North Sulawesi, Sangihe-Talaud Islands
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A flotilla of overloaded boats like these spent hours bringing supplies out to our ferry, to be loaded piece by piece through windows. These ferries are the only means of supplying all the islands of Sangir-Talaud, and they carry everything – fruit & produce, baby chicks, headless mannequins, TVs, bibles…
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6 more maps detailed, you will find on :
The Sangihe Talaud Archipelago
Travellers with plenty of time should not miss the chance to go to this seldom visited group of islands. As there is hardly any tourist infrastructure you should be a bit adventurous. Some words of Bahasa Indonesia are also very helpful. What you will find is: virtually untouched white sandy beaches, uninhabited small paradise islands, excellent spots for snorkeling, active volcanos (one under water!) and friendly, very interested people. At Siau Island you have a chance to see one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia.
Be aware the weather conditions during the monsoon season (end of October – early April) can be a lot worse than around Manado – rough seas and large amounts of rain are common. Especially during this time there is also a higher Malaria risk than elsewhere in North Sulawesi.
All updates on this page that were made in November 2009 have been provided to me by Nirwan Lahopa who works in the Tourism Office of Tahuna and will be happy to be your personal guide during your stay in Sangihe.
I know Nirwan personally since a long time from the years when he was working at Manado’s Smiling Hostel. During this time he has always proven to be an extremely reliable, dedicated and honest person, so you can fully rely on him.
Accommodation in Tahuna:
INFO ROOM RATE IN TAHUNA
1. Nasional Hotel : – Suite Room → Single Rp. 565.000,-
The Bintang Utara Hotelhas been specifically recommended to me. It is located about halfway between the harbour and the city center. Address: Jl. Pahlawan Lama No. 46, Tahuna; Phone (+62) 432-21375. Rooms are said to be in good condition and clean, and the hotel has a large, friendly lobby and helpful staff.
The Rainbow Losmen near Tamako
Elsewhere you will have no problem to find people renting out rooms in their private homes. Even if communication is difficult you will easily find locals helping you to get a place to sleep and with other things. As western tourists are still a rare sight on these islands it might be a good idea to report to the local police or village chief, especially in small villages.
Transportation to Sangihe-Talaud is quite easy though not often too comfortable: from Manado harbour there is a number of boats going to various islands in the Sangihe Talaud Archipelago, like Tahulandang, Siau, Sangihe Besar (Tahuna), Makalehi, Talaud and others.
Schedule Manado – Tahuna – Manado
Boat Names: Mekar Teratai, Tera Santa, Queen Marry, Ratu Maria, Theodora, Sunlia
Manado dep Tahuna arr Tahuna dep Manado arr Frequency
A more comfortable option is the fast boat “Express Bahari”:
Frequency Manado dep Tahuna arr
VIP Class Rp. 224,000/person
And then there is a new fast boat, the “KM. Prima Oasis”:
Frequency Manado dep Tahuna arr
VVIP Class Rp.400.000/person
The PELNI (Indonesia’s National Shipping Company) ship “KM Sangiang” operates the route Bitung – Ulu Siau – Tahuna – Lirung – Karatung – Miangas and back every two weeks. Unfortunately no schedules available – PELNI’s website had its last update in December 2007… 🙁
Lion Air’s subsidiary Wings Air operates flights from Manado to Naha Airport/Tahuna (Sangihe) and back twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check the Lion Air website for timings and rates, and notice that the website uses the old spelling “Menado”.
Scuba diving: There are no dive operations on these islands. The only way to explore the underwater world is by liveaboard from Manado.
Bird watching: Especially the Talaud Archipelago is a paradise for bird lovers. New species are still discovered regularly: Bird Watching in Sangihe-Talaud
Tuesday 5th November – Saturday 30th November 2013
Leader: Craig Robson
Group Size Limit: 8
Tour Category: Easy to Moderate for the most part, occasionally fairly Demanding
The huge archipelago of Indonesia has the richest avifauna in the old world (over 1530 species!) and holds more endemic birds (no fewer than 381 at the present time) than any other country. Birdquest already offers six different exciting tours to this magical but still relatively under-birded country, and on this thrilling new venture we will explore several rarely visited island groups, flirting with Weber’s biogeographical line in some very remote corners of the Celebes and Molucca Seas.
