Why finally? Because I have been to Manado for maybe 5 times since 2010, but only this time I could make it to Bunaken, which could be done in a day’s time from Manado. No hassle, and suitable for people who does not have much time, like me; I took the plane back to Jakarta in the afternoon (5ish pm), yet I could manage to have super fun during the day trip.
The pier from which boats are going to Bunaken is in the city; totally reachable by car and taxi within minutes. I booked a day service- with 7 other friends- and that cost me around 350,000 IDR, that includes lunch and an exotic brunch – fried rice wrapped in young coconut leave – but excludes the snorkeling equipment (around 100,000 IDR).
We boarded at 9 am from the city pier and arrived at the first Island for getting the supplies (snorkeling equipment and I got myself a bottle of sunblock!) around 45-ish minutes later. The first snorkeling spot was not far from the first island. Great view of the underwater! As it is in the second island. There was a kind of pier which ends at a sea park – which is better than the first one. After spending sometimes for enjoying the park beauty, as well as for taking our lunch, we went to the next destination: a very shallow plain of sand. Here our boat driver put some loud music; although I did not really like it, it somehow felt like a cool party in the sea under the sun: splashing, music, dancing and sunbathing.
The money spent is totally worth it: 5 hours of fun, sea, and sun, and I get to catch my flight on time back to Jakarta!
– Aldy –