• Sulawesi en famille
  • Sulawesi en famille


Recharge, rejuvenate, have fun, walk through rice fields, immerse yourself in culture, and indulge on paradisiacal islands.


GiliTA – Gili Travel Agency – INDONESIA – Ask Julie!

Duration: 34 nights / 35 days, 1000 – 2000 EUR per person; flights are booked by the clients.

Sulawesi Destinations:

Makassar – Rammang Rammang – Bira – Lake Tempe – Tana Toraja Secret Traditions – Tentena Ampana – the Togian Islands – Gorontalo – Bunaken – Tangkoko


Offer your family an unforgettable holiday in Sulawesi, where adventure, culture, and natural beauty come together to create lasting memories.

Duration: Adjustable according to your preferences.

Price: On request for a personalized itinerary covering all the must-sees of Sulawesi.


  • Makassar – Discover the bustle of the capital of South Sulawesi and its historical sites, such as Fort Rotterdam.
  • Rammang Rammang – Explore the karst hills and picturesque villages nestled among incredible limestone formations.
  • Bira – Diving and relaxation on pristine white sand beaches, and observation of the construction of traditional Phinisi boats.
  • Lake Tempe – Visit the unique floating village of Lake Tempe and immerse yourself in the life of local fishermen.
  • Tana Toraja Secret Traditions – Immerse yourself in the Toraja culture, witness their age-old funeral rites, and explore the impressive tongkonan houses.
  • Tentena Ampana – Set off for an adventure to the Togian Islands, with a stopover in the charming city of Tentena.
  • Togian – A getaway to a secluded archipelago, known for its spectacular coral reefs and serene ambiance.
  • Gorontalo – Dolphin watching and diving with whale sharks in the crystal-clear waters of Gorontalo.
  • Bunaken – Dive into the marine park of Bunaken, renowned for its biodiversity and dramatic coral walls.
  • Tangkoko – Conclude your journey with a nature adventure in search of tarsiers and crested black macaques in the Tangkoko reserve.

This trip offers a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural discoveries, with accommodation options ranging from local guesthouses to luxury resorts. Contact GiliTA to plan your personalized itinerary and experience the ultimate Sulawesi adventure with your family.



Transfer from Makassar Airport to your city hotel in Makassar by private car. Our private driver will pick you up at the airport and drive you to the accommodation in Makassar.


Makassar, the vibrant capital city of Sulawesi, offers a delightful blend of modernity and rich cultural heritage. As you step foot in this bustling metropolis, you’ll be captivated by its bustling markets, stunning colonial architecture, and mouthwatering culinary scene. Indulge in the local delicacies like Coto Makassar, a traditional beef soup, or Sop Saudara, a flavorful fish soup, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant street food culture. 

Explore the fascinating Fort Rotterdam, an imposing 17th-century Dutch fortress that now serves as a museum, and learn about the city’s storied past. Stroll along Losari Beach and witness the picturesque sunset over the Makassar Strait, or take a boat trip to the nearby islands and discover pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Makassar is the perfect starting point for your Sulawesi adventure, offering a perfect blend of urban excitement and natural beauty.  

YOUR LODGING: Makassar City Hotel

Featuring an indoor swimming pool, spa and fitness centre, Makassar City Hotel offers comfort at the end of a long day. Located in Makassar’s central business district, it is a 15-minute walk to Losari Beach and Fort Rotterdam.

Modern rooms with dark wood furnishings are equipped with an HD flat-screen TV, coffee/tea maker and minibar. The private bathroom comes with toiletries, a hairdryer and bathrobes.

The Restaurant serves local and international dishes. 24-hour room service is available. The Pool restaurant situated at the top of the hotel offers splendid views of the sea.

Makassar City Hotel & Convention Center is a 5-minute drive away from Makassar Harbour where guests can take a 45-minute boat ride to Samalona Island. A 15-minute drive leads to Trans Studio Makassar, an indoor theme park. Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport is a 30-minute drive away. Airport transfer is available for a fee.


Rooms are equipped with an HD flat-screen TV, coffee/tea maker and minibar. The private bathroom comes with toiletries, a hairdryer and bathrobes.


