Exploring the depths of Sulawesi

In October we sent Robin to Sulawesi in eastern Indonesia, where he travelled the length of this fascinating island from Makassar to Manado. Sulawesi is a relatively unknown destination, but has a surprisingly well-established tourist infrastructure in Toraja and the north, whilst only a handful of tourists venture to Central Sulawesi. 

The fact that Sulawesi is the second most popular destination in Indonesia for Dutch travellers (after Java) indicates its all-round appeal to the archipelago’s former colonial rulers. Fuelled by Robin’s new-found knowledge, and burning passion for the island, we have launched a new tour "Adventures in Sulawesi" tracing his overland route from Toraja to the Togean Islands.

The starting point for this trip is Makassar, the capital of Southern Sulawesi, which has one of the largest fish markets in Southeast Asia and also some of the most outstanding (and ridiculously cheap!) seafood restaurants. A short flight then takes you to Toraja for an extended stay in this intoxicatingly beautiful highland region, where society revolves around elaborate funeral ceremonies and the ancient rituals attached. Here you will have the opportunity to hike through terraced paddy fields and traditional villages for an overnight stay in a traditional Tongkonan house.

The long, but rewarding, overland journey then starts to the calm azure waters of Lake Poso in the heart of the island, a tranquil oasis surrounded by jungle clad hills, and on to the remote Bada Valley for ancient megaliths and bird watching in the Lore Lindu National Park. Another scenic drive takes you to Ampana, the jumping off point for the Togean Islands, a truly magnificent marine environment that is blissfully cut off from mainstream tourism. With a few long drives and some basic accommodation this trip is not for everyone, but if you’re looking for a unique off the beaten track adventure this might be for you!