Sulawesi Travel Guide
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands belonging to Indonesia and located between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. Sulawesi is known for its unique cultures and diverse art. The locals are dedicated to all kinds of arts including weaving, pottery and dancing. The island is divided into six regions: Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, Gorontalo, North Sulawesi, South Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi.
North Sulawesi boasts wonderful coral reefs, unspoiled white beaches and volcanic mountains. Divers and snorkelers will find many excellent spots to explore, including reefs near Bunaken Island and Manado Tua Island. Hikers can head to Tangkoko Batuangus nature reserve or the forests of Dumoga Bone National Park. Tasik Ria features sandy beaches fringed with coconut palms for sunbathers and a lively nightlife scene.
South Sulawesi is famous for its silk, which seems to be the most popular souvenir from the region. There are many interesting sights that draw tourists to this part of the island. Other motable destinations include Clara Bundt Orchid Garden, established by a Dutchman with a passion for plants, and Jalan Penghibur, a perfect area to view the sunset. Bulukumba is also ideal for lazing around on white, sandy beaches, while Goa Mampu has the largest cave in the region.
Lush jungle covers most areas in Southeast Sulawesi and its Baton Island Group. Teak and ironwood grow here and are used for local handicrafts and a source of export income. The region is also known for its rich fauna and flora, untouched beaches, and friendly local people. One of the most popular destinations is Moramo Waterfall with a natural pool where you can swim. Or, take a boat trip to see panoramic views of the sea and Moramo Bay with its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a wide range of water sports.
Gorontalo City, the capital of Gorontalo province, offers serenity and natural beauty. Few foreign tourists come here, and locals are friendly and curious. Gorontalo City’s location on Tomini Bay’s northern shoreline, rolling hills and balmy weather make it a perfect place to relax. Diving is also popular, with a number of good dive sites and live aboard dive vessels. Acting as a main gateway to the Togian Islands, Gorontalo is easily accessible by plane.
The main ports of entry to the region are Makassar and Manado, receiving both international and domestic flights. As the road conditions in Sulawesi aren’t good, traveling long distances by bus or car is not recommended. Low-cost domestic flights seem to be a more popular option to hop between regions.
Having recently been discovered by tourists, Sulawesi’s infrastructure is still basic. But what vacationers can be sure of is that life here is very simple and the atmosphere is friendly. The entire island is very safe and locals have not yet learned how to sell a tourist a knockoff brand item or a fake souvenir.