Makassar, formerly known as Ujung Pandang, is the vibrant capital city of Sulawesi. Due to its central location, it has been a gateway to the eastern islands of Indonesia for centuries. Makassar has a fascinating historical past, with two powerful kingdoms that resisted Dutch colonial forces for many years.

The well-preserved Fort Rotterdam (Benteng Ujung Pandang) in the city center is a testament to this history. In the evenings, the boulevard comes alive with people gathering at pavilions and street stalls selling snacks. A section of the boulevard is closed to traffic, allowing visitors to enjoy breathtaking sunsets.

During your stay in Makassar, you will have the opportunity to explore the city using public transportation with a guide. Begin your day by visiting two markets: a fish market and a vegetable-fruit market. Here, you can purchase the ingredients needed for a cooking class later in the day. Cross the river on a local ferry to reach a small village where the cooking class will take place in the traditional kitchen of a local Bugis house. Surrounded by rice fields, fish ponds, and abundant gardens, you will feel transported to the countryside. In the village, you can admire the traditional Buginese houses on stilts. We will return to the centre and see some of the sights of Makassar including Fort Rotterdam, and Paotere Harbour, with its dozens of traditional wooden ships.



Transfer from your City Hotel in Makassar by private car. Our driver will pick you up at your hotel and drive you to Rammang Rammang National Park.


Rammang-rammang offers a panoramic view of karst (limestone) hills located about 40 km north of Makassar City. In Rammang Rammang Village, you can see karst mountains towering and overgrown with dense vegetation in the surrounding area.

Rammang-rammang is listed as the third largest karst mountains in the world after Tsingy in Madagascar and Shilin in China. The width is about 45,000 hectares. UNESCO has also included the Rammang Rammang karst mountains as one of Indonesia World Heritage Sites.

You will board a boat and explore the beauty of Rammang-rammang area via Pute River. You will visit the two existing tourist attraction in Limestone Forest Parks area, which are the Telaga Bidadari (Angel Lake), Bulu Barakka Cave, Palm Cave, Pasaung Cave and Berua Village.

Rammang-Rammang is known to have formed a long time ago, which is about 30 million years ago. But for this area, it is estimated that first humans settled in this place are around 40 years ago. Human footprints in the past can still be seen by visitors through handwriting or symbols scattered on some of the mountain walls.

Not only limestone mountains (karst), Rammang-rammang also presents many other tourist attractions that are quite interesting such as the Telaga Bidadari (Angel Lake), Limestone Forest Park, Palm Cave, Bulu Barakka Cave, Pute River and Berua Village.


RAMMANG-RAMMANG GUEST HOUSE, a property with a terrace, is set in Maros, 25 km from Bantimurung Waterfall, 45 km from Fort Somba Opu, as well as 45 km from Gowa Discovery Park. With free private parking, the property is 25 km from Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park and 12 km from Kampoeng Karst Rammang Rammang. Trans Studio Makassar is 42 km from the homestay.

Museum Balla Lompoa is 45 km from the homestay, while Bugis Water Park is 36 km from the property. The nearest airport is Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, 19 km from RAMMANG-RAMMANG GUEST HOUSE.


2 extra-large double bed, with extra bed

DAY 5 to 10: BIRA


Transfer from the homestay in RR by private car. Our driver will pick you up at your homestay and drive you to Bira.


Bira is a coastal village and a popular tourist destination located in the southern part of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Known for its stunning white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, and vibrant marine life, Bira is a haven for beach lovers, divers, and snorkelers. It’s part of the Bulukumba Regency and is often heralded for its traditional boat building, especially the Phinisi, a traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ship. The craftsmanship of these boats is so renowned that it has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Visitors to Bira can enjoy a variety of water-based activities such as diving among the beautifully preserved coral reefs, sunbathing, swimming, and experiencing the local culture. Accommodation in Bira ranges from budget guesthouses to more upscale resorts, catering to a variety of travelers. The journey to Bira offers scenic views of the countryside and takes several hours by road from Makassar, the capital city of South Sulawesi province.