Tour Description : Adventure and Ecotourism on North Sulawesi
Tour Highlights : Jungle Trekking, Underwater Volcano, Snorkeling, Ecotourism, History and Culture, Dolphin, Fishing, Endemic Species, Mount Awu, Mount Karangetang, Dugong
Sangihe and Talaud Islands
This district consists of 77 islands, of which 56 islands are inhabited. The population is 335.000 people (2006). Most of the people are involved in agriculture, which include coconut, vanilla, nutmeg, clove and fishing. The islands are located north of the Sulawesi Peninsula, and south of the Philippines the islands are divided into two main groups; Sangihe, consisting of the islands Sangir Besar, Siau, Tagulandang and Biaro; and Talaud consists of the island of Karakelang, Salibabu, Kaburuan, Nanusa, Miangas plus many other small island. The capital of Sangihe Talaud is Tahuna; which is located on Sanger Besar. The airport located about 21 km from Tahuna is serviced by domestic airlines on an irregular basis.
There are seaports in Tahuna, Siau, Tagulandang and Biau which are serviced by various ferries and local boats.
Sangihe Talaud is renowned for its magnificent white sandy beaches with amazing coral gardens as well as an underwater active volcano.
The cultural ceremonies, dances, and folksongs from this group of island are many.
The most outstanding traditional ceremonies are:
Menahulending: a ceremony to expressing gratitude and pray for someone who renders a useful service.
Menulude: a ceremony thanks giving, which is celebrated annually at the end of January.
Mangundang Banua (Mesundeng) is a dedication ceremony for a new boat, house, or garden. Sangihe Talaud is known for its beautiful dances such as:
Maane’e: a traditional fish catching in Intata Island, which always celebrate every once in a year on the month of May.
This beautiful tiny island is located on the eastern side of Siau Island. Justly proud of the beauty of its own, touring to this island is wonderful to observe Portuguese ruin fortress in the gentle see breeze. Only a few minute by a motorized outrigger canoe from Siau harbour
Mount Awu Crater Lake
Nutmeg Plantation in Siau
Blessed by fertile land, caused by volcanic ash of volcano Karangetang, some of village used their shifting land into nutmeg plantations. Indeed, most of grounds are covered by green and thick nutmeg trees, makes a breathtaking view of spice forest. Siau is an ideal place to enjoy nutmeg plantation.
Mahangetang Undewater Volcano
Volcano Karangetang Towering 1.800 m in Siau, this volcano is still active and it last erupted in 1974. Volcano Karangetang appears so scenically from the sea while entering Siau harbour.
Lying among towering coconut palms and flowery garden, overlooking a beautiful stretch of forested mountains and sea view, it is a King Santiago Mausoleum. He ruled Manganitu Kingdom from 1670 – 1677
Day 01: Airport – Manado – Tahuna
Day 02: Tahuna City – Tamako Village
Day 03-04: Trekking to Mt. Sahengbalira & Mt. Sahendarumang
The Gunung Sahengbalira Protection Forest covers an area of 5,000 ha and is nominated as a nature reserve in Indonesia’s National Conservation Plan. The site holds the last remaining area with reasonably extensive forest on Sangihe Island. Forests range from primary lowland tropical rainforest to sub-montane forests at the higher altitudes. The site is named after the highest peak in the area: the Gunung Sahengbalira (1015m). Mammals and Birds are expected to be seen:
Day 05: Snorkeling to Mahangetang Underwater Volcano 2 Hours Boat Trip (each way) from Tamako (Depends of how big the engines used)
Mahangetang Underwater Volcano:
Lies at 4-8 meters underwater, only about 300 m off the island of Mahangetang, this underwater volcano offers a magnificent view of water boiling under the sea
Mahangetang Islands Area
Underwater volcano, Schools of fish everywhere, Magnificent corals, See shape of volcano, Bubbles and hot water from volcano, Parrot, scorpion, fish, sharks, jack
Day 06: Tamako – Lapango – Manganitu – Tahuna
Day 07: Climb to Mount Awu Crater (whole day activity)
Day 08: Dugong and Snorkeling Trip
Day 09: Enemawira – Tahuna – Manado
Day 10: Arrive in Manado – Ilo-Ilo jungle trekking
Day 11: Ilo-Ilo – Waterfall – Tomohon
Day 12: Minahasa Highland
Day 13: Minahasa – Manado
Day 14: Manado – Airport