Sulawesi Island in Indonesia - Formerly known as Celebes, Sulawesi is shaped like a tropical orchid. It is Indonesia's third-largest island with an area of 172,000 square km. The island of Sulawesi is divided into the provinces of North Sulawesi, South Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi. Sulawesi has great topographical variety-spectacular mountains, scenic coastline, lakes, rice and dense jungles-and offer wonderful opportunities for travelers.
History of Sulawesi Island
Much of Sulawesi's early history was written in old texts that can be
traced back to the 13th and 14th centuries. When the Portuguese, the
first western visitors, reached Sulawesi in 1511, they found Makassar a
thriving cosmopolitan entre-port where Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Siamese,
Javanese, and Malays came to trade their manufactured metal goods and
fine textiles for precious pearls, gold, copper, camphor and, of course,
the invaluable spices - nutmeg, cloves and mace which were brought from
the interior and from the neighbouring Spice Islands, the present day
By the 16th century, Makassar had become Sulawesi's major port and
centre of the powerful Gowa and Tallo sultanates. The arrival of the
Dutch in the early 17th century caused an upheavel in Sulawesi. To
create their hegemony over the spice trade they captured the fort of
Makassar in 1667, which they rebuilt and renamed Fort Rotterdam. From
this base they managed to destroy the strongholds of the Sultan of Gowa
who was then forced to live on the outskirts of Makassar.
The town again became a collecting point for the produce of eastern
Indonesia- the copra, rattan, pearls and sandalwood. Although the Dutch
controlled the coast, it was not until the early 20th century that they
gained power over the interior through a series of treaties with local
rulers. Meanwhile Dutch missionaries converted many of the Toraja people
to Christianity. Later on when Indonesia became independent, Sulawesi
became a part of it.
Sulawesi has warm tropical climate with wet and dry seasons lasting
approximately six months each. The dry season is from April to October
and the wet season is from November to May.
Best Time To Visit Sulawesi
The best time to visit Sulawesi is during dry season from April to
October. June to October offers the best chance of witnessing a major
to Visit in Sulawesi
Manado: It is the capital of North Sulawesi Province. Manado
offers a variety of terrain with hills, volcanic mountains and scenic
Bunaken Sea Garden: The world famous Bunaken Marine National
Park, with an area 75.26 hectares, is located very close to Manado and
comprises of 5 islands: Bunaken, Manado Tua, Siladen, Mantehage and
Nain. The superb diving and snokelling sites puts the Marine Park in one
of the top 10 dive area of the world and is a mecca for seasoned and
beginner divers alike.
Manado Tua Island: This island is the main island of the group.
There is a hiking path to the top which takes several hours to climb,
and offers a spectacular view of all the islands of Manado Bay. The
place offers excellent opportunuties for diving and snorkeling.
Kendari: Capital of Southeast Sulawesi. It is the seat of
government and tourist center of the province. It lies along the sloping
hill and seaside of Kendari Bay.
Moramo Waterfall: The fall is unique in itself. It traverses a 2
km plateau, with 127 separate terraced plumes, with the top of the
waterfall some 100 meters above its basin pool. the falls have seven
main terraces, each with its own natural bathing pool.
Moramo Bay: This clean, pollution-free bay is only one and one
half hours by car or speedboat from Kendari. The white sand beaches of
Moramo Bay are host to all sorts of water activities and sports
Shopping in Sulawesi Indonesia
Some of the favorite shopping items in Sulawesi are filigree silverware
and ornaments, hand-woven silks and cottons, hand carved wooden panels
and pictures, bamboo household ornaments and brassware.
How to Reach Sulawesi
Makassar is the main airport. There are several flights each day from
all major cities of Indonesia.