Other things to do in North Sulawesi

National Parks, Volcanoes, Lakes & Waterfalls

MANADO TUA ISLAND

Manado Tua is an inactive volcanic cone in the Celebes sea. You can hike all the way up to the top of the volcano which takes about 2 hours to get up, however the best views are from the sign halfway up. Its compulsory to walk with a guide here. There is a coastal path the whole way around that is easy to follow but the western side can only be done on foot (no bicycles or motorbikes).

The island is surrounded by beautiful drop offs into very deep water. The diving and snorkeling is also amazing here. We can arrange day trips hiking, diving or snorkeling to Manado Tua from Two Fish Divers but it is weather dependent. It takes about 40-60min to get to the volcano by boat from Bunaken.

Manado Tua View of Bunaken

TANGKOKO NATIONAL PARK

Tangkoko Nature Reserve is a flora and fauna conservation area on Mount Tangkoko.The primary rainforest is host to a wide variety of wildlife, including tarsiers and black macaques. Many animals here are endemic to Sulawesi, and many of the species are critically endangered. The park is also famous for its black sand beaches which is a result of historical volcanic eruptions.

Tarsiers are the smallest primates in the world and are only found in Sulawesi. Crested Macaques which are endemic to Sulawesi are usually seen in large groups playing and fighting. Bear Cuuscus, Maleo birds, Hornbirds, owls can also be seen here.

The best way to experience the park is to arrange tours with a local guide who will guide you through the forest while pointing out wildlife.

Tarsier Tangkoko

Tours of Tangkoko

All visitors are required to hire a local experienced guide who can assist in spotting the wildlife. The best time for spotting wildlife is early in the morning or late in the afternoon so treks are normally organized for 4/5am and 4/5pm.

How to get there

Tangkoko is located in northern Bitung, near Lembeh Straits, and takes 2 hours to reach from Manado. Please not that the road to Tangkoko is somewhat difficult and visitors are recommended to visit with a local tour operators to ensure a safe journey.

Where to Stay in Tangkoko

The reserve is located next to Batuputih village, and this offers the only accommodation option of ‘Losmen’s’ or a simple guesthouse. Some of our recommendations are:

  • Tangkoko Ranger Homestay
  • Tarsius Homestay
  • Tangkoko Sactuary Villa

MINAHASA HIGHLANDS & TOMOHON

The Minahasa Highlands are situated above Manado on a plateau 700 m above sea level and offer some amazing views of Manado City and Bunaken Island.

The capital of Minhasa is Tondano, a town close to Lake Tondano. The main city is Tomohon which is also known as ‘Flower City’. Close to Tomohon are Mount Mahawu and Mt Lokon which offer some good hiking trails.

The main village in the highlands that everyone aims for is Tomohon. It is known as the Flower City, and there are many Flower Markets in the surrounding area. Two active volcanoes surround Tomohon, Mt.Mahawu and Mt.Lokon (below). They offer some good climbs, suitable for most people, of only one or two hours. Other highlights of the area include a Chinese Pagoda, traditional jungle market which sells all meats (including dog and bat), spices fruits and vegetables.

Mount Lokon Tomohon

Things to do around the Highlands & Tomohon

  • Mount Lokon Volcano is a 2 hour hike up a old river bed to the crater rim. There are views over Tomohon city at the top. It is highly recommended to have a guide for this hike.
  • Mount Mahawu Volcano is a easy 10 min up to the first view point. The walk around the crater rim can take 50min with viewing platforms to Mount Lokon, Mount Empung, Manado city and Bunaken. No need for a guide.
  • Lake Linow is a unique sulfuric crater lake (colorful lake) with hot gas and bubbles coming out from under the ground.
  • Woloan village, where traditional Minahasan wooden houses are made, disassembled and sold all over the countrry
  • Lake Tondano has floating restaurants that serve freshwater fish
  • Kali Waterfall is two waterfalls that are an easy walk from Kali village (3km walk)

How to get to Tomohon

Tomohon is located 1 hour drive away from Manado City. Please note that the road to Tangkoko is somewhat difficult and visitors are recommended to visit with a local tour operators to ensure a safe journey.

Where to Stay in Highlands/Tomohon

There are many guest houses and resorts in Tomohon. Some of our recommendations are:

  • Highland Resort & Nature Tours,
  • Mountain View Spa
  • Gardenina Country Inn
  • Onongs Palace