Guarded by two towering volcanic peaks, Tomohon consists of a number of small highland towns, surrounded by forests that have merged together into a lively market city. At 800m above sea level, the area provides a pleasant, cool respite from Manado and is popular with city folk on weekends. For travellers, it’s an excellent base to explore the Minahasa region, which has ample opportunities for hiking, biking, trekking and birdwatching.
The stunning peaks of active volcanoes Gunung Mahawu and Gunung Lokon are obvious targets of exploration (when they're not erupting). In the hills around Tomohon you'll find traditional weavers, ceramics artisans, archaeological sites and one of Indonesia's more interesting museums. Further afield, the huge lake of Danau Tondano is fringed with pretty villages, a small hot-spring-fed swimming pool, and some fish farms which you are welcome to visit.