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  • Writer's pictureThomas Despin

How to Get to Togean Islands: Your Complete Travel Guide (Updated February 2024)

Updated: Feb 13

Drone view of the Togean Islands

Have you been dreaming of a tropical paradise with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life? Look no further than the enchanting Togean Islands, an archipelago tucked away in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. In this comprehensive guide, we'll show you how to get to the Togean Islands in 2023, so you can embark on your unforgettable Indonesian adventure.

At the end of the article, we will share a simple graphic to help you pick your ideas route. We will also share with you what is our guests' preferred route.

1. Arriving in Indonesia: Your Gateway to Adventure

Kick off your journey by booking a flight to Indonesia. Most international travelers land at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) in Jakarta or Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Bali. From there, you'll need to catch a domestic flight to one of the airports closest to the Togean Islands.

2. Catching a Domestic Flight: The First Step to get to Togean Islands

The nearest airports to the Togean Islands are Tanjung Api Airport (OJU) in Ampana and Jalaluddin Airport (GTO) in Gorontalo. Several airlines operate flights to these airports from major Indonesian cities like Jakarta, Bali, Makassar, Palu and Surabaya. Check the flight schedules and book your tickets early to ensure a smooth journey.

Pro tip: In some cases, it might be more convenient to land in an alternative airport like Luwuk, and rent a car to reach Ampana (see option 3 below for our guests' preferred route).

Option 1: Journey from Palu to Ampana: Exploring Sulawesi's Beauty

After landing in Palu, you have two ways to reach Ampana, by land or by air. Here are the main advantage and inconvenient of each choice.

Traveling From Palu to Ampana by land

Here's how to make your way to Ampana, the primary gateway to the Togean Islands. Rent a car or take a shared taxi (called "travel") for the 7-8 hour journey. Along the way, you'll pass through picturesque landscapes and charming villages, giving you a taste of Sulawesi's natural beauty.

Traveling from Palu to Ampana by air

The route from Palu to Ampana has reopened early 2023, and now operates twice a week. The journey only takes 45 minutes in a small plane, operated by Susi Air. The tickets are only available at the airport in Palu, and cost about $25 per person.

Currently, the flight schedule from Palu to Ampana (round trip) is available every Monday and Wednesday morning, around 10AM.

Pro tip: Contact the airline in advance to make sure they will keep you a seat. Make sure to arrive early at the airport to check-in, because the schedule may vary randomly from one week to another.

Option 2: Traveling from Gorontalo to Togian Islands: A Scenic Journey

If you choose to fly to Gorontalo, you can take a ferry from Gorontalo to Wakai (in the Togean Islands) and then continue to your resort from there, using a local boat. The ferry from Gorontalo to Wakai operates twice a week and takes around 6 hours, offering a unique experience through scenic waters.

Pro tip: contact your resort before booking your ferry ticket, and make sure they can arrange your boat shuttle from Wakai to Kadidiri, Kabalutan, Bomba or Malenge, depending where you will stay.

Option 3: Traveling from Luwuk to Ampana – The Top Choice for 2023 Togean Islands Getaways

Discover the preferred route for savvy travelers heading to the Togean Islands in 2023: fly into Luwuk and journey by land to Ampana. This increasingly popular option offers convenience, flexibility, and reduced travel time.

  1. Quicker Land Journey: Opting to travel from Luwuk to Ampana by car cuts your overland journey down to just 5 hours, a significant time-saving compared to the longer trip from Palu to Ampana.

  2. Frequent Flight Options: The popularity of this route lies in the daily flight availability to Luwuk, with both morning and afternoon options. In contrast, flights from Palu to Ampana operate only twice a week, limiting your flexibility.

  3. Pro tip: To streamline your travel experience, ask your Togean Islands resort to assist with booking a car and driver to meet you at Luwuk Airport. You'll be whisked away directly to the Ampana harbor, making your journey to the islands as seamless as possible.

By choosing this favored route for your 2023 Togean Islands adventure, you'll enjoy a more efficient and hassle-free journey, leaving you more time to soak in the beauty of Indonesia's tropical paradise.

3. Ampana to Togean Islands by Boat: Your Voyage to Paradise

From Ampana, you can take a public speedboat or a chartered boat to the Togean Islands. The speedboat trip takes about 3-4 hours, depending on the specific island and weather conditions.

Boats usually run daily, but schedules can change due to weather or other factors, so it's best to confirm the schedule in advance with your resort. As you embark on this voyage, take in the breathtaking views and feel the excitement build as you approach these hidden gems.

The exception is if you're traveling to Buka Buka Island, which is the closest island from Ampana, at the door of the Togean Islands (but outside of the national park). To go to Buka Buka Island, you can directly contact us at Reconnect, and we will arrange a private shuttle directly from Ampana to our resort.

Boat Schedule to get to Togean Islands in 2023
2023 Boat Schedule to go to Togean Islands

Flight Schedules to the Togean Islands: Plan Your Perfect Timing

Keeping track of flight schedules is essential for a seamless journey to the Togean Islands. In this section, we'll share insider tips on finding the most reliable flights and best timings, ensuring a smooth start to your tropical getaway.

