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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Togean Islands. Excellent Dive Resort. Indonesia

The Togian (or Togean) Islands is the name for an archipelago of 56 islands and islets, located in the Gulf of Tomini, off the coast of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Formed by volcanic activity, the islands are covered by lush rainforest and surrounded by ancient coral reef formations, which provide habitat and breeding areas for hawksbill turtle, Green Turtle and the Dugong. The Tonkean Macaque is found in the islands' forests. The Togian Hawk-owl, discovered in 1999, is endemic to the islands. The Togian White-eye, another endemic bird species, was described in 2008.

Spread over a 90 km stretch in the middle of Tomini Bay, the winding, hilly coastlines and equatorial waters of the Togean Islands cast a magical spell of green, yellow and blue, in all the shades imaginable.

Travellers endure the long journey in search of the mythical beach paradise - many stay longer than they expected. Lazy days sunbathing, beachcombing, diving and snorkelling, exploring the dense jungle interiors - the simple lifestyle can be so alluring.

Lying in the deep water basin and protected on all sides by the spidery arms of Sulawesi, and miles from anywhere, the calm and clear waters are full of marine life, and the beaches are clean and undisturbed.

Rumour has it that the Togean Islands are on the verge of being the next big hit on the travelling market, so enjoy it while you can. Let's hope they can remain an unspoilt and unexploited for many years to come.

If you do tire of that particular activity then you can explore Kadidiri. Trekking round the back of the island you can find tarsiers, wild boar and deer, babirusa, fruit bats and coconut crabs - the largest of all land-living crabs, can weigh up to 5 kilogrammes and span almost 1 metre, now clinging precariously to existence on only a handful of islands in Asia and the Pacific. Borrow one the the sea canoes and head to the west side of the island to find a Bajau village. Alternatively, you could try your hand at cliff climbing.

With more time you can visit the pearl farms on Batudaka Island and take in the waterfall in Wakai, the main village, or enjoy an afternoon stroll along the boardwalk through the mangrove swamps at Katupat on nearby Togean Island.

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