YOUR LODGING: Beach Homestay

Located right on Bara Beach in Bira, these Bungalows offers a beautifully simple beachfront accommodation where each bungalow has sea view. Free on-site parking space for guests who drive. The property has a lot of staircases and may not be suitable for elderly or young children.

It takes a 10-minute drive from the property to Phinisi Boat Building Industry, and about a 5-hour drive to Makassar Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport.

The rooms at Cosmos Bungalows are all fan-cooled and fitted with a seating area, and clothes rack. Some rooms have sea view, while others have garden view. The en suite bathrooms have toilet facility, whilst fresh towels and linens are provided in each room.

Guests can enjoy dining experience with a view from the on-site restaurant, Terrace Cafe.


Located nearer to the sea, this fan-cooled double room comes with a seating area. The en suite bathroom has toilet facility, whilst fresh towels and linens are provided in the room.

Guests can enjoy unobstructed sea view from the room.




This small fishing village is home to a variety of unique sights and sounds.

We encourage you to take a moment to bask in their raw beauty of Tanjung Bira and allow us at House Reef to guide you to a host of beautiful activities for you to participate in while you’re here.


The uniqueness of Bira waters is that once the weather changes and we get the East Winds, our coast is well protected from waves and surf. We get a unique calm ocean almost like a swimming pool with make conditions ideal for freediving and snorkelling.

Freedivers would find Bira the ultimately freediving spot as you have crystal clear waters, incredible beautiful reefs which are full of life and deep walls which would entice the more advance freedivers who wish to go deeper.


While tourism is a new industry in Bira, the main reason why people travel near and far to Tanjung Bira was to see and build wooden Phinisi Boats. Hailed as one of the last places on the Planet that still build wooden boats at this scale, they are truly a wonder to see. We encourage all our guests who come to visit Bira spend time at the boat building areas and to see the marvel and intricate craftsmanship of such traditions.


Every Friday, the volunteers go to the school with colouring materials and colour with the kids. They also organize weekly beach cleanups. Free activity, feel free to donate and bring pens, colours, and notebooks to give to the kids. Indonesians LOVE presents, they call it oleh oleh!

DAY 10 to 11: TEMPE LAKE


Our local driver will pick you up at the resort in Bira and drop you off in Sengkang, starting point to visit Danau Tempe. 


Visiting Lake Tempe is a unique experience, many people have built floating houses and just live on the lake. Meeting them and witnessing this different type of lifestyle is really exceptional. Most of them are fishermen and live on the lake during high tide season, moving to the land when the tide is low.

The starting point to visit Danau Tempe is Sengkang,we will arrange for a boat ride with your accommodation. Consider hiring a guide if you want to communicate with the villagers as the boat driver won’t speak English.

The lake is also good for nature lovers as many bird species are living there.

YOUR LODGING: Local guest house

ROOM TYPE: 2 standard rooms 


Visit the floating vilage of Lake Tempe.

The first part of the boat trip is all about nature and scenery. During the second part, you’ll explore the villages and watch the daily activities of its people. It’s a great opportunity to discover a different way of living, and if you have a guide, you can interact with the locals.

Although the banks have been flooded for many years, geologists expect the lake to disappear one day.



Our local driver will pick you up at the resort in Sengkang and drop you off in Rantepao.


Rantepao is the cultural and commercial hub of Tana Toraja, a region in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, famed for its unique cultural heritage and ancient traditions. The Torajan people are known for their elaborate funeral rites, traditional tongkonan houses with distinctively curved roofs that resemble buffalo horns, and intricate wood carvings that adorn their homes and rice barns.

Tana Toraja, often referred to as the Land of the Heavenly Kings, is a place where tradition and modernity intersect. The elaborate funeral ceremonies, which can last for several days, play a central role in Torajan society. These events involve complex rituals, including animal sacrifices and feasts, as a way of ensuring the deceased’s soul reaches the afterlife. They are also social occasions that serve as family reunions and a means for reinforcing social ties within the community.

The tongkonan houses, considered the center of family and social life, are built on wooden piles, with a high-pitched roof made of bamboo and black palm fibers, and are often beautifully decorated. These ancestral homes symbolize the identity and social status of the family and are oriented to face north, which Torajans consider the direction of life.

