Sulawesi

Sulawesi is one of the five largest islands in Indonesia. Located in the heart of Indonesia, Sulawesi offers extraordinary natural beauty, abundant biodiversity, and a rich and unique cultural heritage. The island is home to a wide variety of different tribes and cultures, creating a rich variety of traditions, arts, and customs. Sulawesi has five main regions, namely North, Central, South, West, and East, each with its own charm.

North Sulawesi

In the North, Manado City is the gateway to the famous Bunaken National Park, which offers spectacular coral reef beauty and extraordinary marine life. If you’re a macro photography enthusiast and those seeking encounters with beautiful creatures, diving in Lembeh is a paradise for you. Explore the jungle and experience seeing the wildlife in Tangkoko National Park.

Central Sulawesi

In the Central region, Tana Toraja will amaze you with its stunning mountainous natural beauty and unique funeral traditions that attract many people. Traditional villages with typical traditional houses and rock paintings depicting Toraja’s history and mythology are the main attraction.

South Sulawesi

The Southern Region features Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park which is famous for its spectacular waterfalls, beautiful caves, and rich biodiversity. Explore stunning beaches and clear waters in Bira. This place is a paradise for nature lovers and biological researchers.

West Sulawesi

In the West, the Togian Islands offer beautiful white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and captivating underwater world waiting to be explored. Togian Islands provide an enchanting diving experience with their untouched beauty, rich marine ecosystems, and diverse dive sites suitable for all levels of divers. Unspoiled islands and nomadic Bajau Laut communities add to the region’s appeal.

East Sulawesi

The Eastern region boasts Wakatobi National Park, an internationally recognized snorkeling and diving destination. Stunning coral reefs, diverse underwater life, and white sandy beaches will pamper your eyes. Wakatobi’s pristine waters and abundant marine biodiversity make it an exceptional destination for divers of all skill levels.

Things To Do in Sulawesi

Please find our recommendations of fascinating tourist destinations in each region in Sulawesi, along with the right time to visit, activities that can be done there, and some dive sites for scuba diving enthusiasts. Check this out:

1. Northern Region (Manado):

  • Best time to go: May to August
  • Activities:
    • Visit traditional markets in Manado to try famous local dishes, like “Bubur Manado” or “Tinutuan”.
    • Visit Woloan Village to see the process of making a traditional Minahasa house called “Wale Ne Tou” with typical wood techniques.
    • Jungle walk and see the wildlife in Tangkoko National Park.
  • Scuba diving:
    • Enjoy the beauty of Bunaken National Park by snorkeling or scuba diving at night to see spectacular coral reefs and rich underwater life. Visit Bunaken Marine Park to see dolphins and sail around beautiful Siladen Island.
    • Lembeh Strait is the main diving area, known for muck diving and the abundance of rare critters. Popular dive sites include Nudi Falls, known for its nudibranchs; Hairball, famous for hairy frogfish; Critter Hunt, offering a variety of macro life; California Dreaming, with mimic octopuses; and Police Pier, ideal for night dives. Each site offers a different underwater experience, showcasing an array of fascinating critters and vibrant marine life.

2. Central Region (Tana Toraja):

  • Best time to go: June to August
  • Activities:
    • Experience watch a traditional Torajan funeral ceremony called “Rambu Solo” to understand the local culture and beliefs.
    • Visit the traditional market in Rantepao and buy local handicrafts, like wood carving, weaving, or “Sarung Allo” hats.
    • Participate in trekking to remote villages in the Toraja mountains and interact with the locals.

3. Southern Region (Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park/Bira):

  • Best time to go: June to September
  • Activities:
    • Doing birdwatching in Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park to see various species of endemic birds of Sulawesi. Visit Batu Putih village and learn how to make traditional batik of South Sulawesi.
    • Watch traditional Makassar dance performances, like “Ma’gandang” or “Padduppa”.
  • Scuba diving: Tanjung Bira, offering diverse underwater landscapes and marine life; Liukang Island, known for its vibrant coral gardens; Kambing Island, featuring abundant soft corals and macro critters; Gili Banta, with thrilling drift diving and encounters with reef sharks and mantas; and Batu Mandi, a picturesque dive site with rock pinnacles and diverse marine species.

4. Western Region (Togian Islands):

  • Best time to go: April to October
  • Activities:
    • Visit the Bajau Laut village on Kadidiri Island and interact with sea tribes who live nomadic lives on their traditional boats. Take a traditional Sulawesi cooking lesson at one of the lodges in the Togian Islands.
    • Watch turtles lay their eggs on Padea Beach and help release newly hatched hatchlings into the sea.
  • Scuba diving: The Togian Islands are a diving paradise. Explore amazing dive sites in Karina Point, Tojo Una-Una, and Malenge Wall, Batu Daka, Bolilanga with rich underwater life, like turtles, hammerhead sharks, and stunning coral reefs.

5. Eastern Region (Wakatobi National Park):

  • Best time to go: March to November
  • Activities: Visit traditional village in Kaledupa or Hoga and learn about life of the local people and their culture.
  • Scuba diving: Wakatobi is a world-renowned diving destination celebrated for its unspoiled coral reefs and diverse marine life. Find captivating diving spots in The House Reef, Coral Garden showcases, Roma, and The Zoo, is famous for its diverse marine life, including barracudas, jacks, turtles, and eagle rays. Blade, known for its strong currents, features exciting drift dives and encounters with reef sharks and pelagic species.

Sulawesi is an attractive destination for domestic and international tourists with its abundant natural beauty, rich cultural diversity, and diverse tourist activities. Don’t miss the chance to explore the natural wonders and the rich culture this enchanting island offers. Let’s explore and create your dream escape to Sulawesi with us!

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Hotels & Resorts in Sulawesi

Sulawesi

Bangka
Dive Resort
From 145 USD per night

Sulawesi

Bunaken
Dive Resort
From 275 USD per night

Sulawesi

Bunaken
Dive Resort
From 55 USD per night

Sulawesi

Lembeh
Dive Resort
From 255 USD per night

Sulawesi

Gorontalo
Dive Resort
From 325 USD per night

Sulawesi

Manado
Dive Resort
From 55 USD per night

Sulawesi

Bunaken
Dive Resort
From 100 USD per night

Liveaboards in Sulawesi

Ambon, Bali, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi

Cabins: 12
Max passengers: 24
From 525 USD per day
Scuba Diving

Ambon, Banda Sea, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi

Cabins: 8
Max passengers: 16
From 560 USD per day
Scuba Diving

Alor, Banda Sea, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Wakatobi

Cabins: 7
Max passengers: 17
From 375 USD per day
Scuba Diving

Komodo, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi, Wakatobi

Cabins: 4
Max passengers: 8
From 350 USD per day
Scuba Diving, Cruising

Komodo, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi, Banda Sea, Derawan-Sangalaki

Cabins: 7
Max passengers: 14
From 375 USD per day
Scuba Diving

Bali, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi, Banda Sea, Alor, Ambon

Cabins: 6
Max passengers: 12
From 300 USD per day
Scuba Diving

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