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.

-> Find the best hotel deals in Makassar at Booking.com *


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.

-> Read our Tana Toraja Travel Guide
-> Read Top 5 Things to Do in Tana Toraja

-> Find the best hotel deals near Tana Toraja at Booking.com *

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 wildflowers 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 Poso Lake. You may also catch the Poso festival here every year in August at the lake. There is also a waterfall nearby call Saloupa. A good place to stay here is at Ue Datu Cottages * *.

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. 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.

-> Read our Guide to Togean Islands

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 lovers 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

-> Find the best hotel deals in Sulawesi at Booking.com *

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Top 10 Things To Do in Indonesia

Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali

Some people say that Bali is overrated, too touristy, and not worth a visit, while some say it is one of the best experiences in their travels in Indonesia. I guess it all depends on how you want to enjoy Bali. With so many places of interest and beautiful beaches, Bali will definitely still delight you.

Regardless, as time has passed, and places may have grown, Bali is still what it is. If you can look past the many tourists, especially during the peak season and enjoy instead of the many attractions dotted around catered explicitly for tourists, you might fall in love with Bali.
Bali deserves the attention it is still getting, and our top 10 must-visit places list is enough to show why you should not give Bali a miss!

-> Or jump to see the Best Accommodations in Bali

Uluwatu Temple – Pura Luhur

Uluwatu Temple, a truly must-visit in Bali, is also known as Pura Luhur. Imagine a large rugged limestone cliff with a temple perched on it; to add to its dramatic grandeur it is like a scene from Cliffhanger. It is situated in Bukit Peninsula, which houses Bali’s few best beaches like Balangan, Padang-Padang and Nyang-Nyang as well as many good surfing spots. The temple itself is a majestic structure; constructed and expanded many times since the 11th century. It is perched on a steep cliff of 70 meters above the Indian Ocean. If you go on even higher grounds, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view on either side and sunset over Uluwatu temple itself.

Uluwatu Temple, Pura Luhur @ Bali

Uluwatu Temple, Pura Luhur at Bali. Photo by melburnian



Pura Tanah Lot

Another majestic rock formation lies as a foundation of a popular pilgrimage temple, known as Pura Tanah Lot. It is most popular for its serenity and cultural significance as it is associated with the Balinese mythology as one of the seven temples that form a ring in the southwest of Bali. A travel tip is to visit the place during the low tide so that you can “walk across the water” to the temple for the full experience.

-> Try a tour of Uluwatu and Tanah Lot temples to save time! *

Pura Pura Tanah Lot @ Bali

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali. Photo by Kevin Poh

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Bali’s temple by the lake)

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is another must visit temple in Bali, , this one is serenely resting at the edge of Lake Bratan unlike the rest that are perching on rocky cliffs. Imagine a beautifully structured temple with its image reflected on the clear lake doubling its beauty.

Temple by the lake @ Bali

Temple by the lake at Bali. Photo by Rud Glazn

 
-> Check out Where to Stay in Bali
 

Dolphin sightings at Lovina

Another thing to see in Bali is the dolphins! Lovina is one of the best places in Bali to go on a dolphin sightseeing boat trip. You will leave the beach at dawn. Yes it may be quite crowded with other tourists trying to do the same especially during peak season, it is especially worth it when you find a school of dolphins happily jumping out of the sea. Lovina itself also offers many other attractions, activities and even boasts some backpacker scenes where you can chill out in cafes with live music.

Lady selling flowers at the Market @ Ubud, Bali

Lady selling flowers at the Market at Ubud, Bali. Photo by David Stanley

Ubud

Yes, despite that one might be trying to escape the “eat, pray, love” trail, Ubud is one place you cannot miss in your visit. It is the heart of Bali, where all the action, people and energy are focused. Ubud is packed with the best of Bali: nature, culture, people, temples, museums, rolling rice fields/paddy fields, human-made gardens, and parks. You may take a bike tour, enroll in a cooking class, do adventure activities like whitewater rafting and abseiling, relax with yoga/meditation, get pampered spa sessions, immerse in the arts and theatres, and last but not least, the shopping. As you see, Ubud has a little bit of everything for the discerning traveler.

Rice fields terraces, Tegalalang, Ubud, Bali

Rice fields terraces at Tegalalang. Photo by Pandu Adnyana

Party at Kuta Beach

Kuta is the most popular beach in Bali, which means you can be sure to find life and party scene here. Head here if you are looking to socialize, party and have a good time. You can be sure to find a range of places for different atmosphere and budget, ranging from Hard Rock Cafe to your neighborhood cafe and pub.

