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Snorkeling the Togian Islands!

Map of Togian Islands and Banggai Island CTAThe Togian Islands are located in the Gulf of Tomini, between northern arm and central-eastern arm of Sulawesi. Born of fire, the islands are mostly volcanic with some uplifted limestone throughout the archipelago. Rainforests dominate the islands and support a huge diversity of terrestrial plants and animals. Sulawesi is an endemic hotspot and the Togian Islands possess several unique animals. The Tonkean macaque, a black-haired member of the macaque family, the bizarre Togian babirusa, a large pig with antler-like teeth, and several birds such as the Togian white-eye and Togian hawk-owl all are found in the dense jungle on the larger islands.
Equally as lush and diverse are the coral reefs growing in adjacent shallow waters. Rich marine habitats support all types of invertebrates, marine fishes, and mammals including dugongs. In 2004 large portions of the Togian Islands were designated as a national park, with the marine elements combining to include over 1000 square kilometers of coral reef.  The islands also are home to some of the last Indonesian ‘Sea Gypsies’, the bajo people. The culture revolves around the sea, sometimes living on their boats for months on end before setting foot on land. We are excited for the chance to explore this region of Indonesia, and to find many of the colorful and rare reef creatures that inhabit the coral triangle!



Togian island route for snorkeling tour CTAPlease note that this is an exploratory adventure and while we have a good idea of our general itinerary, many of our snorkel sites will be new to us and perhaps have not ever been used as such prior to our arrival. We ask for a bit of patience with the idea that it will only add to the excitement of finding new reefs in the coral triangle!

Our snorkeling adventure in begins and ends in Bali with a round trip flight to Manado, North Sulawesi. We meet the boat in Lembeh and then cruise south along the coast and then across to the Togian Islands. Our southernmost point will along the coast of eastern arm, then we will cruise back north to complete the circular route. Please note that this is a general itinerary and that weather, tides, and other unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances may affect the schedule at any time.

Day 1: Bali / Sanur / Hyatt Regency
Meals provided: D
Arrive in Sanur, Bali check in at the group hotel/resort. Welcome dinner and trip orientation at the resort. Overnight: Hyatt Regency Bali.

Day 2: Manado / Lembeh / Mermaid II
Meals provided: B,L,D
We have a morning flight to Manado where we will then transfer by land to Lembeh to meet with the Mermaid II, our host in the Togian Islands. If time permits, we may snorkel in Lembeh in the afternoon. Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 3: Tanjung Flesko
Meals provided: B,L,D
Brisk currents around the reefs of Tanjung Flesko promotes lush, vibrant coral gardens. We’ll plan for a drift snorkel over the shallow gardens where we can simply watch life unfold below as we float along the reef. Both snorkels may involve currents, but our plan is to drift, and of course we have our tender boats to assist us. Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 4: Gorontalo
Meals provided: B,L,D
Gorontalo is much more than our jump point from the main arm of Sulawesi to the Togian Islands, here we have the chance to snorkel with whale sharks as well as snorkel the shallow fringing reefs that grow right from shore. If whale sharks are in the area (this will be confirmed with communication with local fisherfolk) our day will revolve primarily around this awesome opportunity. If not, we will stay to snorkel two of the reefs nearby, but always be on the lookout for the chance to swim with the world’s largest fish. Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 5: Togian Islands / Una Una
Meals provided: B,L,D
The westernmost island in the tiny archipelago is the cone of a deceased volcano, Una Una. Black sand beaches and awesomely bizarre critters are the focus on todays snorkeling activities. The dark sand-rubble habitat is a fantastic place for things like pipefishes, seahorses, scorpionfishes, nudibranchs, eels, and many types of juvenile reef fishes. For those who know our company, we live for these opportunities! Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 6 – 9: Togian Islands / Batudaka / Togian / Kandidiri
Meals provided: B,L,D
We have four days planned for some of the larger islands that make up the Togian archipelago. The group of islands is surrounded by a convoluted reef system that fringes from the southeastern coast, while in the north has developed into small barrier reef. The diversity of habitats amongst and around the islands will keep us busy in the water for many days. We will also have the chance to snorkel on atolls if weather permits. Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 10: Malenge / Walea
Meals provided: B,L,D
The smaller islands of Malenge and Walea, located to the north of the main islands, have barrier reefs with drop-offs that quickly plunge to great depths below. The clear, blue tropical waters host a variety of coral and fish and we’ll look for schools of anthias, barracuda, snapper, and unicorn fishes as well as some of the larger denizens of the reef; manta rays and sharks! Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 11: Puah Island / Pulau Dua  
Meals provided: B,L,D
Where Puah Island has a barrier-type reef system, Pulau Dua has several series of shallow sea mounts, some that barely break the surface. These seamounts are covered in soft and hard corals, and attract huge schools of fish that congregate around the tiny assemblages of marine life surrounded by a deep blue sea. Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 12: Ratatotok
Meals provided: B,L,D
Shallow, hard coral gardens cover the marine landscape and with the color of sand that ranges from bleached white to black add contrast to the colorful reef. If time permits, we may cruise to Lembeh and snorkel at one of the black sand environments that the area is so famous for. Overnight: Mermaid II

