Famous for both their difficulty to reach and diving, Togean Island comprises seven primary islands near the centre of a global hotspot of biodiversity known as the coral triangle.
Togean Island is also a home to a great number of rare marine and terrestrial species.
Every year, most tourists who come here are divers or snorkellers hoping to see some of the world’s best marine life in unspoiled surroundings.
Since the early 1990s, highly destructive fishing methods like dynamite fishing and cyanide poisoning have been widely used in the Togeans, causing a steep decline in fish numbers and immense shallow reef damage.
Surrounded by coral reefs, with beautiful white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and palm trees the Togean Island are a little slice of paradise (and it’s cheap).
The Togean Islands has a population of around 25,000 people. Most live in villages on the three largest islands of Batudaka, Togian, and Talatakoh.
The Bajau people, often called the Sea Gypsies, traditionally live in villages built on stilts over the coral reefs. They are traditionally fishermen. They earn money from selling sea cucumbers, shark fins and a few other exotic fish to the Chinese who use them in traditional medicine.
Some of the villages built on stilts are picturesque and it’s well worth visiting if you are looking for things to do in the Togean Islands. The highlight for me were the children. Bajau kids learn to swim at a young age. They can easily dive up to 12 meters without any special gear. Everyone was very friendly.
Togean islands are situated near the coast of Central Sulawesi in the Gulf of Tomini. It’s literally in the middle of the sea and all transportation schedules here and out completely depend on the weather. Please keep it in mind while planning your trip.
The main and only entrance point in all Togeans is the harbor in the town Wakai. You can get to Wakai by boat only, no bus terminals and airports here.
From Wakai, you can get to almost any other island in Togeans by public or private boats.
You can get to Wakai from two main gateways: Gorontalo from the North and Ampana from the South. Which one is better for you depends on your previous trip: if you’re travelling from Sulawesi mainland (west or central part), then it will be better to go to Ampana.
If you’re taking a flight from another island, then it depends on what flight you will choose.