1. DONGGALA


A remarkable diving site with astonishing underwater environment and dolphin-watching


Donggala is a remarkable diving site with astonishing underwater environment. Here, you can also meet the friendliest sea mammals; the dolphins. You can also enjoy a sunny day on Tanjung Karang beach, with nice clear emerald water and white sand beach. Accommodations in Donggala, however, are quite basic and are limited in options.

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2. LORE LINDU NATIONAL PARK & BADA VALLEY


Centerpiece of Central Sulawesi; boasting impressive numbers of mysterious megaliths scattered along the famous Bada Valley


Lore Lindu National Park is another centerpiece of Central Sulawesi. The national park boasts impressive numbers of mysterious megaliths scattered along the famous Bada Valley. Day-trekking is possible, although the best way to savor the park is through overnight treks. Most of the main areas, including the most famous Palindo megaliths, can be accessed by off-road cars and motorcycle (with many of the trekking routes also shared with motorbike route). These areas are mainly savannas. However, a large part of the park is tropical dense rainforests, and the only way to explore them is on foot.

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3. POSO LAKE & AROUND


Indonesia’s third largest lake and the pinnacle of Central Sulawesi


Indonesia’s third largest lake and the pinnacle of Central Sulawesi, Lake Poso boasts various sites and activities around it. Discover waterfalls, beaches, and even an orchid park. You can also enjoy boat trip around the lake and spectacular sunset at indigenous long bridge with interesting V-shaped eel traps. A day or two is recommended to take in the most of Lake Poso experience.

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4. TOGEAN ISLANDS


A cluster of small islands in the middle of Tomini Bay with astonishing underwater environment


Togean Islands are a cluster of small islands in the middle of Tomini Bay. They have an airport serving small aircrafts, hence allowing connecting flights all the way from Makassar, or Palopo for Toraja-bound travelers. The underwater life is exuberant and alive, and the upper part is translucent aquamarine, with amazing sunset to top it off. There is no A/C in any accommodations at Togean Islands and electricity is not 24 hours.

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5. BUNAKEN NATIONAL MARINE PARK


An established and one of world’s most beautiful marine park located offshore north Manado


Bunaken National Marine Park is an established and well-known marine park located offshore north Manado, an hour boat trip away from the harbor to the main Bunaken Island. It is, the most premiere island destination in Sulawesi, with the best amenities around. Snorkeling and diving sites are scattered around the main island and the more distant smaller islands. With the view of Mount Manado Tua looming, it is a pretty place for a tropical getaway.

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6. LEMBEH STRAIT


Indonesia’s mecca for muck diving and to see exotic and endemic critters


Located opposite of Bunaken, on southeast part of North Sulawesi Peninsula, Lembeh Strait is Indonesia’s mecca for muck diving and to see exotic and endemic critters. The star attractions here are hairy frogfish, mimic octopus and pygmy seahorse. Lembeh Strait is a special interest destination reserved for divers. There are dives available for all levels and night dives lit by phosphorescence is exceptionally wonderful here.

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7. MINAHASAN HIGHLANDS


The home to interesting and relatively easy volcanic trips


Minahasan Highlands has a pair of interesting volcanic trips, both quite easy to reach. Mahawu Volcano is almost entirely scalable with car ride with only and short hike to the summit. Lokon Volcano is a little harder, but it only takes 4 hours to the summer. You can also visit an interesting sulphur crater lake called Linow Lake. Aside from this, the highlands are also home to several interesting cultural display, such as Woloan Traditional House, pottery village, and Amurang Ancient Graves. The small but picturesque Tondano Lake serves as a great place to relax and unwind. Tomohon is also known for a rather gory Tomohon Macabre Market. It is said that North Sulawesi people would eat anything with 4 legs apart from chairs and tables; and no where else is this more apparent than this market. Therefore, the market visit is not an experience for everyone.

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8. TANGKOKO DUA SODARA NATURE RESERVE


An extensive forest complex, home to macaques, hornbills, and the ever so famous and elusive tarsier monkey


An extensive forest complex, home to macaques, hornbills, and the ever so famous and elusive tarsier monkey. The most common trip to Tangkoko Dua Sodara Nature Reserve begins in the late afternoon and involves a 2-hours walk. This is the only way to almost guarantee tarsier spotting. Morning walks are also possible, where more macaques will be seen wandering the forest. Long trousers, tucked into thick socks, is mandatory to avoid persistent bug bites.

