Provinces of Sulawesi and their Capitals
Places of Interest in Sulawesi:
North: Potanga Pool, Approximately 4 km from the center of Gorontalo town, Potanga pool has natural cool and fresh water, comes from the natural mountain spring. Pentadio Resort, on the north of the Limboto Lake or 12 km from the center of Gorontalo City. This resort has complete spa, facilities, cottage, swimming pool and hot spring water pool. Nani Wartabone Monument, it is a historical monument of a local Gorontalo hero, named Nani Wartabone. He played an important role for the independence of Gorontalo. This monument is located in the center of Taruna Remaja Gorontalo Park. Mesjid Hunto (Sultan Amai). Hunto Mosque is one of the oldest mosque in Gorontalo (300 years old). The Mosque is located in Siendeng Village in Gorontalo city. In this mosque, there are well and beduk (an Islamic traditional drum) that has the same age as the Mosque itself. Olele Sea Garden, is distinctive from others and has the marine resources. It is closest diving point, only 45 minutes from Gorontalo city. Other diving site is Lahilote Beach. Central of Kerawang is one of Gorontalo’s traditional handmade cloth. Pantai Olele, this beach is a gate to the underwater paradise. The amazing beauty of underwater life on this area has been recognized by many of the divers in the world. It is proofed by the enthusiasm of the divers who come to this area.
Central: Lairiang River, is the longest river in Sulawesi Island running down from Napu, Besoa, Bada and Gimpu valleys ending into Makassar straits in the west. Most of these trekkers take this area for their trekking and rafting, nothing you can see except the huge bluish tropical rain forest as far as your eyes can see. The Lore Lindu National Park is a huge forested protected area in the districts of Donggala and Poso, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1978. The Park, located south of the town of Palu, covers an area of 2,180 square km with altitudes ranging from 200 to 2,300 meters above sea-level and harbours lush forests filled with spectacular wildlife. The city of Palu, capital of the province of Central Sulawesi sits on the “neck” of the K shaped island of Sulawesi. Palu is the gateway to the Lore Lindu National Park and the mysterious Bada Valley, where lie scattered megalithic statues resembling those on Easter Island, and further east is the diving haven of the Togean Islands. Togean Islands, a community – based ecotourism as well as in conserving the biodiversity. A bewildering array of tropical rain forest covered six islands formed by volcanic activity. Situated in the vicinity of equator. This enchanting archipelago is one of the jewels of Central Sulawesi. Stunning reefs, small isolated white sandy beaches, traditional fishermen village of a Bajau, verdant rainforest have left many a world weary travel searching for superlatives.
West: Madobak, Ugai and Matotonan Villages are not specifically designed into a tourist destination, but their traditional culture and life are well-preserved, making them interesting places for tourists. They are situated in the upper stream of Siberut Selatan. From Muara Siberut, you should take the Purou-Muntei-Rokdok-Madobak-Ugai-Butui-Matotonan route. Each village has its own unique culture. Something that should not be missed visiting West Sulawesi.
The Bung Hatta Forest Reserve is for botanist enthusiasts this is a delight, filled with rare plants and exotic flowers. Known in the past as the Setya Mulya Botanic Garden, this botanical garden is home to a variety of unique tropical plants and animal species endemic to Sumatra. Take a walk around here and you will see plants that you might not find anywhere else on earth. The main attraction of the reserve is the giant flower, the Rafflesia Arnolldi, the biggest flower in the world.
Mentawai Islands, The Ultimate Diversity Of The Hidden Paradise, Be surrounded by tropical rainforests and immerse yourself in the traditions of the local people, this remains one of the most isolated places in Indonesia, the Mentawai archipelago includes four municipalities, Siberut, Sipora, North Pagai and South Pagai, is the biggest of the Siberut islands and remains largely covered with tropical rainforest, designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The remote location of these islands means that the Mentawai people have had very little contact with the outside world. The archipelago is thought to have broken off from the rest of Sumara about 500,000 years ago and it is only since the 20th century that outside influences began to have an impact on the local people. Today, the Mentawai still abide by traditional practices and live largely off the land. Local people have a strong spiritual relationship with the forest with a belief system that emphasizes harmony with creation.
South: Taka Bonerate National Park in the Flores Sea, the Selayar Regency is predominantly a rich marine park , but it is also habitat to a number of bird species from land birds, to coastal and sea birds that frolic on the many sand dunes. Taka Bonerate is the third largest atoll region in the world after Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands and Suvadiva in the Maldives. Taka Bonerate boasts 526 species of colorful and strange reef fish as well as 112 species of macro algae. Taka Bonerate is said to have one of the world’s highest marine diversity. The Park has over 50 fantastic dive sites.
Tana Toraja: Land of Heavenly Kings when one travels to the Tana Toraja highlands, therefore, expect to be awed by the spectacular beauty of nature, at the same time experience how communities have through the ages sustained their beliefs and traditions in splendid isolation in order to survive this eternal cycle of life and death on earth. The nobility of Toraja are believed to be descendants of heavenly beings who came down by a heavenly stairway to live here on earth. The funeral ceremonies can take days and involve entire villages. Death ceremonies, however, are held only after the last rice harvest is in and cleared, which is normally between July to September, while ceremonies celebrating life are held in conjunction with the planting season which starts in October. These timings are possible since the dead are not buried immediately but maybe kept for months.
South East: Buton Palace Fortress: unique 16th Century Edifice is considered to be the largest and most unique fortress in the world. Situated in the town of Bau bau, in the fortress is listed in the Guinness Book of Records of September as the largest fortress in the world. Encompassing a total area of 23.35 hectares, the fortress is a symbol of the glorious era of the Buton Islamic Kingdom that ruled over the area for over 4 centuries. The Buton Palace Fortress, which was originally known as Wolio Palace, took the shape of the letter “dhal” in the Arabic alphabet, which is taken from the last letter of Prophet Muhammad’s pbuh. With an average height of 4 meters and width or thickness of 2 meters, the battlements encircled a traditional Buton Village that covers an area of about 2,740 meters and continues to be preserved to this day of authentic old traditional houses, that was built in the 16th Century… Inside the fortress is a mosque which was constructed in a manner similar to the fort itself. While, in front of the mosque stands a 33 meter high wooden flag pole estimated to be over 400 years old. Although it is made of wood, the flagpole does not look weathered and is still in perfect condition.
Wakatobi National Marine Park: “The Underwater Nirvana”, a legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau is said to have called the Wakatobi islands – then known as the Tukangbesi islands: an “Underwater Nirvana” Now a National Marine Park covering a total of 1.4 million hectares, of which 900,000 hectares are decorated with different, colourful species of tropical coral reefs. For Wakatobi is 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. Here can be found fringing, atolls and barrier reefs and offer more than 50 spectacular dive sites easily accessible from the major islands. This is the habitat of large and small fish species, the playground of dolphins, turtles and even whales. The island group comprises 143 larger and smaller islands where only 7 are inhabited counting a total population of around 100,000, while the others remain uninhabited. Most notable are the Bajo communities, the seafaring nomads who inhabit many of Indonesia’s remote islands.