The Togian Islands form a fragmented, 120-kilometre-long crescent across the shallow blue waters of Tomini Bay, their steep grey sides weathered into sharp ridges capped by coconut palms and hardwoods. The exceptional snorkelling and diving around the islands features turtles, sharks, octopus, garden eels, and a mixed bag of reef and pelagic fish species. On the down side, there are also nine depots in the Togians dealing in the live export of seafood to restaurants in Asia; many of these operations employ cyanide sprays, which stun large fish but kill everything else – including coral.
From west to east, Batu Daka, Togian and Talata Koh are the Togians’ three main islands, with Walea Kodi and Walea Bahi further east. The main settlements are Bomba and Wakai on Batu Daka, and Katupat on Togian. Wakai is something of a regional hub, with transport out to smaller islands. There are no vehicle roads or widespread electricity in the Togians and you’ll find it pays not to be on too tight a schedule; most accommodation places offer day-trips and shared transfers. Tourism in the islands is budget-oriented but good, and prices usually include meals. July through to September are the coolest months, when winds can interrupt ferries. Diving is usually good all year round, though visibility in December can be variable.Read More
Four hours from Ampana and at the western end of Batu Daka, Bomba comprises two dozen houses and a mosque facing north across a pleasant bay. There’s a long beach 5km west of town, but it’s the sea that warrants a visit here, with the Togians’ best snorkelling an hour away at Catherine reef. The coast near here is interesting, too, offering the possibility of seeing crocodiles in remote inlets; some islets east of Bomba are completely covered by villages, their boundaries reinforced with hand-cut coral ramparts.