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Snorkeling Holidays in North Sulawesi

Explore and discover North Sulawesi underwater – Snorkel our world-class sites and take home memories that will last a lifetime.

Imagine snorkeling over beautiful hard coral reefs around Bunaken Island while a turtle lazily passes by or drifting over schools of fish and kaleidoscopic soft corals in Bangka. Manado Bay offers a mix of coral reefs and black sand snorkeling sites for those who have a thirst for finding the smaller and most unusual critters. North Sulawesi is famous for its world-class, diverse marine life and as the pioneers of snorkeling and underwater exploration in this area we’ll make sure you get to see the best sites with the best guides.

Ever wondered what happens when the sun goes down? At Murex we don’t just snorkel from 9 – 5, we love to explore our snorkel sites at night too – ask us about our night snorkeling.

SNORKELING BUNAKEN FROM MUREX MANADO RESORT

Family Snorkeling Bunaken

Snorkeling Bunaken

Stunning hard coral reefs, schools of fish, crystal clear water and countless turtles. Bunaken is an underwater world of breath taking colors and natural beauty.

The coral reefs and walls of the Bunaken Marine Park are among the most highly rated snorkel destinations in the world and are accessible all year round. Conditions are easy with little to no current and the shallow reef tops are perfect for all levels of snorkeler from beginners to experienced. Seasoned snorkelers will be spellbound by the diversity of marine life and quality of the corals. For beginners and children, the inviting, warm water and good visibility make this the perfect place for getting started.

We usually start our snorkeling day with a morning trip to Bunaken to explore numerous sites and return to the resort for lunch before snorkeling Manado Bay in the afternoon. However, if you would prefer to make this a full day trip, lunch can be served on the boat and you can stay out at sea.

Highlights of Snorkeling Bunaken

  • Expert snorkeling guides
  • Shallow reef tops
  • Frequent turtle encounters
  • Easy conditions, warm water and good visibility
  • Schooling reef fish
  • Coral walls for snorkelers who want to look into the blue
  • Dolphins alongside the boat
  • Year round snorkeling

Family-snorkeling-North-Sulawes

Snorkeling Manado Bay

Beautiful shallow water reefs set on black volcanic sand and the opportunity to spot some unusual critters.

Manado Bay is a relatively newly discovered area for snorkeling and it boasts a treasure trove of rare marine species. Just a few minutes from Murex Manado Resort we also have snorkeling sites such as Batas Kota and Tanjung Kelapa which boast vibrant corals and record breaking fish numbers.

Highlights of Snorkeling Manado Bay

  • Expert snorkeling guides
  • A healthy mix of hard and soft corals
  • Easy conditions, warm water and good visibility
  • The opportunity to snorkel black sand sites
  • “Muck” snorkeling opportunities
  • Year round snorkeling
  • Snorkeling sites within close proximity to resort
  • Shallow water reefs

Bunaken / Manado Snorkeling Rates

Snorkeling trip including fins, mask and snorkel hire plus lunch on the boat (3 sites): IDR 650,000
Snorkeling trip excluding equipment hire plus lunch on the boat (3 sites): IDR 550,000
Bunaken Marine Park entry fee: IDR 150,000 per person (paid once for your entire trip)

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Bunaken and Manado Bay Snorkeling Sites

Dive map of sites around Manado Bay and Bunaken Island

Our Favorite Bunaken and Manado Bay Snorkeling Spots

Manado House Reef

The Murex House Reef is just a step off our beach in front of the resort. This shallow reef top offers a healthy mix of hard and soft corals on a black sand bottom. There are numerous anemone patches which provide habitat to groups of clown fish, the bommies are vibrant and full of life and you’ll lose count of the number of bright blue sea stars you see in one expedition. This is a great spot for those who want to experience muck and reef snorkeling combined – also great for night snorkeling.

Bunaken Timur


This snorkeling site, named after its location, is on the east side of Bunaken Island (Timur, means “East” in Indonesian). The shallow reef top is one of the most pristine around Bunaken and also home to a healthy population of green turtles. Looking out into the blue water expect to see clouds of butterfly and triggerfish schooling and feeding. On the reef top you’ll be amazed by the diversity of brightly colored reef fish of all shapes and sizes. One of our favorite spots!

Sachiko


Sachiko’s Point is a beautiful shallow reef top – perfect for snorkeling. The hard corals are home to large schools of brightly colored damsels and this is a good site for finding moray eels, clown fish, blue spotted sting rays on the sand and bumphead parrotfish. If you venture out over the drop off there are often passing turtles and eagle rays in the blue.

Mandolin

A stunning hard coral reef top makes this one of our favorite spots. Clouds of small, colorful reef fish occupy the corals including butterflyfish, angelfish, damsels, anemonefish and parrotfish. Looking out to the blue there are often schools of fusiliers and mackerel, passing turtles and occasional eagle rays.

Poopoh (Bethlehem & Tanjung Kelapa)

Located in the southern section of the national park is Poopoh, a small fishing village. In front of this village there is great muck snorkeling over black sandy slopes covered with sea grass. Here you’ll have the chance to find frogfish, octopus and ghost pipefish. At the end of the sandy slope is a mini wall which is fully covered with soft corals and a huge concentration of fish species.