Insider Tips for Smooth Travel to the Togean Islands

  1. Domestic Flight Availability: Flights from popular Indonesian cities like Jakarta, Bali, and Surabaya to Palu and Gorontalo typically operate daily. However, to secure your spot, book your flights well in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, when availability can be limited. Local connections such as Palu to Ampana are only available locally directly at Palu airport, and you won't find those flights online.

  2. Strategize Your Connecting Flights: Plan your trip with connection times in mind, ensuring a comfortable layover between your international and domestic flights. Be prepared for any unforeseen delays or cancellations, and consider booking with a single airline or alliance for better support in case of disruptions (typically, Lion Group operates most flights in Sulawesi)

  3. Stay Up-to-Date on Flight Schedules: Keep tabs on your flight schedule by signing up for updates from your airline or using flight-tracking apps. This proactive approach allows you to respond quickly to any changes and adjust your travel plans accordingly.

  4. Embrace Low Season Travel: For a more relaxed journey and easier flight booking, consider traveling during the low season (usually between November and March). This period typically sees fewer tourists, making it simpler to secure your preferred flight times and accommodations.

Popular Routes for an Effortless Journey to the Togean Islands

When planning your trip to the Togean Islands, consider these popular routes that many guests have used for a hassle-free travel experience:

  1. Jakarta (CGK) to Palu (PLW): This route offers daily flights with various airlines, providing flexible options for travelers coming from the Indonesian capital.

  2. Bali (DPS) to Palu (PLW): A popular choice for those arriving in Indonesia via Bali, this route also features daily flights, making it easy to book your domestic connection.

  3. Surabaya (SUB) to Palu (PLW) or Gorontalo (GTO): From Surabaya, you can catch flights to either Palu or Gorontalo, giving you options to choose the most convenient gateway to the Togean Islands based on your schedule and preferences.

  4. Kuala Lumpur (KUL) or Singapore (SIN) to Palu (PLW) or Gorontalo (GTO): For international travelers, consider booking a connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to Palu or Gorontalo. Some airlines offer convenient connections, allowing you to streamline your journey to the Togean Islands.

By choosing one of these popular routes, you'll be well on your way to a stress-free adventure in the breathtaking Togean Islands.

Flight Schedule From Palu to Ampana (updated March 2023)

The Susi Air flight from Palu to Ampana currently operates a round trip every Monday and Wednesday morning.

The flight takes off at 11:00AM from Palu and land at 11:45AM in Ampana. The flights then takes off at 11:55AM from Ampana and land at 12:40PM in Palu.

The cost for the flight from Palu to Ampana is 385,000 IDR.

The cost for the flight from Ampana to Palu is 350,000 IDR.

Pro tip: contact the Susi Air airline or your resort ahead of time to make sure you get a seat in the flight. Also, sometimes the flight leaves earlier if all passengers are on site.

The Palu - Ampana flight schedule in 2023
Flight Schedule to Go from Palu to Ampana and Togean Islands in 2023

Trust Your Togean Islands Resort for Up-to-Date Flight Details

When planning your journey to the Togean Islands, always consult your resort for the latest and most accurate flight information. Togean Islands resorts are often the first to know about changes in flight schedules, cancellations, and newly introduced routes. Sometimes, outdated information remains online, causing confusion and potential disruptions to your travel plans.

To ensure a hassle-free trip to the Togean Islands, follow your resort's guidance and recommendations for flights, connections, and travel tips. By staying informed and working closely with your Togean Islands resort, you'll be better prepared for an enjoyable and unforgettable travel experience in this Indonesian paradise.

Arriving at Buka Buka Island and Reconnect Resort: Unveil Your Dreamy Island Escape

Buka Buka Island, a stunning 160-hectare gem situated at the doorstep of the Togean Islands, awaits your arrival. As it lies outside the national park, you won't need to purchase entry tickets, and its proximity to Ampana makes it a convenient destination.

Here's how to reach the Reconnect Resort on Buka Buka Island:

  1. Exclusive Resort Transfer: Allow us to organize a private transfer directly to Buka Buka Island for you. Choose the speedboat option for a swift 30-minute journey, ensuring you'll be relaxing on the island's pristine shores in no time.

  2. Savor the Scenery: For a more leisurely pace, select one of our alternative transfer options. The Long Boat will glide you to the island in about an hour, while the Traditional Boat offers an authentic experience, taking approximately 1.5 hours.

By opting for one of these transfer options, you'll soon find yourself immersed in the enchanting beauty of Buka Buka Island and the luxurious embrace of Reconnect Resort, your dreamy island hideaway.

Conclusion: Embark on Your Unforgettable Togean Islands Adventure

Although getting to the Togean Islands might seem daunting, following this guide will help you navigate the journey with ease.

By planning your trip carefully and allowing for possible schedule changes, you'll soon find yourself enjoying the stunning beauty of the Togean Islands and the relaxing atmosphere of Reconnect Resort on Buka Buka Island.

So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime in Indonesia's hidden paradise. Safe travels, and we hope to welcome you soon!


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