Sulawesi holiday, 13 days

“Explore the natural and cultural highlights of Sulawesi, including Maros Pangkep, scuba diving in Bunaken National Park, and the fascinating Tana Toraja region.”


Makassar | Maros Pangkep Karst region | Sengkang | Lake Tempe | Explore the wooden houses and hanging graves of Tana Toraja | Rantepao | Trekking around Tana Toraja | Stay in a traditional Tongkonan ancestral house | Tangkoko National Park | Tarsier-spotting | Bunaken Marine Park | Scuba diving – introductory lessons and dives available |

Description of Sulawesi holiday, 13 days

This thirteen day Undiscovered Sulawesi tour offers an insight into this fascinating island, giving you time to soak up the stunning scenery, dive its beautiful coral reefs, and learn more about its unique culture and traditions.

The busy port of Makassar is the gateway to South Sulawesi and the starting point of your journey. After a night exploring the colonial architecture and sampling the local cuisine, travel north into the Maros region where a breath-taking landscape of lush rice fields and towering cliffs quickly replace the (relatively) bright city lights. Prehistoric cave paintings have been discovered amongst the limestone karsts and there will be time to view these.

Lake Tempe is your next port of call: a beautiful ‘expanding’ lake on which fishermen have worked for generations, living in wooden houses floating on the water. Continue onto the highlands of Tana Toraja to witness the rare ancient rites and strange, yet captivating burial traditions of the Torajan people – we’re talking cave graves, hanging graves, life-sized wooden effigies and animal sacrifice. Having spent time visiting traditional villages and meeting the locals return to the city of Makassar for your flight on to Bunaken and the award winning Bunaken Marine Park, cited as one of the best in the world. Here you will have time to dive within the park in search of reef sharks and turtles as well as relax on the islands beautiful beaches.

* Try your hand at cooking Sulawesi specialities in a traditional Buginese stilt house.
* Visit several Torajan villages and learn about their fascinating ancient rituals.
* You may be lucky enough to witness a fascinating funeral ceremony.
* Explore the beautiful Lake Tempe by motorised canoe and witness life on the lake.
* Dive within the natural beauty of Bunaken Marine Park.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Sulawesi holiday, 13 days

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Maros Pangkep Karst region
Maros Pangkep Karst region is a UNESCO heritage site. We visit the region by walking and canoeing on the river to Sengkang where visitors will understand how traditional practices of silk making are being revived. Deforestation is the biggest threat to the region and great steps are being taken to preserve this vibrant and nourished land and its natural inhabitants. This is discussed with the locals and how it has impacted their homes and families and what is being done to prevent it.

Bunaken Marine Park
The Bunaken National Marine Park was formally established in 1991 to protect and grow this incredible eco system. The park covers a total surface area of 89,065 hectares with islands including Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen. The marine national park area is home to thousands of different species of fish, coral, endangered marine mammals and reptiles, birds, molluscs and mangrove species. We work with experienced dive companies whose prime aim is to preserve this beautiful reef.


Remote Minority Groups
We are of the staunch opinion that minorities aren’t tourist attractions, any more than children are. All our holidays that take place in and around minority communities are set up with the locals’ best interests at heart and we work with partners who do everything possible to ensure that the entire community benefits from our visits. This unique trip around rural Sulawesi visits a number of small villages, where we have been conscious of giving back to the community, either in the form of overnighting in a homestay, purchasing produce from the local market or utilising local guides and transportation.

Stay local.
One of our core values is to collaborate with local, responsible companies and partners who share our focus, beliefs and passions. We work mainly with local guides, local operators and hotel partners, and will always offer small, local accommodation options to clients. Our holidays are designed to enable our clients to immerse themselves in local places and experiences, and we make sure that, wherever possible, the income they bring to a destination goes back into the community. We have developed a system that allows clients to donate any unused currency to local charities that are vetted and selected by our partners.

2 Reviews of Sulawesi holiday, 13 days

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

As an ex-scuba diver, I really enjoyed snorkelling in warm clear seas full of life and beautiful coral.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Get immersed in the culture of very friendly local people.

The only disappointment on the whole trip was the visit to Komodo dragons on Rinca Island. We travel extensively to areas of the world where there are wild
animals. The very lethargic Komodo dragons were only seen immediately outside the restaurant waiting for scraps - give this a miss.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local economies were supported by purchasing several mementos. Conservation was keenly observed by resort practices during diving and snorkelling on
the coral reefs. Not so sure about inability to see Komodo dragons in their natural habitat.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. A good balance of culture and snorkelling activities.

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Every day was different and a new experience

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Try to learn a few words of Indonesian before you go, if only to say good morning and thank you

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, although sometimes the local guides could have been a bit more proactive in helping reduce plastic use.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


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