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After a few meters of seagrass area, a colorful underwater world rich in life opens up in front of you gradually shifting from small coral nurseries to a majestic drop-off with schools of fish, turtles, and spectacular coral formations.

Seagrass and small corals at Panorama Beach
The shallow seagrass beds, among which small corals are growing, are an interesting environment to explore.

How to get to the Panorama Dive Resort snorkeling spot?

The easiest way to access this location is by staying at the Panorama Dive Resort or its sister accommodation Panorama Backpackers if you are on a tight budget, the two are next to each other and are directly facing this reef.

Alternatively, you may visit this spot while on a snorkeling tour from the mainland or other accommodations in Bunaken and Siladen Islands.

Panorama Dive Resort snorkeling map.
Panorama Dive Resort snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling the Panorama Dive Resort

If you are visiting while on a snorkeling tour follow your guide’s instructions, while if you are staying in Bunaken you will enter the site from a sandy beach. Usual basic precautions are recommended while a few stingrays and sea urchins can be spotted from the beach.

Panorama Dive Resort’s reef snorkeling exploration tips

As soon as you enter the water the sand leaves room for a grassy area which is still worth exploring as there are many starfish around. The seagrass area is quite thin (33 feet/10 meters) and in a short time, you are already in view of small corals.

The coral reef at Panorama Resort
The coral reef at the Panorama Dive Resort.

Here the water is extremely shallow (1.5 feet/0.5 meter) and extra care is needed to find your way to the outer reef. There are a few passages but you will have to slalom between the corals.

The small corals are however extremely interesting as they offer protection to a rich variety of young and newborn fish which find shelter in the crevices and rely on the shallow water to hide from predators. This area is worth hours of exploring and the shallow water allows you to observe closely the delicate ecosystem of this reef.

Scorpionfish at Panorama Dive Resort
A small Zebra lionfish noted in the seagrass.

While you venture further the water becomes deeper (5 feet/1.5 meters) and the coral nurseries leave room for an area of brain corals which separates the outer reef side and is patrolled by some fish but less abundant. A few meters away the corals start to become more varied and the fish becomes once again extremely abundant.

Pillar and staghorn corals create very interesting shapes and the biodiversity is built of an incredible variety of fish. Here the water is deeper (up to 12 feet/4 meters) and the reef is suddenly met by a dramatic drop off where turtles can be seen but occasionally also visited by sharks and mantas.

The coral reef at Panorama Beach, Bunaken
The coral reef at the Panorama Dive Resort.

The visibility remains exceptional and the water is never too deep to enjoy the snorkeling. When snorkeling alongside the outer reef it is recommended to keep an ear on the boats as this can also be a dive site.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

This location is the house reef of the Panorama Dive Resort.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth12 feet/4 meters over the reef
  • Water entranceFrom a boat (snorkeling tour) or from a beach (shore access)
  • Potential DangersStingrays, sea urchins. Usual precautions.
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree from the shore, or cost of a snorkeling tour
  • Restaurants nearbyAt the Panorama Dive Resort

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.