Sunday, June 16, 2024

Snorkeling in Raja Ampat, Sausapor, Birding and Farmland Tour in Minahasa Highland

Raja Ampat has been famous around the world as the destination for snorkeling. Visitors who go there can enjoy snorkeling to see various species of marine animals and plants. There are anemonefish, parrotfish, wrasse, sea cucumber, christmas tree worm, blue sea star, and etc.

Visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling need to bring their own equipment such as glass mask, snorkel (breathing tube), swim fins and underwater camera (optional). Most dive resorts provide diving and snorkeling equipment. 

The recommended months to enjoy snorkeling in Raja Ampat are October, November, January, February, March, April, May, and June. 

In July, August and September, the sea of Raja Ampat are in wave season. The visibility will not be in good condition. Snorkeling in Raja Ampat in July, August and September is not recommended. Traveling to Raja Ampat during these months is still ok if the activity of visitors is focused on wildlife watching tour to see birds and butterflies in the forest such as Rainbow Lorikeet, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Red-cheeked Parrot, 

Alternative Locations

Visitors who plan to enjoy snorkeling in Indonesia during July, August and September can go to Sausapor. It is a coastal town located in Tambrauw regency. The entry city is Sorong. 

reef fish in Tambrauw regency
Marine Life in the waters of Sausapor

There is a good place to stay. Its name is Sansapore Pacific Park Beach Resort. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling and rainforest tour during their stay for a few days in Sausapor. The coral reef of Sausapor is the habitat of various species of marine creatures including surgeonfish, parrotfish, anemonefish, butterflyfish, and etc. In July, August and September, the sea of Sausapor is calm. 

The rainforest of Sausapor is also a good site for wildlife watching tour. There are birds such as Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Black-capped Lory and etc.


There is also alternative destination for snorkeling which is the province of North Sulawesi. The islands of Bunaken, Siladen, and Manado Tua as well as Lembeh Strait. The entry point is Manado city. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling and even scuba diving there. The marine animals are relatively the same as Raja Ampat. In Bunaken and Lembeh Strait, there are red anemonefish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol and etc. There are also homestays, beach resorts which visitors can choose to stay. 

Manado city
Manado city - the capital of North Sulawesi Province

Farmland Tour in Minahasa highland

For visitors who are interested in land tours, the highly recommended destination is the Minahasa highland. The entry point is Manado city. The District town of Sonder has got mountain forest, agricultural land, paddy fields, villages with flower gardens which tourists can see while doing the walking tours.

Subdistrict Sonder
Subdistrict Sonder with its forest, farmland and villages

The high elevation forest of Sonder is the habitat of various species of birds such as Warbling White-eye, Crimson Sunbird, Sulawesi Cuckoo-dove, White-faced Cuckoo-dove, Sulawesi Drongo, Black-faced Munia, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Gray Wagtail, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, and etc.

Birding Indonesia
Black-naped Oriole, Sulawesi Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia albicapilla), Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker

There are butterflies such as Blanchard's Ghost, Blanchard's Wood Nymph, Common Birdwing, The Clipper and etc.

Idea blanchardii butterfly
Blanchard's Ghost Butterfly in the forest of Subdistrict Sonder of Minahasa

The small forest in Tounelet slope and the agricultural land around Sonder are the habitat of a lot of species of birds including Sooty-headed Bulbul, Sahul Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, Gray-sided Flowerpecker, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Slender-billed Crow, White-eyed Drongo, Pale Blue Monarch, Black-naped Oriole, Sulawesi Hanging Parrot, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Cinnamon Bittern, White-browed Crake, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, White-breasted Woodswallow, Collared Kingfisher, Finch-billed Myna, Zebra Dove. 

birds in the farmland of Minahasa highland
Purple Heron, Collared Kingfisher, Brown-throated Sunbird, White-eyed Drongo, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Finch-billed Myna

Most of the villagers in the highland of Minahasa are farmers. They grow rice, corn, sweet potatoes, cassava, banana, papaya, durian, rambutan, tomato, aubergine, spring onion, peanut, kidney bean, vanilla, clove and etc. They also make palm sugar from the sap of aren tree. They run pig farms, poultry farms, and fish ponds filled with tilapia and carp. Becuase Minahasa highland is a reach agricultural area, we can see various kinds of foods cakes. There are a lot of eating houses in Tomohon, Sonder, Kawangkoan, Toundano and Langowan. Visitors have plenty of choices for food and snacks.

agricultural crop plants in Minahasa of North Sulawesi
Some agricultural crops in Subdistrict Sonder of Minahasa highland - Corn, vanilla, clove, rice and papaya

Walking tour is the recommended way to explore villages, farmland and forest in Subdistrict Sonder.

For accommodation, there are hotels, and homestays in Tomohon town, Sonder town and Toundano town, Langowan town which tourists can choose to stay during their holiday in Minahasa highland. and provide more info.


Visitors who want to enjoy holiday in Minahasa high need to fly to Manado city. There are daily flights between Manado and major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Makasar, Balikpapan, Sorong served by Garuda, Citilink, TransNusa, Batik Air, and Lion Air. 

traveling to Manado city
Flights route between major cities of Indonesia and Manado
Map of Minahasa
Land route from Manado city to Tomohon and Sonder

There are also international direct flights between Singapore and Manado city served by Scoot Air, and between Guangzhou and Manado city served by China Southern Airlines.


If you are interested in taking a holiday to the destinations that I describe above and want a guide to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

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