Poopoh is the third richest site in the world, in terms of species diversity. Dr. Gerry Allen and Dr. Mark Erdmann conducted a fish count survey in 2012 and counted 310 different fish species in one scuba dive. Over the course of two scuba dives they counted a total of 385 different fish species. Only two other sites, both in Raja Ampat, have a higher density of fish species.

SNORKELING FROM BANGKA RESORT

Snorkeling-ManadoBay

Snorkeling Bangka Island

The reefs off Bangka Island are teeming with fish life and vibrant, colorful soft corals. You’ll be mesmerized by the diversity of species, both large and small, that have made Bangka their home.

This world-class snorkeling destination boasts coral encrusted rock pinnacles, abundant marine life and numerous white sand beaches just waiting to be explored. Bangka is a real “Robinson Crusoe” tropical island destination. Snorkeling around Bangka Island is possible all year round and the stunning House Reef is just a step off the beach. You’ll be amazed by the non-stop action underwater as schools of yellow snapper gather around bommies, colorful reef fish dart in and out of the corals and every now and then a passing pelagic cruises by in the blue.

Highlights of Snorkeling Bangka

  • Expert snorkeling guides
  • Numerous snorkeling spots off white sand beaches
  • Suitable for all levels, all year round
  • Warm water and great visibility
  • Possible dugong encounters
  • Abundant marine life and schooling fish
  • Vibrant and bright colored corals at every spot

Snorkeling Bangka House Reef

A definite highlight of staying at Murex Bangka is that with just a step off the beach you can immerse yourself in an underwater paradise of vibrant corals, a plethora of fish and vivid colors. During your stay at Murex Bangka you have unlimited access to this world-class snorkeling spot.

Highlights of Murex Bangka House Reef

  • Expert snorkeling guides
  • Vibrant, colourful soft corals
  • Schooling glass fish
  • Diverse marine life
  • Possible passing pelagics including eagle rays
  • Unlimited access and snorkeling time

Bangka Snorkeling Rates

Morning snorkeling trip including fins, mask and snorkel hire (2 sites): IDR 550,000
Morning snorkeling trip excluding equipment hire (2 sites) : IDR 450,000

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Bangka Snorkeling Sites

Dive map with sites at Bangka Island

Our Favorite Bangka Snorkeling Spots

Bangka House Reef

Snorkeling-Murex-Bangka-Housereef

Just a step off the beach in front of the resort is one of our favourite sites for snorkeling. Not only is the House Reef extremely accessible, it’s an underwater paradise bursting with color and life. The shallow water corals lead to a sloping reef which a great spot for looking out into the blue for passing eagle rays. Common sightings here include butterflyfish, damselfish, anemonefish, parrotfish, sweetlips and trumpetfish.

Pantai Kecil


Snorkling-Pantai-Kecil-Bangka-Indonesia

Literally translated, the name of this site means “Small Beach”. It’s a stunning small white sand beach accessible only by boat. One of the highlights here is to enter the water and swim over to the beach itself. When snorkeling here we commonly see moray eels, parrotfish, pufferfish, damsels, sweetlips, butterflyfish and Moorish idols.

Tanjung Usi

Snorkeling-Tanjung-Usi-Bangka-Island-Indonesia

A beautiful reef top packed with colorful hard and soft corals make this an incredible snorkeling site. Fish life here is plentiful and we commonly find moray eels, crocodilefish, butterflyfish, angelfish, batfish and numerous anemones with clownfish. This is also a great spot for night snorkeling.

Batu Mandi

Snorkeling-Batu-Mandi-Bangka-Island-Indonesia

Located just opposite Bangka Island, off the northern tip of Sulawesi, are a series of rock pinnacles which are encrusted in corals and surrounded by shallow reef beds. Schools of reef fish are a definite highlight along with cuttlefish, squid and blue spotted stingrays.

Sampiri

Snorkeling-Sampiri-Bangka-Island-Indonesia

This site is perfect for snorkeling due to the shallow depth of the reef top which is alive with fish. Sampiri is a long stretch of reef so there’s a lot to explore and we recommend visiting a couple of times to see everything that it has to offer. For those with a keen eye there are a lot of interesting smaller critters too.

Optional Extras for Snorkelers

Paddleboards – Why not take our paddleboards on the boat with you and explore both over and underwater? Our boards are extremely wide for added stability and can be paddled from either a standing or seated position. They are great fun!

Private Snorkel Guides and Boats – For those who would like a more exclusive experience we also offer private guides and can arrange private half day or full day boat tours.

Beginners – At both resorts we have rental snorkeling equipment if you do not have your own (choose between standard mask and snorkel or full face mask) and for beginners we give a FREE snorkeling lesson to ensure you understand the basics and feel comfortable in the water.

Families – Snorkeling is a great activity for all ages, including children, and unlike scuba diving you don’t need a lot of equipment and you don’t need a certification. Snorkeling is a wonderful activity to enjoy with children and you’ll be creating family memories, which last a lifetime.

Land and Sea – Combine your snorkeling time with discovering the landscape, nature and culture of North Sulawesi with our land tours.

Scuba Diving – If you’d like to try diving while you are here we offer a full range of PADI Courses from try dive experiences to full certification programs.

Two World Class Snorkeling Spots in One Trip? Stay at both Murex Resorts and experience the diversity of North Sulawesi. With seamless snorkeling boat transfers you’ll explore and see even more.

Contact us now for more information or to book your North Sulawesi snorkeling adventure. We are looking forward to snorkeling with you soon!

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