Party @ Kuta Beach, Bali

Party at Kuta Beach, Bali. Photo by riza

Ayana bar on rocks

We had two temples on the cliff, and now we get to drink off a bar perched on yet another cliff at Ayana bar resort * in Bali. This bar is known as the best bar in Bali, with long lines of people trying to get in on a daily basis to have a drink or some bites while overlooking the sea crashing into the rocks below. The bites at this incredibly popular bar are surprisingly good. Imagine the combination of drinking, chilling and dancing atop a cliff with the roaring sea stretching behind you to infinity while you watch white water crashing onto the side of the wall creates a spectacular natural show. If you decide which is the one bar you must go to in Bali, Ayana bar on the rocks is the place. You may get special access to the bar as a guest of Ayana Resort and Spa or RIMBA Jimbaran by Ayana *.

Bar on rocks @ Ayana, Bali

Bar on rocks at Ayana, Bali. Photo by ValeriosVeo

Private luxury at Nusa Dua beach

If you have a bit more of a budget to spare, splurge at Nusa Dua beach, where it is dotted with high-end hotels and resorts. You will be rewarded with private pristine beaches for you to slowly soak in the sun and the sea. Nusa Dua is also ideal for couples on honeymoon in Bali or people looking for a private and relaxing getaway.

Private Beach @ Nusa Dua, Bali

Private Beach @ Nusa Dua, Bali. Photo by sektordua

Hike/Climb Mount Batur at Kintamani

Up in a highland in East of Bali, there lies Mount Batur caldera in Kintamani. A climb to the summit (1700 meters) of this active volcano is a great experience for any active travelers and surely a place of interest not to be missed. Many would do the sunrise hike for an ultimate experience, starting from as early as 4 am to reach in time for the 6 am sunrise. This hike is relatively easy, and the treks are quite well marked. From the peak of the mountain, there are views in all directions to sweep you off your feet, not literally, of course.

Hike Mount Batur @ Kintamani, Bali

Hike Mount Batur at Kintamani, Bali. Photo by Jeda Villa Bali

Coffee plantation at Bali Pulina Agro Tourism

An almost zen place for you to sit back and really appreciate your cup of coffee while An almost zen place for you to sit back and really appreciate your cup of coffee while overlooking the coffee plantation as far as the eye can see. Here you are served with various coffee and tea for tasting. You can also see the process of how the famous and expensive Kopi Luwak is made and get up close to the the civet cats themselves. If you are a coffee lover, do check this place out for the ultimate coffee experience.

Coffee roasting @ Agro Plantation, Bali

Coffee roasting at Agro Plantation, Bali. Photo by Jos Dielis

So you have it, ten reasons to visit Bali and these are just the highlights. Now you know the reason behind Bali’s popularity, so maybe people can be right sometimes. Come over with an open heart and open arms, a huge ounce of patience and tolerance for the crowd, close an eye to all the touristy things glaring at you and enjoy yourself here. If all else fail, you can always jump on the next available fast boat and escape to Gili Islands or its rival Lombok!


Best Accommodations in Bali

Booking.com is a good place to book your stay in Bali as most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility.
Agoda.com is another good choice to find the best deals as they have the most extensive hotel listings in Asia.
Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Bali:

Luxury (from 150 USD)

 
-> See Best Luxury Hotels in Bali
 

Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)

Budget (below 50 USD)

    • Nick’s Pension, Ubud
      For those who are seeking a mixture of peace and action in the heart of Bali – Ubud. The rooms come with traditional Indonesia architecture and air-condition. There is also a swimming pool, restaurant, Wifi and parking is provided.
      Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *

Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

    • Linda Villa, Sanur
      For the budget conscious, this guesthouse in Sanur is a steal, featuring swimming pools, clean air-conditioned rooms and a simple breakfast. It is located in a quiet place with only 15 minutes easy walk to the beach. Prices starting from only 24 USD!
      Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *

Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

 
-> See Best Budget Hotels in Bali
 

-> For more read Top 10 Best Area to Stay in South & Central Bali


Versi Bahasa Indonesia10 Tempat Wisata di Bali yang Wajib Dikunjungi

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Top 10 Must Visit Places in Indonesia

Indonesia being diverse and extensive with 17,000 islands. You may be sure to find everything to your fancy, but there are a few must-visit places here that you should know. After all, not everyone has the time to traverse entire wonderful Indonesia.

Be it for leisure, shopping, culture, history, diving, trekking, or nature; you can find all those in places below of our top travel places in Indonesia.

Jakarta

The capital of Indonesia, everyone would inevitably find themselves visiting Jakarta as their first or last stop in Indonesia. Jakarta is also a vital international airport hub for Indonesia serving airlines worldwide. Your visit here would not be complete without getting absorbed into the hectic and congested city. Once attuned, you would be ready to take on the rest of the country with ease. It has many hidden treasures, nightlife, and is a shopping haven.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Jakarta
-> Read Top 10 Things to Do and Must See in Jakarta

-> Find Jakarta hotel deals at Booking.com. Book now pay later! *
Jakarta Night Skyline, Indonesia

Jakarta night skyline. Photo by yohanes budiyanto


Yogyakarta

Personally, Yogyakarta is my favourite place to visit in Java, Indonesia. Is has everything from ancient attractions to shopping to food and culture. Explore the main street and the narrow valleys in search of silversmiths, puppet makers, street arts and food vendors, soaking in the culture, people and food of Indonesia as it has always been.

