Lighthouses of Indonesia: Talaud and Sangihe Islands

Indonesia has been independent since 1945, after having been the Dutch East Indies for more than 350 years. It is a huge country, stretching along both sides of the Equator for more than 46 degrees of longitude (roughly 5100 km or 3200 miles). Comprised of some 17,000 islands (more than 6000 inhabited islands), it has hundreds of major aids to navigation. This page includes the lighthouses of the Talaud and Sangihe Islands, which lie between Sulawesi (Celebes) and the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

The Talaud and Sangihe Islands are administered as three regencies of Sulawesi Utara (North Sulawesi) Province. Although they are remote, they are well populated, with a total population of about 275,000.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Pulau is an island and karang is a reef.

Aids to navigation in Indonesia are operated and maintained by the Directorate General of Sea Navigation.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Indonesia - Vol. F
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Indonesian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views from the collection of Michel Forand.
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Pulau Miangas Light
Pulau Miangas Light, May 2008
photo copyright Ferdi Rosman; permission requested

Kepulauan Talaud (Talaud Islands) Regency Lighthouses

Note: The Talaud Islands are the northeasternmost islands of North Sulawesi, located in the Philippine Sea northeast of the Sangihe Islands and southeast of Mindanao in the Philippines. The islands are quite remote but they are well populated, with a population of more than 80,000. Pulau Karakelong is by far the largest of the islands and has most of the population.
Pulau Miangas Lighthouse
Pulau Miangas (Isla Palmas) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 130 m (427 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Ferdi Rosman's photo at the top of this page came from a portfolio of photos that is no longer online; this collection suggested that the present tower is relatively new. Charles Buts has a street view taken from the top of the tower, and there's an indistinct view of the tower northeast of the keepers' houses in Google's satellite view of the station. Pulau Miangas is a small island in the Philippine Sea about 125 km (75 mi) east of the southern tip of Mindanao. The island, known as Isla Palmas in the Philippines, was claimed by the U.S. as part of the Philippines in the early 1900s, but in 1928 the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Netherlands. Indonesia maintains sovereignty as successor to the Dutch. A settlement on the island has a population of about 700. Note: NGA lists this light under the Philippines, but the Admiralty has it placed properly in Indonesia. Located at the highest point of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PHI-112; Admiralty F2138; NGA 15156.

Nanusa Islands Lighthouses
Note: These are small islands located about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Pulau Karakelong
Pulau Marampit
2006. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white and mounted atop a 2-story coast guard station building. Rizki Bachtiar's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Located at the northern tip of an island about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Keratung. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2134.2.
* Pulau Karatung
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower, mounted on a square concrete base. Ferdi Rosman Feizal has a photo, and the shadow of the tower is seen in Google's satellite view. This light is similar to many harbor lights in Indonesia's out islands. Pulau Karatung is a small but inhabited island about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of the northern tip of Pulau Talaud. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2134; NGA 25199.
Pulau Intata
Date unknown (2006 or later). Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Ferdi Rosman Feizal's early 2006 photo of the island does not show a lighthouse, but it was seen in Dandi Ratri Antoro's 2012 photo (no longer online), and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 15 km (9 mi) south of Pulau Marampit. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2133.9.
Pulau Kakarutan (Kakorotan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side of a small island only 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of the Pulau Intata lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2133.8.

Pulau Karakelong Lighthouses
Tanjung Ambora
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located at the northwestern tip of Pulau Karakelong. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2132; NGA 25202.
* Pelabuhan (Port) Gunaloh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) tower described as a white beacon, probably a square white skeletal tower. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. This is a new port; it does not appear at all in Bing's satellite view. Located on the northeastern coast of Pulau Karakelong. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2132.4.
Pulau Marampit Light
Pulau Marampit Light, Talaud Islands, July 2012
photo copyright Rizki Bachtiar; permission requested
* Melonguane
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 14 m (46 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square white skeletal tower. Charles Buts has a street view from the pier, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Melonguane, a town on at the south end of Pulau Karakelong. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2129.8.

Pulau Salebabu and Pulau Kaburuang Lighthouses
Tanjung Salonggaka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. No description available, but this appears to be a square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery about 18 m (56 ft) high. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view that is likely to show the station. Located at the northern tip of Pulau Salebabu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2132.5; NGA 25198.5.
* Lirung
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower. A distant view from the sea (eighth photo on the page) is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Lirung, a town on the east coast of Pulau Salebabu, a smaller island southeast of Pulau Karakelong. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2133; NGA 25198.
* Mangaran
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square white skeletal tower mounted on a 1-story white equipment building. Rully Setiawan Dewanda has a photo, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at a pier near the northern tip of Pulau Kaburuang. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2133.3.
Tanjung Pallo (Palle)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); white flash every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located at the southern tip of Pulau Kaburuang, an island at the south end of the Talaud islands. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-318; Admiralty F2133.5; NGA 25197.8.

