A popular trip from Manado is to the Tangkoko National Park, home of the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier. These nocturnal tree-dwelling creatures resemble bush babies or aye-ayes with their large saucer eyes and long, thin fingers. The beach side forest of Tangkoko is also home to troops of black macaque, hornbills and cuscus, all of which you should be able to spot.
Getting to Tangkoko by public transport requires a lot of changes, but they’re all straightforward. Take a microlet from town to Paal Dua, then a bus to Bitung. Another microlet will get you to Girian, where you need to find a kijang or pick-up to Tangkoko – ask them to stop at Mama Roos. Alternatively, you can take a charter from Manado. There are a handful of basic homestays at Tangkoko. Guides are compulsory to visit the park; however, your entrance fee includes the services of a ranger, so rather than paying twice, walk down the path beside the tourist office till you find the rangers’ post.