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Transportations

| Air Transportations | Land Transportations | Within Manado | Outskirt of Manado |


Manado is reachable by land within Indonesia, sea and air transportation from both within Indonesia and other countries.

Air Transportations

International

To/From
Airlines
Frequencies
Davao, The Philippines
Please check with Lion Air or Sriwijaya Air
Kuala Lumpur
Tue, Fri, Sun
Singapore
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat

Kuala Lumpur-Manado trip takes around 4 hours, Singapore-Manado is 3 hour 40 minutes, both on jet airplanes such as Airbus A320. As a reference, the all-inclusive-published return air fare from Kuala Lumpur starts from around US$ 85, while from Singapore Silk Air charges from approximately US$ 430. To and from Davao, the Philippines, you need to check with Lion Air or Sriwijaya Air office in Manado, since the flights they do are charter flights.

For the latest promotional fares please check with respective airlines.

Domestic

To/From
Airlines
Frequencies
Bali (via Makassar)
Daily
Balikpapan
Daily
Jakarta
Daily
Makassar/Ujung Pandang

Daily

Wed, Fri, Sun

Surabaya (via Makassar)

Daily

Based on commercial jet airplanes, flying time from Bali-Makassar takes about 1 hour 15 minutes, Makassar-Manado and Balikpapan-Manado is about 1 hour 40 minutes. From Jakarta is around 3 hours 10 minutes and 1 hour 25 minutes from Surabaya to Makassar.

Note: although the airlines schedules above are checked monthly, they can be changed at last minutes. Please check with respective airlines for any daily changes.

Getting Out Of The Airport

The main transportation from Sam Ratulangi airport to downtown Manado is served by either taxi or car rental. All taxis from the airport now charge their passengers by meter and they are available just after you step out of arrival hall. Official car rentals charge Rp. 100,000 to downtown Manado, usually they operate small SUVs, which might be useful for travellers with many baggage or surf boards or diving equipments. Their administration office/counter is located inside the arrival hall (baggage carousel), before arrival hall exit doors (see Within Manado for further information on car rental and taxi).

A bus company called Damri runs a service from the airport to downtown Manado. Other option is by taking mikrolet but you have to walk out of the airport first to reach the main road. If you have big baggage, then you might face difficulties if you take mikrolet. See Within Manado below for details on mikrolet.

Land Transportations

There are a few terminals in Manado and north Sulawesi, both for mikrolets, interstate and intercity buses. It is rare to see foreign tourists or even domestic tourists from, for instance, Java taking interstate buses to reach Manado. Travelling from Makassar in south Sulawesi to north Sulawesi's capital city Manado can take days.

Terminals in Manado are: Paal Dua terminal, located in eastern side of Manado. This is an interchange terminal from downtown Manado to northern part of Manado. Mikrolets from downtown Manado will stop here and passengers will have to take another mikrolets or buses from Paal Dua to their northern destination, such as Sam Ratulangi airport, Air Madidi (if you want to go to Waruga), Bitung (Tangkoko and Lembeh Strait), Kairagi, Paniki, and so forth.

Malalayang terminal is located in south of Manado and also an interchange terminal from Manado to southern destinations, such as Tasik Ria beach and even further destinations out of north Sulawesi province like Gorontalo, which takes approximately 8 hours on an interstate bus.

Another terminal within Manado city is Karombasan terminal, which serves destinations like Kali Waterfall and two Minahasa highlands, Tondano and Tomohon (about 22 kilometers or 13.7 miles southeast of Manado).

Please see below for details on public buses.

Sea Transportation

There are two main seaports or "pelabuhan" ( /pe-lâ-boo-ân/ ) in north Sulawesi, which are Pelabuhan Manado and Pelabuhan Bitung.

