Sulawesi:: Sangihe and Talaud islands

A unique bamboo brass band from Sangihe

A unique bamboo brass band from Sangihe

Sangihe and Talaud are a chain of islands stretching north from Sulawesi in the direction of the Philippines. There are many active volcanoes here and a very fertile soil. Much of the products are sent by boat to Manado, like coconuts, rattan, nutmeg and ebony. The total land area is 813 sq. km, population about 240.000. The largest islands are Sangihe, Siau, Biaro and Tahulandang.

The highest point is Gunung Awu (1.850 m), an active volcano.

Church on Sangihe

Church on Sangihe

The major islands in Talaud are Karakelong, Salibabu and Kaburuang. Sangihe and the neighboring Talaud islands are supposed to be a paradise for divers, you can for example dive on an active, underwater volcano here.

Beach on Sangihe

Beach on Sangihe

The islands can offer peaceful, lovely beaches, some ruins of Portuguese fortresses and several volcanoes where you can climb to the top. In addition you can explore caves and waterfalls.

Tahuna is the capital of Sangihe

Tahuna is the capital of Sangihe

The capital is Tahuna on Sangihe Besar, another important town are Lirung on Pulau Salibabu in the Talaud group of islands north of Sangihe. Tahuna and Lirung can offer some accommodation.

Tahuna, the capital of Sangihe with the airport

Tahuna, the capital of Sangihe with the airport

The Sangihe islands can be reached by boat from Bitung that leaves every second week.

Elisabet 2, passenger vessel from Manado to Tahuna

Elisabet 2, passenger vessel from Manado to Tahuna

There are more frequent departures from Manado, but with less comfort than on the larger boats from Bitung. The trip to Tahuna is about 11 hours, to Lirung about 15 hours. Once a week there is a flight from Manado to Naha close to Tahuna and further to Melanguan close to Lirung.

Photos © Olav Hjellum

 

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