Situated on Bunaken Island, the most popular of the 5 islands that comprise the world famous Bunaken National Marine Park, this relaxing and unpretentious dive resort is ideally located if you want to stay right in Manado's premiere diving destination.
Staying at this resort means that your boat journey times to the dive sites are shortened to just a few minutes and you get to make your night dives within the park itself. Unlike most other accommodations within Bunaken, the dive operation employs only qualified divemasters as dive guides, and the enforce a strict 'no-touch' policy for marine life which is very refreshing to see in this fragile and unique environment.
Bunaken Cha Cha's island location really is idyllic. Cut into the small hillside, the holiday resort offers breathtaking views across the marine park to Siladen Island and the Manado mainland. Here you can watch for passing pilot whales or dolphins frolicking on the sea's surface. Constructed from natural materials and surrounded by indigenous tropical forest, the property steps down onto its own small beach area. Take your mask and fins with you as just 30 metres or so from the water's edge, is the Bunaken Timor wall - one of Manado's favourite dive sites and great for snorkelling too.
Photos of Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort just don't do the place justice at all; the personal flavour and friendly atmosphere are invisible to a camera's lens. This is a small, family business run by an Irish/Italian/English and Japanese partnership. The owner's approachable style and attention to detail is really what sets this resort apart.
Located on the secluded east coast of Bunaken, your peaceful enjoyment will not be encroached upon by the noisy churches in central Bunaken. The resort is also the only one on the island to have hot water available in the rooms.
Destinations:Bunaken Island National Marine Park (Diving environment: wall diving, drift diving, healthy reefs, beginner & advanced divers, very popular; Highlights: turtles, great macro life/marine diversity, schooling fish/big pelagics).
No diving on days of arrival and departure.
Resort diving includes:
Dives (as detailed in the packages above), boat rides to sites, experienced English-speaking divemaster (maximum 8 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts, scuba tax, drinking water, hot drinks. Diving excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own):
Scuba equipment (approx. US$ 30 per day), Bunaken marine park fees (approx. US$ 11 per person per year). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card). Optional extras:
Extra boat and night boat dives (minimum 2 divers), soft drinks, dive computer, diving insurance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
Resort accommodation includes:
Bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinking water, hot drinks, taxes. Accommodation excludes (mandatory):
Return resort transfers from Manado airport, approx US$ 60. Single supplement on single travellers only, payable in advance. New Year's Eve dinner (approx. US$ 50 per person). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival. Single Supplement:
This is a compulsory additional charge on single travellers for the sole occupancy of double/twin accommodation. Optional extras:
Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, internet access. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there:
Bunaken Cha Cha is located on a beach on the eastern shore of Bunaken Island itself, 20 km, or a 45 minute boat ride, from Manado. The resort provides airport and city transfers for you. For more information on how to get to Manado see our travel information section.
Dive clubs and group discounts:
Pay for 7 guests and 1 extra person can join free of charge.
To experience the best diving holiday in Manado, we recommend that you book a combination of resorts here, to include one in the Bunaken Island and Manado area to dive Bunaken National Park, and one in Lembeh to dive its strait.
There are 1 Ocean Beach Villa, 1 Ocean View Villa, 7 Superior and 3 smaller Standard Cottages, all overlooking the wonderful Sulawesi Sea. Bunaken Cha Cha was the first resort on Bunaken Island to offer hot water showers to its guests.
All the holiday cottages have:
Fully Air Conditioned
Twin or double bed
Private bathroom with hot water shower
Towels and soap
Balcony and chairs
Cotton cheesecloth mosquito nets
Complimentary mineral water
Cabinet, desk, chair and mirror
Round 2-pin power sockets with power adapters
Wireless internet connection
Because some of the cottage walls are wooden and others stone, some rooms can have noise from adjacent rooms. Please let us know if this is a concern to you, so we can allocate you a stone walled room.
2 of the Superior cottages can be used for 3 persons (please enquire for details).
The Cha Cha Scuba Diving Club offers boat trips all around the 5 islands of Bunaken Island national park. Having spent some time at the resort, we think that the personal dive service offered by the operation is very good. In addition, the club employs only properly qualified divemasters and enforces a 'look-but-don't-touch' policy to marine life - clear positives when compared to the local competition.
The 2 dive boats feature:
13m traditional-style with wood hull
Built in year 2004
Maximum of 8 divers per boat
3 additional boat crew
2 x 40 HP Yamaha engines
Speed - 13 knots
Shaded kit up area
Drinking water, biscuits, tea and coffee
Daily departures from the resort are at approx. 08:00 hrs for the first 2 dives and 14:30 hrs for the third dive. There is a 2 hour lunch break between trips. Boat journey time is 1-30 minutes.
Note: Due to windy conditions the sea surface can be quite rough between January and March. If you are less agile than most, we recommend visiting outside of these months.
Obviously, most guests come here for to scuba dive. However, there are still a number of other things to do during your holiday. There are superb snorkelling opportunities off the wall, just in front of the resort; a floating pontoon, with sun and shaded areas, is moored here for your convenience and safety.
Back at the clubhouse you can play chess, Othello, play cards, or just borrow a book from the library and enjoy the breezy views.
For energetic guests, there is an interesting 2 hour walk down to the central Bunaken Island village.
Resort facilities include: Restaurant and bar - Clubhouse with TV and music centre - Small private beach area with sun beds - International telephone - Internet (chargeable) - Massage - Baby cots and high chairs - Baby sitting - Manado tour desk - Laundry service
Location: Bunaken Island, Bunaken National Marine Park, north of Manado Bay, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
The nearest re-compression chamber is at Malalayang Hospital in Manado, 35 km, or 1.5 hours, from Bunaken Island. We recommend you have your own dive insurance policy - see our insurance programme for a competitive quote.
The Cha Cha I & II diving boats have oxygen onboard, emergency evacuation procedures, plus mobile telephone, first aid kit, life jackets and buoyancy rings. 1 divemaster is provided for every 4 scuba divers.
The nearest medical facility is also at Malalayang Hospital in Manado.
Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort has a safety deposit box, free of charge, in reception. There is a police facility on the island about 5 km away.
"Sam provided excellent assistance and useful information about marine life in Bunaken. The equipment was in excellent condition. The dive boat captain provided fruits and beverages during surface time. Sam made sure that I saw all the exotic species found in the area. The service all-around was excellent. Since I chose your area for diving, I felt that I had quality time under and above the water. Best resort staff who were always smiling and cheerful." - Nathan Kizhanatham, India, 14 June 2012 ...
"I spent my Christmas holiday with them and they provided a cozy, homely atmosphere The food was good, fresh and always sufficient. They manage to create a very personal atmostphere, as if you're guests into their home rather than a guest in a hotel, which I really appreciated." - Michel Engering, Netherlands, 13 February 2008 ...