bit more budget, you can also book a beach villa at Kuda Laut. You are right on the beach, you have your own hip hammock and the rooms are really terribly luxurious. If you want to pamper yourself for a few days, this is the place! Read more about our stay at Kuda Laut and Onong Resort.