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CENTRAL SULAWESI TOUR

GENERAL INFO

Central Sulawesi is the province within has a lot to offer for tourism destination. Ancient megaliths, tribes whose ways of life remain relatively unchanged, mossy mountains, sleepy blue lakes,  very long river which can be used for white water rafting. You might also enjoy fantastic snorkeling, and diving on coral reefs. 

You also  will find delights in unpopulated small islands surrounded by endless white sandy beaches and natural voice in national reserves.

Rich in flora and fauna like the most expensive Ebony wood, Teakwood, Rattan, Banyan trees, also the famed Black Orchids. The shy Babirusa (deer pig), Anoa (Dwarf Buffalo). Deer and various species of birds including the rare maleo birds (Macrocephalo maleo) Black Monkey Sulawesi (Maccaca maura), Tangkasi (the smallest species of monkies) are waiting for the visitors who like adventures (trekking, rafting, birdwatching).

Central Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tengah) is a province of Indonesia located in the heart of Sulawesi. It was established on April 13, 1964.

Central Sulawesi is surrounded by Gorontalo in the north, South Sulawesi and South East Sulawesi in the south, Maluku in the east, and the Makassar Strait in the west. Palu is the capital Central Sulawesi Province, which geographically this region located in upstate. Town which seldom has rain known as one of dry town in Indonesia with hot air in the afternoon and nocturnal cold.

HISTORY

Central Sulawesi is rich in culture and history. As early as in 13th century, many small kingdoms emerged in this area. Some of them are Banawa, Tawaeli, Sigi, Bangga and Banggai. On the 16th century, Islam began to dominate these kingdoms Bone and Wajo kingdoms first were influenced by this religion and later on it began spreading to other kingdoms.

Dutch came in 17th century and began to try to take over this place. In 18th century Dutch took control of Central Sulawesi until the arrival of Japan. After WW2, Dutch tried to create another puppet country here but the locals vehemently opposed this so it became a part of Indonesia in 1950, becoming a separate province in 1964. 

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

Like many areas in Indonesia, first natives of Central Sulawesi were a mixed of Wedoid and Negroid races. Malay came later and began to dominate this place. Relics of Bronze and Megalithicum Age can be found here. These days the dominant races here are Palu Toraja, Koro Toraja and Poso Toraja.

HOW TO GET THERE

The area is reachable by flights and by bus or charter car, through South Sulawesi, or North Sulawesi & Gorontalo also reachable from South East Sulawesi.

These two main airports in Sulawesi island, is a gate to reach another smaller airport such us :

  • Djalaludin airport - Gorontalo city, Gorontalo.
  • Pongtiku airport - Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi.
  • Mutiara airport - Palu City, Central Sulawesi.
  • Kasiguncu airport - Poso city, Central Sulawesi.
  • Luwuk airport - Luwuk City, Central Sulawesi.
  • Naha airport - Sangihe regency, North Sulawesi
  • Melongguane airport - Talaud regency, North Sulawesi.
  • Matohara airport - Wakatobi regency, South East Sulawesi
  • Holuleo airport - Kendari city, South East Sulawesi.

MAKASSAR – PALU :

  • Makassar Daily flight to Palu, departs in the morning - flight time (1h)        
  • PALU - AMPANA :
  • Chartered car to Ampana from Palu about 08 hours.

AMPANA – TOGEAN ISLAND:

  • Ampana "The Gateway to Togians Island", from here the you reach Tomini bay within Togian Island by charter boat, or public boat
  • MANADO - LUWUK
  • Flights are available regularly, departing from Manado International Airport, estimated arrival time at Luwuk is around 12:00 AM flight time (about 1 ½ hrs.)

MAKASSAR - LUWUK

  • Flight from Makasar to Luwuk, 3 times a week, Thuesday and Thursday, operated by wings air or Express Air . Departure time: 10:40 AM, arrival time in Luwuk about 12:40 PM. Please check depature dates and times!

LUWUK - AMPANA

  • Chartered car (air conditioned, driver) from Luwuk to Ampana, stuff will pick you up at Luwuk Airport, a short break for lunch available on your request, Luwuk to Ampana (6 hrs.), good road conditions, one way ticket 80 US$ .

TOP DESTINATION

TOGEAN ISLAND - When crossing Sulawesi from South to North or North to South most travellers now choose for a stopover of at least several days at the Togian Islands. The Togians are a picturesque archipelago of 56 islands and inlets, located in the Tomini Bay. Formed by volcanic activity, the islands are covered by lush rainforest and surrounded by ancient coral reef formations. Both the terrestrial and marine ecosystems teem with exotic wildlife - much of which is extremely rare or endangered. The reefs and coastal areas provide habitat and breeding areas for hawksbill turtle, the green turtle and the dugong. Togian forests and skies are filled with exotic creatures such as the Togian Macaque, the babirusa, the Sulawesi Hornbill, and hanging parrots. Within this tropical paradise, 37 villages provide bright spots of gaiety and culture of several ethnicities, including the Bobongko, Togian, Suluan and the Bajau.

