Sulawesi Explorer
Bespoke Holiday Itinerary / Experience Tour

Info : Sulawesi Explorer

The peculiar shape of Sulawesi and its geographical position have lent themselves to an astounding mix of nature, wildlife, culture and a rich history making this an exceptionally fascinating island to explore.

On this holiday you’ll discover the island's unique flora and fauna , experience the traditions of some of Indonesia’s earliest inhabitants and get a sense of Sulawesi’s significance as a spice trading centre in the 16th century. As if this wasn't enough, you’ll also get to experience the glorious coastline and offshore marine life too.

Highlights include     

  • Trekking through  remote villages to learn about the fascinating, elaborate local rituals.
  • Swimming in some of world's best marine parks. Exceptional coral and abundant marine life.
  • Spotting rare wildlife in Tangkoko Nature Reserve.

As with all of our suggested itineraries, we can tailor-make your holiday to suit your budget, style and expectations. Find out about our exclusive Journey Planner here

Pricing & Inclusions

Price on request. Please call us on 020 3411 3589 for detailed costings or click here for a guide on our pricing policy. 

As every holiday is unique - Call our experts on 1-888-577-8452 for an inclusive, personalised quotation for your preferred dates or use the quote request form below...


Your personalised quotation with Experience Travel Group will include:

  • International Flights (which can be omitted from your quotation if you prefer)
  • Accommodation as described
  • Privately guided tours and transfers
  • Original Experience Travel Group "Signature" experiences
  • Full financial protection (full ABTA and ATOL bonding)
  • Meals as described
  • 24 hour in-country backup whilst away
  • Your own dedicated travel expert in the UK

For more on our pricing policy read here.

Day-to-Day Itinerary : Sulawesi Explorer

Day 1 Depart the UK

Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Makassar in Sulawesi.


On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel in Makassar. There will be time to relax after the flight on the first day, followed by a guided city tour on the following day. Visit the old Dutch fort where a museum details the ethnology and vibrant history of the area. Explore the local harbour which was an important strategic port for the Dutch. Spend some time admiring the world famous “Phinisi” or Bugis Schooners, or pick up some salted fish from the local fisherman.


Today you’ll begin the drive to Tana Toraja; it's a long but scenic journey to reach this fascinating part of the world, with stops along the way. There are now 50-minute flights between Makassar and Tana Toraja but they are few and far between, so speak to your Indonesia expert for details.

The scenic drive follows the coast to Pare Pare where you will stop for lunch. From there, head inland up into the stunning mountains before arriving, late afternoon, at your hotel. Accommodation is in traditionally-styled Tongkonan houses and facilities include a swimming pool.


Explore the eerie yet beautiful traditional ancestral hanging graves, effigies and cave tombs of Lemo and Londa. On their death, Toraja people are entombed in cave or hanging graves in the steep cliffs around these sites, which are guarded over by tau tau (life-sized wooden effigies) carved in their image. Learn about the intricate Christian and ‘animalism' hybrid religion that has developed uniquely in this region of Sulawesi. You will also visit Kete Kesu, a wonderful Toraja village, where you will be able to see the incredible Tongkonan houses and rice barns, which are designed to look like boats.


Today will begin with a walk around the markets to see the local farmers selling their wares - among them coffee, cloves and nutmeg. Every 6th day cattle are brought to market and though traditional money is accepted in Toraja, if you visit on this day you will see that the 'local currency' in Toraja is cattle!

You will then head up to Batutumonga for stunning views across the countryside surrounding Rantepao, one of Tana Toraja's main towns.


After breakfast you’ll depart Toraja land begin the journey south to Sengkang via Enrekang, the area is known as the rice-shed of Sulawesi! You’ll take lunch at a local restaurant before you complete the journey. On arrival there will time to visit a traditional Buginese silk-weaving home and to explore Lake Temple by boat, experience the way of life of the local fisherman who live on stilted houses on the lake.

Day 8 Sengkang - Watampone and Cape Bira

After breakfast you’ll continue south to Cape Bira at the very bottom of south eastern tip of the island. En route you’ll pass Bugis villages and see how the sugar, cocoa and rice plantations shape the landscape. Phinisi schooners boats have been hand built by the famous Bugis sailors here for hundreds of year, the area is home to white-sand beaches, clear waters and a range of dive sites.

Day 9  Cape Bira

Today you have a free day to enjoy the beach and snorkelling. A boat can be arranged to nearby Liukang Island too.

Day 10 Cape Bira to Makassar

Today you head back to Makassar stopping en route to see the sights and for a lunch break. Spend a final night in Makassar.

Day 11 Manado

Depart Makassar around 9am for the morning flight north to Manado. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing at leisure.

DAY 12-14  Tomohon and Tangkoko  


The conditions of the waters around Sulawesi nurture some of the best marine life in the world (the island was featured in the 2017 Blue Planet II series). Think turtles, dolphins and exceptionally vibrant coral. There are a number of options for the beach part of your holiday and it is best to discuss the pros and cons with your consultant. From Manado you can easily reach Gangga Island or Bunaken and this holiday is priced including 3 nights at Gangga. Should you have time to spare this could be extended by 2 nights.

 Day 18 Fly or Stay

If opting for the 3 night stay at Gangga you will depart Manado today for your flight back to the UK. Alternatively you could stay on in Sulawesi or fly east on to Bali or Java and continue your Indonesia holiday.

Customer Feedback
This is the 3rd trip Matt has organised for us and yet again he was spot on in arranging a fantastic itinerary and organising amazing hotels.

Customer Protection


The air holiday packages shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 9324. Please see our booking conditions for more information.

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