Our Private Beach on Sara Besar Island, Talaud

Submitted by viravira on 20 July 2015   •  Destination

Tags: , ,

“Oh my god, that’s so beatiful! Where is that??” is the kind of response I often get when showing photos of Sara Besar Island.

“It’s near Talaud Island, way north of North Sulawesi.”

Then conversation usually continues with matters of how to get there, how much it would cost, etc., but never ended with a, “Okay, it’s now in my list of places to visit!” That quite puzzles me.

Sara Besar


Getting to Sara Besar Island could require an effortful journey, depending on where you’re starting. For us, we flew 4 hours from Jakarta to Manado, then took another 1,5 hours flight with a propeller plane to Melonguane, the main town of Talaud Island. From Talaud, we took a speedboat ride for about half an hour one way.

It sure sounds such a hassle, especially after I told them that we went back to Manado by a ferry for 17 hours straight, before then continuing to Jakarta by plane again. However, there is so much to see and do in all of the places we stopped by, like diving in Bunaken, mingling with the Manado men on Jalan Roda, and seeing cute tarsiers in Tangkoko. So indulging in such a beautiful beach like Sara Besar is really the super cherry on top of the whole exciting journey in North Sulawesi.

Sara Besar

Sara Besar

Mumun and I were the only visitors on the island, while the boatman waited for us a few meters from where he dropped us. Sara Besar is an uninhabited island, but it does get visited by the Talaud people every weekend. It’s their closest weekend island getaway and I envy them for that.

The beach is of very soft and white sand, bordering with clear seawater that gradually turns turquoise and finally deep blue. Sitting on the beach or floating in the sea you could see Talaud island across, a lump of green lush forest with beetle-size houses on the horizon. The only sounds I heard were of the ocean, once a while boats in a distance, and Mumun screaming “This is crazy awesome! The beach is beautiful and is practically ours!! Woohoo!”

Sara Besar

Sara Besar


We were prepared with our own snorkeling gears, having predicted that there wouldn’t normally be any rental on an isolated beach like this. The water was calm enough for us to have relaxed snorkeling and swimming sessions. However, the underwater view was not to be compared with the view on the surface.

The underwater view consisted of only a handful of small fishes and, sadly, plastic wraps and beer bottles scattered at the bottom of the sea, and absent of healthy corals. According to the boatman when we talked on the boat later on, the trash is mostly the local visitors’ doing. I guess they don’t know how good they have it in terms of this heavenly and serene beach.

Other than Sara Besar, there are a few other small islands near Talaud you could visit for some scenic beach time, like the Sara Kecil Island and a few that I forgot the names. These are only the ones closest from Melonguane, but I think you could also go to more islands from other towns in Talaud.

Sara Besar

Getting to Sara Besar Island

Prices of transportation in April 2014:

  • Jakarta-Manado: IDR895,000 /pax by Batik Air.
  • Manado-Melonguane one way ticket: IDR792,000 /pax by Wings Air.
  • Melonguane-Sara Besar Island boat hire: IDR 300,000/boat for 4 hours.
  • Beo-Manado: IDR225,000/pax by ferry.
  • Manado-Jakarta: IDR 1,100,000/pax by Lion Air.

Tips Before You Go to Sara Besar Island

  • Bring your own swimming and snorkeling gears.
  • Bring your own drink and snack.
  • DO NOT LITTER; please prepare your own trash bag to then be thrown away when you’re back in the main island.
  • As advised by the boatmen, visits to Sara Besar Island is normally better be done in the morning because waves can be tricky during the afternoon.
  • Boat rides are better be reserved a day in advance. Even so, expect having to wait a while until the boatman actually shows up at the dock. It’s truly a laid-back tropical island, you can’t force your good on-time habit to the locals.

 Sara Besar


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Salman Bluepackerid.com

Semoga bisa kesana dalam waktu dekat amin 😀
Pengen berenang dan menikmati pantainya

5 years ago

Amin to that!

5 years ago

Suka banget kalo ke pantai trus pasir nya putih mulus, matahari bersinar terang jadi pingin goler2 manja pake kancut 🙂

5 years ago
Reply to  cumilebay.com

I’d like to learn ‘goler manja’ 😀

5 years ago

pasir putih di barengi dengan permainan air snorkling dan diving ,juga dengan santapan makan malam di daerah pantai pasti menghilangkan rasa stress .

5 years ago
Reply to  wicweblog

You bet!

5 years ago

Cantiiik banget pantainya! Haduh jadi pengen ke sana 😀 Thanks for the review, ladies!