Yogyakarta serves as a hub for historical and cultural Java, Indonesia, this is the best springboard for you to find the magnificent temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. Bath in the remains of two great kingdoms of two different religions – Buddhism and Hinduism.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Yogyakarta
-> Read Top 10 Things to Do in Yogyakarta

-> Find Yogyakarta hotel deals at Booking.com. Book now pay later! *
Trishaw at Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Trishaw at Yogyakarta. Photo by bob|P-&-S

Mount Bromo

Do not miss out the majestic Mt Bromo at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, with active and dormant volcanoes to choose from. Standing tall at 2329 m, it is one of the most iconic mountains in Indonesia. You may ride a horse or catch or rent a jeep to the top and be in time to catch a sunrise. You will be rewarded with one of the most out-of-this-world views as the sun appears on the horizon over the blue misty volcanic craters. It is one place you should put on your must-visit list in Indonesia.

-> Check out our Guide to Hiking Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo @ Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Indonesia

Mount Bromo, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. Photo by masterbutler

Lake Toba

Relax and unwind from the hectic of travels at Lake Toba, swim in the largest volcanic lake in the world on lazy afternoons and have a long massage after then followed by an excellent meal to end the day. With a quiet and serene beauty, it is famous for travelers as a place to unwind and while the time away, especially after a hardcore long backpacking or trekking. Lake Toba is one of the most visited lakes in Indonesia, and that must mean something.

-> Check out our Lake Toba Travel Guide

-> Find hotel deals at Lake Toba on Booking.com. *
Largest Volcanic Lake at Lake Toba, Indonesia

Largest Volcanic Lake at Lake Toba. Photo by schristia

Bali

Tourist-packed? Yes. Well beaten track? Yes. Overrated? Maybe, maybe not. You should go there with your open heart and mind despite after Eat, Love, Pray commercialization and hope to still get the glimpse of the real beauty of it. No matter what the sceptics say, Bali remains a must visit place for every tourists in Indonesia, and it remains so with full of zest. After all, it is still the place with Bali best beaches, misty treks across volcanoes, amazing famous temples like Uluwatu and Tanah Lot and laidback coasts. At night you can even set out for a party or two along Kuta and other Bali night clubs.

-> Check out our Bali Travel Guide
-> Read Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali

Lombok

A quieter shadow of Bali, this place is slowly becoming a popular visit place in its own rights. People come here to escape the crowds and for the blue waters and green mountains. For the adventurous, a trek up Gunung Rinjani would not disappoint or surf the great waves at coast. The nearby Gili Islands are also no strangers for the people who escape Bali.

-> Check out our Lombok Travel Guide
-> Read Top 10 Things To Do in Lombok

-> Find Bali or Lombok hotel deals at Booking.com *
Gili Trawangan @ Lombok, Indonesia

Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands. Photo by Jeda Villa Bali

Tana Toraja

A highland and the most popular destination in Southern Sulawesi, this cultural island in between mountains are simply unique. Engulf in its rich culture, traditional villages and fascinating ceremonies that would wow even those who thought they have seen it all.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Tana Toraja

Graves @ Lemo, Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Graves at Lemo, Tana Toraja. Photo by 710928003

Baliem Valley

Best place to explore the Papua area in Indonesia, you may find tribes, which are still practicing rites and ceremonies from ancient times in places among cool air, misty purple mountains and buzz of human activities. Trek and explore the lands of Lani, Dani and Yali tribes in this remote Papua.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Baliem Valley

Barapen Ceremony at Baliem Valley, Indonesia

Barapen Ceremony at Baliem Valley. Photo by Arian Zwegers

Raja Ampat

Known as one of the best diving destination in Indonesia and the world, Raja Ampat is estimated to host over 75% of world’s coral species with more than a thousand tropical fish species, many previously unknown.. It is definitely a diver’s paradise and for those who love marine life.

->Read our Travel Guide to Raja Ampat

Dive at Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Dive at Raja Ampat. Photo by lakshmioct01

Komodo National Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia have the most famous Komodo Dragon which is the largest living lizard. You may even catch legions of flying foxes (large fruit bats) in the star-filled night sky.

-> Read our Travel Guide to Komodo National Park

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdia

Versi Bahasa Indonesia10 Tempat Wisata yang Wajib Dikunjungi di Indonesia

Related articles:
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