Apart from the funerary customs, Toraja is also known for its breathtaking landscapes, which include vast rice terraces, limestone hills, and pristine mountains. Visitors to Rantepao can explore the traditional villages, trek through the scenic countryside, and immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Tana Toraja. Despite the growth in tourism, the Torajans maintain a strong connection to their ancestral customs, preserving a way of life that has captivated anthropologists and travelers alike.

Located in Central Sulawesi, Tanah Toraja is famous for its peculiar death ritual. Many ceremonies have to take place before the dead can be buried, and some families have to wait for months before the funeral, either because they don’t have enough money or either because all the relatives cannot come back for the ceremonies. One of the most impressive rituals is the buffaloes’ sacrifices, the more the better, and after you’re invited to eat the barbecued buffaloes with the family.

The Torajans believe that when people die, they remain with us and look after those left behind. In order to properly do so, they need a proper funeral, and a proper funeral involves sacrificing a buffalo so that it can escort the deceased Torajan back to heaven. So, the funerals are incredibly graphic events.


  • Bike Tour (included)
  • Visit the funeral if possible (included)


Exploration of traditional Toraja villages like Ke’te Kesu (a UNESCO World Heritage site) or Sillanan – Visit Toraja burial sites such as Kambira, Lemo, Londa, or Bori Parinding – Visit the Bolu buffalo market – Discovery and tasting of the famous Toraja coffee – Hiking – Waterfalls – Rafting – Cave visits…

In Toraja, you will discover an extraordinary culture, with its history, architecture, and beliefs. 


A splendid deserted beach of blonde sand and clear, tempting, irresistible water. A joy, this swim right out of bed before breakfast. One can truly swim; the water is delightful, not cold at all and the weather is beautiful.

The waterfalls of Tentena are a set of absolutely gorgeous turquoise-blue waterfalls and pools.


Departure from Rantepao with our Indonesian driver, in the heart of the Toraja country, discover the center of Sulawesi, arriving +/- 8 hours later on the western shore of the immense Lake Poso.

Located at an altitude of 700m, on the North shore of Lake Poso, the village of Tentena is surrounded by small mountains. In short, a nice village to discover at leisure.


Lake Poso is also lined with beaches. One can swim in Lake Poso. The most famous and nearest beach to Tentena is Siuri Beach. A beautiful little beach with yellow sand where it’s nice to relax. Ideal after having driven a bit.


Lake Poso is a lake of about 320 km², bordered by villages and mountains at an altitude of 700m. The best way to admire Lake Poso is to follow its edge or to get a little elevation, especially from the Panorama View road. The Panorama View road offers a few nice viewpoints despite the distance and the numerous trees.


ACCOMMODATION: Small charming hotel by the beach

ROOM TYPE: 2 deluxe rooms with an extra bed


L’incontournable de Tentena est sans aucun doute les cascades Saluopa. Un ensemble de cascades sur plusieurs niveaux dans lesquelles il est possible de se baigner. Situées à 12km de Tentena, les cascades Saluopa (20 000Rp par personne) Elles sont juste magnifiques !


A radical change of atmosphere with the skeleton cave (Latea Cave). Located 800 meters from the road (in the middle of the jungle), the (small) caves shelter human remains (mainly skulls). In this part of Sulawesi, customs and traditions related to death are significant.

Like all cities in Asia, Tentena has a market. It is located 2km from the city center (on the road to the waterfalls and Siuri Beach). Whether it’s for strolling or shopping, the market is always a must-visit. And this is true even if it harbors bats (as is the case here). It’s a small market that doesn’t look like much, but if you go all the way to the back, you will see bats that are sold individually, after being cleaned with a blowtorch. This is where restaurateurs come to pick them up.


Yes, in Tentena, they really enjoy eating bat; it’s a delicious dish for them! Personally, I’ve tried it, and it was so spicy that I didn’t feel much except for my mouth catching fire! But I would say it’s somewhat similar to rabbit if I had to compare it to something.


