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Tangkoko Nature Reserve - Sulawesi, Indonesia
Tangkoko feels like the end of the world. A gigantic volcano looms over the park, perpetually draped in thin narrow clouds. The dark beaches are scattered with crushed sea shells and Crested Black Macaques foraging for snacks. The dense rain-forest spreads out across Tangkoko, draping the park floor in a constant shadow and bumping up against the beaches that meet the savage sea. The waters surrounding the park hold a vast array of marine life. Sea gypsies live just offshore in stilt homes built around the reefs, dependent on the ocean's bounty for sustenance. It is a land unchanged by modernity.
Getting to Northern Sulawesi is simple on Silk Air from Singapore. Silk Air flies the Singapore-Manado route nonstop on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; it typically costs around 300 USD. It is also possible to fly to Manado from Bali on Garuda Air, though you must stop in Makassar en-route. Manado is the largest city in North Sulawesi and has many accommodation options. If you want to stay near the nature reserve, Pulisan Jungle Beach Resort provides basic beach-side bungalows with a great view across the water towards Mount Tangkoko. Utilize your guesthouse to make arrangements to visit the park. Other activities in Northern Sulawesi include climbing volcanoes, visiting the floral highlands around Tomohon, and diving the Lembeh Straits or Bunaken Island - two of the top dive sites in the world.