3-4 weeks in Sulawesi in September
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Sep 7, 2012 4:08 AM Last Post By: dearamy
Jul 24, 2012 7:19 PM
3-4 weeks in Sulawesi in SeptemberHi
We are looking to travel across to Sulawesi at the beginning of September from Derawan islands by boat probably to Pantaloan.
We have 3-4 weeks in Sulawesi and was looking for some tips on the best route to take. We are looking to get across to Maluku / Banda Islands after Sulawesi.
We have started to look at possible places to visit and so far were thinking of
Tana Toraja area
Manado - Bunaken
Any other tips on places of interest to visit along the way and the best route and method of transport would be really appreciated. Also any good places to stay , we are on a small budget so the cheaper the better.
Jul 24, 2012 7:51 PM
1The most logical which ends up in Makasar,
Ship to Pantoloan. Taxi or public transport to Palu
Taxi or public transport to Tanjung Karang near Donggala.
At Tanjung Karang Beach.
Palu to Ampana by bus.
Boat to Togians.
Boat from Togians to Gorontallo, or charter boat with other tourists to north peninsula coast west of Gorontallo (not recommended due to safety issues and bus to Gorontallo).
Bus or minivan from Gorontallo to Manado.
Early afternoon boat to Bunaken (except no public boats on Sunday).
Morning boat to Manado, and bus or taxi to airport.
Fly to Makasar.
Morning or night bus to Rantepao.
Rantepao and surroundings.
Morning or night bus to Makasar.
Fly to next destination.
Pantoloan - Palu - Tanjung Karang - Palu - Fly Palu to Makasar, bus to Rantepao - buses and boats as above - Tentena - Ampana -Togians -Gorontallo - Manado - Bunaken - Manado - Fly to Makasar.
Jul 26, 2012 1:07 AM
2Sulawesi is really nice place only bear in mind that the transport might be unreliable and you might need to wait sometimes a bit longer than expected.
If you go to Makassar I would suggest form the airport you arrange to go to Bira. It is really magic place with beautiful hidden beaches, white sand, coconut trees and crystal clear waters. We rented a motorbike for 4 days and went around small villages...it was real adventure!
Also you may visit Wakatobi - go there only if you snorkel or dive otherwise I would not suggest to go. Plan it ahead as it is time consuming.
I wrote a blog on South Sulawesi and Wakatobi so you may have a look and maybe find some useful information: south-sulawesi-and-wakatobi2012.blogspot.co.uk - if you need any other help or if you hsve questions just ask:) You will have a great trip in Sulawesi!
Jul 26, 2012 3:57 AM
Jul 31, 2012 4:12 AM
4Thanks for the tip and link to your blog, there is some interesting stuff on here looks like you have had some great trips.
Not sure how we are going to manage the travel across to Sulawesi yet as the options are limited. It means either travelling back to Tarakan where the boats do run to pantaloan but not that frequently or travelling down to Balikpapan where they run more frequently but its a hell of a journey down there overland, probably 2 days on a bus with many stops along the way. We will be coming thru Tarakan on the way down to Derawan so will see what the journey is like and make a decision then. What are your plans?
Jul 31, 2012 8:30 AM
Sep 4, 2012 11:23 PM
6We are crossing from balikpapan in kalimantan to pare pare in sulawesi tonight. We booked our boat ticket direct with the Pelni office. They have boats 2-3 times a week and Prima Vista go twice a week.
It cost 149500 rps for an economy ticket which is just a mattress on the floor. We tried to get a cabin but as we only speak very very limited Indonesian and the other guy spoke very very little english we took what we could.
If you go to Kalimantan you have to go to Derawan island it is amazing. The island is so chilled out with good snorkelling. You can snorkel with so many turtles just around where you stay. With stayed with Dira Homestay but there are so many homestays on the island and all as good as each other. We dived with Danaken who took us out to Kakaban to snorkel with the jellyfish which was amazing. We dived at Kakaban also and then onto Sangalaki where we dived watching manta rays. Then we snorkelled down current where we saw at least 30 huge mantas being swept towards us.The experience was the out of this world. I can't recommend it enough.
Unfortunately we didn't have time to go to Samarinda down the Mahakam river but we are really looking forward to Sulawesi and will update with how the boat journey went
Sep 7, 2012 4:08 AM
7Ferry ride was smooth and on time. Left at 10pm and arrived at 12pm on schedule. We managed to get a bed each next to each other which was good cos we were worried we might end up on the floor!! Everyone was really friendly on the boat and we had no problems other than the lack of sleep as there were several babies screaming throughout the night but this can be avoided if you spend a bit extra to get a better class of kabin.
Getting the bus onto Rantepao in Tana Toraja was also painless. THe bus company wait outside and take you to the local office where you can have food and drink which is included in the price of the ticket. We passed on the food as it was dog!! The bus took a little longer than the expected 5 hours as we stopped for petrol, shopping, food break, maintanence on bus for around an hour and finally a bust tyre. They did drop us right outside our guesthouse, Wisma Maria, about 2.5 hours late but in one piece.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$109.40 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$118.18 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$53.93 per night