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Guided Tours

(update last on 28-11-2010)


Guided Tour or Renting a Car?

On the way in Sulawesi, I always had many weeks time and therefore could travel - equipped with an up-to-date guide-book - on my own initiative. On the spot I then had myself led to the sights by a local guide. If I lost my way, had to wait for a ferry a couple of days or if if I stated, that the guide was extremely incompetent, this was not a tragedy.

Who has only a restricted time at the disposal, however, thinks differently. The shorter the stay, the harder carry weight the relatively high ticket costs for the often long distance flights. Every day is then precious and should not be wasted by a wrong planning. Therefore one should not save the additional costs for a tour which is well organized and carried out.

Those of you which do not only like to dive intensively (BUNAKEN, LEMBEH) but also see other worthwile parts of Indonesia (e.g. BALI, FLORES, KOMODO) can find now a new tour package for divers below.

If you are interested in a tour according to your individual wishes, I can recommend a very experienced tour-guide for you or your family/group who will arrange a cheap tailor-made tour.

Should you not want to follow a larger group or you think of a smaller tour in North Sulawesi, an individually planned tour with a rented vehicle with or without driver could be a cheap alternative .. Since I take friends to North Sulawesi again and again, I also "must" repeat my tours consequently every time. Meanwhile I usually rent a vehicle with driver.  I can negotiate a price depending on a desired tour and do not experience afterwards unpleasant surprises and tricks. At interest to rent a vehicle with or without driver or also tour-guide I can help you along willingly.

Another piece of advice: If you would like to make a trip to the Tangkoko National Park with a public transport, you should consider that there is no possibility of coming back the next day at the same price again. Of course the locals know that you are dependent on them and they therefore often demand outrageously excessive prices.

And at last a warning ...


These trips are e.g. carried out :

Below you can find the description of tours to different destinations (at least 2 persons) which are planned if requested with you together:

Example 1: Tour "South and Central Sulawesi" 14 days / 13 nights

Hotel in RantepaoThe tour begins in Manado where you are picked up by an air-conditioned car with guide either directly by the harbour or after the breakfast at your hotel. From there to the Tangkoko National Park to see of the unique Tarsius, black Makaka, Hornbills etc. The trip through the Minahasa Highland offers a huge number of places of interest. From Tomohon you will climb the volcano Mahawu. Funeral

On the 5th day goes the trip from Tomohon to Gorontalo. Other stations are Torosiaje, Tentena, Lake Poso, Rantepao (Toraja)Toraja Graves. The tour ends in Makassar, from where you can after a hotel overnight stay make a sightseeing tour in and around the city on your own. Or you take your flight home or to other destinations.


You can download details on route, conditions and approx price as a PDF file.



Example 2: "Indonesia Trip for Divers" (Bali - Flores - Komodo - Bunaken - Lembeh .15 days/14 nights)

BaliIt is a tour of 15 days, starting in Bali, continued over Flores to the islands of KALONG, KOMODO and RINCA. ( visit of the National Park Komodo with its unique Komodo-dragons). Then flight to Manado. From now on the diver will get his money's worth on Bunaken and Lembeh. The journey ends at the airport of Manado. The tour can, of course, be adapted to your special wishes.

You can download details on route as a PDF file.


In my opinion you can scarcely carry out such a tour (everything including) more cheaply in a management of your own . And this all without unnecessary Komodo Dragonlosses of time. It can only be realized, because it is calculated by Indonesian standards and the tickets ar bought in Indonesia.

The price depends on the number of the taking part persons and on the current hotel, flight and diving prices. Simply ask for an offer. You have the possibility to suggest changes and to negotiate directly with the Indonesian tour operator about the price (email).

If you lucky fellows have more than 15 days time at the disposal, you can continue your dive holiday on Bunaken or Lembeh or include additional trips in North Sulawesi (Tangkoko, Volcanos, Minahasa Highland).



There are lots of tour-guides on Bunaken, who will offer their services to you. But it is not easy to find out in a short time, who of them is really experienced and qualified for his job and morover not shady in character (after all you want to spend your time with him for quite a while). For example...

...there was L.M., a good tourguide, but he wanted to become rich in a short time. Soon, however, he got into financial difficulties and he tried to settle his debts with the cash in advance of his customers. In the meantime he had succeeded to open a travel agency A in Manado which he convincingly presented on the Internet with a very professionally arranged web page. But very soon there were reports, that his agency didn't perform the promised services and didn't repay financial advance performances. When I wanted to visit the agency in November 2009, it was closed. I found only a modest wooden hut with signboard. As I came to know, L.M. is wanted by several debtors from Manado. Reportedly he went underground nearby Poso or Gorontalo and carries out bookings to the Togian Islands or tours to the Tana Toraja.

It isn't my intention, however, generally, to discourage you to take a private guide for your trips. Of course, there are some black sheep under many serious ones, like everywhere in the world. But due to my experiences and to reports of travellers I must advise you, though: Always pay- if possible - at the end of your tour! At greater tours, which you plan jointly with your tourguide already from at home, of course an advance payment is required in order to book hotels and flights in time. The remaining payments then can be carried out step by step.
In order to avoid misunderstandings, it is also advisable to fix the exact process of the planned tour including all performances in note form and written - and to insist on a confirmation of the price for the planned tour!


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