The complete list of the best Sulawesi travel destinations

Sulawesi travel Credit to apla kai omorfa from flickr

Sulawesi is one of the main islands of Indonesia and top travel destinations in the country. Sulawesi travel may not be as popular as Bali or Lombok travel, but it offers nothing less than magnificent nature attractions and rewarding trip to take.

As introduced earlier in this page that Sulawesi is classified into Southern, Southeast, Central and Northern Central Sulawesi and is also surrounded by its other beautiful small islands.

Best Sulawesi travel destinations

1. Bunaken Island, the National Marine Park

Bunaken is the most popular destination in Sulawesi, it is where marine national park located featuring its world class snorkeling and diving spots, and its closest city is Manado. Bunaken Marine Park has 5 very small islands, where you can find one the most spectacular corals in the world.

Bunaken is also known as its world class diving sites within the divers as one of the best diving spots in the world. Most of the divers who visit Indonesia definitely include Bunaken in their must visit site for some diving.

If you are not a diver, Bunaken island also is a great destination in Sulawesi for snorkeling.

Bunaken Underwater life, one of the best Sulawesi travel destinations - Credit to flickr
Bunaken Underwater life, one of the best Sulawesi travel destinations – Credit to flickr

2. Tana Toraja

Tana Toraja is one of the most popular Sulawesi travel destinations, it is located on the highlands, which is famed for their elaborate burial rites, close to the Rantepao city. It takes about 9 hours drive by bus from the capital city Makassar.

Most of the people in Tana Toraja are Christians, who practice animist rituals. The most interesting are the burial rites where bodies of the deceased are kept for long periods of time (sometimes many years) in order for the family to save up for the final funeral. The magnificent scenery very pleasant weather are the bonus of visiting Tana Toraja burial sites.

If you are the animal lovers and can not watch the animals are slaughtered you may want to avoid the funeral festivities.

Tana Toraja traditional house, one of top Sulawesi travel Destinations - Credit to Andrey Samsonov
Tana Toraja traditional house, one of top Sulawesi travel Destinations – Credit to Andrey Samsonov

3. Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park

Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park is located on the Northern side of Sulawesi, near Gorontalo and it is easy to visit from Gorontalo. This park is actually sitting in between Gorontalo and Kotamobagu.

It is where you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of pristine and lush rainforest, and it is home also to tarsiers and much more.

Get yourself ready for the real exciting jungle adventure. You may also travel from Manado to this national forest which take about 6 hours and departs daily.

Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park
Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park

4. Tomohon

Tomohon offers the pleasants and fresh weather, it is the town in the northern hillside and volcanoes area.

Steaming on Sulawesi at the Tomohon sulfur hot springs - Credit to Paul Williams on flickr
Steaming on Sulawesi at the Tomohon sulfur hot springs – Credit to Paul Williams on flickr

3. Manado

Manado is the entrance access for those who want to travel to Bunaken, it is the capital city of the north sulawesi, and is surrounded by the mountain area.

Manado port Credit to Azwari Nugraha
Manado port Credit to Azwari Nugraha on flickr

7. Rantepao

Rantepao is the gateway town to get to Tanah Toraja.

Rantepao Credit to LesGros Sacs on flickr
Rantepao Credit to LesGros Sacs on flickr

8. Spectacular Lore Lindu National Park

Lore Lindu National Park is located on the central part of Sulawesi, it is indeed a spectacular lush and pristine forest. It is one of the most important National park in Indonesia located on the central highlands.

Visiting this national park, it means you will have opportunity to enjoy the stunning views and scenery, peaceful forest atmosphere, and not to mention over 77 endemic bird species and remarkable megaliths.

Lore Lindu National Park Credit to Wakx
Lore Lindu National Park Credit to Wakx on flickr

9. Tangkoko National Park

Tangkoko National Park is a protected national park, which is home to tarsier, the world’s smallest monkey. It is situated at the foot of Dua Saudara Mountain, comprised of rolling hills and valleys with a variety of hardwood trees and unusual plant life.

If you want to visit this national park it is best to sign up for an experienced tour guide, therefore you will enjoy your wildlife trip at most.

Tangkoko National Park credit to Sergey Yeliseev on flickr
Tangkoko National Park credit to Sergey Yeliseev on flickr

10. Bangka island

One of world class diving sites in Sulawesi, Bangka island is the island group in the north of Sulawesi. Apart from Bangka island itself, Gangga and Talise are also part of Bangka island group.

Bangka is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive areas, attracting scuba divers from all over the world. In addition to Bangka itself, a beautiful lush island, the area includes the neighboring islands of Gangga, Talisei, and Sahaung.

Bangka Island diving North Sulawesi credit to Jason Lai
Bangka Island diving North Sulawesi credit to Jason Lai on flickr

11. Bitung

Bitung is the deep-water port town, where you can enter from to get to the world class diving spots in Lembeh. And it is located on the north of Sulawesi.

12. Lembeh strait

Lembeh Strait is situated in North Sulawesi in Indonesia, one the world diving classes. It home for the spectacular, strange, and rare macro creatures. The experienced divers say that this is the best Mack diving place.

Lembeh strait has relatively easy access from all the major cities in South East Asia.

Lembeh strait Diving - Credit to Alan Lee on flickr
Lembeh strait Diving – Credit to Alan Lee on flickr

13. Togian Islands – the world class diving destination

Togean Islands is a magnificently beautiful island, and it is part of the Tomini Gulf island group, off the coast of central Sulawesi. This island can be reached from Gorontalo in the north and Ampana in the south.

It may take long to get to this beautiful island, but this paradise on the worth is totally worth visiting!

Diving in Togian island will give you amazing experience where you can watch dolphins, manta ray, eagle ray, pilot whales, barracudas, huge groupers.

Una-una is also part of Togean island is the best diving spot.

Togean Island Credit to Jelle Visser on flickr
Togean Island Credit to Jelle Visser on flickr

14. Una Una island

Una Una is a small volcanic island located on the north of the Togian Islands, which only has 10 km long and host a 1 000 people year-long, off the coast of central Sulawesi.

This island is also known as the best diving spot in Togean, the world class diving site that offers a magnificent underwater fauna and flora. The coral reef remain untouched with human size sponges and sea fans. Huge schools of fish live there. Napoleon, dogtooth thuna, spanish mackerel and eagle rays are communs in the area. Plenty of nudibranchs, sea slugs, scorpionfishes, frogfishes and mantis shrimps are to be discovered by the good spotter.

If you are not into diving, snorkelling is also possible here.

Una-Una Island Credit to intothegreen
Una-Una Island – Photo by flickr

15. Palu

Palu is the capital city of the Central part of the island and is the gateway to any visit to the Central Sulawesi attractions, like Togean island. Though, you may also travel to Togean island from Poso town.

16. The hidden gem Wakatobi world class diving site

Wakatobi is the hidden gem of Sulawesi with spectacular marine national park, and offers the remarkable world-class diving spots.

Wakatobi is situated in the Southeast Sulawesi, and has a remarkable group of islands. The best way to travel to Wakatobi is flying from Bali as travelling by land is not easy.

Diving conditions here are magnificent! Not so many tourist come to visit this island and this makes this island even more special. However, the comfortable and luxury resorts are available on the islands. It is seriously paradise on the earth.

Waha pinnacle, Wakatobi Diving Credit to flickr
Waha pinnacle, Wakatobi Diving Credit to flickr

17. Makassar

Makassar is the largest and the capital city of the South Province Sulawesi

18. Kendari

While Kendari is the capital of the South East Sulawesi.

19. Tentena

Tentena is the transit town if you want to travel to Ampana.

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