Top 10 Must Visit Places in Sulawesi

As one of the main islands of Indonesia and a part of Borneo, Sulawesi is a place worth a visit for its very own tourist attractions that are sure to please adventure and nature lovers. From the usual of having a city like Makassar and Manado to remote village with indigenous people like Tana Toraja to a diving paradise like Bunaken. Bring on your travel mind and camera to blend in and observe and capture the moments while also bring on your dive suits and trekking gears for the sun, sea and mountains!

Makassar

Makassar, also known as Ujung Pandang is your main hub to exploring Sulawesi in Indonesia. Fly in here to this largest city of Sulawesi and capital of the south. Besides the usual boons of a city, you can also go to the Losari Beach or Fort Rotterdam and also boat to nearby Pulau Khayangan and Pulau Samalona. Makassar is also the best starting point to go to the famous Tana Toraja, which is just 300km away.

Tana Toraja (Rantepao)

Travel to Tana Toraja to see the rare ancient rites and unique of the Torajan people, almost impossible to find nowadays in accessible areas.Tana Toraja, almost unchanged for the last 100 years, is set in a stunning setting far out from globalisation or tourism, but still accessible given some small effort.

Funeral rituals at Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Funeral rituals at Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Lindu National Park

This park is situated in Palu and the experience of getting there itself is already adventurous and fun, going up the mountain in crazy roads. Known as Indiana Jones experience where you can experience like being the first in discovering an unexplored jungle which is rich with flora and faunas. You may find butterflies, hornbills, monkeys, snakes and also many wild flowers and plants.

Tentena

While on the way from South Sulawesi to North Sulawesi, Tentena is the place to go in the central. There is a beautiful white sand and clear blue lake called Pendolo. You may also catch the Poso festival here every year in August at the lake. There is also a waterfall nearby call Saloupa.

Togean Islands / Togian Islands

Togean / Togian Islands are like islands lost in between the midst of everything in Northern Sulawesi (Sulawesi Utara) thus coining it as an almost a secret dive destinations. With this it invokes thoughts of real independent traveling there and diving in unexplored areas. One thing for sure is the water is pristine and you would not see many other divers around. There are around 3 dive sites among the 56 islands! Imagine all the places untouched! You come here for dive, dive and dive but of course it can possibly be also for just a retreat.

Sunset at Togian Islands in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Sunset at Togian Islands in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tomohon

Tomohon is a place to get into the rough and feel of rural highlands, with vast lands spread out that boosts relaxation. You can experience the local market scene here and the handicraft village for its architectures. For nature lover and trekkers, there is Mount Mahawu Volcano for trekking and beautiful view.

Tangkoko National Park

Tangkoko Nature Reserve, with 9,000 hectre is a home to a lot of unique wildlife like Tarsiers, the smallest primate in the world, and also the Black Crested Macaque which can only be found in North Sulawesi.

Black Crested Macaque at Tangkoko Reserve, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Black Crested Macaque at Tangkoko Reserve, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Manado

Fly in to Manado to access to everywhere around North Sulawesi that is touted to be untouched and pristine beauty. Before heading out to see the rest of North Sulawesi, you may also go around sightseeing temples, interesting bustling Airmadidi market or beautiful serene Lake Tondano first.

Lake Tondano in Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Lake Tondano in Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Bunaken

Come visit Bunaken for diving and snorkeling, as it boasts a rich marine life in its Marine National Park. It has an amazing diverse marine life such as 70 different corals, five species of sea turtles, many fish species and even white tip and black tip reef sharks, the almost extinct dugongs, barracuda and even saltwater crocodiles!

Reefs and fishes in diving at Bunaken Island in Indonesia

Reefs and fishes in diving at Bunaken Island in Indonesia

Bitung – Lembeh Strait

Another diver’s paradise and famous as the best place for muck diving for critters and the beauty of unknowns. There is also a cool wreck diving here.

Photo credits from top: Arian Zwegers, NeilsPhotography, Lip Kee, sektordua

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Author: Rachel

Fascinated by Indonesia, Rachel hopes to bring the best Indonesia Travel Guide to independent travelers so that they can enjoy what Indonesia has best to offer. Being an independent wanderer herself, Rachel knows what it takes to make a good, fun-filled yet responsible independent traveling. So let’s join her to discover wonderful Indonesia together. Google+

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Must Visit Places in Sulawesi”

  1. Hey Rachel!
    We(a group of 3 travellers from India) are planning to visit Sulawesi in the month of August. Can you throw some light on how to reach Sulawesi from Bali?
    Thanks in advance!

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