Poyalisa, Bomba, Togean Islands

We wanted to relax a bit at the end of our trip, and the Togean Islands are made for this it seems. We went to Poyalisa (Pulau Poya), a tiny island which a single family-run guest house with some small cottages on it. The island is not visible on Google maps at this time, but it is a 100m swim from Bomba divers. The speedboat and ferry to Wakai can drop you off at Bomba/Poyalisa if you tell them in advance. There is no public boat to Wakai from Pulau Poya, but you can charter one.

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Poyalisa island, view from the boat on the way to a snorkeling trip

The cottages on the island are basic, power comes from a generator which only runs at night, and a boat pumps water into a large tank connected to the cottages once per day. Food is included and delicious, grilled fish every day. It is served on a large table in the main building, so everybody meets there 3 times a day to eat, talk, and plan the next snorkeling trip.

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Our cottage at Poyalisa

Some snorkeling trips are free, and those to remote locations will cost you the equivalent of a beer. We went to almost all trips that were offered, including the spot near Taupan, Bomba atoll, and some others of which I forget the names.

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Balcony with hammocks at Poyalis

The snorkeling in the Togeans is excellent, with lots of beautiful hard coral and small fish. I’ve seen other reefs while snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean and my impression is that there were comparably few larger fishes in the Togean Islands.

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You can also snorkel directly at Poyalisa of course. The corals are not as great and visibility is less than at the reefs, but you can find lots of interesting species, including moray eels, lion fishes, needlefish, sea urchins, sea stars and seahorses. We also saw sea snakes,  lobsters and a sea turtle at the atoll. Another sea turtle showed up in the sea grass at Poyalisa, 50m from the beach.

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You can also visit the small village Bomba (5 minutes by boat) and a nearby bat cave in the forest.

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