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Visit Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi

Tangkoko Nature Reserve: Endemic Species and Phenomenal Nature

The Tangkoko National Park in North Sulawesi is located at the foot of the Dua Saudara Mountain and is a mix of stunning rolling hills and forest laden valleys. Our day trip to Tangkoko is one of our most popular land tours as it includes visiting the park, light trekking, visits to local villages and sights, and the chance to see some incredible species in their natural environment.

tarsier Tangkoko

The tarsier monkey is the world’s smallest primate

The Tangkoko day trip is suitable for everyone – children will love the walk through the forest and the rare animals which they will see. Photographers will be overwhelmed by the volume of photographic opportunities from staggering landscapes through to macro insects and butterflies – and if culture is more your thing, it’s in abundant supply too!

Tangkoko Tour Schedule:

Your day will start out as usual with a buffet breakfast in resort; choose from eggs (any style), bacon, breads, fresh fruits and juices, cereals or enjoy Asian options including fried rice and noodles.

After breakfast we aim to leave the resort at around 9am and we drive through Manado town as we get underway. You’ll pass Manado’s most famous statue on route, the monument of “Jesus Blessing”. This 50 meter statue consists of a 20 meter pedestal and a 30 meter tall, white statue of Jesus. The statue has become an icon of Manado city and as of 2017, it is Asia’s 2nd tallest and the world’s 5th tallest statue of Christ.

Jesus Blessing Manado

The Jesus statue outside of Manado is becoming an icon of North Sulawesi

As we make our way across the Sulawesi mainland we’ll stop along the way to visit a local village and garden. Here you’ll be given an introduction to some of the spices and tropical fruits which are grown locally.

We arrive in the village of Batu Putih, where the rangers station is located, around lunch time. Batu Putih literally translates to “White Rock” and it is here that we will enjoy a relaxed lunch and take a glance at the local fishing boats on the black sand, volcanic beach in front of the village. The locals here are extremely friendly, the children are curious and there are no hawkers or sellers. It’s a great place to eat, experience the regional cuisine and say “hello” to the locals that pass by.

Batu Putih is our also our starting point for trekking through the Tangkoko Nature Reserve and after lunch we’ll head into the park on foot, accompanied by one of the park’s experienced rangers and “Rico”, our Murex Tour Guide. We’ll walk through primary rainforest and natural jungle on walking tracks and this is where the magic really happens.


The Sulawesi black crested macaque is a highlight of Tangkoko

You’ll see black Sulawesi Macaques in troops; playing, foraging, grooming and feeding in the wild. A highlight is watching the babies being mothered and playing. There are numerous troops of macaques in the reserve and some are made up of up to 100 individuals. The monkeys tend to ignore visitors unless disturbed so we stay quiet and observe them – albeit from a close distance – this is an incredible wildlife photography opportunity.


Spectacular bird life in Tangkoko. Rico can identify birds from their calls

Rico is one of North Sulawesi’s most sought after tour guides and he speaks English, Indonesian and Dutch. He can identify numerous species of birds just from their calling sounds. He offers a wealth of information about the flora and fauna of North Sulawesi, which is his passion. Rico is also an expert on the history and culture of North Sulawesi and he is a lot of fun so you will be in great company during this tour!

Tangkoko buterfly

Tangkoko is home to numerous species of butterfly

As we trek through the park you can also expect to see a range of butterfly species – some as big as your hand, hornbills and maleo birds. A highlight of the trip is spotting the “cuscus” bear, also known as the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus or Ailurops ursinus in the trees. The cuscus is a marsupial which is endemic to Sulawesi and a very special sighting.

Cuscus Tangkoko

The Sulawesi cuscus bear lives in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve

The last part of the trek, between 4pm and 4.30pm is when we are able to see some of the Nature Reserve’s nocturnal species coming to life. Among the most famous of Tangkoko’s night life is the Tarsius spectrum which is the world’s smallest primate and endemic to North Sulawesi.

Tarsier Tangkoko

The spectral tarsier is the provincial mascot of North Sulawesi

Once we have finished trekking we head back to the Ranger Station and begin our journey home. You’ll be back at Murex Manado in time for the evening buffet dinner and a well earned rest!

If you’d like to explore the Tangkoko Nature Reserve while you are with us in North Sulawesi, just let us know when booking. You can also see a full range of our tours here.

Murex Bangka

Explore Tangkoko from Murex Bangka

If you are staying at Murex Bangka Resort you can still take this tour. You’ll start your day, after breakfast, with a 20 minute boat ride to the mainland and then a scenic drive though the North Sulawesi highlands to the Ranger Station – from there you’ll follow the schedule described above.

Are you hoping to see as much of North Sulawesi as possible while you are here? Why not join us for a Passport to Paradise and explore three distinct destinations in one trip: Bunaken -> Bangka -> Lembeh.

North Sulawesi Map

Explore three distinct destinations in North Sulawesi

Dive Bunaken’s staggering walls and lose count of the number of turtles in a single dive, explore Bangka Island’s kaleidoscopic reefs and myriads of fish and discover the world’s rarest and most unusual marine life in Lembeh. Boat diving transfers from resort to resort mean no wasted travel days and no packing! We’ll take care of the logistics so all you need to do is dive, dive, dive!

We look forward to welcoming you to North Sulawesi soon…


Dive, Snorkel and Explore More with us in beautiful North Sulawesi.

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