Pelabuhan Manado is mainly for ships or boats going to other smaller islands within North Sulawesi province and Bunaken island. There is an entrance fee of Rp. 1,500 per person. If you want to go to Bunaken on regular ships, one way ticket costs you Rp. 10,000 per person, it might be cheap for you but keep in mind that your ship might wait until it has full load of passengers before sailing away from Manado. Its departure schedule is at 2pm, though might be delayed up to approximately one hour for either the reason mentioned above or high tides. Since this is a regular ship between Manado and Bunaken, you will also find many types of cargo, such as gasoline, cooking oils, building materials, sacks of rice and flour, groceries, and so on.

If you don't want to wait and don't mind spending extra money, then you can go to Pasar Bersehati/Calaca, just next to Pelabuhan Manado, for private boats. A speedboat to Bunaken approximately costs Rp. 400,000. You will reach the island in about 30 minutes. There is also bigger private boats for rent around Rp. 700,000, can accomodate up to 15 people.

Both Pelabuhan Manado and Pasar Bersehati/Calaca are within walking distance from Pasar 45 mikrolet terminal and taxi is also easy to get.

For international and interstate ships, they all will dock at Pelabuhan Bitung, about one hour driving from downtown Manado. Should you arrive on a cruise to Bitung, they have visa on arrival facility. A few options on how to reach Bitung or Manado from this seaport. If you arrive on an arranged tour or cruise, you should have everything already arranged and for other passengers, they can take either taxi, which will already line up outside the seaport, or mikrolet. A taxi trip to Manado can cost you around Rp. 200,000. If you have lots of baggages with you, you have no choice but to negotiate your taxi fare with the driver. Mikrolets are usually also lining up outside the seaport every time a ship arrives. A single trip to Girian terminal will cost you Rp. 2,500, from where you can continue your trip to Manado.

For interstate ship schedules please go to PELNI's website, the national shipment company: www.pelni.co.id.

Within Manado (And Its Neighboring Towns)

First thing you have to remember in Manado and its neighboring towns of Bitung, Tomohon and Tondano, wherever you walk, you should pay extra attention to local drivers and motorbikers. It is seldom to see drivers giving way to pedestrians and people can cross the roads anywhere.

There are two common ways of moving around in these cities by public transports, one is by mikrolets, the other is ojek.

Mikrolet is a small minivan, normally painted in light blue and fits 8-9 passenger plus a driver. Passengers sit facing forward, unlike Bandung's angkot where passengers sit facing each other. Don't be surprised if you see many mikrolets here like to play music loudly, said to attract more students and other young passengers, and you will find these mikrolets almost on every (big) road in Manado running almost every minute, so moving around the city shouldn't be an issue. It is also cheap, only Rp. 2,300 per trip within Manado, Rp. 2,500 within Bitung, Rp. 3,200 to Kali Waterfall from Karombasan terminal in Manado. Mikrolets start moving out early in the morning and head back home around 10pm.

One consideration of taking mikrolet is this car might not be suitable for passengers with big baggage or diving equipments or even surf boards, unless they tell the driver that they will pay the seats they are taking for their belongings. Another consideration is travelling time. If you are the only passenger, you might get to your destinations quite fast but it can extend, for instance a 10 minute hassle-free journey becomes 20 minutes, or more, if there are any other passengers who ask for the driver?s favor to get them off in a certain places where they head for, e.g. school, home, shop.

Passengers can flag down and get off anywhere on the street. To get off you have to tell the driver, either by saying "stop" or as locals say "muka om" ( /moo-khâ ôm/ ), which literarily means "stop ahead sir" then you pay the fare. Usually a mikrolet direction is fixed from one terminal to another and will run between these two terminals all day long, as people can see from a small board placed behind its windscreen and on a sign on its roof/top (see picture on the left). If you are in doubt, ask local people around you for the right direction and they will always be helpful and friendly.

Ojek is actually an unlicensed motorcycle/motorbike taxi and is popular because it brings its passenger faster to his/her destination, especially in cities like Jakarta where traffic jams are outrages. They can be found at their own "terminals", which can be anywhere in the city, known by a self-made small board that says "Pangkalan Ojek". On streets, they might be recognised by their "spare helmet" and they often rides their motorbikes slowly while looking around for passengers. Short distance negotiable fare is approximately Rp. 3,000. A four kilometer (2.5 miles) journey costs Rp. 4,000. Fare is paid once passenger arrives at destination.

