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Strewn across the sea between Indonesia and the southern Philippines are the volcanic island groups of Sangir and Talaud. There are 77 islands, of which 56 are inhabited. The capital of the group is Tahuna on Sangir Besar; the other major settlement is Lirung on Pulau Salibabu.
The islands offer dozens of unspoilt sandy beaches, a few crumbling Portuguese forts, several volcanoes to climb, many caves and waterfalls to explore, and some superb divingand snorkelling (bring your own gear). But like most wonderfully pristine places, the islands are not easy to reach and only a few intrepid foreigners ever make it here. There are a few rustic places to stay on Tahuna and if you turn up, chances are they will find you.
Once a week, Lion Air flies from Manado) to Naha, which is about 20km from Tahuna, and twice a week it flies from Manado to Melanguane, which is near Lirung in the Talaud group.
From Bitung, the Pelni liner Sangiang stops at Tahuna and Lirung once every two weeks. The seas can get quite rough during the high wind from October to April.