NORTH SULAWESI INFORMATION PAGES
Manado - Bunaken - Tangkoko - Minahasa - Sangihe/Talaud - Gorontalo - Togians
The Sangihe Talaud ArchipelagoTravellers 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.
Accommodation in Tahuna:
Tahuna offers a good selection of hotels and guesthouses for all budgets. Click here for a list of hotels in Tahuna, with room rates (October 2010).
The Bintang Utara Hotel has 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
The Rainbow Losmen in Tamako on Sangihe Besar is a basic, but from my own experiences (in the 90's though) pleasant and clean guesthouse, with good food and a very nice family. Its owner Frets Pangimangen and guide Wesley, who are running the guesthouse, will be glad to guide you around during your stay there.
3 double rooms, all with mosquito nets. 2 rooms with fans. Basic shared toilet and washing facilities. Communal area.
How to get there: One hour bus drive from Tahuna (Rp. 10,000), then 10 minutes drive by bentor (motorbike driven vehicle) to Rainbow Losmen (Rp. 3,000).
» Information sheet Rainbow Losmen and birdwatching tours (October 2009)
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.
PELNI has a big vessel going from Bitung to both places every four weeks.
Schedule Manado - Tahuna - Manado
A more comfortable option is the fast boat "Express Bahari":
And then there is a new fast boat, the "KM. Prima Oasis":
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
Mt Karangetang (Siau) - Volcanic Activity Report
This site was created in January 1998; the last major update was in November 2009.