Togian Islands (or also known as Togean Islands) are like islands lost in between the midst of everything in Northern Sulawesi (Sulawesi Utara) thus coining it as an almost a secret dive destinations. With this, it invokes thoughts of real independent traveling there and diving in unexplored areas.
One thing for sure is the water is pristine and you would not see many other divers around. There are around 3 dive sites among the 56 islands! Imagine all the places untouched! You come here for dive, dive and dive but of course, it can possibly be also for just a retreat.
You may still arrange tour and trips to get here without hassle but it is not impossible to get here yourself as well though it is quite difficult. The difficulty is the reason these islands remain untouched largely therefore it is a good thing in a way.
Where is it
Togian Islands is an archipelago located in the transition zone of Wallace and Weber lines across the central Gulf of Tomini. It consists of around 66 large and small islands, scattered at the gulf between the large island of Sulawesi.
When is the best time to go
Climate here is tropical and with two seasons – dry and wet. But it is warm generally all year round and it is driest during summer months of April-October, making these the best time to come here but bear in mind it could go really hot.
What to see
Bajo people – Known as the Sea Gypsys, they are the indigenous people who lives semi nomadic at Kadidiri They rely on fishing on their sole income and you may come here to see their way of life.
Melange – stop by this remote island which lies in between Ampana and Wakai, where you can see traditional village with many smiling people!
What to do
Diving – As one of the top diving sites in Indonesia, this is definitely the place that you have to try scuba diving. There are hundreds of species of corals here, many still unclassified, and the diversity of marine life here is staggering. One of the best dive sites in Togian islands is the B24 Allied bombers in WW2, located just 16km northeast of Kaidiriri Island. Here you can dive with the aircraft wrecked that is now home to so many mysteries of the underwater sea. Another highlight is to dive in Pulau Una Una (the pinnacle) which has lots of large marine life to see. Other good diving sites are The Gap, Dominik Rock, The Crak, Batugilla and Little Lembeh for night dive.
Snorkeling – you can snorkel off the serene sea of a nearby island from Black Marlin. To get there you need to kayak for about 30 minutes.
Where to stay
You may stay on Kadidiri island itself, with three resorts here to choose from which normally charge per night inclusive of meals. Alternative accommodations would be at Katupat Island, about 1 hour away from Kadidiri, where there are quite a number of choices of place to stay.
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There are regular flights everyday from Jakarta and Surabaya to Gorontalo, and then catch a public ferry to Wakai in Togian Islands which would take about 13 hours! You may also charter a boat from Marisa for more flexible departure time.
Alternatively, also the fastest way to Togian Islands is to fly directly to Luwuk and then charter a car from there to Ampana and then onward boat to Wakai. Or from Gorontalo you can take a car to Ampana before taking a boat over to Wakai, which is only 4 hours.
If you are coming from Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi, you may take a bus trip from Rantepao of about 14 hours to Ampana and then follow by a boat to Wakai in Togian Islands, which is another 4 hours.
How to get around
You may charter a boat to go around the Togian islands which typically cost from 1-2 million Rp.
Where to go nearby
Manado – get back to this unassuming yet quite interesting city which acts as springboards to other dive sites and areas of travels.
Bunaken Island – another amazing dive site for divers alike.
Tana Toraja – you may head to South Sulawesi and catch the ancient funeral rites of this indigenous tribe
Remember to bring mosquito repellants as they are really notorious here being it still hugely undeveloped.