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Your reactions to Sulawesi, which looks like an inkblot, will depend on your sense of adventure. Not into rollicking rides on buses through jungle and over mountains? Not into a collection of cultures diverse even by the incredibly diverse standards of Indonesia? Not into pristine beaches where your pleasure is only limited by your imagination? Well, your reaction might not be good. But if you like all of the above, want to plunge into the teeming Indonesian metropolis of Makassar in search of perfect seafood, want to experience the bizarre and mystical funeral ceremonies of the welcoming Toraja people, want to voyage on small boats to ...

Your reactions to Sulawesi, which looks like an inkblot, will depend on your sense of adventure. Not into rollicking rides on buses through jungle and over mountains? Not into a collection of cultures diverse even by the incredibly diverse standards of Indonesia? Not into pristine beaches where your pleasure is only limited by your imagination? Well, your reaction might not be good. But if you like all of the above, want to plunge into the teeming Indonesian metropolis of Makassar in search of perfect seafood, want to experience the bizarre and mystical funeral ceremonies of the welcoming Toraja people, want to voyage on small boats to idyllic hidden beaches or want to explore some of region's best diving in the aquamarine waters of Pulau Bunaken, then Sulawesi will look like a dream. Straddling the equator in the middle of the thousands of islands of the Indonesia archipelago, Sulawesi figures on few itineraries. Wandering its geographic extremities can easily consume the typical 30-day tourist visa. Many people get as far as the Sulawesi-encircled Togean Islands and never leave (at least until they absolutely have to). Gazing at the white sands and warm surf from the hammock of a beach guest house is better than pondering any inkblot, unless it's Sulawesi.

Ryan Ver Berkmoes
About the Expert

Ryan Ver Berkmoes has written many books for Lonely Planet, including Bali & Lombok and the Southeastern Alaska and Western Canada sections for LP's Canada guide.

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Ryan Ver Berkmoes for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: One of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands
  • Language: Indonesian, Buginese, Makassar, Seko, Lemolang
  • Currency: Rupiah
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The rainy and dry seasons are quite similar here on the Equator so there's little variation in the tropical weather through the year. Expect constant heat and regular rain. The funeral season in Tana Toraja peaks is in July and August.