Day 13: Manado / Bali / Sanur / Hyatt Regency
Meals provided: B,L,D
Transfer from the boat to the airport in Manado for our flight to Bali. Transfer to the Hyatt Regency and have our farewell dinner in Sanur. Overnight Hyatt Regency Bali.

Day 14: International flights or extensions
Meals provided: B


Feb 23 – Mar 8, 2025 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Mermaid II
Guides: Ethan Daniels, Lee Goldman
Length: 14 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$8600 USD per person, double occupancy
$12,600 USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
August 23, 2024: $4500 USD
November 23, 2024: $3600 USD / $7600 (single)

Tour cost includes:

  • Accommodations on day 1 through day 14
  • All meals on days 2 through 13 (dinner on day 1 – breakfast on day 14)
  • All internal transfers including international arrival and departure transfers
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • All snorkeling and park fees
  • All gratuities

Tour cost does not include:

  • Round-trip international airfare
  • Additional hotel accommodations and meals as a result of travel outside of the program dates
  • Visa requirements including payments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • International departure taxes
  • Extra / overweight baggage fees
  • Trip insurance (recommended; (we recommend Travel GuardWorld Nomads, or Travel Insure)
  • DAN insurance (required unless personal insurance program has worldwide emergency evacuation services)
  • Additional accommodations while on tour in the event of flight schedule changes or events of force majeure
  • Fuel surcharges (if applicable)

Cancellation policy:
180 – 91 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less prior to departure: 100% of tour cost

Please see our Terms and Conditions

Frogfish photographed in Ambon


We use the finest live-aboard boat in Indonesia to host us on snorkeling adventures in the Togian Islands, the M/V Mermaid II. In Bali, we stay at the Hyatt Regency in the quiet beach village of Sanur. Please visit our accommodations page for more photos or use the link to visit the resort/live-aboard website.


Mermaid II is a boat we charter at Coral Triangle AdventuresThe M/V Mermaid II is a 33-meter, twin engine steel motor yacht. She accommodates 18 guests in eight deluxe cabins and two guests in a lower deck budget cabin. All deluxe cabins are located on the main deck and offer a choice of either double bed only or twin bed configuration. Each deluxe cabin offers large panoramic sea view windows, individually controlled air conditioning, and ensuite bathrooms. Below deck the budget cabins have twin bunks, vanity sink, air conditioning and share a bathroom with one other cabin via adjoining doors. The dive deck is huge with plenty of room to gear up. There are two outside decks; a shade covered party deck with its comfy cushioned lounge suite around and the sun platform in front of the wheelhouse.More photos 


