Difference between revisions of "Togian Islands"
Revision as of 18:44, 30 October 2011
Bomba is about 2.5 hours from the mainland of Ampana. It may be reached by public boats from the small harbor near Marina Cottages. The boats depart on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The price is about Rp25,000 per person. Kadidiri is reached by boats from Wakai, provided free by the three resorts on the island. Melange can be reached by public ferry from mainland Ampana. Note that all the hotels charge per person (not per room!!), and there are no ATMs, so bring enough cash.
There are ATMs for Mastercard and Cirrus available at the mainland of Ampana but they cannot be used for VISA.
Flora and fauna
The Togians Islands are very close to the aequator, due to that are all islands covered with tropical rain forest. Special for the Togian Islands is the Coconut Crab which can grow up to 4kg. The reefs surrounding all islands are full of tropical fish. It is also possible to see big Eagle rays, Napoleons, Bumphead Parrotfish and rarely sharks.
The climate is all year around warm, due to the close position to the aequetor (40km). There are also no real rain or dry times.
The public ferries that run between Ampana and Wakai leave every second day, although sometimes all on the same day. The schedules often change due to breakdowns and weather. (4hrs to Wakai, where resorts will offer free connecting speedboats to Kadidiri, Ferries fare is 40,000Rp). Some of the boats stop in Melange which is another 1.5hrs from Wakai. The boat from Gorontalo was leaving on Wednesday and Fridays Evenings and takes 12-14hrs to Wakai.
The resorts are waiting with their boats at the ferry terminal. For Pulau Kadidiri: Black Marlin Dive Resort, Kadidiri Paradise and Pondak Lestari are charging nothing if you stay with them - if you change to one of the other ones, you have to pay a small fee of 25.000 Rupiah (all 3 resorts are in walking distance to each else).
Private boats of varying types can be chartered at anytime to and from the islands and usually cost 1-2 million rupiah upwards.
The fastest way of getting to the Togian Islands is by flying to Gorontalo and then taking the wednesday or friday ferry to Wakai.
Resorts offer boats for charter
Kadadiri is home to an indigenous population known as the Bajo colloquially called "Sea Gypsys". The Bajo are semi nomadic and rely on fishing for their income. Tours from Kadidiri Paradise will take you to visit them. Selling fresh lobsters to tourists at a fraction of what you would pay in the US, Australia or Europe is an important part of their income, so if you visit them make sure you bring cash to buy some fresh lobsters. The young people love foreign visitors and will show off their humble village and school rooms.
There is a long jetty outside of the Paradise Resort that has good snorkelling right off of it. It is possible to swim to the island directly across from Kadidiri, but it takes a few hours. There are sea kayaks for rent from Black Marlin and it takes about 30 minutes to row to a nearby island that has good snorkelling. There are many trails around the island, but some are easy to get lost on. The walks are through dense growths and are not particularly picturesque. Fishing is not allowed in the no take zone so fishing trips must be outside this area. naturally there is diving at Black Marlin (more boats and equipment) and Paradise, check equipment etc carefully.
For diving is Pulau Una Una (The Pinnacle!) the highlight in the area - big groups of Barracudas, Jackfish and Napoleons can be seen. Other good dive sites are The Gap, Dominik Rock, The Crack, Batugilla and for Nightdives especially Little Lembeh. The dive boats take normally also snorkellers for free with them, if the dive site is shallow enough.
There are no shops on Kadidiri. The resorts all include three meals per day in their prices. Paradise and Black Marlin have a small shops selling snacks and cigarettes. All resorts can take you for free for a short trip to Wakai (when they pick up new travellers), if you want to buy specific things.
Beer runs about 30,000 Rp to Rp 35.000 for a large Bintang at the resorts. Other option for alcohol is the local Arak, a kind of stronger palm wine - all resorts can get it for you in Wakai for around Rp 10.000. A large bottle of water costs 8,000-10,000 Rp In Paradise. Boiled water and tea are Coffee are provided Free by all the Resorts.
Bomba is about 2,5 hours from Ampana where you can find 2 places to stay .
there are 10 large oceanfront cottages with private bath , seaview veranda, king-sized beds. There is a honeymoon cottage and a family cottage, suitable for a family of 4 (or more).Starting at $30 US/person/night . Delicious meals are included in the price of accomodation. Homemade pastas, bread, pizza, international and local cuisine. Various activities available - forest walks, village tours, snorkelling, diving, canoeing. Padi dive center, equipment rental. Good value.
Kadidiri has only three resorts located right next to each other on the very small beach. They all charge per person, per night and include all meals.
Katupat Island is about 1 hour from Kadidiri Island where you can find 2 beautiful resort just 10 minute with a small boat from Katupat Village Togian Island.
The islands are in general safe. Most important is not to walk through the reefs bare feet (many Stone- and Scropionfish!), stay while swimming in sandy areas.
The Black Marlin Dive Resort (www.blackmarlindiving.com) has a good website with informations how to get out and in.