The embarkation port for the Togian Islands from the south of Sulawesi. Departure the following morning for the island of Una Una, a diving paradise in the Togian Islands.


Departure from Tentena with our Indonesian driver, at the heart of central Sulawesi, arriving +/- 6 hours later in Ampana, the embarkation port for the Togian Islands.


ACCOMMODATION: Small charming hotel

Small charming hotel surrounded by coconut trees in a quiet location, a little outside the city.

ROOM TYPE: 2 superior rooms with extra bed


The next morning, we’re off to the Togian, Gorontalo, Bunaken, and Tangkoko Islands.


Nestled in the heart of Tomini Bay, between the peninsulas of north and central Sulawesi in Indonesia, the Togean Islands are an enchanting archipelago where lush tropical greenery meets the expansive azure of the sea. Known for their astonishing biodiversity, both on land and underwater, the Togean Islands are a paradise for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, with vibrant coral reefs teeming with a staggering variety of marine life.


The Togian Islands are a real treasure. As we know from fairy tales, treasures are hard to find and not easily accessible. However, those who are chosen, who make the effort and undertake the journey will be richly rewarded.

09:00 AM by HERKULES: The daily morning speedboat (heading to Wakai) takes you directly to the beach bungalow. Tell the captain you wish to disembark at the Bomba Divers pier. They will come to pick you up there! The journey takes about 40 minutes and currently costs 160,000 IDR per person (10EUR, to be paid on the spot — private boat also possible but more expensive, 350 euros).

When not exploring the underwater wonders, visitors can soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the islands, wander through traditional villages, lounge on secluded white sand beaches, or venture into dense jungles harboring rare and exotic wildlife. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, the Togeans offer a unique getaway far from the modern world, inviting travelers to discover the pristine beauty and rich culture of one of Indonesia’s hidden gems.



Located in the magical southwest of the Togian Islands, this small charming hotel and private beach offer plenty of privacy, space for creativity, deep relaxation, and it’s the perfect refuge away from the outside world.

They consider themselves a playground for the body and soul with the perfect mix of good food, good people, and good vibes.

Stay in one of our charming bungalows on a beautiful Togian Island beach. The bungalows are basic but filled with love and all equipped with a private bathroom. Enjoy the offered food, the fresh garden, and the beautiful view.



They love food. They will do their best to delight you with wonderful dishes and are constantly working on their menu. Of course, all vegetarian and vegan friends are also welcome!


Electricity only in the evening. No phone. No internet. Some might call this simple. They think it’s pure richness. Come live the simple life with them!


Calling themselves an Eco Hotel sets high standards that they cannot yet fully meet. Especially in a remote environment like the Togian Islands. However, they do their best and are constantly working on ecological sustainability. Protecting nature and having a positive social impact are part of their philosophy.



Just a few steps from the ocean, you can head to the beach and spend your day swimming, snorkeling, playing football, volleyball, badminton, or just relaxing in a hammock.


Be active, if you wish. Are you creative and have crazy ideas? They love that and will do their best to make it happen. Don’t have any ideas and an empty mind? They have plenty of suggestions on what to do!

ROOM TYPE: Family Villa


We don’t just satisfy your hunger, we also feed your soul. Three delicious meals are included in the room rate. We pay great attention to the food we serve in order to satisfy all our guests. Vegetarians and vegans are very welcome. Free unlimited coffee and tea, as well as a free reusable water station.


Our Family Villa is our newest bungalow. The style follows our Bamboo Plus Bungalow but offers much more space. A large terrace as well as two semi-separated rooms. One bedroom and a space that can be used as a second bedroom or as a daybed. The partition separating the rooms does not completely divide the two spaces, it just offers a bit more privacy. Superior lighting, individual interior, a full Western-style bathroom, and a large terrace define the character of these bungalows. The perfect choice for our friends who pay attention to detail and appreciate an atmospheric nest. Located beachfront with picturesque views of the garden and the ocean – just a few steps from the beach, they feature a very comfortable King Size bed and a wide glass front for an incredible view.


The bathroom in our Bamboo Villa is equipped with a Western toilet, a bamboo shower, and a sink. All furnished with an individual interior.