The Togians were declared a National Park in 2004, but there is no park administration center yet or patrols. Because a lot of people live from coconuts and not much from fishing, there is still an abundance of fish life. there seem to be some parts of the reef that were damaged by dynamite fishing,but I didn’t see any actual damage.

History - The Togian Islands have long been out of sight and out of mind for most, including the Indonesian government, and so remain very much undeveloped. Life continues for the majority of those that live here in a similar way to that which they have known for many years.

The islands have been in the forefront of several conservation groups minds for quite some time now. Several attempts were made to grant the Togeans national park status. However, due the slow-moving machinations of the bureaucratic wheels within Jakarta, and the fact that any such revenues gained would go straight back to line the coffers of central government, national park status has never been achieved.

Moves are now afoot to grant local marine reserve protection rights instead. It is hoped that this will speed up the process, empower and motivate the locals to properly police the area, and bring much needed revenues to the residents of this part of Sulawesi.

Population - There are only about 25,000 people in total in the Togians. Pollution is not a major problem out here (yet) and, as evidence of that, remarkably even the piers are clear of floating rubbish.

The people are mainly Muslim Minahasans from Gorontalo, but also the eruption on Una Una in 1983 brought refugees from that island. An interesting ethnic group indigenous to Tomini Bay are the Bajau, or Sea Gypsies. The Bajau number some 2,000 people and adopt a rather secretive, nomadic existence entirely at sea.

They live in wooden shacks built on stilts on top of the coral reefs. They move from home to home by dugout canoe and exist by subsistence fishing and selling sea cucumbers to the chinese markets. The Bajau practice breath hold diving and use only goggles and spears for hunting.
Most of the population live on the main island settlements in small fishing communities on Dolong, Togean and Batudaka.

KADIDIRI ISLAND - Located not far from Wakai, is the center of tourism area in Togean Island. Kadidiri Island is very popular island among tourist because the beach is a real good with snorkeling location and dive. Above the water guests can walk in the surrounding forest for bird-watching, or see the local culture of the Bajo people (Sea gypsies), try fishing local style or simply relaxing and sunbathing in an untouched paradise.

Kadidiri Island boasts glassy waters, extensive coral habitats and what is probably the best beach in the Togean Islands (an area already famed for its beaches). Beachfront bungalows and rustic resorts are scattered across the coastline, and lounging in a beach chair or hammock is high on most visitors' list of priorities.

LORELINDU NATIONAL PARK - is a forested protected area on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The area of the national park is 2,290 km² covering both lowland and montane forests with an altitude range of 200 – 2,610 m. Some of its more popular inhabitants include the Red-Knobbed Hornbill and the Giant Civet. 227 bird species have been observed in the park, 77 of which are endemic to Sulawesi. In addition to the rich wildlife, the Bada Valley located in the park also contains stone megaliths dating from ca. 1300. The national park is also an official UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

AMPANA TOWN - A pleasant town with good boat connections to the Togean Islands. The dock and local market are lively places to hang out if you are looking for something to do in Ampana.

BANGGAI ISLAND - Rather remote and deserving at least a few days to explore properly, the Banggai Islands are often overlooked. However, those who do make the effort to come here will be able to enjoy some superb scuba diving, swimming and frequent whale and dugong (aquatic manatee-type mammals) sightings. 

PELLENG ISLAND - The largest of the Banggai Islands, with home stays being available at the settlements of Salakan and Tataba.

POSO LAKE - The third-biggest lake in the whole of Indonesia, covering an area of more than 74,100 acres /30,000 hectares. Boat trios and hiking trails are the main attractions around the lake.The Lake Poso is locatedin Pendolo features a number of good beaches and opportunities for swimming, next to the boat jetty.

MOROWALI NATURAL RESERVE - Stabilished during the 1980s and around 556,000 acres / 225,000 hectares in size. Tourists visiting the Morowali Nature Reserve will find that this area is best explo red on foot, by using the plentiful trekking trails.

PALU CITY - The city of Palu offers tourists just a few meaningful attractions, such as the Museum Negeri Propinsi Sulawesi Tengah

TANJUNG API NATIONAL PARK - This popular park is around 10,500 acres / 4,250 hectares in size and offers an especially unusual attraction - a burning coral cliff, which remains fueled by naturally formed gas, leaking through the rocks.

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