To visit this one Indonesia’s biggest islands, there are some ways that become your choice. Generally, you can visit Sulawesi by air and sea. Usually for them who can’t wait to get to Sulawesi, they will use air transportation. If you like a more amazing adventure to get to Sulawesi, and willing to spend few days on a ship, sea transportation is a perfect way for you. It will cause you lower price compared if you choose the airplane. In addition, you will see a magnificent view, some small examples of some cultures and the prove of Indonesia’s nature richness in your way to go to Sulawesi.
How to visit Sulawesi is commonly taken by domestic flight. Beside simpler and less exhausting, this way is more effective to save time compared to the sea trip. Flight to Sulawesi island can be reached from many places in Indonesia, specially from big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Ambon, and other big cities. But to reach it from foreign countries, there are only several flight companies that serve straight flight to Sulawesi. Generally, the flight to Sulawesi from foreign countries has to pass/transit at Jakarta first. Or you can take single flight to Surabaya, Jakarta or Denpasar and continue the trip to Sulawesi using domestic flight. The international flight line that straight to Sulawesi can be reached from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Using the sea line is not much different to the air line. By using ship, Sulawesi relatively can be reached from big cities in Indonesia. The time to take the sea trip is quite long. But you might get various experiences because usually the sea trip will pass some harbors in many other areas.
In those harbor, the ship will dock for a while, which will give you enough time to come down off the ship and sightseeing around the harbor. Usually, around the harbor, there are many sellers which offer local souvenir. From that point, you can have a glance image about the local culture. Of course, it will need your ability in communication. The majority of Indonesian people are able to speak Indonesian language, but only few of them can speak English. But you don’t have to worry if you’re a foreign tourist, because even the local people cannot speak foreign language, as a return, you will get the people’s hospitality.
To sail to Sulawesi, the majority harbors serve the sail strip to it. Even, many of them serve direct sailing to harbors in Sulawesi such as Bau-bau, Bitung, Luwuk, Gorontalo and Kendari. The majority of sea service is provided by PT PELNI. You can get the detail info bout trip by sea to Sulawesi from its official website.
Sulawesi is one of the biggest islands in Indonesia. Its territory is clusters of islands, and its nature is still well preserved. But the facility and transportation means is not too satisfying. Only in big cities that have the proper facility and transportation means, such as Makassar, Manado, and Gorontalo. It’s still limited only in its city area. For the rest, to reach incredible tour places, you will have to take unusual trip, such as riding ferry boat, small motor boat, and motorbike taxi, in a single trip, one way only. Besides, the distance you have to take either by sea or air will be quite long.
Hence, it’s better for you to prepare your physical stamina to roam Sulawesi Island. It’s suggested for you to prepare your trip as detail as possible, especially in transportation, and don’t forget to add the distance factor in it. You can prepare it in the nearest city from your destination while spend the night, or while enjoying the culture and people’s hospitality.
List of Big City in Sulawesi
North Sulawesi : Manado, Bitung, Kotamobagu
Gorontalo : Gorontalo
Central Sulawesi : Palu
West Sulawesi : Mamuju
South Sulawesi : Makassar, Palopo
South East Sulawesi : Bau-bau
* First word is the province’s capital city
Domestic Flight of Sulawesi
To do trip to Sulawesi by air is very easy. Nowadays, many new flight routes have been opened, with destination to airports in Sulawesi. Flight to Sulawesi can be taken from many places in Indonesia,especially from big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, and other big cities. And most of flight companies offer flight route to Sulawesi.
Sulawesi has many airports, but to get to Sulawesi straightly from big cities in Indonesia, the flight route only reach the international airport only, such as airport of Sultan Hasanusin Makasar, Haluoleo Kendari, and Sam Ratulangi Manado.
Most of flight companies offer a route to these airports, but there’s also flight company that only serve to Makasar. The ticket price to Makassar is varying, depend from which airport you depart. You can get it starts from IDR 350,000.
To get to other cities in Sulawesi, you can continue the flight from last airport (Sultan Hasanuddin airport for example) by local flight to your destination city. Or you can take land transportation like bus, taxi, or public transportation. Or you can also take sea route by local ferry boat or motor boat to reach your destination city. As info, Sulawesi is an archipelago area where one of the transportation means is motor boat.
Sulawesi area is so vast that the distance from one city to another is quite far. If you do land / sea trip from city to city, those trip will be time consuming, even reach to a day. To shorten your time, you can take the trip by air. But this air trip is limited only in certain cities which have airport.
It’s suggested to choose this way if your next destination is very far, and if the land transportation is not available to reach it, and if the airport is near to your next destination. Of course, you have to make sure that in your destination city there’s airport and flight route to reach it.
Local Flight Route
Below is list of local flight in Sulawesi Island from Sultan Hasanudin Makasar and Sam Ratulangi Manado airport. At local flight, the flight company usually only serve a small plane like ATR72, which is a small passenger plane with double propeller, because the places you will go to, only available airport for small scale.
From Sultan Hasanudin, Makassar
- Batavia Air : Gorontalo, Kendari, Luwuk, Palu
- Dirgantara Air Service : Mamuju, Selayar, Masamba, Palopo, Toraja
- Garuda Indonesia : Gorontalo, Kendari , Manado, Palu
- Indonesia Air Transport : Sorowako
- Lion Air : Gorontalo, Kendari, Palu, Manado
- Merpati Nusantara Airlines : Baubau, Kendari, Mamuju, Palu
- Sriwijaya Air : Gorontalo, Kendari, Palu
- Trigana Air Service : Luwuk
- Express Air : Bau-bau, Kendari
- Kartika Airlines : Manado
- Wings Air : Gorontalo, Manado, Kendari, Palu, Mamuju, Bau-Bau
From Sam Ratulangi, Manado
- Express Air : Luwuk, Palu
- Garuda Indonesia : Makassar
- Lion Air : Makassar
- Merpati Nusantara Airlines : Makassar
- Sriwijaya Air : Makassar
- Wings Air : Gorontalo, Melonguane, Tahuna