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Tana Toraja to Lake Poso


While Tana Toraja is for many the main place to visit, Poso and Lake Poso offer some other beautiful alternatives. Should you think of traveling over land to North Sulawesi, you have to make a stop at Lake Poso.

Lake Poso

To reach Lake Poso starting from Rantepao, you first travel 62 km to Paolop, a small town at the Bone Bay. From there the road goes to Wotu (Masamba has a few questhouses). Wotu is a small town and the junction to decide to visit the Matana Lake from where you either have to come back or fly to another part of Sulawesi.

The junction in Wotu going north leads to Lake Poso. There are two towns around the lake: Pendolo and Tentana. Poso Town lies further north of Lake Poso. At the south side of the lake you will find Pendolo while at the north side there is the tiny town Tentana. This is a great moment to get a boat and explore Lake Poso.

Lake Poso, fishermens shelter 
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Lake Poso Sulawesi Tentana At lake Poso Fishermen at Lake Poso

A trip at the lake shows the local customs of the people here in Sulawesi. Here you will find different people then in south Sulawesi or Tana Toraja. I remember reading that in Sulawesi there are around 70 different languages spoken.

At Lake PosoThe next problem might be to get ongoing transport unless of course you have your own bicycle with you, which at the time I didn't. In Tentana I met an American guy and we were told that ongoing transport to Palu would not leave until a day or 2. We could take a flight with the missionaries though. But that flight would also leave only a few days later.

There are not a lot of facilities. Hospital facilities are primitive, schools have a constant problem finding finds for books and other school materials. Everything is far away and the roads in and out are not always in prime condition (especially during the rainy season it can be difficult to travel).

From Lake Poso you can travel further to Poso at Tomini Bay and from there to Palu and all the way to Gorontalo and Manado. Most travelers prefer to fly but overland is interesting.

While I was in Tentana I had troubles finding transport further. It would take several days before the next bus would leave (I didn't have my bicycle with me at the time). A missionary flight to Bada Valley was possible but would also only leave days later (if leaving at all).

That's when I met Steve and that also leaded to a totally different and unexpected adventure: a jungle trek to Bada Valley.

The scenery on the road to Lake Poso, rough mountains
The scenery on the road to Lake Poso, rough mountains

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Map of Sulawesi

map of Sulawesi
Map of Sulawesi