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Cool highland weather, culture, flowers and nature watching.

Minahasa Highlands (Tomohon Highlands)

Tomohon Highlands are known for their stunning natural beauty, characterized by its cool weather, magnificent volcanos, lush greenery, rolling hills, fertile agricultural land, stunning bird life and beautiful flowers.  It is also the cultural centre for the Minahasa people, the most populous ethnic group in the Minahasan peninsula of North Sulawesi.

Tetetana

Stunning view of Lembeh, Bunaken and Manado from Tetetana

Tetetana Suluan is one of the newest tourist attraction at the Tomohon Highlands. 

Tetetana Kumelembuai Peak offers a breathtaking panorama of the North side of North Sulawesi, with Lembeh, Bunaken, Manado Tua and the City within view on a clear day.  There is a small entrance fee (coffee provided). 

Take a relax trip to this peak and you will be able to have a panaromic view of North Sulawesi, including a view of Manado City, Bunaken Marine Park, and Lembeh Island.  The temperature up here could be a cool 20 deg C, when it is 32 deg C at Lembeh.

Tondano Lake

Tondano the largest lake in North Sulawesi

Danau Tondano is the largest lake in North Sulawesi, formed by the eruption of Mount Burpa. 

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Nike fish cake: made with the endemic fish nike (not the be confused with sports brand), delicious and nutritious!

There are several restaurants located here and you may wish to have a relaxing lunch enjoying the view of the lake.

Hiking a volcano - Mount Lokon

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The twin volcanos Lokon and Empung

Lokon is a twin volcano together with Empung Mountain; both are active volcanoes. Mount Lokon top is flat without a crater. Its active crater is located on its foot, the "Tompaluan" crater.  At all recent eruptions have originated from the Tompaluan crater which lies in the saddle between the two peaks.  Climbing Mount Lokon generally means going to the crater, not the top.  The hike up Mount Lokon passes would take 2-3 hours, and the hike goes through a dry old lava flow bed, slippery at most times due to the smooth surface.

 

The route to reach Lokon Mt is mostly passing a dry river bed that is actually an old lava flow from the Mountain. This trip can be quite slippery because the surface is so smooth. It takes 2 to 3 hours to reach the Crater.  

Linow Lake - Color Changing Volcano Lake

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Linow Lake, or color-changing lake, the color of which changes due to the presence of volcano released gases dissolving into the lake.  In the mid-ground of this photo, you can see the effect of geothermal activities boiling the dark colored pool, releasing steam.  The smell of sulfur permeates the air.

Located between Mount Lokon and Mount Mahawu, the lake has many hydrothermal vents spewing hot gases into the lake.  This constantly changes the composition of the water and causes the lake to change colour often from red, dark green, and to dark blue.  A strong odour of rotten eggs, due to the sulphur content of the lake, is often detected here.

Building a Minahasa Bungalow

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Building a Minahasa bungalow.  Houses are pre-fabricated here and shipped to your desired location.

The Minahasa architecture style, native to the Minahasa tribe of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, is renowned for its distinctive and functional design. Characterized by stilt houses known as "Wale," these structures are elevated on wooden piles to protect against flooding and pests. The architecture prominently features broad, sweeping roofs made of thatch or corrugated metal, providing ample protection from heavy rainfall. The houses often include intricately carved wooden details and open, airy interiors that facilitate natural ventilation. This style not only reflects the practical needs of the Minahasa people but also their cultural emphasis on community and environmental harmony.

The Minahasa traditional houses, to which our villas are modelled after, can be categorized as green buildings.
Made from natural, non-petroleum materials that are recyclable and biodegradable, they can be considered as  'ecological'.  The high pitch roof creates a large air space within the villas, stabilizing the temperature in a natural way.  The air pocket beneath the villas allows for air circulation and also helps to cool the villas.

Mount Mahawu - Cool Weather, Volcano Hike, Nature Watch

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Entrance to Mount Mahawu Park

An exotic bird, Rusty-breasted cuckoo (Cacomantis sepulcralis)

The hike up Mount Mahawu to see the crater is relatively easy, takes about 1 hour.  Mount Mahawu, unlike most other volcanos, has a green and beautiful landscape located near to the craters. In a clear day, there is a wonderfully wide panoramic view at the top, of the protected forest and its colorful flowers, local farms, and the other mountains.  This is a good place for photography to capture the grandeur of nature!

 

For the nature lovers, bird watchers, Mount Mahawu is over 1300 m above sea level, and the fertile landscape has made it a habitat for exotic birds!

Tuur Ma'asering - Minahasa Cuisine, Exotic Whiskey

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Bustling scene at Tuur Ma'asering in the evening

A meal and a drink of local exotic whisky!

This is a recently built attraction, a beautiful setup amidst a sugar palm setup, with an overall theme of enjoying the food with the local whisky!  Saguer, is a type of palm liquor produced from sugar palm sap, is made here.  Within the site there are demonstration stills where the palm liquor is produced.  There is an entrance fee that gives you a shot of either the Saguer or Cap Tikus (the famous Minahasa whisky you can buy at the airport), and they serve a variety of Minahasan food and drinks.  This is a great place to chill during the evening and have a taste of local whisky and local delicacy.

Touring Tomohon

There are more things to do at the Minahasa Highlands, for example, visiting Bukit Kasih (Hill of Love) - a multi-faith place of worship; Tekaan Telu waterfall - a waterfall on the way to the highlands; Extreme Market - non-traditional meats sold in the local culture market - a place you might not want to go if you are an animal lover.

Arranging a visit

From K2 Lembeh Dive Resort: about 2 hour (by boat then car).

Duration: the recommended stay is 2 days 1 night; due to the travel distance, a day trip is not recommended.

Terrain: depends on location visited.  Wear comfortable walking shoes, sports shoes or trekking shoes

Travel plan: the actual plan will be tailored according to the guests wishes, our guides will work with you for a tailor-made plan to make the stay enjoyable and meet your tour objectives.

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