The Gulf of Tomini is a very long gulf between the middle and northern part of Sulawesi Island. Within this gulf, there is an archipelago consisting of several small volcanic islands, most are covered with rainforest; the Togean Archipelago. There are six main islands in this archipelago; Batudaka, Waleabahi, Malenge, Una Una, Togean, and Waleakodi.
Togean National Park was inaugurated as a national park in 2004 to protect the rich biodiversity in these islands. Admittedly, this park is not the most accessible place on the planet, but once you are there, you’ll need a tremendous amount of willpower to leave this paradise. Anywhere you go, you will find beautiful beaches and lush green forest. Here are several popular places you need to visit this national park.
The wonderful beaches
There are countless wonderful beaches in Togean. Pick any island in this area, you will find a coastline panorama that is comparable to any best tropical resort in the world. The only difference is that the beaches here are totally unspoiled.
Barakuda, Karina, Sunset, Malenge beaches are just a few that are easily accessible from the resorts in this park. Most beaches here has white sands, except the one in Una Una Island which has a black sandy beach.
The excellent diving spots
Diving is one of the most popular activities in Togean National Park. If you stay in a resort, they will be happy to set up a diving program that suits your need, whether you are new to it or already a seasoned diver.
The two best resort if you want to dive in Togean is Black Marlin Dive Resort and Sanctum Una Una Dive Resort. You can easily find a good diving spot anywhere in this park, but the best part is in the Una Una Island. The volcanic activity on this island help enhances the marine life on its coast.
Exotic lagoons, including a jellyfish pool
There are several lagoons you can find in this park, most of them are suitable for relaxing swim. However, one of them stands out as it is the habitat of stingless jellyfish. Mariona Lake is separated from the sea only with a rather thin karst wall.
This lagoon becomes the habitat of small stingless jellyfish, locals also say that there are a couple of barracudas trapped here. The best time to swim with the completely harmless jellyfish here is during the rainy season.
Climb the active Colo Volcano
Una Una Island is an active volcano; the Colo Volcano. The island was destroyed when Colo erupted in 1983. Most of the island was covered with ashes even though now the residents have come back to the island. Una Una has the best coral in the national park.
The 506-meter tall volcano is also climbable. In good condition, you’ll need to hike three hours to reach the top of this mountain and enjoying the unobstructed view of the island.
How to get to Togean and what to do there
There are two routes to reach Togean; from Gorontalo and Ambani (Central Sulawesi). There is a ferry departing to the park twice a week from Gorontalo. There is a daily boat from Ampana to Wakai or Malenge.
Entrance fee to the park is about IDR5000 for Indonesia and IDR150000 for foreigners. Exploring the park is a bit of a challenge as it involves island-hopping. The only mode of transportation available is a boat which fortunately can be easily found.
Togean National Park is one of the unspoiled natural wonders you can find in Indonesia. You will need a bit of an effort to get there but you will not be disappointed with what you see here. This is truly an archipelago full of wonders.