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Overview

The Togean Islands aren't easy to get to — whether you head down from Manado, up from Makassar or from the west from Palu, you're in for an adventurous, bumpy road trip followed by a ferry ride. But once there, these white, sand-fringed islands and their Bajo "sea gypsy" inhabitants can hypnotize even the world's most stressed out people into forgetting what day it is. Dive or snorkel the recovering reefs (dynamite fishing scars are healing), trek to the top of an island that's also an active volcano or visit the threadbare local fishing villages giggling with children. Scuba diving isn't as good as at Bunaken Island in the north, ...

The Togean Islands aren't easy to get to — whether you head down from Manado, up from Makassar or from the west from Palu, you're in for an adventurous, bumpy road trip followed by a ferry ride. But once there, these white, sand-fringed islands and their Bajo "sea gypsy" inhabitants can hypnotize even the world's most stressed out people into forgetting what day it is. Dive or snorkel the recovering reefs (dynamite fishing scars are healing), trek to the top of an island that's also an active volcano or visit the threadbare local fishing villages giggling with children. Scuba diving isn't as good as at Bunaken Island in the north, particularly the corals, but the diversity and amount of marine life leave few disappointed. At night you may find yourself watching the sun sink into a glassy, indigo sea with other travelers while sipping tonsil-searing arak, the local fermented beverage. Accommodation ranges from beach bum local-style huts to comfortable mid-range and swanky dive resorts.

Celeste Brash
About the Expert

Celeste Brash has contributed to more than 30 Lonely Planet guidebooks mostly on the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Her travel writing has appeared in publications from Travelers' Tales anthologies to Islands magazine and Gadling.com.

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Celeste Brash for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Togian (or Togean) Islands are an archipelago of 56 islands and islets, in the Gulf of Tomini, off the coast of Central Sulawesi, in Indonesia.
  • Language: Indonesian
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to November