On our second visit to Indonesia, the chosen island was Sulawesi. A place that we had tried to go to the first time, but due to external circumstances, we could not get there. So what better excuse to return to the incredible country that is Indonesia.
The visit to this island was part of a trip that took us for almost six months through different countries in Southeast Asia.
Maybe it’s because of the experience of traveling, or because we like adventure, I don’t know, but the truth is that we usually get accommodation on the go. Only on a few occasions do we try to have something reserved in advance.
Next we tell you the places where we stayed and our opinion about them
Accommodation in Rantepao
Rantepao is not a very big place, but rather a small one. A few thousand inhabitants in a sprawling town. Of course, there are quite a few attractions that take hundreds of travelers every year to explore one of the strangest cultures in Indonesia, the Toraja.
We were clear that we wanted to stay in a guest house, something good, nice and cheap. And above all, being in a place like this, a place where its owners could tell us how to get to where the Toraja funerals were held on our own. Simply by renting a motorcycle.
The fact that it was cheap was marked by traveling for several months and moving from one country to another. Resources had to be optimized.
So our choice was Riana Homestay. It is about a five minute walk from where the night bus leaves you from Makassar. You can go directly and ask for room availability.
Other accommodation options that you can find in Rantepao you can see in this link, Accommodation in Rantepao.
Accommodation in Ampana
Ampana was a necessary stop and forced by the circumstances.
We left in the morning on a bus that was going to take us to Poso in about 8 hours, but Sulawesi is not exactly an island that facilitates movement between places.
After a short delay in the bus departure, we had to change buses up to three times. Yes, it broke down three times, with its consequent stops, repair attempts and waiting for another available bus to arrive.
To this was added the poor condition of a road under construction and a rain that left it impracticable for a whole night. So we spent a whole night sleeping on a very uncomfortable bus.
When the day came, we started the trip to Poso, now without incident, but everything was slower. We arrived around 10 in the morning at a bus terminal in the middle of nowhere. There we had to wait two hours for our van to leave for Ampana, another five hours of travel.
We knew that we would arrive at Ampana in the evening, and we had to make sure where and at what time the ferry left, or rather the boat that would take us to the Togian Islands, our heavenly destination. Who said that getting to paradise was going to be easy?
In this very small town there is hardly any accommodation, but we had heard that the Marina Cottages were nice bungalows with views of the sea. So that was our destination and resting place for one night.
You can check the availability of bungalows in this link, Marina Cottage Ampana.
If you prefer to see other options, you can search here, Accommodation in Ampana.
Accommodation in the Togian Islands
We chose two different islands to enjoy this paradise on earth. Of course, remember that getting there is anything but easy and fast.
The islands we chose were Poyalisa and Kadidiri.
First of all, a few small notes on how to move between islands, how to get there and how to get out. To get from Amapana to Poyalisa or Bomba, which is the largest island, just in front, there are one or two boats a week. Of course, both the time, the day and the place from which they depart can vary. So you have to make sure the day before at the accommodation in Ampana if there is a boat, time and place of departure. It’s five hours by boat.
Getting around the Togian Islands is easy as people who work in the island’s lodgings facilitate transfers between islands.
When we want to leave Kadidiri we have two options. The first is to retrace the path taken to get there. Three hours by boat to Poyalisa and wait until the next boat to Ampana, another 5 hours.
If we want to go to Gorontalo, which is the only other option, there are two ferries a week, normally they are on Thursdays and Sundays. It is a night journey that lasts about 8 hours. If you decide on this last option, do not hesitate to buy a seat, yes a seat, in the VIP area. There are no beds.
Accommodation in Poyalisa
Poyalisa barely has eight bungalows on an incredible little island. So it is possible that you arrive there and do not have accommodation. It can also happen that you arrive and are the only person on the island.
This is changeable, and it really is a matter of luck, although it is quite rare that there is no accommodation. Of course, you will not be able to book anywhere.
Accommodation in Kadidiri
On the islands of Kadidiri there are more accommodation options than in neighboring Poyalisa.
We choose the cheapest option. It was the simplest, but the price included breakfast, and we found it similar to Poyalisa. Is called Lestari kadidiri. It cannot be booked in advance.
Other options available to Kadidiri are the Black Marlin Resort, which is also the only place that offers the option of diving with them there. We did a dive with them and I think it was one of the best I’ve ever done. There was 30 meters of visibility and incredible marine fauna and flora. Also, if you are staying with them, the immersion is cheaper. In the case of the Black Marlin, you can reserve the bungalow, in this link you can see the availability, price and opinions, Black Marlin Kadidiri.
The other option is the most expensive, and the bungalows are obviously the best. Is called Kadidiri Paradise. The boat that takes you there, leaves you on its jetty, an incredible welcome to paradise.
In this link you can see both the availability, prices and opinions, Kadidiri Paradise.
It must be said that the three accommodations share a beach, and from the furthest, Kadidiri Paradise to Lestari, it takes around three minutes on foot.
In this link you can see the accommodation options and availability in Kadidiri, Accommodation in Kadidiri.
Accommodation in Gorontalo
Gorontalo is the example of an Indonesian city where there is nothing to see or do, but if you have left the Togian Islands through there, it is quite likely that you will have to do one night.
We only stayed one night, since early the next morning we took a flight to Manado. To go from there to Jakarta.
We listened to a guy we met in Kadidiri and we stayed at the Guest House that he indicated to us, big mistake !!! It has been one of the worst places by far of all that I have known in the different trips. We arrived at 4:30 in the morning, we rang the bell, shouted and no one attended us until 6. What was our surprise when we saw a boy get up from behind the counter who had not heard our voices only half a meter away. he.
The room was a mosquito hotel, also there was no mosquito net on the beds. We spent a little money in a nearby market to buy an insecticide that must have killed the mosquitoes in the whole town.
Finally, the power went out within a few hours of being there, so we spent almost a whole day without lights and at night with flashlights.
I am not talking about cleanliness, as it did not exist.
So if you go to Gorontalo, burn this name on fire, Hotel Sultan Hussein.
Almost all the people who went on the ferry, were going to stay in the Hotel Melati, basic, backpacking style.
Other options are the Hotel Yulia or the Hotel Amaris.
In the following link you can see other options, Accommodation in Gorontalo
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Accommodation in Manado
Manado is the second largest city on the island after Makassar. We arrived by plane from Gorontalo, and we decided to treat ourselves to the luxury of a night in a great hotel, four stars, no more and no less. But everything has an explanation.
Manado today will be one of the ugliest cities I have ever known by far, there is nothing, absolutely nothing. If you get there it can be for two reasons, or you come from the Togian Islands and fly to another destination, either Jakarta, Singapore, etc. Either you go to Bunaken islands, Pulau Bunaken, a paradise and natural diving park, yes, nothing cheap.
Manado has always been an important port for trade, and before an earthquake that wiped out practically the entire city, they said it was a pearl, a beautiful city. Now the same cannot be said.
To this we must add that in the early 2000s, due to the fact that an international Asian exhibition was going to be held, dozens of hotels and more buildings were built. Many of them can still be seen half-done abandoned, but many others were finished and still work. The prices are incredibly low, at least in 2013, and we spent a luxurious night for just over 40 euros. The hotel that welcomed us with open arms was the Aston Manado, four well-deserved stars. In the following link you can see price, availability and opinions of this great hotel, Hotel Aston Manado.
In the following link you can see accommodation options and availability in Manado, Accommodation in Manado.
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