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Volcanoes and Spices
17-day volcano trekking tour to the Molucca Sea: N-Sulawesi, Karangetang and Halmahera
"...the trip was wonderful and all was perfect." (Siegfried N., Germany)
Eruption from Ibu volcano
Eruption from Ibu volcano
Lokon volcano
Lokon volcano

Volcanoes and Spices

17-day volcano trekking tour to the Molucca Sea: N-Sulawesi, Karangetang and Halmahera
Tour type
Trekking: active volcanoes - nature & culture - photography
Group size: 3-6
17 days / 16 nights
2-18 Sep 2024
7-23 Oct 2024
4-20 Nov 2024
Price per person
3570 € $£¥
The legendary Molucca Sea, known for its precious spices that attracted early traders from Europe, is not only one of Indonesia's most interesting and beautiful areas. It also has the largest density of active volcanoes of any region in Indonesia, thanks to a very complex and unique tectonic setting.
Two active subduction zones to the west and east have consumed a small oceanic microplate, the Molucca Sea plate, producing two active volcanic arcs in North Sulawesi and in Halmahera. On this tour we visit no less than 5 of the most active volcanoes in the world, two of which - Dukono and Ibu - have been in near permanent activity for years while the others, Lokon, Soputan and Karangetang erupt frequently.
Each of the volcanoes is completely different in character and provides a great adventure to explore. The tour for a small group is an immersion into colorful cultures and an intense meeting with its very friendly people. Last but not least, the delicious, spicy cuisine of the region will enchant you.
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  • All major active volcanoes of North Sulawesi: Lokon, Soputan, Karangetang
  • Ibu and Dukono on Halmahera: two of the world's most active volcanoes
  • Ternate with its colonial charm and gemstone trade
  • Delicious food
  • Very small group
  • Very colorful and friendly culture
  • Great mix of adventure, physical effort and relaxation
  • Excellent opportunity to combine volcanoes with world-class diving experiences
  • Experienced tour leader from the VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia team

N-Sulawesi - Karangetang - Halmahera

Day 1: Arrival & meeting in Manado - transfer to Tomohon
Pick-up from Manado airport and transfer to Tomohon where we will stay the next nights in beautiful bungalows.
Tomohon is renowed for its local products and crafts. The town is located in the notably cooler highland at about 700 m altitude, between Mahawu and Lokon volcanoes, and has a perfect climate.
If your arrival is early, you have time to either explore Tomohon and its markets.
Day 2: Lokon volcano
Climb Lokon volcano
Day 3: Mahawu volcano - Tondano lake
In the morning, we drive to the trailhead at the foot of Mahawu crater, from where it is an easy, 1-hr hike to its spectacular crater rim, with great views on the surrounding volcanic landscape and into its crater with small colored ponds. After a lunch at the beautiful nearby lake Tondano, we have time to visit local markets, the lake or other interesting sights.
Day 4: Soputan volcano
Trek to Soputan's caldera rim, camp.
Day 5: Back to Tomohon / Manado or extra day at Soputan volcano
Spare day - either spent at Soputan (if active) or return to Manado / Tomohon for spontaneous activites.
Day 6: Sail to Siau island
Sail from Manado to Siau (overnight)
Day 7: Karangetang volcano – Mahoro island
Climb Karangetang volcano (conditions permitting). Sail to unspoilt uninhabited Mahoro island to relax (beach camp).
Day 8: Sail back to Manado
Depending on the boat schedules, we sail back to Manado during the day or over night.
Day 9: Manado – Ternate – Ibu
Fly to Ternate, transfer by speed boat to Jailolo on Halmahera and drive to the foot of Ibu volcano (Duono village).
Day 10: Ibu volcano
Climb Ibu volcano (approx. 5-6 hrs), camp on crater rim.
Day 11: Return from Ibu, continue to Jailolo
Return to Duono, continue to Jailolo. En route visit a hot spring.
Day 12: Tobelo & Dukono volcano observatory
Transfer to Tobelo. Visit the Dukono volcano observatory and prepare the logistics of the coming adventure.
Day 13: Climb Dukono volcano
Optional visit of the local market, trek to Dukono volcano (approx. 3 h).
Day 14: Climb crater of Dukono, return to Tobelo
Climb to the rim to see the activity of the volcano (ash eruptions, if condition allowing). Descend back, transfer to Tobelo.
Day 15: Return to Ternate - gemstone market
Return to Ternate. Visit of a local gem market. Free afternoon.
Day 16: Ternate – Manado - Tomohon
Fly to Manado, transfer to Tomohon. Free afternoon.
Day 17: Departure or extension program
The tour ends with transfer to Manado and the airport at the time you need it.
Dates and details
Booking inquiry

Arrival info:

The tour starts and ends in North Sulawesi's capital Manado (airport code MDO) which can be reached from many of the larger Indonesian airports, but also through Singapore and other regional cities.
If you need connecting flights within Indonesia, we can provide these for you (approx. 100-150 EUR typically for one leg, e.g. Jakarta-Manado or back).

Tour guide

The tour will be accompanied / guided on location by one of our professional local guides in Indonesia, typically Andi or Galih. They have extensive knowledge not only about the volcanoes, but also about their country and culture.
Our guides all speak English and Indonesian, some also French.
Andi Rosadi, our famous head expedition leader in Indonesia

Additional info

Physical requirements

The hikes in the program range from fairly easy to challenging (up to 1200 m climbing and 10 km distance, total duration max. 6-8 hours) for everybody with good normal fitness. You should, however, be prepared for hot and humid climate typical for any tropical country.

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