Sulawesi sprawls in the centre of the amazing Indonesian archipelago. It is one of their main islands with attractions to please adventure and nature lovers alike. The coastline boasts pristine beaches with crystal waters to match, whilst the contrast of lush mountain and jungle are every hikers dream. Animals lovers fear not there is something here for you too with the calm and friendly Crested Black Macaque living in the north of Sulawesi.
With cities like Makassar and Manado to remote villages with indigenous people like Tana Toraja to a diving paradise like Bunaken, Sulawesi really is a hidden gem of cultural bliss.  At the end of April, I was invited by the Indonesia tourism to embark on 7 day trip around Sulawesi and Ambon. Below is a wrap of some of my favourite things to do in Sulawesi featuring Manado, Bunaken Island, Palu & Makassar.

Related: “Our Ultimate Bali Travel Guide





1. Enjoy the sunsets
I absolutely adore sunsets ( I adore sunrises too but am never up early enough to catch them :P). I am forever amazed by the magic the sky can make, the colours that come to life are always welcoming! Here are a couple of gorgeous sunsets we witnessed in Palu and Manado!

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi
things to do in Sulawesi
2. Get in touch with nature
There is so much nature to appreciate here in Sulawesi. The coast has incredible waters whilst the middle part of the island is blessed with spectacular rainforest and mountain ranges! My absolute favourite thing about Indonesia is the mass of palm trees, which means photo op around every corner! Basically an Instagrammers dream!

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

 

 

3. Climb the Hill of Love
Bukit Kasih or Hill Of Love is located in the Minahasa Regency of North Sulawesi. On arrival, we were greeted by a mob of men with their owls wanting photos, thank goodness none of the group acknowledged this poor attempt at tourism. This sulphuric hill spans over 2435 steps to the top, and with active sulphur that has eroded parts of the track, the walk is eerie, to say the least.
This highland is called the Hill of Love because it is where people from different religions can gather and worship their own faith symbol in peaceful harmony. There are five houses of worship: a Catholic Church, a Christian church, a temple, a mosque and Hindu temple.

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

 

 

4. Have lunch at Tondano Lake
Tondano Lake, the largest lake in North Sulawesi, sits 600 metres above sea level. It covers an impressive 4,278 hectares and with its lush vegetation and mystical mountain backdrop, it makes for a spectacular lunch stop. The lake, situated by the village of Remboken is around 30 km from Manado. Enjoy the local caught fish at one of the many food stalls and restaurants surrounding the lake.
things to do in Sulawesi
Related: THE INDONESIA BEYOND BALI
5. Snorkel Bunaken Island
Bunaken Island is located in the bay of Manado in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Its main attraction is the incredible marine life. We took a ferry from the Harbour Marina port which took around 40 minutes. The translucent waters of the Bunaken seas allow for fantastic snorkelling, just be aware of the incredible albeit a tad scary cliff drop on the edge of the coral reef then plunges down more than 25 metres.

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi things to do in Sulawesi


6. Eat Delicious Food
We indulged in some ENAK SEKALI (very delicious) meals on our trip around Sulawesi. Most meals consisted of fish (about 10 different ways 😐 ), a vegetable dish, something deep fried and sambal (chilli)- always sambal. I must admit by the end I was very much sick of the sight of fish – I did enjoy though, the always tasty and full of exotic spices side of things.

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

 

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7. Discover the Amazing Beaches
Boarded with rows of palm trees the beaches of Indonesia are a photographers dream! The water is clear, the sand is white and the smiles are never ending! My smile was beaming the entire day we explored Tanjung Karang Pantai with a coconut and Bintang in tow!

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi
9. Explore Tangkoko National Park
The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is a flora and fauna conservation area on Mount Tangkoko in the district of Bitung in the province of North Sulawesi, about one hour’s drive from Manado.  The reserve is  attractive for its unique wildlife, in particular, the Black Macaques.
Bonus: just on the other side of this jungle is Black Sand beach. We caught the last glimpse of light, the perfect way to end the day!

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

 

 

9. Get to know the friendly locals
I whole-heartedly believe we become better humans by exploring and learning about other cultures. The best way I have found to do this is to immerse with the locals. The Indonesia people are some of the friendliest, welcoming and cheekiest people I have ever met! Everyone we came across always made sure we were enjoying our time!

things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

10. Have a Bintang
Because travelling is hard work…..
things to do in Sulawesi

things to do in Sulawesi

 

So that is my wrap up of things to do in Sulawesi! Have you been to Indonesia? What did you like/dislike? Comment below!

 

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[ One of my goals this year was to start producing Video content. It’s been a slow start but here is my first real attempt at a Travel Video; A wrap-up of my time in Manado…..]


 

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I was a guest of Ministry of Indonesia, but as always opinions are my own



 

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  • Alli Smith

    Those beaches are amazing! I would love to visit and see that beautiful sunset. Looking at your gorgeous photos is a great way to start my morning. Thanks!

  • OMG…. These photo’s are so beautiful! I am so very jealous. Looks like it would make a great vacation!

  • Sunsets, nature, parks and beaches, I’m definitely loving Sulawesi. It’s a perfect place for an outdoor person like me.

  • Wow at those sunsets. The views are simply heavenly and the food and beverages look mighty good too. I need to add this to my bucket list.

  • This looks like a beautiful place. There are so many things to see and do here. Just sitting and enjoying the beautiful sunsets is a wonderful way to spend the evening! The food sounds delicious too!

  • Ashley

    Sulawesi honestly looks too good to be true. It gives a whole new meaning to picture perfect.

  • Pam

    It sounds like Sulawesi is an amazing place to visit. I love all the pictures and I love places where you can get to know the locals. That is one of my favorite things about traveling.

  • This sounds so nice! I’d definitely have to do some exploring. Snorkeling would be a lot of fun too.

  • Sulawesi looks like a beautiful place to visit. I love all of those photos!

  • simplyjustnoel

    I’ve never snorkeled but its on my bucket list. This place looks like heaven. I love all of your photos and things to do. If you were planning my vacation I’d be sure to have a great time! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • April Mims

    That looks like an amazingly beautiful place to visit. I would definitely enjoy some time away from everything and lounge on the beach.

  • You’re photography is beautiful! I would love to visit Indonesia, I know a few people who have visited and really enjoyed themselves.

  • michele d

    Your photos are so beautiful. Makes me want to visit Indonesia. I can imagine myself being on that beach. So beautiful.

  • Becca Wilson

    This looks like it was an amazing trip!
    I would love to hike the Hill of Love.

  • Ana

    I’ve never been to Indonesia but I’d love to go! Amazing pics! Thanks for sharing!

  • MJ

    This looks like pure paradise. I’ve never heard of this island but I know Indonesia is a beautiful place. Your pictures tell the story! Adding to my bucket list.

  • OhNikka

    I like all of your things to do! I really like to watch sunsets too.

  • Vanessa Workman

    Great write up and the video just put a big smile on my face! <3

  • This looks like such a beautiful place to visit and hope to make a trip soon with friends. All your photos are just stunning!!

  • Sunsets are especially charming) Looks like a great experience! thanks for sharing!

  • cewtypye

    Wow, these photos are truly amazing. It really makes you want to plan a trip!

  • Amazing pics of a gorgeous destination