Located within the spiraling tentacles of central Sulawesi in Indonesia, the Togean Islands are a paradise that graciously rewards anyone willing to make the effort of getting there. The archipelago of 56 nearly-uninhabited islands hold some of the best diving and snorkeling found in Indonesia, if not the world.
Forgotten fishing villages, isolated lagoons, romantic seclusion – the Togean Islands have everything that one would expect from such an exotic and hard-to-reach destination.
Unlike the Gili Islands which draw in the crowds, the Togean Islands are a place to go for superb diving and peaceful relaxation. Life in the Togean Islands is just as diverse above the water as under. In 2008, a new species of bird was discovered – a testament to just how unspoiled the Togeans remain.
The Togean Islands were formed by volcanic activity, and are covered in dense rainforests, bordered by ancient coral reef formations. The islands are an extremely remote paradise, consisting of 56 nearly-uninhabited islands that have managed to preserve a natural elegance, not yet spoiled by man. The Togean Archipelago is not easy to get to, but anyone willing to make the effort will be more than rewarded with everything you would expect from such a hard-to-reach destination—and more! Ultimate seclusion, endless relaxation, and superb diving and snorkelling that may very well be the best found in Indonesia if not the world.
Situated in the Coral Triangle that stretches from the Philippines and East Malaysia through the Indonesian archipelago to Timor Leste and on to the Solomon Islands, the Togeans are the only islands in Indonesia where all major reef types can be found in one place: atolls, barrier, and fringing reefs.
The reefs are in excellent condition and sustain an almost impossibly abundant marine life. Parrot fish, banner fish, moonfish, starfish, blue banded sea-snakes, and spotted stingrays are just a few of species you may encounter in the ankle-deep waters, barely a few meters from the coast. For more advanced divers, eager to head further out to sea, sightings of sea turtles, black-tail barracudas and blue marlins are fairly common. If you’re patient (or lucky) enough, the scalloped Hammerhead Shark may even pay a visit. Another popular dive site is the wreck of an American B24 bomber from WWII. The plane is for the most part intact, and is home to nudibranchs, lion fish, and huge schools of jackfish.
As the Togean Islands are part of the National Marine Park, no fishing is allowed at any of the resorts or diving areas. Fishing charters can be arranged to take you out of the “no take” zone, though preferably on a catch and release basis. Spear fishing is not permitted anywhere in the Marine Park.
Kadidiri’s unique ecology is not limited to beneath the surface of the water. Beyond the beaches, creatures of land and air roam freely. The thick forests are habitat to monkeys, pig deer, Sulawesi hornbill and parrots, just to name a few. If you dare to venture into the forests by night, you may even spot the giant, tree-climbing Coconut Crab. Coconut Crabs are the largest living land arthropods in the world, and have a leg span that can reach up to 3 feet. In 2008, a new species of bird was discovered on the island—literally living proof of the islands well-preserved environment.
The best time to visit is in the dry season between April and November, during which, visibility can reach up to 40 meter
There are three cottages on Kadidiri, all sharing the same slice of beach, and are the only accommodations on the island. They are also the only sources of fresh water and electricity, which only runs from 8am till 9pm. Kadidiri has not much of a night life, as most things die down once the electricity does. Evenings in Kadidiri may be spent around a bon-fire on the beach, or just lying on the sand, appreciating the star-lit evening sky. There are no ATMs on Kadidiri; but bungalows do accept credit cards and cash payments in Rupiah, Dollars or Euro. All three of Kadidiri’s bungalows have meals included in their daily rates, and also rent out diving and snorkelling equipment.There are no shops on the island, but basic needs, snacks and drinks are sold by the bungalows.For additional purchases, it is possible to catch a ride back to Wakai with boats from any of the resorts. Either that, or be sure to do any necessary shopping before leaving for Kadidiri. Another point to bear in mind, is that there is no internet connection on the island, and almost no phone signal.
How to get there
There are several ways to get to there, fly to the Manado International Airport in North Sulawesi. Silk Air has regular International flights from Singapore to Manado. There are also domestic flights from Jakarta and Bali on Lion Air, Garuda, Batavia Air, and Merpati.
Chartered speedboats are also available from Marisa in North Sulawesi and Bunta in Central Sulawesi
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