Paisu Pok Lake is a beautiful blue lake in Banggai, Indonesia that was still a hidden gem until very recently, although pictures of this amazing lake are going viral all over social media now so it seems the word is officially out.
We visited Paisupok recently and it’s just as nice as it looks in the photos. It’s not very hard to get to there if you’re already traveling in Sulawesi, which you should, because Sulawesi is a huge island with so many wonderful things to see and do.
This travel guide will explain how to get to Paisu Pok Lake in Banggai, and everything else you need to know before you go!
How To Get To Luwuk & Banggai
Paisu Pok Lake is located on Peleng island, which is part of the Banggai Islands Regency in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.
To get there, the first step is getting to Luwuk. There are direct flights to the Luwuk airport (LUW) from Makassar in South Sulawesi, or Manado in North Sulawesi. If you’re coming from Bali, Jakarta, or somewhere else in Indonesia, then you’ll have to transit in Makassar or Manado on the way to Luwuk. You can shop for flights on Skyscanner.
Once you arrive in Luwuk, you can take the public ferry from Luwuk People’s Port (‘Pelabuhan Rakyat’) over to Leme Leme on Peleng island. It departs every day at 2 PM and the journey takes 2 hours, although it usually leaves an hour late (Indonesian rubber time).
Tickets can be bought on the spot for 54k Rupiah (~$3 USD) per person. This is a big wooden boat that carries about 50 to 100 passengers. It has bunks and benches to sit on, but they’re not very comfy.
If you want more privacy, you can rent a small room for two people which has bunk beds and a fan. This costs an extra 50k Rupiah per room.
Alternatively, you can arrange a speedboat to take you over to some of the best sights on Peleng island, including Paisu Pok & Poganda Beach. In that case, the journey takes 1 to 2 hours from Luwuk, and you can sometimes see dolphins on your way over.
A day tour with a private speedboat like this will set you back anywhere from 1.5 to 4 million Rupiah (~$100 to $250 USD) for the roundtrip, so it’s not cheap, but it’s quicker than the ferry and it could be economical in some cases if you’re traveling with friends to share the boat cost.
Regardless of whether you choose the ferry or speedboat, the sea is very calm between Luwuk and Peleng island, so I wouldn’t expect waves to ever be an issue for crossing in normal situations.
How To Get To Paisu Pok Lake
The ferry from Luwuk will bring you to Leme-Leme port on Peleng, which is still 23 kilometers from the Paisu Pok Lake.
You can then rent a scooter from Novpitri Homestay near the harbor, or hire a private driver with a car. Google Maps says it’s a 40 minute drive, but it actually takes closer to 1 hour by scooter because some parts of the road are broken and you have to slow down to pass them safely.
There’s very little traffic on the road and it’s easy to find the lake. You can’t get lost, especially if you download an offline map beforehand. Here’s the location to use for navigation.
After visiting the Paisupok Lake, you can return to Luwuk by ferry from Leme Leme, which goes back at 8 AM daily, or you can head east to Salakan and continue exploring the Banggai islands!
Read More: Banggai Islands Travel Guide
Paisu Pok Lake: What To Expect
Paisu Pok Lake is just as nice as it looks in pictures. We first saw it in the morning, and we thought that was stunning, but the color and clarity gets even better when the sun shines on it.
You can rent a small boat, canoe, or standup paddleboard for exploring the lake, or you can swim and snorkel in it. The water is cold in the morning, but by midday it felt perfect and it was a great escape from the heat and humidity of Sulawesi.
The inside of the lake is almost as beautiful as the outside, with fallen logs and rocks that give it personality, and the color of the water seems to change with the lighting.
It’s extremely clear, almost like glass, and you can usually see all the way to the bottom, even though the water is actually more than 10 meters deep in some places!
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t add any extra color or saturation to the pictures in this blog post. This is how the water really looks. The name ‘Paisu Pok’ means ‘black water’ or ‘dark water’ according to the locals.
There are only a handful of other places like this in Indonesia, such as the Labuan Cermin blue lake in Kalimantan, or the smaller Danau Kaco lake in Sumatra.
Conservation At Paisu Pok Lake
This is a small lake and it’s very beautiful, so there’s a danger of it becoming overdeveloped. I hope the locals will be serious about conservation.
My wife, who is Indonesian, made sure to thank the locals for protecting the lake, and politely asked/encouraged them to keep the natural scenery and not cut down too many more trees around the edge of the lake in the future. I’m afraid of that happening as it becomes more popular.
