There are more than ten "gunung" ( /ghoo-noonk/ ) or mountains, including active volcanoes, in North Sulawesi. Listed below are the most popular mountains for hiking in Bitung and in Minahasa. It is suggested to a local guide for any hiking activity, which can be arranged on the spot or through any travel agent in Manado.
The two most popular mountains for climbers in Bitung are Gunung Dua Sudara or "Two Brothers" (1,351 meters - 4,432 feet) and Gunung Tangkoko (1,109 meters - 3,638 feet), which are linked by a northeast to southwest aligned ridge.
Hikers don't need specific climbing permits to go up, though they need to pay for an entrance+guide fee (Rp. 85,000 for foreign tourists, Rp. 75,000 for Indonesian tourists), which can be paid at "Post 1" in Tangkoko-Dua Sudara Nature Reserve in Batu Putih (/bh�-too phoo-tee/) Village. Post 1 operating hours 7am-5pm.
Gunung (Mount) Dua Sudara
Located at about 12 kilometers [7.5 miles] from Bitung town center. Depending on your pace, usually it takes more than four hours to reach the top because of its muddy conditions.
|How to get there||:||
Click here for information on public transportation from Paal 2 terminal Manado to Bitung. From Bitung to Batu Putih Village:
By mikrolet: take mikrolet that is bounding to "Girian" Terminal (fare: Rp. 2,500 for a ten-minute trip)
By ojek: fare about Rp. 5,000 for a five minute trip.
Gunung (Mount) Tangkoko
Located at approximately 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) from downtown Bitung, Gunung Tangkoko is the most recommended mountain for climbing in Bitung. This is because of the wide range of animals and trees that can be observed on it. It is easier and faster to reach its top. This can be done within four hours.
|How to get there||:||see mount Dua Sudara above|
|Remarks||:||make sure you bring your warm clothes, insect repellent and any camping equipment (except if you want to have an eight-hour up and down round trip on the same day).|
In North Minahasa (Airmadidi)
Gunung (Mount) Klabat
Gunung (Mount) Klabat is the highest mountain in North Sulawesi and stands at 1,995 meters (6,545 feet) above sea level. It takes about 7 to 8 hours to climb up this mountain and 4 hours to go down it. Most local young people prefer to start climbing it at night, but visitors are advised to climb it during the day time. From the top, hikers will see a view of Manado City, the airport, and its surrounding areas.
|Facilities||:||police station at the mountain base and 6 posts (or "resting areas") along the way up to the peak|
|Nearby attractions||:||Waruga Sawangan|
|How to get there||:||from "Pasar 45" mikrolet terminal in Manado, take the one that goes to "Paal 2" Terminal. From Paal 2 take the one that goes to "Airmadidi" (click here for the fares Manado to Airmadidi). From Airmadidi, there is still about a 500 meters/1640 feet walk to the police station where visitor are expected to report before climbing|
|Remarks||:||foreigners, please bring your ID card or passport. If you do not, you will not be allowed to climb. It is recommended to have a guide with you because (i) its intense forest and (ii) people have gone missing whilst they have been climbing the mountain.|
As is the case in Bitung, there are two attractive mountains in Tomohon for both domestic and foreign visitors. These are Gunung Lokon and Gunung Mahawu. A climbing permit is required, which can be obtained from the observatory centers of Lokon and Mahawu (picture on the left) or a local government agency for volcanoes observation, which is located at Jalan Okoy in Kakaskasen III Village (telephone: +62 431 351076). The office is open 24 hours a day. No admission fee is charged for this permit and no particular documents are required.
Gunung Lokon is more active than Gunung Mahawu and recently it erupted, forcing hundreds of people to flee away from their homes.
Gunung (Mount) Lokon
Mount Lokon, which stands tall at 1,580 meters above sea level (5,183 feet), is accessible from Rurukan Village, about 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles from downtown Tomohon. Its last big eruption was on October 1991. This led to locals who lived in Kinilow Village, (which lies right on its foot), to be evacuated to Kakaskasen III Village. The only victim was a German photographer, who died during the eruption. Unfortunately, nobody could ever find his remains.
If you want to hike this mountain, 7am is a good time to start your journey from Kakaskasen III Village. This is so that you will reach the top during a cold morning. Once you reach the top, you will see its crater lake, which is about 60 meters (197 feet) in depth.
|How to get there||:||from Manado's Karombasan Terminal, take a bus that goes in the Tomohon Terminal direction. Tell the driver or his assistants to drop you off at Kakaskasen III Village. (click here for the bus fares from Karombasan terminal Manado to Tomohon)|
|Remarks||:||it is advisable to take your sweater since it might be quite cold at the top. A guide is available at a cost of Rp. 150,000 to Rp. 200,000.|
Gunung (Mount) Mahawu
Mahawu's last eruption was in 1958 and claimed no victims. Gunung Mahawu, 1,331 meters or 4,367 feet, is located next to Gunung Lokon, on the eastern side of Tomohon town.
Many hikers say climbing up to Mahawu?s top is not as challenging as hiking its bigger sister Gunung Lokon. Many hikers could reach Mahawu's top in about 30 minutes from Rurukan Village (a village situated about 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles from downtown Tomohon). While climbing up you will see the beautiful scenery of Rurukan farming areas and you will also see magnificent views of Tondano?s lake and its surroundings area. While at the top if it's a clear day, you will be able to see Klabat Mountain, Lokon Mountain , city of Manado, Bunaken Island and its adjacent Manado Tua (Old Manado) Island, town of Tomohon, and even Bitung, which is about 45 kilometers [28 miles] away from Tomohon!
|Admission charges||:||there is no entrance fee to climb it and you can go there anytime|
|How to get there||:||from Manado's "Karombasan" Terminal take a bus to Tomohon Terminal, from Tomohon Terminal take a mikrolet to Rurukan Village (fare: Rp. 4,000) and tell the driver you'd like stop at the starting point to Mahawu|
|Remarks||:||it is advisable to take your sweater since it might be quite cold at the top.|
For many years, this hill has been a quite interesting place to visit when visitors are doing a highland tour around Minahasa region. Along the way to this hill you will be enchanted by a stunning beauty of botanical gardens on both sides of the road to the hill (unfortunately the road is currently in bad conditions). From this hill, you can see the International Port of Bitung, Tondano City and its lake, Klabat Mountain, Lembeh Strait, and a stunning view of the surrounding hills.
|Admission charges||:||local guest Rp. 2,500, tourist Rp. 3,500|
|Operating hours||:||daily, day time only|
|Facilities||:||toilets and parking area|
|How to get there||:||by mikrolet: from Tomohon's Beriman Terminal take the one that is bound to Rurukan Village (fare: Rp. 3,500 - less than 15 minutes trip). Tell the driver to take you to Temboan Hill because their regular route is just at the main street of the village. By ojek: it will be faster but will cost you Rp. 10,000|
|Remarks||:||the last mikrolet from Rurukan Village to Beriman Terminal is at about 4pm, otherwise you'll have to take an ojek (you need to be patient since it might not be easy to find one from the hill and it might be cooler after 4pm). During the wet season, it can be very cold on the hill.|