Sulawesi is one of the main islands of Indonesia and enjoys a strong domestic tourist market, making it one of the top travel destinations in the country. Among foreigners it is mainly known for Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi and for the coral reefs and dive sites such as Bunaken National Park, the Togian Islands and Wakatobi National Park. Sulawesi is divided up into North, South, South-East and Central Sulawesi and is also surrounded by a wide variety of islands.
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North Sulawesi in the past was an area of potential spices, rice and gold which became a battleground for the interests of economic hegemony between the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and the Kingdoms around this area. Due to its historical colonial background, this area contains still major influences from these countries. Manado is the capital of this area and offers a variety of terrain with hills, volcanic mountains and scenic plateaus. One of the most popular places in North Sulawesi is the famous of Bunaken Sea Garden. Bunaken is recognizing as one of the best place for scuba diving in the world.
The capital and largest city in this area is Palu, situated on a long, narrow bay. Unfortunately this city was hit by a tsunami on the 28th of September 2018, and more than 2000 people lost their lives. As there is hardly any tourism in this area, you can still find a lot of untouched nature and authentic culture. There are approximately 19 ethnic groups that live in this province with more or less 22 languages taken from each ethnics.
In this area the capital and main portal of the island, Makassar, is located in this area. Makassar offers several historical sights, such as, Fort Rotterdam which was built during the Dutch colonial period. From Makassar it easy to explore the rest of the island either by plain, car, bus etc. One of the highlights in this region is Toraja, which is located a few hours by car from Makassar. Islam is the religion that most people in South Sulawesi hold, except in Toraja where majority is Christian.
South East Sulawesi
South East Sulawesi
The capital of the province is Kendari, on the east coast of the peninsula. The province is one of the most remote regions of Sulawesi; no highway connects it to the cities on the rest of the island, so the primary transportation link is a ferry. Most of the land area of southeast Sulawesi is covered by natural jungle, with extensive plantations of teak and ironwood, and much has been preserved for prosperity by declaring it "National Parks" and "Nature Preserve. For those who like challenging adventures and ecotourism this part of Sulawesi is ideal. Also Wakatobi offers great reefs for divers and snorkelers.
Tana Toraja opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the last century, the Toraja today still adhere to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions, although many of her people are modernized or have embraced Christianity. Several hours by car located from Makassar, this is a must see when you visit Sulawesi.
Bunaken National Park extends over an area of 890.65 km² and is on every divers 'bucket list' due to the high level of biodiversity. Not only is this area great for divers, but Bunaken National Park is an great example of Indonesian tropical water ecosystems that consist of mangrove ecosystems, seagrass beds, coral reefs, and land / coastal ecosystems.
Wakatobi National Park is a marine national park situated south of mainland South East Sulawesi, Indonesia; it is well known among divers as one of the world's best dive sites. Its widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species in the world. The islands are also famous as the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.