Banggai islands are an archipelago of about 75 islands just south of the equator in front of central Sulawesi. The archipelago are still wild with only few resident except of the main islands of Peleng and Banggai. Despite there is still dynamite fishing in the archipelago, it's easy to find beautifull and fishfull coral reefs making Banggai a good and not yet explore paradise for diving and snorkeling. Theses beautifull islands and their very friendly peoples are an invitation for discoveries: on-water villages, fishing harbour, plantations (cloves, durians, coconuts...), clear water rivers and waterfalls... Dolphins will be your friends during almost all the transfer between the differents islands, especially around Timpaus island.
We did'nt get the opportunity to explore all the islands but we make a list of all the places of interest that we find. In the future we hope that we could organise tour in the banggai, but don't hesitate to contact us if you need infortation to visit these wonderfull islands.
start you trip with a video of the Banggai islands
Capitale of the Archipelago, the small town of Banggai is full of activities with hundred boats bringing their goods and passengers from all around the archipelago and the city of Luwuk in Sulawesi's main land. Banggai have a very lively marchet, some losmen and basic accomodattions, and lot of cheap warung. Durian lovers will be happy during the month of march and april during when the archipelago is full of the strong smell of this fruits.
Banggai harbour is the gate to the archipelago. The fastest way to get in banggai is by daily ferry from the city of Luwuk who have a small airport. The Km. Sinabung from Pelni come in Banggai every week, one week from Bitung in North Sulawesi and one week from Jayapura and Sorong in Papua. But our favorite way, if you have time, is with a boat from the bajo village of Tumbak in North Sulawesi. The crossing takes two days and you'll see all the coast of Sulawesi in the Maluku Sea. You'll have a lot of of time to make new friends and be invited in lot of places in the archipelago by the other passengers. The captain usely ask 50 000 rupiah for the crossing included the foods if the weather allow to cook... bring some snacks!!!!
To get an idea of the crossing, watch this video
Bonebaru is on the north coast of the main island of banggai. Localized on a nice white sandy beach, Bonebaru is very active for the conservation of its environment (coral reefs and mangroves). If you go there, looking for Sarly, who speak english, and manage the conservation activities in Bonebaru.
Bonebaru is famous for the Banggai Cardinal Fish (Pterapogon kauderni), a small fish, endemic of the banggai islands and very appreciated in the ornemental fishes market. This fish is now protected because of its small geographic distribution and quotas are imposed for exportation. You'll easily observe this fish on the small marine protected area in front of the village, a beautiful location for snorkeling.
Bone Baru is close to Banggai harbour , it takes 15 minutes by motorbike and it cost 20 000 rupiah. Boats regulary transit between Bonebaru and Tumbak in North Sulawesi. Banggai Cardinal Fishes are exported via manado threw the village of Tumbak.
Tinakin is a Bajo village build on the sea. Peoples build new land with stones extracted from the hill in the back of the village. Villagers have created a link of channels and bridge that made the village of Tinakin looks like a small tropical Venice.
Tinakin is very close from Banggai harbour and its takes only 10 minutes by motorbike to go there. Ferry to Luwuk starts from the harbour in Tinakin. You can find basic accomodation in Tinakin (peningapan). There is a small river and a waterfall just before Tinakin, a nice place to have a bath.
Tanjung Mosongan, is the cape just after the village of Mosongan. The place is nice for snorkeling with a beatiful shallow reef. But the main reason to go in Tanjung Mosongan is the waterfall that fall directly in the sea. A lot of boats stop here to take fresh water during their travel around the archipelago. An amazing and insolite place.You have to rent a boat from Tinakin or Mosongan to get in Tanjung Mosongan.
Small island in front of tanjung Mosongan, Bandang have a nice beach and beautifull reefs with a lot of fishes. The local government wants to promote the place for tourism and we understand why. If you're interested, they looking for investors. Like for tanjung Mosongan, you have to rent a boat from Tinakin or Mosongan to get there, you can visit the two places in aone day trip.
Pulau Bandang underwater