The rooms are furnished with handmade shelves made from driftwood. The interior is unique and gives you enough space to unpack your belongings and feel at home. We pay great attention to detail and try to create an atmosphere of comfort.


Our BAMBOO bungalows are constructed mainly from bamboo. The construction is open and allows the room to breathe. Combined with the ocean breeze, we have created a natural air conditioning that keeps the room at comfortable temperatures even on hot days. Thanks to the large window facade and double doors, the rooms are flooded with light.

Includes three meals per day per person.


Malenge Island is one of the most serene gems within the Togean archipelago, a cluster of islands located in the Gulf of Tomini in Indonesia. This island offers a tranquil escape for travelers seeking privacy and communion with nature. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Malenge teem with marine life, inviting hours of unforgettable snorkeling and diving amidst unspoiled coral reefs.

On land, Malenge is dotted with fine sandy beaches and small villages where one can meet Bajo communities, also known as sea nomads. Trails through the dense tropical forest lead to secluded lakes and offer the opportunity to observe a diverse endemic wildlife, while bungalows and small seaside hotels provide simple but charming accommodations. Malenge is a destination that delights both eco-tourist adventurers and those seeking spiritual rejuvenation away from the bustle of the modern world.

The Bajo (or Bajau) are sea gypsies. Once, they led a nomadic life on the open ocean, aboard modest wooden boats. They lived exclusively from their fishing, which they would partly exchange with sedentary populations during their land stopovers for vegetables and rice. They are known for their excellent spearfishing techniques (and free diving).

Today, most Bajo have been forced to settle down by the government. With a strong connection to the sea, they live in villages built on stilts above the water, on either side of a large jetty, in shacks as modest as their boats. Fishing remains their primary activity. They can be found in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

When we arrive on site, the children are already waving at us enthusiastically while we are still on the boat. Once we disembark onto the wobbly jetty, we are besieged by a horde of overexcited, sometimes half-naked, children screaming at the top of their lungs: Foto mister, foto! Everyone smiles at us, the kids fight to shake our hands, we even struggle to move forward.


Take a small boat directly from the cottages, 2-3 hours by boat (65 euros, included)


Alan manages the island on behalf of his family. Bolilanga is a special place where people come to escape the chaos of everyday life. There’s a sense of serenity here that’s unmatched elsewhere in the Togeans. I believe this is partly due to the way the island’s ownership entered his family.


Thirty years ago, a friend of Alan’s father needed to finance his daughter’s wedding. The family was really happy with the man she had met and wanted to ensure that the celebrations would be perfect, regardless of the cost.

This friend owned Bolilanga, which at the time was simply an uninhabited and unused island. He offered it up for sale to Alan’s father. Although the asking price for the island was higher than its real value, his father wanted to contribute to the festivities. It is also the custom of their people to help each other out.

About 10 years ago, tourists began to visit the island on day trips and expressed a desire to stay here because it offered them a retreat and the peaceful seclusion they were looking for.

They built cottages and a restaurant but remained true to the beauty of the island. This means that it has been preserved and its beauty remains untouched.

I believe that the tranquil atmosphere of the island is due to Alan’s father’s benevolent action all those years ago in helping a friend. Alan’s father, of course, is too modest to say so himself. The happiness his purchase brought still exists today as people find the joy they have longed for. Come see for yourself!


Bolilanga in the Togians is managed by Alan, on behalf of his family. We are native to the Togian Islands, and generations of his family have been born and raised there, including himself. The island of Bolilanga is a beautiful little island with powdery white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. Snorkeling in perfect turquoise waters teeming with tropical fish and extensive coral formations just off the beach is an ideal way to spend the day and a perfect place to unwind. There are no roads on the island, so no cars, no traffic, no internet, and no cell phones ringing. Just you and nature. It’s simply a paradise. Located in the center of the Togian Islands, it’s a 10-minute boat ride from the village of Katupat.

Includes three meals per day per person.

DAYS 28 to 30: GORONTALO (2 nights)

Gorontalo is a picturesque province located on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich marine biodiversity. This region offers a remarkable fusion of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Gorontalo is home to majestic mountains, serene lakes, and lush tropical forests, where adventurers can explore hidden waterfalls and diverse wildlife.