Public buses or minibuses usually travel between towns, Manado to Tomohon, Manado to Bitung, Bitung to Tondano, and so on. These minibuses don't go beyond their three designated terminals in Manado city's border lines. As mentioned above on this page, if you want to go to Bitung, you have to catch a bus from Paal Dua terminal or from Karombasan terminal to Tomohon. Bus directions can be found on its windscreen or from driver assistants, who often yells their directions. Usually bus leaves every 15-20 minutes and fares depend on destinations, for instance: Manado-Bitung Rp. 7,800, Manado Tomohon Rp. 6,000, about halfway to arrive to destination, drivers' assistants will collect your payment.

If you are travelling to Bitung, probably you should sit next to bus door (they will leave their doors opened) or windows to get the breeze, since it might be a hot and stuffy journey, while a trip to Tomohon or Tondano wouldn't be that hot since these two towns lie on highlands.

Taxi is also a available in Manado and north Sulawesi. There are two new companies here, which are still using their meters, Trust Taxi and Celebrity Taxi and there is another company, that has a fleet of white minivan and has been operating for many years, but is loosing its ground because of poor services, like vehicle conditions and fare always based on fixed-negotiated price. However, if you are travelling with 3 other people and carrying lots of bulky items, this old time company might be a good bargain, since its vehicles have more spaces.

Trust Taxi
Tel:
+ 62 431 824000

Celebrity Taxi
Tel:
+62 431 851010

There are also car rentals, with or without driver. A car rental with a driver is highly recommended, unless you are familiar with the "driving culture" in Indonesia or willing to challenge the experience. One day rental of a small-5-seater Daihatsu Xenia or Toyota Avanza with a driver usually will cost you around Rp. 400,000, excluding petrol/gas and other additional costs like parking fee. Some companies might charge by the hour rental, with a minimum rental of four hours at a cost of Rp. 50,000 per hour.

Daihatsu Xenia
Toyota Innova
Izusu Panther

"One day rental" definition might be different from one to another company, one may give you 24 hours, the other only allows you 12 hours of usage. Advance reservation is also highly recommended. Below is a list of car rental companies in Manado:

Garuda Permai
Location: Jl. RA Kartini Lingk V - 39
Tel: (+62 431) 846423

Oto Multiartha
Location: Jl. Yos Sudarso, Kompleks Ruko
Tel: (+62 431) 866488 (press "0" after the answering machine)

Serasi Autoray (monthly rental only)
Location: Jl. AA Maramis Paniki
Tel: (+62 431) 818000

Smart Rent A Car
Location: Kompleks Angkasa Pura 22
Tel: (+62 431) 3325526

Sonny Tinangon
Tel: (+62 815) 2320608, (+62 431) 816035

Paris Taxi Service 88
Location: Jl. Pierre Tendean No. 105
Tel: (+62 431) 868250, 870247

Pass Rental
Location: Jl. Yos Sudarso 140
Tel: (+62 431) 3327237

Outskirt of Manado

Should you like to visit Tomohon, Tondano or Bitung by public transportation, you need to go to intercity bus/mikrolet terminals, Paal 2, Karombasan, or Malalayang terminal, which can be reached by either mikrolet or ojek.

Bus fares depend on passengers' destinations or travelling distance. Approximate distance between Manado-Tomohon is 25 kilometers (15.5 miles), Tomohon-Tondano about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), and Tomohon-Bitung about 55 kilometers (34 miles). Currently bus fare from Manado to Tomohon, a 30-minute journey, is Rp. 6,000 and to Bitung is Rp. 7,800 for a one-hour journey.

Once you reach Tomohon or Tondano, there is an interesting public transportation in Minahasa highlands, called Bendi ( /bén-dhee/ - a horse-drawn cart) that goes around a certain distance only and cost Rp. 2,000 for a short trip. Like mikrolet or other public transports in Manado, you can hop on and off anywhere.

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