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9. WAKATOBI NATIONAL MARINE PARK


Arguably the best site on top of the rich and beauty level in the entire Sulawesi


Wakatobi is an abbreviation of the 4 main islands: Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. The only public way to Wakatobi is via long overnight ferry ride from Lasalimo in Buton, or via flight from Kendari. Both journey take guests to Wangi-wangi or Wanci, known for the charming Sombu Pier (snorkeling and diving), Waha Beach (sunset), Kapota Island (another sunset viewpoint), Liya Fortress, Kontamale Cave (fresh springwater cave for bathing), and fabulous night market. However, contrary to many’s imagination, Wakatobi is very sparsely populated with long stretch of wild fields between places. There is no restaurant in any of the islands, so guests must eat where they stay.

Two hours boat ride away is Kaledupa Island. The main island has no point of interest, but a small island offshore, Hoga Island, has fantastic snorkeling, diving, beach, as well as a modest resort. It is also a great island to go fishing and explore the better corals of Wakatobi. However, the best corals are found another 2 hours from Kaledupa, in the sleepy Tomia Island. World-class reefs in Marie Maboek, Magnifika, Table Coral City, Ali Reef, Roma and Kolosoha await all snorkelers and divers with determination to travel the long route. The mainland is also sparsely populated, although a beautiful hill serves as a fine sunset point.

There are no hotels in Tomia, so the only option is to stay in village homestay. However, offshore Onemobaa Island is an ultra-luxurious Wakatobi Dive Resort. It has its own private airstrip serving chartered flights from Bali, and the owner also runs luxurious Pelagian Cruise to discover the regions around Wakatobi (week-long cruise, schedule can be provided on request).

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10. BUTON ISLAND


The island housing amazing ocean view, and the glorious remnants of a past glorious kingdom


An island offshore to the South, Buton Island is a massive chunk of lowland countryside in the south and dense forest in the north. The biggest town, Baubau, is located southwest of the island, and is famous for its past glorious kingdom, which remnants can still be seen in Keraton Buton and Wolio Fortress.

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11. LABENGKI & SOMBORI ISLAND


A pair of snorkeling paradises offering exceptional heart-shaped lagoon and the opportunity to see kima kima


Labengki Island is a secluded island located on the border of Central and Southeast Sulawesi. It has an exceptional heart-shaped lagoon and is brimming with good snorkeling spots. Alternatively, you can take 2 hours speedboat ride to Sombori Island, where snorkeling is rewarding, but diving in this area would present an opportunity, if lucky, to see kima kima (big shell).

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12. MORAMO WATERFALLS


A stunning tiered waterfalls characterized by towering limestone and thick lush forests


Moramo Waterfalls is everyone’s favorite in Sulawesi. It is a stunning tiered waterfalls easily accessible through 20 minutes mostly flat walk. Located 2.5 hours drive away to the southeast of Kendari, the site is characterized by towering limestone and thick lush forests. The water is relatively sedate, flowing into a serene pool.

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13. MUNA ISLAND


An island with freshwater lake that connects directly to the ocean


Another major island neighboring to Buton; Muna Island. Road infrastructure is surprisingly good here, but there are no hotels in the entire island, making village homestay or daytrip from Baubau/Kendari as the only alternative. There are two notable sites in this island. Napabale Lagoon, a freshwater lake that connects directly to the ocean, and Wontabole Cave, famous for ancient paintings. There is also a weaving village and teak wood manufacturing in this island to observe.

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14. RAWA AOPA WATUMOHAI NATIONAL PARK


A national park encompasses the entire southwestern part of the mainland Southeast Sulawesi


Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park encompasses the entire southwestern part of the mainland Southeast Sulawesi. It is home to many endemic species such as babi rusa, maleo bird and anoa. A visit to this national park requires 4 hours drive; half of it through bumpy roads. The main road is well paved and can be driven comfortably by standard cars. This includes a visit to the pretty mangrove forest and floating village.

Wildlife watching would require trail motorbike to get through surrounding savannas, swamps and patches of forests. The whole landscape is absolutely breathtaking and sightings of general animals are almost always guaranteed especially in early morning. Endemic species are much harder to encounter, but the office sets camera traps viewable by visitors.

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15. BIRA & TANABERU


Coastal villages famous for astounding underwater view and Phinisi-boat-making artisans


Bira, a sleepy coastal village where goats outnumbered vehicles, is a home to absolutely astonishing beaches with mighty severe tides. As a result, the astounding underwater view of Bira is reserved for more advance snorkelers and divers. The best spots would require a full day boat trip.

A small village before entering Bira, called Tanaberu, is famous for phinisi-boat-making ‘factory’. This is the source of all luxury phinisi wooden boat that sails Komodo and other remote parts of Indonesia.

