It reminds me so much of the Philippine’s Mount Pinatubo crater but crossed with the cool climate of the pine tree city of Baguio. Lake Linow is so picturesque that it quickly became a favorite of mine in all the places I’ve visited in North Sulawesi. I imagine myself trading places with that student reading under the tree while enjoying the gentle breeze. Lake Linow is one of the lakes to visit in North Sulawesi along with its bigger sibling, Lake Tondano which is as vast as the sea.
Looking for a more leisurely and less strenuous hike? Visit the beautiful Lake Tondano, the largest lake in North Sulawesi located 600 meters above sea level. Hop on a mikrolet from Manado for 9000rp (US$1) and take an hour’s ride to Tondano then to Remboken. Enjoy the cool breeze while admiring this picturesque lake. Along the road are several restaurants serving freshwater catch like tilapia and shrimps cooked the way you want them.
The Tranquil Lake Linow
Head west for an 8km hike to small but enchanting, Lake Linow. This water-filled crater lake changes color from deep green to red depending on the water chemistry, the release of gas from the crater vents underwater and the movement of the lake current. The lush pine tree-filled environment, cool air and relaxing atmosphere make this a favorite among the locals and popular among birdwatchers. Ideal for picnics or simply enjoying the fresh clean air.
If you want to get away from the crowd, there’s a private area which provides closer access to the lake for a 25,000 rp (US$2.6) entrance fee. The private area has clean restrooms, little pathways along the crater, and coffee shops with dining platforms overlooking the lake. A perfect way to cap an adventure-filled day is to have pisang goreng (fried battered bananas) with your coffee.