FLIGHT to TOGIAN ISLANDS
Updated: Jan 7
FASTEST ACCESS TO TOGIAN ISLANDS.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The daily flight from Palu to Ampana is currently not operating reliably. Cancellations without prior notice bring people that wish to travel to Togian Islands in unplesant trouble. Once stranded in Palu the only alternative to get to Ampana is a long car ride of about 12 hours. For this reason we recommend to access Togian Islands via flight to Luwuk or Poso and connecting car ride to Ampana. The town of Luwuk is well connected with flights to Jakarta, Makassar and Manado. Poso is connected with Makassar.
INFORMATIONS REGARDING THE FLIGHT TO AMPANA MIGHT NOT BE VALID ANY LONGER. PLEASE CHECK THE FLIGHT INFORMATIONS ABOUT LUWUK AND POSO.
FLIGHT TO AMPANA
You are wondering how to reach the Togian Islands the fastest way? The answer is simple:
via flight to Ampana. Leave Jakarta early morning and enjoy your lunch at Togians.
If you are making your way to the archipelago from the south AMPANA is the main hub to the Togian Islands. Its newly build airport is small but operates on high and modern standards. Currently there is only one daily flight connection which connects AMPANA with the city of PALU. However, the layover in Palu`s small airport is quickly done and therefore the connection to the Togian Islands is currently on its peak.
Once you are in Ampana the Togian Islands are just a footstep away. The city of Ampana is much closer to the islands then the city of Gorontalo, which is the northern main hub to Togian Islands - the speedboat ride from Ampana to Bomba takes only 45 minutes. More and more speedboats leave Ampana daily to connect the mainland of Sulawesi with Bomba, Wakai and Malenge.
YOUR FLIGHT SCHEDULE: JAKARTA (CGK) – PALU (PLW) – PALU (PLW) – AMPANA (OJU), ARRIVING AT 10:10 AM
If you are coming from Jakarta – BINGO! Leave Jakarta with an early morning flight to Palu (there are direct flights and ones with a short stopover in Makassar) and jump on the plane from Palu to Ampana. If you are coming from any other city (Denpasar, Jogyakarta,Surabaya, Balikpapan, Manado ... ) please check for flights to Palu which might have a short layover in Makassar.
STEP 1: FLIGHT Jakarta to Palu gives you two options
Batik Air ID-7585 leaves Jakarta at 2:30 am and gets to Palu at 6:25 am. Enough time for a coup of coffee before you jump on the plane to Ampana.
Lion Air JT-720 leaves Jakarta at 5:00 am and brings you to Palu at 8:35 am. Still enogh time to jump on the plane to Ampana.
STEP 2: FLIGHT From Palu to Ampana
Wings Air IW-1142 leaves from Palu at 9:20 am and brings you to Ampana at 10:10 am
STEP 3: SPEEDBOAT From Ampana to the Togian Islands
The Speedboat “Manakara” leaves to the Togians at 13:00 am and connects Bomba (after 40 minutes) and Wakai (after less than 2 hours) with the mainland.
If you are coming from the Togian Islands: the plane from Ampana to Palu leaves daily at 10:30. Currently it is best to be in Ampana one day before the flight since there are no early morning speedboats which connect the Togian Islands with Ampana early enough to catch the plane at 10:30. However, if you desperately wish to stay a night longer on the Togian Islands you could always charter a boat.
You might still somewhere read about a flight from Luwuk to Ampana. At the moment (January 2018) there is NO flight from Luwuk to Ampana.
LATE FLIGHT TO PALU: STAY OVER NIGHT OR TAKE THE MINIVAN TO AMPANA
On your connection you can not catch the plane from Palu to Ampana? No worries, just fly a day later! Palu is good fun for one day, there are coffe shops, a shopping mall where you can find nice Batik- Shirts and a strip of funny beach restaurants (want to see a pink leaning tower of Pisa in Indonesia?). Best Western Palu is just a footstep from the airport, a bit more expensive but with high standard and sometimes you get a discount via www.agoda.com or www.booking.com .
