From LUWUK to AMPANA
Updated: Oct 5, 2019
A wonderful comfortable way to get to Togian Islands is via flight to the town of Luwuk. The city, which is facing Banggai Islands, is well connected via flights from Jakarta, Makassar and Manado. Therefore, as a hub to head to Togian Islands just as interesting if you are coming from the north and want to go from Manado to Togian Islands or coming from the south and want to go from Makassar to the Togian Islands.
However, to finally make it to Togian Islands you will have to get from Luwuk to Ampana. There is a daily Minivan connection between the two towns. However, the minivans leave Luwuk in the morning. Since most travelers want to get to Ampana on the same after flying in to Luwuk the most comfortable option is via private chartered car.
If you are heading from Luwuk to Ampana you will find drivers on the airport, or alternatively arranged by your hotel in Luwuk.
- The ride with the car takes about five hours and brings you along the coastline of the Tomini Bay to Ampana or Luwuk. The prices for the private car are around 1.000.000 IDR.
- The Minivans connecting the two towns will take a bit longer, prices are around 150.000 IDR per seat. Minivans leaving from Luwuk from the local bus station in the morning. An operating bus company is "Gemilang Perkasa". If you go straight to their office thy will for sure help you arrange things.
- An alternative to the minivans and a private car are the "shared taxis" which make their way to Ampana and to Luwuk. Price of the car gets divided by the customers on board.
The city of Luwuk itself has a bunch of high-standard Hotels, settled on the hills of the bay. The hotels offer a wonderful view on the large bay and are located just minutes away from the airport and the immigration office of the town. Budget-Hotels are to be find in the town itself. Luwuk is also an attractive option to extend your visa in Sulawesi. If you are staying in Luwuk for more then a day you could check out the many waterfalls which are around the hills of Luwuk.
Coming from Luwuk - can I make it to the Islands on the same day?
The ride with a private car from Luwuk to Ampana takes about 5 hours. Even if you fly in to Luwuk in the morning it will, most probably, not be possible to catch the afternoon speedboat to the islands. Therefor we recommend to spend a night in Ampana before you head to the islands.
You really want to make it to the islands on the same day? In this case you can charter a private boat from Ampana to Togian Islands. E.g. going to the west of Togian Islands (area of Bomba, where POKI POKI is located) the ride will take about 2,5 to 3 hours. The price is somewhere around 1.300.000 IDR for a local outrigger boat. Keep it easy on the bargain before you end up with a shitty boat.
Leaving the islands - can I make it on time to catch an afternoon flight from Luwuk?
If you plan to leave the islands on the same day then your flight from Luwuk you will not be able to take one of the public boats or speedboats from the islands. You will simply arrive to late in Ampana to make it on time to your flight. Keep in mind that Ampana - Luwuk is a five hour car ride. If you really want to leave on the same day you could take a charter boat to Ampana early morning (see above) and then rush to Luwuk on the same day. If all goes well it is doable.