Snorkel with Turtles in the Bunaken Marine Park

THE ANCIENT TURTLES OF NORTH SULAWESI

Did you know that the Bunaken Marine Park has a resident population of green sea turtles which you can see when snorkeling?

These amazing creatures can be up to 80 years old and due to the size of some of them, they can weigh over 160kg and measure 1.5 meters in length! Their scientific name is Chelonia mydas due to the golden, sunbeam-like markings on their carapaces (shells).

Bunaken turtles
Green sea turtles are often spotted in the shallows at Bunaken

We often see them resting on the top of the reef while snorkeling and also from the boat as they surface for air. These gentle giants are completely harmless and feed mainly on seagrass and algae but juveniles are omnivores and will consume mostly jellyfish, sponges and small mollusks – but not snorkelers!

The green sea turtles in Bunaken are particularly curious about snorkelers and you can experience some very close and special encounters with them – they are one of the many highlights of snorkeling in this phenomenal region.

turtles bunaken
Green sea turtles have a white underside which is visible when they swim down from the surface

It’s important not to touch them as they have a protective layer around their body, which if, broken, can lead to infections.

Green sea turtles generally do not live in the open ocean but they are capable of migrating over huge distances from feeding grounds to nesting areas – up to 1,400 miles. The females return annually to the very same beach where they hatched to lay eggs of their own. When laying their eggs the females bury them in the sand and a single clutch of eggs is between 75 to 150 eggs.

In Bunaken the turtles are protected so this is one of the best places to snorkel in Indonesia to see these amazing creatures living in safety. The turtles here nest on the islands of Bunaken, Siladen and Manado Tua and return year after year to lay eggs. They are also some of the largest green sea turtles you will see in Indonesia!

Juvenile turtles
Clutches of green turtle eggs are buried in the sand and can range from 75 - 100 eggs per clutch

The best snorkeling sites for seeing green sea turtles are Lekuan and Fukui – both of which we visit regularly.

Do you want to experience and see more of North Sulawesi while you are here?

Why limit yourself to exploring one area in North Sulawesi when you can discover three in one phenomenal trip? Bunaken -> Bangka -> Lembeh: Snorkel over the staggering shallow hard coral gardens of the Bunaken Marine Park, explore Bangka island’s kaleidoscopic reefs and discover the World’s most bizarre marine life in the Lembeh Strait. Snorkeling boat transfers from resort to resort mean no wasted travel days – just snorkel and explore your way around some of Indonesia’s richest reefs and land sites with our Passport to Paradise!

Manado Turtles
Up close encounters with turtles are a highlight of snorkeling at Murex Manado

Each location boasts a wealth of natural beauty, rich culture, stunning landscapes and a range of activities

To make a booking or for more information contact us on: reservations@MurexSnorkeling.com

We look forward to exploring North Sulawesi with you soon!