While diving, the crystal-clear waters reveal the mysteries of the ocean depths, including renowned sites for observing whale sharks. The Dutch colonial era buildings add a historical touch to the city of Gorontalo, while ancestral traditions and local crafts, such as handwoven fabrics, reflect the cultural richness of the province. Gorontalo’s cuisine, with its spicy flavors and dishes made from fresh seafood, promises a unique culinary experience that will delight visitors’ palates.


Rent a boat from Bolilanga to Wakai for 600,000 IDR (55 euros), then take the ferry from Wakai to Gorontalo every Monday and Thursday at 4 PM, and the ticket price is +/- 100,000 IDR (7 euros).

After your arrival in Gorontalo, you will continue your journey to the accommodation.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Between Land and Sea

The beachfront resort, located on the beach of East Biluhu in the province of Gorontalo, is quickly becoming the ideal gathering place for extended vacations, short getaways, diving, snorkeling, water sports, local cuisine, and social events. Simply unwind and relax in our beautifully designed restaurant with ocean views.

All 15 rooms offer private balconies, many with an ocean view. The beach, the ocean, the treasures of Gorontalo, and the signature service await you at this beach resort.


Go snorkeling with whale sharks in Gorontalo for an unforgettable sea experience. Off the coast of the province, in the clear waters near the village of Botubarani, you’ll have the unique opportunity to observe the world’s largest fish up close in their natural habitat. These gentle marine giants, known for their docile nature, glide peacefully through the ocean, giving divers the chance to swim alongside them and capture magical moments underwater. Gorontalo is one of the few places on Earth where you can have this incredible adventure, making your stay in the region even more special.

DAYS 30 to 34: BUNAKEN (4 nights)

Bunaken is a name that resonates as a promise of underwater adventure for divers from all around the world. This small Indonesian island, part of the Bunaken Marine National Park, is located off the coast of Manado in North Sulawesi. Known for its exceptionally clear waters and steep drop-offs, Bunaken is a marine sanctuary home to a myriad of coral species and an impressive diversity of tropical fish.

Divers can explore dazzling coral gardens, walls adorned with colorful sponges, and encounter turtles, reef sharks, and sometimes even dolphins or dugongs. The beauty of Bunaken’s diving sites, with visibility that can reach over 30 meters, makes it one of the most sought-after diving destinations in Southeast Asia.


There are about 400 km from Gorontalo to Manado. The only means of transport between here and Manado are by bus or a shared taxi known as kijiang.

We didn’t do much research on buses because kijangs seem to be the best option. According to some older information, it takes from 12 to 13 hours from Gorontalo to Manado by bus, or even longer.

The rates for kijangs vary depending on the seats you take. For a seven-seater car, including the driver, the passenger seat costs 350,000 IDR (20 euros), the front row seat (row behind the driver and passenger) costs 300,000 IDR, and the rear row costs 250,000 IDR per person for three seats.

The price to charter a car to Manado seems to be between 1,500,000 IDR and 1,700,000 IDR (150 euros – included) per car. We decided to share a chartered car with an Anglo-Finnish couple who had been traveling together for some time.

We decided to charter a boat to go to Bunaken.

In fact, when we arrived at the boat dock, there was a larger boat to share with others for 100,000 rupiah (7 euros) each, but unfortunately, we missed it.

We negotiated with another boat and ended up chartering the boat in the image above for 500,000 rupiah (35 euros – included).


The BunakenFamily Resort is situated on Pangalisang Beach on the east coast of Bunaken Island. It offers Indonesian-style bungalows amidst nature and features a well-equipped diving center.

The cottages are equipped with boxspring beds, mosquito nets, fans, and a private terrace with a hammock, while the bathrooms are supplied with fresh water.

Guests can go snorkeling right in front of the resort or join the boat for spectacular dives around the island.

The resort also offers luggage storage service, a safety deposit box, and a laundry service.

The Sea restaurant serves Indonesian dishes, and vegetarian meals are also no problem.