The Hyatt Regency in Sanur, Bali, is a beachfront property built on nine hectares of lush tropical gardens. Relax in one of the 363 rooms, designed with contemporary Balinese and Japanese elements and comforts. Each room features a patio or balcony overlooking lush gardens or partial ocean. The property has three gorgeous swimming pools and three restaurants to choose from: Omang Omang, Pizzaria, and Piano Lounge. The hotel is conveniently located near Bali’s main tourist attractions, and the International Airport Ngurah Rai is just 16 km away. Hyatt Regency Bali is a CHSE certified and GBAC STARTMaccredited hotel. Our room type is the Premium King or Twin. These rooms are 39 square meters and feature a sitting/lounging area and a spacious terrace with easy access to the pools, restaurants and gardens. More photos 


The Togian Islands are generally located less than one degree south of the Equator and enjoy a tropical climate with temperatures that hover around 82º F (28º C) during the daytime and fall slightly at night. Afternoon and early morning showers are common but the sun generally shines throughout the day creating a perfect environment for swimming in the clear, blue seas. Water temperatures hover around 82º F (28º C).

All of our snorkel sessions will take place in warm, tropical water, though some reefs we will snorkel upon are subjected to currents. While we often schedule our session during a time when the currents are minimal, there will be planned drift snorkels. These types of snorkels take advantage of the water movement and allow us to float over the reef without having to actively swim. This activity usually becomes an instant favorite among our guests as it is very exciting and yet very passive at the same time! In some cases, however, the unpredictability of the tides may expose us to strong water movement. This may require a bit of effort though we will always have our dinghies standing by to help if needed.

Please read more about our daily schedule.


The following list is a suggestion of things to bring and applies to almost all our trips. Specific items on a particular departure will be noted on the departure information.

-A good fitting mask, snorkel, and set of fins. If your equipment is brand new, please try it out in the pool. Determining the fit and function of your equipment in the pool includes doing several laps with all your equipment on. Doing several snorkel dives is also very beneficial. It is also important to clean your new equipment, especially your mask. Cleaning procedures for your mask include light scrubbing with toothpaste or dishwasher soap to remove the layer of silicon used to preserve the mask during shipping. Clean both sides of the mask. Doing this greatly reduces the chances of having your mask fog. Not doing this, even when using mask de-fogger, usually results in a fogged mask.

-A wetsuit, rash guard, diveskin, or any type of clothing that can be used for thermal and/or protection from the sun. We suggest bringing a full 3mm wetsuit and some type of core insulation like a vest or shirt made of 1 – 2 mm neoprene (e.g., Lavacore or Sharkskin shirts or vests). These items will not only provide thermal protection but protection from the sun as well. For those who feel that a 3mm suit may be too warm, please consider a full body skin or rash guard to ensure protection from the sun. With regards to thermal protection, remember the saying: It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. One that note…

-Head protection in the form of a wetsuit hood, a cap, or even a bandana. Anything that can keep the sun off your head is extremely important. It is the most exposed part of our bodies when we are floating on the surface.

-Underwater flashlight on departures with a planned night snorkel

-Biodegradable sunscreen lotion. Sunscreen lotions can be harmful and even kill tiny larvae (baby marine life). It is fine to wear on land, but we highly discourage the use of sunscreen lotions in the water. A full wetsuit or dive skin will protect one from the sun much better than lotions and provide thermal protection. It is truly a win-win for everyone and the marine environment.

-Casual, lightweight, tropical clothing
-Sunglasses (and a spare in case you lose your main pair)
-Comfortable footwear such as active sandals (Teva, Keen, Merrell, etc.)
-Hats. We cannot stress the importance of a hat in the tropics!
-All our boats provide items like shampoo, soap, towels, etc. We bring this up because these items represent added weight or may leak.

Other items to consider:
-Lightweight rainwear to protect from the occasional afternoon shower


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