Sulawesi, Maluku & Papua

ecotourism_torajaSelayar – Takabonerate ( The third largest Atoll in the world )

Lying in the southwest of Selayar Island and is the third largest coral atoll in the world after Kwajalein in the Marshall islands and Suvadiva in the Maldives, is Takabonerate ( Telaga Bone Rate ),that spreads over 2,220 sq km in the Flores sea, an area consisting of 21 small islands.

Rich is coral reefs and sea grass ecosystem, the atoll offers some very good wall diving. Visibility is normally around 10 meters. The atoll rises sharply from the side of submerged ridge 2000 meters below the surface. It’s said to have been a huge volcano that has since collapsed, leaving a wide ring of coral.

A national Marine Park, Takabonerate has an abundant amount of fish such as the wahoo, barracuda, giant trevally , marlin sailfish, yellow fins, dogtooth, tuna and mackerels. Fishing, however, is prohibited. There are also some resting areas for sea turtles on the islands.

ecotourism_bunaken_marine_national_parkBunaken Marine National Park ( The underwater Paradise )

With an area of 808 hectares and white sandy beaches, Bunaken Island faces the coastline of Manado and is really accessible, which also make the North of Sulawesi a veritable underwater paradise.

The Bunaken and Manado Tua marine Park are one of the world’s best snorkeling and diving spots. Magnificent coral gardens and a multitude of tropical marine life offer some of the best adventure to be explored and enjoy anywhere in the world. A tremendous variety of marine life thrives in these rich waters from sponges and corals to turtles and dolphins.

tangkokoTangkoko Duasaudara Reserve ( Home of the world’s smallest primate )

Situated on the tip of northern peninsula of Sulawesi lies the Tangkoko – Dua saudara Nature Reserve. The area is dominated by two volcanoes, Gunung Duasaudara ( 1,351 m ) and Gunung Tangkoko ( 1,109 m). To the south-east is the 450 meters active volcano cone, Gunung Batuangus. While the south -west lies the extensive Pata plateau.

Lowland rainforest covers most of the reserve. A large number of wildlife here are fruiteating mammals, such as Celebes black macaque ( Macaca nigra ), tarsiers ( Tarisus spectrum),the smallest primate of the world and phalangers.

ecotourism_selayarTogean Islands ( Gems a Bountiful)

The three largest islands of Batudaka, Togean and Talatakoh in the Gulf of Tomini, off the coast of central Sulawesi in Indonesia, are the jungle clad volcanic islets and the Togean island Archipelago.

White sands, blue seas and lush vegetation characterize these picturesque isles. The forest shelter a variety of wildlife, such as the Tonkean macaque, and the recently discovered and endemic Togean hawk- owl and Togean white eye. The rich coral reefs provide habitat and breeding areas for hawksbill turtle, green turtle and the dugong.

bangka-eilandenBanggai Island

In the western part of Sulawesi is bordered by Banda Sewa in the south and the Mollucan Sea in the north lies The Banggai Islands. The numerous large coral reefs that surround the island support a very rich marine environment, vertical drop off covered with hard and soft coral, reefs shark and turtles, schools of jackfish, tunas and many coral reefs fishes. One of its most unique is the endemic ornamental Banggai cardinal fish ( pterapogon kaudermi ).

Despite suffering from destructive fishing methods in some areas of the archipelago, the reefs around the Banggai Islands are still an outstanding place to dive in. The outer reefs still boast some very beautiful walls, with lots of gorgonians and black coral, small caves and overhangs, larger animals like whales, dugongs, turtles, groupers, sometimes sharks and eagle rays are unforgettable chance encounters. Around the inners islands, fringing reefs with coral gardens are populated by small fish and also unique animals like frogfish, ribbon eels and bobtail squid.

wakatobiWakatobi Marine National Park ( A world of marine Splendor )

The Wakatobi marine national Park, lying just off the south-eastern tip of Sulawesi is one of the undiscovered jewels of Indonesian diving sites. Wakatobi is named after the four islands that surround it, Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binogko which belong to Tukang Besi Archipelago. Exploring any of the Tukang Besi islands will be rewarded by fascinating fossil reefs formations, including the occasional giant clam or nautiloid shell. The entire area is a treasure trove of crustacean life.

The Wakatobi is famous for its spectacular night dives. Entire walls present a riot of colors as Tubasrea and soft corals ” bloom” and a ming-bloggling variety of invertebrates such as crustaceans, nudibranch, and pencil urchin, come – out their hiding to feed in a parade of colorful hues.

tana-toraja3Toraja ( The Highlands and Sanctuary of the Kings )

Dominated by the mountainous southwestern peninsula, the province of South Sulawesi is. Where the seafaring Bugis are, and to the northern part of province is home to the Torajans, referred to as Tana Toraja or ” Land of heavenly Kings”. The Torajans believe their forefather descended from heaven onto a mountain some twenty generations ago. Their unique culture is based on animistic beliefs in which death and afterlife ceremonies and rituals are for elaborate feasts, in which the dead are buried in cliff burial sites or hanging graves.

The center of Torajan culture is Rantepao. A gate built in traditional boat – shaped architecture marks the entry to Tana Toraja. The road passes through the mountains of Kandora and Gandangon which, according to Torajan mythology ,the first ancestor of celestial beings descended from heaven and landed here. The majority of the people still follow the ancestral cult called ” Aluk Todolo” which governs all traditional ceremonies.

ecotourism_tangkoko_duasaudara_reserveSeram – Sawai ( Birds of a Feather )

In the Maluku Archipelago known in the past as the ” Spice Islands” , Seram is the second largest island that offers a number of amazing attractions such as Manusela National Park, traditional villages, treks in the rainforest, and amazing bird- watching. A heaven for othinologist, Seram is a natural habitat for Mollucans, triton and palm cockatoos, electus parrots, lorries, lorikeets and great Bill parrots, as well as hornbills, Birds of Paradise and exotic pigeons and coves. Offshore, some of the world’s outstanding coral formations are only a dive away.

raja-ampat3Raja Ampat Islands ( Jewels of the East )

The seas around Raja Ampat are possibly possessing the richest variety of coral species in the world, and has only recently been discovered by scientist as having the world’s richest refs system.

Stunningly beautiful above and below the water the gem – like islands of Raja Ampat are situated off northwestern tip of Papua. The four largest islands in the archipelago are Waigeno , Batanta, Salawati, and Misool, which shelter a richly diverse land species and forests. Offshore reefs protect an astounding 1320 species of fish, as well as 553 species of coral.

Even today. The area is still the least explored dive areas in the world boasting an amazing marine environment, including huge schools of fish, tiny seashores, and rich coral formations.

Source : Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia