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“Good guide, but somewhat pricey compared to other options”

Tangkoko Tour (Esli Kakauhe)
Ranked #4 of 17 things to do in Bitung
Attraction details
Reviewed 9 March 2016

I recently had Irawan guide me on a visit to Tangoko Park. I was met at the airport by a driver who spoke limited English and who drove me to the Tangkoko lodge which is right outside of the Park. The drive took us about 2.5 hours. Irawan met me there that evening and told me he would be by at 6:30 the following morning. He picked me up by motor bike and took me into the park where he called his friends who follow the black crested macaques and he led me to where they were. The monkeys don't mind you being their at all and just do their thing while you wander around in the group. After about 4 hours Irawan dropped me back a the lodge for lunch and for a siesta. He picked me up at 3:00 and we went back to the park for some bird watching and to get ready to see the tarsiers. There is a family in a tree that everyone goes to see, so after a couple of hours wandering through the woods looking for hornbills we joined the small crowd (14 people and 8-9 guides) to wait for the sun to go down and for the tarsier to emerge--which they did as soon as it started to get dark. They were met by a barrage of flashes and flashlights. All the guides go to the same place, both for the macaques and the tarsiers. Tat night I stayed in the lodge again (no internet), and then Irawan and his driver picked me up the next morning to take me to Tomohon to see the market. The novelty of the market is that there are bats, rats, cats, snakes, boar, and dogs (both butchered and live in cages) available. The drive to get there was over 2 hours. We also drove along a lovely lake and then did a short hike up to the rim of an old volcano which offered nice views. From there we went to lunch at a lake that smelled highly of sulfer. Irawan left me at this point and the driver took me on to my diving destination along Lembeh Strait.

Irawan asked for 4,800,000 ($370) for this tour--which included the driver, 2 nights at the Tangkoko lodge, and his guiding service for 1.5 days. When I told him that I though that was expensive he lowered the price to 4,500,000 ($350). When I checked with others after it was clear that I could have done the same tour (and probably more) for 3,000,000-3,200,000 IRD ($230-$250), so I would recommend shopping around. I would also recommend skipping the Tomohon tour if you are fond of dogs or cats.

1  Thank Steven W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 9 of 55 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2016

Our tour was arranged through our resort property and was a great addition to our dive vacation.

A 90 minute drive from Lembeh, the Bitung traffic and mountain road was amazing and an experience! Upon arrival we met up with our guide, applied copious amounts of bug spray and set off. We were fortunate enough to see the three species of monkey, King fisher and Macau.

A fun experience to add!

2  Thank Yukon Landcruis... R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 February 2016

We worked hard before our trip to communicate with Irawan. When we got there, we were told that Irawan had a motorcycle accident and could not be our guide. I cannot tell if that is the truth or a lie. Given another reviewer's note about him being a "gang master", I have my doubts. The guide we were given was not very good at all. Just beware.

1  Thank Efyshum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 7 January 2016

I've read that Tangkoko is one of the easiest options to come across to endemic wildlife of Sulawesi and it is definitely a true. You can go Scuba diving with beautiful turtles and sharks at Bunaken island in the morning and still manage to arrive on time to Batuputih village before 4,30pm when the sunset walk for tarsiers spotting begins.
I stayed in Tangkoko Hill Cottage and Mr. Franky organised the tour guides for a regular price for me, prompty. Some of the guides are able to ask yopu for 300.000 Rp just for them + extra 100.000 is to pay the entrance fee at the gate to Tangkoko NP (please pay it yourself and ask for the ticket, do not trust others that the will pay it later instead you or so). However the normal price to be payed per person to the tour gide is 75.000 Rp + 100.000 entry fee. In morning you have to pay the entrance fee and guide again if you want to go for the early morning meeting with Black crested macaques at the beach. In Manado tak a bus from the terminal called ''Paal 2 (dua)'' direction Bitung (11.000 Rp), but get off at terminal GIRIAN instead of main Tangkoko Terminal( 1-2 hours). At Girian take an open pick up to Batu Putih village (10-15.000Rp including bags/ 20-30 minutes).

2  Thank Radimdim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 20 December 2015

we are a couple from germany and two great days with the guide Irawan who guided us thru tangkoko, spotted birds, monkeys and animals and organized the whole trip very well.

Thank max m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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