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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Great Journeys: Indonesia: Sulawesi

Relatively off the tourist trail, the island of Sulawesi is astounding, from its animist cultures to its stunning islands.

Map of Sulawesi, Indonesia

Click on the links below to find out more about individual destinations.

Journey Summary

Starting and ending in Sulawesi's capital Ujung Pandang, we head north on the bus to Tentena, a small village from where we can plan a wonderful three-day trek from Bomba to Gimpu, passing through the monolithic Bada Valley. After exhausting ourselves it's time to head north from the port of Ampana to the undiscovered Togian Islands, where wonderful isolated beaches and scuba diving on wrecked warplanes awaits us. Tearing ourselves away we head south again through Poso and Tentena to Rantepao, the centre of Torajaland and home to the stunning animist culture and amazing funerals of the Torajan people. Finally it's time to return back to Ujung Pandang.

Suggested Itinerary

This journey can be adapted easily to cater for an open-jaw journey from Ujung Pandang in the south to Manado right in the northeast tip of Sulawesi, which avoids retracing the nightmare bus trip through central Sulawesi. The following is only a suggested itinerary.

Day Suggested Itinerary
1 Fly to Ujung Pandang
2 One day in Ujung Pandang
3 Ujung Pandang to Tentena
4 One day in Tentena
5 Tentena to Bomba
6 Three days trekking through the Bada Valley
9 Bomba to Ampana
10 Ampana to the Togian Islands
11-15 Five days in the Togian Islands
16 Togian Islands to Poso
17 Poso to Tentena
18 Tentena to Rantepao
19-23 Five days in Rantepao
24 Rantepao to Ujung Pandang
25 One day in Ujung Pandang
26 Fly from Ujung Pandang