The jungle is half the beauty, and it would be really sad if they turn it into a tacky concrete theme park with swings, fake bird nests, and other silly photo ops everywhere, kind of like what’s happening now at Alas Harum and some other popular places in Bali.
If you feel the same way and speak a little bit of Bahasa, you might also want to encourage the locals to conserve this place. As long as you’re polite, it can’t hurt. Nature like this is already perfect. There’s no need to try to improve it with more buildings.
- Lake Entrance: 5k IDR
- Parking (Motorbike): 3k IDR
- Parking (Car): 10k IDR
- Canoe Rental: 30k IDR
- Paddleboard Rental: 100k IDR
- Snorkel Gear Rental: 50k IDR
- Gazebo Rental: 30k IDR
- GoPro Rental: 200k IDR (+150k w/ photographer)
- Camping Overnight: 35k IDR
These are the current fees at the time of writing, but they may change over time as the lake becomes more popular.
Some of the rental fees may be negotiable. For example, the paddleboard rental is supposed to be 100k Rupiah for 1 hour, but we saw some Dutch girls rent it for the full day at that price.
Other Tips For Paisupok Lake
- Facilities: There’s a small shop at the lake where you can buy food and drinks, and also a toilet and changing room.
- Where To Stay: There are a bunch of very basic homestays in the Luk Panenteng village by the lake. If you stay there, you can walk to the lake and swim every day. We stayed at Novpitri Homestay, which is a bit farther away at Leme Leme. Another option is to stay in Salakan, which is a much more developed and comfortable town, but it’s a 3 hour drive from the lake.
- Language Barrier: This area is still very new to international tourism, so you’ll have to be patient with the locals and maybe download a translator app for communication. They can barely speak English, but they’re friendly and helpful, and they can even assist you with taking photos or videos at the lake.
- Mosquitoes: We didn’t see many mosquitoes, but it’s still a good idea to wear repellent if you’re not swimming.
- Cell Service: We had phone signal with Telkomsel at the lake, and also at Leme Leme, so we were able to use the internet and send texts. It was helpful for trip planning.
- Wildlife: We saw some small fish in the lake, and this area of Banggai has lots of little lizards with bright blue tails that match the color of the lake, which is a neat coincidence. If you’re worried about crocodiles, there aren’t any in the lake, and it doesn’t have a channel connecting it to the ocean.
- More Things To See Nearby: In the same vicinity as the lake, there’s a white sand beach called Pantai Poganda, and a turquoise lagoon called Paisu Batango. Both of these are nice and you can easily visit them in conjunction with the lake.
Best Time To Visit Paisu Pok Lake
Any month is good for visiting Paisupok Lake. The only time it would be hard to photograph is if it’s raining, so I would prefer going in the dry season (April to October) when it’s usually clear and sunny. However, we visited Paisu Pok in the rainy season (early December) and it was sunny all day, so don’t discount the rainy season completely.
The best time of week to visit the lake is definitely on a weekday, and you should try to avoid any Indonesian holidays as well. Weekends at the lake are already getting very busy because of Indonesian domestic tourists, and they’ve actually started doing a 1 hour time limit for staying on the boardwalk near the lake because it gets so crowded on weekends.
Surprisingly, the best time of day to visit the lake is probably in the afternoon. We got there in the early morning at around 7 AM thinking that would be best, but it wasn’t. There was a group of Indonesian tourists who came even earlier with the same idea. The lake was also too dark and backlit for photos, and probably not warm enough yet for swimming.
Paisu Pok is always beautiful, but if you want to see the lake at its absolute best, go when it’s calm and sunny, so you can see how clear and blue the water is! It really does look like glass with a bluish tint.
Is Paisu Pok Lake Worth It?
Yes, the lake is worth it. It’s amazing and I think it lives up to the hype on social media, although that could change someday if it becomes overdeveloped.
Would I travel all the way to Luwuk just to see Paisu Pok Lake? Maybe not, but there’s lots of other stuff to see and do in Banggai, so if you’re already traveling in Sulawesi it’s definitely worth setting aside at least a few days for it.
More Banggai Travel Tips
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this guide for visiting Paisupok Lake in Banggai, Sulawesi. It has to be the bluest lake in Indonesia.
I also wrote up a complete travel guide for the Banggai islands, with tips for an overall itinerary, how to get around the islands, and what to see and do while you’re there.
The Banggai area has some wonderful beaches, caves, waterfalls, and wildlife. You can check out my full guide in the link below.
Read More: Banggai Islands Travel Guide
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