Siladen Island Resort and Spa

Siladen Island Resort & Spa, Bunaken Marine Park, Kotak Pos 1196, Manado 95011, Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia.

Coordinates in degrees decimal: 124.8025 E,  1.631667 N

Visited in April 2020.  Photographer: Guillaume Astegiano and the Snorkeling report team. 

Website: https://www.siladen.com/resort/

Overview

Siladen Island Resort & Spa is located on Pulau Siladen to the north of Sulawesi.  Siladen Island can only be accessed by boat, but, fortunately, it is located only a few kilometers from Sulawesi Island’s north coast and the main port in the city of Manado.  Sulawesi also has an international airport at Manado.   

The island resort is in the heart of the Bunaken National Marine Park, one of the oldest protected areas in the Indonesian “coral triangle”.  The property is located on the western side of the island on a 300 meters long stretch of white coral reef beach facing the Manado Tua volcano.  The island is entirely fringed by coral reefs offering fabulous coral drop-offs.

The best area for snorkeling is located between the Island’s southern point (Onong Reef) and the entrance to the Siladen Island Resort & Spa.  In the south the shallow waters inside the reef edge support numerous hard and soft coral assemblages.  Further north sand patches are evident and extensive seagrass beds exist. The reef edge is very close to shore (50-60m) in the south, with the lagoon behind the reef edge gradually increasing in size until the drop off at the reef edge is about 500m from shore opposite the Siladen resort.

Considered to be a good site for night snorkelling but probably best conducted by one of the trips organised by resort.

Climate and sea conditions

Siladen has a tropical rainforest climate.  Year round temperatures are high with daily averages generally around 27C and maximums up to 33C during the period September  to November.  Maximum chance of rainfall occurs between November and January, with the lowest chance of rain in September.  Winds are light all year, rarely approaching 12 knots.  The windiest periods are between July and September.  Strongest winds blow from the WSW and NE.   

Seawater temperatures are between 28C and 30C all year round and visibility is in the order of 20m but may be much more.  Tidal range varies between 0.3 and +2.5m.  Make sure you have identified a safe exit point given that on a large spring tide you may not be able to exit where you entered, particularly of the seagrass beds.  The large tidal range on spring tides will also create strong localised currents.  Check with the locals for advice.

Vessel activity is low but small boats use the jetty and the beach opposite the village, so be aware.

The western side of the island is recommended for snorkelling.  A good starting point is next to the jetty in the south.  Swim out to the reef edge and then north, following the reef.  Head inshore opposite the resort if you want to see the seagrass and starfish area.  Make sure your exit point is safe and accessible, bearing in mind the tidal range.

The view along the jetty in the south of the island, which has steps at the end. The reef edge is very close to shore (50m) adjacent the village and it is easy to swim to the drop off from the jetty.  The water can also be entered from the beach. 

The view from the jetty, looking west towards the peak on Manadotua Island and across the shallow waters of the back reef. The waters north of the jetty support extensive coral cover in very shallow water (0.5-1m).

Snorkelling on the top of the reef edge is best.  Once past the reef edge the drop off is shear, the water depth rapidly increasing beyond most snorkelers' capabilities.   Remain on the main reef (↕1-3m) where marine life is at its best, dominated by a wide variety of both hard and soft coral formations and associated fish species. The area is home to more than 30 species of butterflyfish and numerous clownfish.

The reef can be followed northwards until you are level with the Siladen Resort & Spa.  If you swim inshore here you will pass over a transition zone, with features of the off shore coral and rock formations, and the mid-lagoon seagrass beds

In the mid-lagoon seagrass beds numerous examples of the Horned Sea Stars can be observed, adjacent the Siladen Island Resort and Spa..

Resort Sealife Photos

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