Kadidiri Island, The Wealth Of The Coral Triangle

For dive fanatics, the name Kadidiri Island is a familiar leading destination in Indonesia, although it is as yet still little known outside the diving community. Located at the tip of the Gulf of Tomini in Central Sulawesi, Kadidiri is one of the islands in the Togean National Park that contains the wealth of the Coral Triangle.

With white sand beaches and astonishingly glassy water, Kadidiri’s exotic beauty and charm make it one of the key tourist destinations of the area. Kadidiri is a paradise for divers for its stunning underwater landscapes, rich coral reefs and exquisite marine life. The waters surrounding Kadidiri support over a thousand species of sea creatures, many of which are endangered and protected.

The Togean Islands were formed by volcanic activity, and are covered in dense rainforests, bordered by ancient coral reef formations. The islands are an extremely remote paradise, consisting of 56 nearly-uninhabited islands that have managed to preserve a natural elegance, not yet spoiled by man. The Togean Archipelago is not easy to get to, but anyone willing to make the effort will be more than rewarded with everything you would expect from such a hard-to-reach destination—and more! Ultimate seclusion, endless relaxation, and superb diving and snorkelling that may very well be the best found in Indonesia if not the world.

Situated in the Coral Triangle that stretches from the Philippines and East Malaysia through the Indonesian archipelago to Timor Leste and on to the Solomon Islands, the Togeans are the only islands in Indonesia where all major reef types can be found in one place: atolls, barrier, and fringing reefs.

The Kadidiri island in Togean archipelago
The Kadidiri island in Togean archipelago (Source : booking.com)

The reefs are in excellent condition and sustain an almost impossibly abundant marine life. Parrot fish, banner fish, moonfish, starfish, blue banded sea-snakes, and spotted stingrays are just a few of species you may encounter in the ankle-deep waters, barely a few meters from the coast. For more advanced divers, eager to head further out to sea, sightings of sea turtles, black-tail barracudas and blue marlins are fairly common. If you’re patient (or lucky) enough, the scalloped Hammerhead Shark may even pay a visit. Another popular dive site is the wreck of an American B24 bomber from WWII. The plane is for the most part intact, and is home to nudibranchs, lion fish, and huge schools of jackfish.

As the Togean Islands are part of the National Marine Park, no fishing is allowed at any of the resorts or diving areas. Fishing charters can be arranged to take you out of the “no take” zone, though preferably on a catch and release basis. Spear fishing is not permitted anywhere in the Marine Park.

The Kadidiri island, Togean islands
The Kadidiri island, Togean islands (Source : indonesia-tourism.com)

Kadidiri’s unique ecology is not limited to beneath the surface of the water. Beyond the beaches, creatures of land and air roam freely. The thick forests are habitat to monkeys, pig deer, Sulawesi hornbill and parrots, just to name a few. If you dare to venture into the forests by night, you may even spot the giant, tree-climbing Coconut Crab. Coconut Crabs are the largest living land arthropods in the world, and have a leg span that can reach up to 3 feet. In 2008, a new species of bird was discovered on the island—literally living proof of the islands well-preserved environment.

The best time to visit is in the dry season between April and November, during which, visibility can reach up to 40 meter.


There are three cottages on Kadidiri, all sharing the same slice of beach, and are the only accommodations on the island. They are also the only sources of fresh water and electricity, which only runs from 8am till 9pm. Kadidiri has not much of a night life, as most things die down once the electricity does. Evenings in Kadidiri may be spent around a bon-fire on the beach, or just lying on the sand, appreciating the star-lit evening sky. There are no ATMs on Kadidiri; but bungalows do accept credit cards and cash payments in Rupiah, Dollars or Euro. All three of Kadidiri’s bungalows have meals included in their daily rates, and also rent out diving and snorkelling equipment.

Kadidiri Island, Togean islands in Central Sulawesi
Kadidiri Island, Togean islands in Central Sulawesi (Source : rosalindayahya.wordpress.com)

There are no shops on the island, but basic needs, snacks and drinks are sold by the bungalows. For additional purchases, it is possible to catch a ride back to Wakai with boats from any of the resorts. Either that, or be sure to do any necessary shopping before leaving for Kadidiri. Another point to bear in mind, is that there is no internet connection on the island, and almost no phone signal.

Kadidiri Paradise offers neat, wooden bungalows of varying sizes and quality, all of which are meticulously maintained. Every room is furnished with a double or twin bed, fan, balcony and inside bathroom. Paradise Diving School is the first diving school on the island, and is fully equipped with boats, gear, and PADI certified diving instructors to attend to your every need.

Black Marlin Dive Resort is situated between the other two resorts, and offers 17 stylish, wooden cottages just a few steps from the beach. All rooms are equipped with double spring beds, mosquito nets, ceiling fans, clean running water and a panoramic sea view. Available facilities are pool table, ocean café and restaurant, bar, safety box, and dive boats. Prices range from 16-35 Euros per person per night.

Black Marlin Dive Resort

Kadidiri Island, Togean Islands

Pondok Lestari is located further down the beach, to the right of the other two. Pondok Lestari is the cheapest on the island, and ideal for budget travellers. It offers simple, bamboo cottages; available for singles or doubles, and shared toilets and showers. They do not have their own dive center, but they do provide free snorkelling trips.


Getting to Kadidiri is a challenging task, and should not be attempted unless you have time to spare. There are several ways to get to there, each taking at least a few days, but the first step is always to fly to the Manado  International Airport in North Sulawesi. Silk Air has regular International flights from Singapore to Manado. There are also domestic flights from Jakarta and Bali on Lion Air, Garuda, and Citilink.

Sriwijaya Air flies daily from Jakarta to Luwuk v.v. via Makassar.

From Manado, catch one of the twice-weekly flights to Luwuk, followed by an 8-hour bus ride to Ampana, Central Sulawesi. Ampana is the usual port to the Togean Islands. Boats depart four times a week at 10:00am.

Alternatively, one may go via Gorontalo City, which can be reached from Manado by bus, chartered car, or plane. From Gorontalo, ferries depart once a week on an arduous 12-hour voyage to Wakai. Once in Wakai, you must take a speedboat to Kadidiri.

Chartered speedboats are also available from Marisa in North Sulawesi and Bunta in Central Sulawesi.


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