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16. EROTIC MOUNTAIN (GUNUNG NONA)


A peculiarly shaped mountain an hour away from Tana Toraja


Drive an hour away from Tana Toraja and you will reach at a peculiarly shaped mountain called Erotic Mountain (Gunung Nona). The locals said that the mountain looks like female’s private part. You can enjoy the view of ample amount of greeneries from the small warung located on the main street, across the valley.

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17. LEANG LEANG CAVES


The hub to caves with ancient paintings and limestone karsts


The hub to numerous amounts of caves with ancient paintings and more limestone karsts that is described as ‘having more holes than Swiss cheese’. Leang Leang Cave is a must-visit destination as it offers unique landscape and historical stories.

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18. MAKASSAR TOWN


The home base to your Sulawesi travel


All South Sulawesi travel starts in Makassar Town. The city itself is full of general pandemonium, and travelers generally make transit stays here. However, the town has several point of interest such as Fort Rotterdam (one of the best-preserved Dutch architecture in Indonesia), which contains the La Galigo Museum (cultural artifacts). Another site to visit is Old Gowa, remnants of Gowa Kingdom containing Sultan Hasanuddin grave, Sungguminasa Fort and Balla Lompoa Museum. Finally, Losari Beach is the town’s iconic sunset point. Note that it is generally not a good idea to visit them on weekends due to locals swarming the places. The city is also rich for traditional culinaries, mainly seafood feasts, coto makassar and palubasa soup.

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19. MALINO HIGHLANDS & TAKAPALA WATERFALL


A town brimming with natural wonders to explore


Malino is a town brimmed with natural wonders to explore. You can see beautiful tea plantation of Malino Highlands, vibrant lush pine forests, and visit Sulawesi’s tallest waterfall, Takapala Waterfall. For you who love to explore nature, these two destinations are the best spots for witnessing scenic landscape.

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20. NORTH TORAJA


The trekking and adventurous part of Toraja


While Tana Toraja serves all the cultural experiences, North Toraja will fulfill those who are more adventurous at heart. We serve the trekking route between Sopai to Limbong (4 hours), Limbong to Ke’pe (3 hours) and Ke’pe to Batutumonga (3 hours), which can be done as a daytrip or overnight experience (staying in village’s traditional tongkonan house).

Batutumonga, located north of Rantepao, is set on the slopes of the mountain, accessible by car through one-hour drive from Rantepao. The villages around this area are dubbed as ‘Kingdom Above The Clouds’ – with clouds forming to cover the whole valley at sunrise, seemingly below where we stand. The best place to see the clouds at sunrise is at Lolai, an hour drive from Batutumonga. There are two spots in Lolai; the first one tends to be overcrowded with local tourist, so we take guests to the second spot. Between them is Lokomata Village, hosting an impressive and serene stone graves. Finally, 30 minutes from Batutumonga is Tinimbayo, an area of sweeping rice terrace view. A small coffee shop is a wonderful place to take in the landscape view.

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21. RAMMANG RAMMANG VILLAGE


The host of world’s second largest limestone formation


Rammang-Rammang Village, one-hour from Makassar, is a small, subdued village set on breathtaking landscape of gigantic limestone and small rivers, reached via short boat ride from the main road. The limestone karsts are extremely beautiful and hold the title of world’s second largest limestone formation.

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22. SENGKANG


A small stopover town where you can explore South Sulawesi’s hidden gem, Lake Tempe


Sengkang is a small stopover town 4 hours riding North from Bira. It is the home to the beautiful hidden treasure of South Sulawesi, Lake Tempe. Guests must take the small boat ride through the Walanae River to arrive at the lake. The view is simply amazing all around, and the floating village across the lake entry makes a wonderful stop to see the local Bajo village and enjoying sunset over their traditional snacks. Sengkang is also known for its weaving village, offering a chance to view the process or shop the fabrics.

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23. TANA TORAJA


The peak of cultural experience of South Sulawesi, with indigenous tradition where death is cherished like nowhere else on the globe


The center of Tana Toraja tourism is Rantepao, which despite being smaller than Makale (the town proper of Tana Toraja), has more tourist amenities to enjoy; including all the best hotels. It is also conveniently located at the center of Tana Toraja, serving as the perfect base to surrounding areas.

Toraja’s mainstream sites are spread across the massive mountainous region. Most travel would take 2 days to visit them. These sites are Lemo (stone graves), Londa (stone graves; guests can navigate through the burial chamber, guided using oil lamp), Ke’te Kesu (impressive Torajan village, stone graves and wooden coffins) and Kambira Baby Graves (ancient tree used to ‘?bury’? unborn babies). Despite being touristy, the places are deservedly so due to its beauty, sheer grandness, and comfortable road access.

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