Kepulauan Sangihe (Sangihe Islands) Regency Lighthouses

Note: The Sangihe Islands are a chain of volcanic islands extending almost due north from the northeastern tip of Sulawesi. The islands form the dividing line between the Celebes Sea to the west and the Philippine Sea to the east. In 2007 the Sangihe Islands Regency was divided, placing the southern half of the island chain in the new Sitaro Islands Regency.
Marore Islands Lighthouses
Note: These are small islands at the extreme northern end of the Sangihe chain, west of the Talaud Islands.
Pulau Marore (Pulau Maru)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 180 m (591 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Ferdi Rosman Feizal has a distant view and second view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Pulau Marore is the Indonesia's northernmost island in the Celebes Sea, located about 90 km (55 mi) south of Mindanao in the Philippines. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2135; NGA 25200.
Pulau Kawio
2006. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) "white beacon," probably a square skeletal tower. A very distant view (first photo on the page) is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on a small island about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Pulau Marore. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2134.8; NGA 25200.2.
Pulau Kemboling
2006. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on an island just to the south of Pulau Kawio. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2134.5; NGA 25200.5.
Pulau Matutuang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 107 m (351 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 35 m (115 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. The lighthouse is seen in the background at far left in a photo of the island's harbor, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on an isolated high island at the northern end of the Sangihe chain, about 130 km (80 mi) south of Mindanao. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-220; Admiralty F2135.5; NGA 25201.
Pelabuhan Matutuang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 18 m (59 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. A view from the sea is available. Located at the base of the pier on Pulau Matutuang. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2135.7.
Pulau Kawaluso (Kawalusu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 60 m (197 ft); white light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square white skeletal tower. A photo is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on the southwesternmost of the Marore islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2136; NGA 25197.5.

Pulau Sangihe Area Lighthouses
Note: Pulau Sangihe, formerly known as Sangir Island, is by far the largest island of the chain; it is 40 km (25 mi) long and about 8 km (5 mi) wide. It is the site of the active Mount Awu volcano, which erupted disastrously in 1856 and most recently in 1966.
Pulau Buang (Salehe)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. The lighthouse is a ghostly presence in Ferdi Rosman Feizal's distant view of the island, and also in a second view. The island is only a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on an island about 35 km (22 mi) northeast of the northern point of Pulau Sangihe, the central island of the archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2128; NGA 25197.
Pulau Manipa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. David Vilabella's view from the sea is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located near the southwestern tip of an island off the north end of Pulau Sangihe. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-218; Admiralty F2127.5; NGA 25196.5.
Pulau Benglaut (Pulau Beng)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 106 m (348 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the east end of Pulau Benglaut, a small high island off the southeast coast of Pulau Sangihe. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2127; NGA 25194.
Tanjung Bunakeng (Tahuna, Pulau Sangihe)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 130 m (427 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on heights at the southern entrance to the harbor of Tahuna, the principal town on the west coast of Pulau Sangihe. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2123; NGA 25190.
Pulau Manipa Light
Pulau Manipa Light, August 2010
Panoramio photo copyright David Vilabella; used by permission
* Teluk Tahuna (Pulau Sangihe)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Romandito Mahendrayudha has a photo, and Charles Buts has a street view, but it's hard to find the tower in Bing's satellite view. NGA has confused this lighthouse with another light (F2124) on the north side of the harbor. Located near the waterfront in Tahuna. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2123.5.
Pulau Para
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. A view from the sea is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the base of the pier on Pulau Para, an island about 35 km (22 mi) south of Pulau Sangihe. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2120.4.

Kepulauan Sitaro (Sitaro Islands) Regency Lighthouses

Note: Separated from the Sangihe Islands Regency in 2007, this regency includes a chain of small volcanic islands between Pulau Sangihe and the northeastern tip of Sulawesi. Siau is the largest and most populated island.
Pulau Siau Area Lighthouses
Pulau Makalehi
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 150 m (492 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white and mounted on a large station building. Ronny Buol's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Makalehi is a tall, currently inactive volcanic cone about 25 km (15 mi) west of Pulau Siau, one of the larger islands of the Sangihe chain. Located on the southern slope of the volcano. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Not listed by the Admiralty.
* Ulu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower, mounted on a square concrete base. Alfred Pahala has a photo, Ferdi Rosman Feizal has a photo, Charles Buts has an evening street view from the pier, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This light is similar to many harbor lights in Indonesia's out islands. Located on the waterfront of Ulu, a settlement on the east coast of Pulau Siau. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2120; NGA 25184.
* Pehe
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square white skeletal tower. Charles Buts has a distant street view from across the harbor, and Google has a satellite view. The street view also shows the relentlessly active volcano Karangetang. Located at the north end of the waterfront at Pehe, a village on the west coast of Pulau Siau. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2120.2.
Pulau Mahoro (Mahora)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the eastern tip of Pulau Mahoro, a small island off the southeast end of Pulau Siau. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2119; NGA 25186.

Pulau Tahulandang Area Lighthouses
* Buhias (Pulau Tahulandang) (2?)
Date unknown (since 2010). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. L.S. Sirapanji has a view from the harbor, and a distant view (halfway down the page) is available, but the tower is not seen in Google's fuzzy satellite view. NGA lists a 12 m (39 ft) post. Located at the base of the pier on Pulau Tahulandang, an island about 35 km (22 mi) south of Pulau Siau and near the south end of the Sangihe chain, about 90 km (55 mi) north northeast of Tanjung Arus. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2116; NGA 25180.
Pulau Makalehi Light
Pulau Makalehi Light, Sitaro Islands, November 2008
photo copyright Ronny Buol; used by permission
Pulau Pasige
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the southwest side of a small island west of Pulau Tahulandang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2114; NGA 25176.

Pulau Biaro Lighthouse
* Pulau Biaro
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square white skeletal tower. Billy Tamesala has a distant view (lighthouse is seen at upper right), and Google has a satellite view. Pulau Biaro is the southernmost of the inhabited islands in the Sangihe chain. Located at the ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2115.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southern Mindanao | South: Northern Sulawesi

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Posted December 18, 2008. Checked and revised March 4, 2018. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.