The Togean Islands, Sulawesi

The Togean Islands form a fragmented, 120-kilometre-long crescent across the shallow blue waters of Tomini Bay, their steep grey sides weathered into sharp ridges capped by coconut palms and hardwoods. The exceptional snorkelling and diving around the islands features turtles, sharks, octopus, garden eels, and a mixed bag of reef and pelagic fish species.

The Togean Islands has a population of around 25,000 people. Most live in villages on the three largest islands of Batudaka, Togian, and Talatakoh. The Bajau people, often called the Sea Gypsies, traditionally live in villages built on stilts over the coral reefs. They are traditionally fishermen. Some of the villages built on stilts are picturesque and it’s well worth visiting if you are looking for things to do in the Togean Islands.  Bajau kids learn to swim at a young age. They can easily dive up to 12 meters without any special gear.

From west to east, Batu Daka, Togean and Talata Koh are the Togeans’ three main islands, with Walea Kodi and Walea Bahi further east. The main settlements are Bomba and Wakai on Batu Daka, and Katupat on Togean. Wakai is something of a regional hub, with transport out to smaller islands. There are no vehicle roads or widespread electricity in the Togeans and you’ll find it pays not to be on too tight a schedule; most accommodation places offer day-trips and shared transfers. Tourism in the islands is budget-oriented but good, and prices usually include meals. July through to September are the coolest months, when winds can interrupt ferries. Diving is usually good all year round, though visibility in December can be variable.

The rich diversity of marine life and astonishing coral formations in the Togeans are a magnet for divers and snorkellers; there are several professional scuba schools for training, courses and recreational dives. For truly spectacular diving, Una Una fits the bill perfectly. On land, there’s a surprising variety of wildlife to look for in the undisturbed and wild jungles, as well as other remote beaches to find. Around seven ethnic groups share this region, but all are happy to see visitors and are exceptionally hospitable.

togianWhen you decide to pull yourself out of the water, there’s a surprising variety of wildlife to look for in the undisturbed and wild jungles, as well as other remote beaches to find and even an active volcano to climb on Una Una (by day trip). Seven or so ethnic groups share this region, but all are happy see visitors and are exceptionally hospitable.

The Togean Islands are in the heart of the coral triangle (an area with some of the highest marine biodiversity in the world). There are numerous breathtaking reefs, old WW2 wrecks and more scattered all around the archipelago where you can go diving or snorkelling.

If it takes determination to get to the Togean Islands, it’s even harder to leave. You’ll hop from one forested golden-beach island to the next, where hammocks are plentiful, worries scarce and the welcome genuine.

 

Location:

These islets situated North East from Sulawesi shores in the gulf of Tominco. Daily flights are available from from Denpasar to Palu.

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