The Bunaken Family Resort is located 30-45 minutes by boat from the port of Manado. From there, it is a 30-45 minute drive to Sam Ratulangi Airport.

From the village to the resort, it is a 25-30 minute walk. They can organize a transfer from the public boat or the village of Bunaken to the resort for 20,000 IDR (about 1 euro) per person.

ROOM TYPE: Family Room

Three meals included

Bunaken, experience a glimpse of underwater life in the majestic sea garden

In the Bunaken Marine Park, you will encounter a real-life mermaid, and you will also get a glimpse of the underwater life. Within the Bunaken Marine Park, visitors can see various strange and colorful marine creatures along its seabed. To reach this park, you can take a motorboat.

The crystal-clear waters of the Bunaken seas allow people to clearly see numerous marine biota. There are 13 species of coral reefs in this park, dominated by edge ridges and block rock ridges. The most striking view is the vertical steep coral reef that plunges to a depth of 25 to 50 meters. Feast your eyes on 91 types of fish found in the Bunaken National Park, among them the Gusimi seahorse (Hippocampus), the White Oci (Seriola rivoliana), the Yellow-tailed Lolosi (Lutjanus kasmira), the Goropa (Epinephelus spilotoceps and Pseudanthias hypselosoma), the Ila Gasi (Scolopsis bilineatus), and others. Divers can also encounter mollusks such as the Giant Clam (Tridacna gigas), the Goat’s Head (Cassis cornuta), the Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius), and Tunicates/Ascidians.

Getting Around

You can also explore the island on foot or take a boat to move from one diving site to another. Walking on the beach is already a very enjoyable experience.

DAYS 34 to 35: MANADO (1 night)


Tangkoko Nature Reserve: Habitat of tarsiers, macaques, maleos, and cuscuses

The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is a conservation area for flora and fauna located on Mount Tangkoko in the Bitung district, in North Sulawesi province, about an hour’s drive from Manado. The reserve is particularly attractive for its unique wildlife that can be observed roaming freely in the forest.

Tarsiers, black crested macaques, maleo birds, cuscuses, and hornbills make this place their habitat.

Tarsiers are the world’s smallest primates—only about the size of a fist—and Tangkoko is their last stronghold, found only in Sulawesi. The tarsiers (Tarsius spectrum) look particularly cute due to their large saucer-shaped eyes. Locals know them as tangkasi. Since they are nocturnal animals, they can only be observed at night.

The crested black macaques (Macaca nigra), endemic to Sulawesi, usually appear in large social groups and can be seen playing, fighting, or grooming each other. The cuscus, a marsupial animal, can be spotted among the trees by those particularly lucky.

Located about an hour’s drive from Manado, you will first pass through the Batuputih nature park located between the Batuputih Bawah sub-district and the Tangkoko nature reserve in Batuangus.

Covering an area of 615 hectares, the Batuputih nature park is a savannah suited for camping, outdoor activities, and relaxing on the beach. Since Batuputih is mostly visited by tourists, it is therefore the most well-known, although it is just one of four conservation areas in Tangkoko.

In addition to the Batuputih park, the Tangkoko reserve covers a total area of 3,196 hectares, where the Batuangus nature reserve occupies 635 hectares (located between the Tangkoko nature reserve and the village of Pinangunian), while the Duasaudara nature reserve spans 4,299 hectares (which includes Mount Duasaudara and its surroundings).

Getting There

This conservation area for endangered species in Bitung is about 70 kilometers from Manado. Tourists prefer to visit Batuputih, making it the favored tourist destination in Tangkoko. It takes about an hour to drive from Manado to Bitung and an additional 45 minutes from Bitung to Batuputih via winding paved roads.

I spent two days and one night at Tangkoko Hill Cottage, and that was enough time for two complete tours (one in the afternoon and another the next morning).

I saw a lot of wildlife, including macaques and tarsiers on both days. This also gave me enough time to visit the black sand beach at Tangkoko. There’s the option to shorten the stay at Bunaken and extend the stay at Tangkoko.

Last night in Manado, at a small hotel in town to catch the flight the next day to Singapore.