No time or on a budget? Take the bus that connects Palu with Ampana. The buses (which are more like a minivans) leave Palu in the morning and afternoon. Prices per person should be around 150.000 IDR. You can as well hire a private car directly from the airport to Ampana which will cost you between 1.000.000 IDR and 1.500.000 IDR. The ride takes about 10-12 hours but you will reach Ampana in the next morning which enables you to jump on the first Speedboat (at 9.00, with “Herkules”) from Ampana to the Togian Islands.
BOOK THE FLIGHT FROM PALU TO AMPANA WITH TRAVELOKA OR NUSATRIP
It is a challenge to book this flight. The search engines often fail to find the flight from Palu to Ampana. Even the search engine from the airline websites does sometimes. What helps is to search for the flights separately. Check for the flight to Palu first and then separately check for the flight from Palu to Ampana. This way you can usually find the flights.
Sometimes the search engines even show you that there is no flight available on that day. This is simply not true! The flights go every day. Stay cool and have a coffee. Just give it some time and try later again. It will work.
Please also note that if you wish to book via Wings Air or Lion Air website the booking might fail since they often do not except credit cards from foreign counties. Just use www.traveloka.com or www.nusatrip.com to book your flight. Both websites work perfectly and are reliable.
NO FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON FLIGHTS OPERATED BY LION AIR AND WINGS AIR
The airlines Lion Air and Wings Air do not offer any free baggage allowance for the their flights. If you are travelling with a check-in luggage you can either pay for it right on the airport upon check-in or buy it online when you purchase your ticket.
Some people ask us if the flight is safe. Of course, we are no specialists on aviation safety. However, the plane is new and the airline operates professionally. If you are looking for a personal opinion - we took the flight many, many times. To get a better expression of the airplane model, we found a short video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSPKYMH3voc.
HOW TO GO FROM THE AIRPORT IN AMPANA TO THE HARBOR?
With the Bentor of course! Once you made it to Ampana grab a Bentor (Sulawesi style Tuk Tuk) and go straight to the harbor and buy your ticket to the Togians Islands. The harbor is only 20 minutes away from the airport. And of you go to the Togians!
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES TO AMPANA
FLIGHT TO/FROM LUWUK (COMING FROM SOUTH)
Luwuk, a mid-size city in the far east of Togian Islands, has a good connected airport, which was just renovated and has good infrastructure. Daily flights from Makassar (you get to Makassar coming from Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or many other big cities of Indonesia) or Manado (in the north of Sulawesi) bring you straight to Luwuk.
Once in Luwuk you can take a minivan, shared- or private car to Ampana (the southern gateway of Togian Islands). The minivans, which are the cheapest option to get from Luwuk to Ampana start their journey around 10:00 am (e.g. company: Kesayangan Anda, price 150.000 IDR per person). If you have to stay a night in Luwuk – don’t worry! There are beautiful waterfalls to be discovered and the city has very good hotels on the hill, with beautiful view over the wide bay. From Luwuk to Ampana the ride takes about 4 hours and the newly built road is (for most parts) in very good condition.
From Ampana you reach the islands quickly and on a daily basis (e.g Ampana to Bomba in less than one hour, Ampana to Wakai in less than two hours). You can read all about the boat schedules to Togian Islands here.
FLIGHT TO/FROM POSO (COMING FROM SOUTH)
Poso, a mid-size city in the center of central Sulawesi, is connected with daily flights to the city of Makassar. From Poso to Ampana it`s just a 3-hour car ride. From Ampana you reach the islands quickly and on a daily basis. You can read all about the boat schedules to Togian Islands here.
FLIGHT TO GORONTALO (COMING FROM NORTH)
Gorontalo is the northern gateway to the Togian Islands. The city is well connected with flight to Jakarta, Makassar or Manado. The downturn of this option is, that you can reach the islands only twice a week with the overnight ferry “Tuna Tomini”, which brings you to the Togian Islands over the night within about 12 hours. Compared to the daily and quicker access via Ampana this gives you less flexibility on your dates to come and leave the islands.