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Bunaken and the Colorful Underwater Life | Scuba Diving Blog

Known well for amazing wall dives, fantastic coral reefs and schooling fish, Bunaken should be on every divers radar. And what’s great about diving in Bunaken, is that you can find dive sites for all levels of divers so that everyone can enjoy its beautiful underwater scenery. The best part, though, is the rich marine life you can see while diving there. For underwater photography enthusiasts, Bunaken offers plenty of photo opportunities. Let’s have a look at some of the marine life that can be seen underwater in Bunaken.

Turtles, turtles and more turtles

Who doesn’t love turtles? They are the most popular habitants of Bunaken, thus you can easily see them on every dive. The most common species are Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles. There is even a dive site called Muka Kampung known as the turtle city, where you can see them all over!

Napoleon Wrasse

Divers can often spot this peculiar looking big fish. This one of the largest reef fish can be easily spotted, and is also many divers favorite fish to see. The most fun is to see them hunt for food. Adults are mostly spotted alone calmly swimming around the coral reefs.

Mantis Shrimp

Small critter that looks harmless due to its small size, but whose fast and incredibly strong punch can be fatal to their prey. Thus, you might want to keep your camera at a safe distance from them. Nevertheless, they are very interesting to observe and photograph. Their eyes are especially incredible, seeing more colors than humans!


Bunaken is rich with nudibranch species! Chromodoris dianae, Chromodoris kunie and Hypselodoris tryoni are just a few of the beautiful nudibranch species in the area. You will find many of the beautiful nudibranchs along the walls.


Scuba divers can often see schools of barracuda during their dives. You might see them hunting or even being hunted! That’s why, especially the young, often school together to confuse their predators thinking they are a larger fish.

Bumphead parrotfish

Easily recognizable by the bump shaped head and teeth that look like a parrot's beak. They use their teeth to bite off chunks of coral which they then eat. And what you can expect to come out from the other side is sand!

Schools of triggerfish

There are various species of triggerfish in Bunaken Marine Park. Some of the most common are titan triggerfish, picasso triggerfish, clown triggerfish and redtoothed triggerfish. But do not forget that they are extremely protective of their nests and are very displeased with intruders.

Observing fish behaviour in Bunaken sure is fun! Have you been to Bunaken? What did you see while diving there?

And find the best underwater camera gear for your next dive trip!

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