Attractions Nearby Sulawesi, Day Trips and Excursions

(Sulawesi, Sunda Islands, Indonesia)

Being surrounded by Indonesian islands and attractions in all directions, Sulawesi is in a convenient location for those with enough time on their hands to enjoy a spot of island hopping. Sulawesi stands in between Kalimantan / Borneo (west) and the Maluku Islands (east), being located to the north of Bali, Flores, Komodo and Rinca, and their almost endless natural attractions, which come in the form of beaches, volcanoes, jungles and wildlife.

Bali really is a much-favoured island in Indonesia and holiday makers from Sulawesi flock here by the thousand each year. It is easy to understand why Bali has become such a popular and enticing island, since the attractions here are quite stunning, including scenic mountain villages and gorgeous sandy beaches.


Kuta Beach is highly regarded by tourists visiting Bali, as well as both Lovina Beach and Sanur Beach. Denpasar is the capital of Bali and is popular with day trippers, being home to the much-praised Museum Negeri Propinsi Bali and the Taman Wedhi Budaya complex, which showcases local Balinese culture. Bali lies to the south-west of Sulawesi and its southerly provincial capital of Makassar is connected by regular flights.


The southerly Indonesian region of Borneo island, Kalimantan is to be found to the west of Sulawesi. Kalimantan is divided into four main regions (Central, South, East and West) and has an array of attractions to tempt sightseers, particularly around its cities of Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, Palangkaraya, Pontianak and Samarinda. Particular highlights on Kalimantan include the beaches just to the north of Pontianak, cruises along the canals of Banjarmasin, and white-water rafting and hiking in the southerly Pegunungan Meratus region, around Loksado.


The island of Lombok has become a thriving tourist destination in Indonesia and lies to the south-west of Sulawesi, where it is the number one attraction within the Nusa Tenggara. At around 80 km / 50 miles in both length and width, Lombok is a fairly square island and filled with interest. The southerly coast offers some excellent breaks, which are more than suitable for keen surfers, while the Gunung Rinjani National Park is perfect for those who enjoy trekking, since it is brimming with hiking trails with great vantage points. Also part of Lombok are the outlying Gili Islands, which reside just off the north-westerly coast and are nothing short of a tropical paradise.

Maluku Islands

A spreading Indonesian archipelago, the Maluku Islands covers a large area and is situated to the east of Sulawesi. The much-visited Banda Islands are part of Maluku and features many historical attractions that are likely to be of interest, as well as some superb coral gardens and snorkelling opportunities. Other popular islands within Maluku include Buru, Halmahera, Kei, Lesea, Seram, Ternate, Tidore, and the Sula Islands, which are especially close by and to the south-west of the Bacan Islands.


Flores (Pulau Flores) is a beautiful, small and somewhat undulating island, located to the south of Sulawesi. The attractions of Flores include a famed volcanic topography, with a number of volcano cones stretching along the island and creating many lush, natural valleys. Some of the sights on Flores are amongst the most memorable on offer in the whole of the Nusa Tenggara area, such as its wondrous crater lakes of Kelimentu, and the dreamy beaches of Labuanbajo. On the eastern side of the Maumere region, several offshore islands deserve a mention, since they boast excellent snorkelling opportunities. Whilst Flores will never be as popular as the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok, it does attract reasonable visitor numbers.