Versi Bahasa Indonesia:

Written by Cisca Lim
Assisted by Dawn Pillay, Imron Ramadhan

Like most people, perhaps you only have a vague idea of Makassar. Also known as Ujung Pandang, Makassar is the provincial city of South Sulawesi that is located at the easternmost of the island.

Once controlled by the Dutch colonial, the port city began its historical mark in the 17th century as the gateway to world’s trading route. Currently, it is still a crucial transportation hub with a thriving port.


Makassar continues to grow as one of the biggest metropolitan cities in Indonesia while retaining that ancient historic charm, intense forts, buildings and more.

It is also quickly rising to be a highly desirable travel destination for local or international travellers alike – all thanks to its prime location that is surrounded by the Flores Sea.

Makassar is a promising paradise of pure and unexplored beaches, gorgeous coastlines, exotic culinary delights, genuine local hospitality and a modern urban lifestyle.

For a place this special, a proper traveling guide is definitely in order. So without further ado, here’s our list of most awesome things to do in Makassar and South Sulawesi!

PS: Don’t forget to eat popular snacks like Pisang Epe (a flattened roasted raw banana), Coto Makassar, Jalangkote, Pallubasa, Es Pallu Butung, Mie Titi, Sop Konro (and many more!) in Makassar! 


Photo via zizafm, vsamperuru, alkham_zahra, jenniferlim11, lopi_c

How do I get to Makassar (Ujung Pandang – UPG)?

From SingaporeFrom Malaysia (tap here to view)From Australia (tap here to view)From Indonesia (tap here to view)

Direct flight (total cost from SGD 330)

Take SilkAir or Singapore Airlines from Changi International Airport to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (Ujung Pandang – UPG) (Flight time: ~3 hours)

Flight with 1 stopover

Route 1: Take Lion Air from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (Ujung Pandang – UPG). (Flight time: ~5 hours, stopover at Jakarta, total cost from RM 750)

Route 2: Take SilkAir from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (Ujung Pandang – UPG). (Flight time: ~6 hours, stopover at Singapore, total cost from RM 1416)

Flight with 1 stopover (total cost from 820 AUD)

From Perth: Take Singapore Airlines from Perth to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (Ujung Pandang – UPG). (Flight time: ~8 hours, stopover at Singapore)

Direct flight

From Jakarta: Take Lion Air or Sriwijaya Air from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (Ujung Pandang – UPG). (Flight time: ~2h 30 min, total cost from Rp.653,000 / USD $50)

From Bali: Take Lion Air from Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (Ujung Pandang – UPG). (Flight time: ~1h 20 min, total cost from Rp.744.500 / USD $57)

More booking tips

1. When is the best time to travel here?

The best time to visit is during the driest months from July to September. (The rainy season lasts from October to April.)

2. What are the different ways to get around?

There are 3 types of public transport available – Becak (traditional rickshaw), Pete-pete (mini bus), and Taxis.

Becak – Becak drivers can be great if you’d like to experience a traditional rickshaw ride. Standard rates are from Rp.7,000-10,000 / USD $0.50-0.70.

Pete-pete – The main Pete-pete terminal is at Makassar Mall, and the standard fare is from Rp.5,000 / USD $0.30.

Taxi – We love taxis for their air-conditioning and fair meter charges. A 2km ride typically costs around Rp.14,000 / USD $1. (Tip: Use Bluebird taxis, they are both reliable, comfortable!)

1. Looking for some top-notch exploration? – Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park

This national park holds a treasure trove of exploration with different fascinating sights and wonders to marvel at.

Whether it’s the Kingdom of Butterflies with the glorious Bantimurung Waterfall, or the dreamy Rammang-rammang lake and its caves – we guarantee every explorer will be well pleased with this adventure!

1-a) Visit a dreamy lake, caves and a rocky forest – Rammang-rammang

Rammang- rammang feels like a dreamland above the clouds with its mythical lake that according to legends, has certain healing properties.


Photo by Imron Ramadhan


Photo by setapakkecil, mochammad darwis

Visit Goa Mimpi (Dream Cave) and Goa Batu (Stone Cave), and don’t forget to explore the rocky Karst Forest too. Witness the gorgeous limestone mountains and cliffs and be wow-ed by nature’s undeniable wonder.


Photo via jaurirakasiwi


Photo via aryzandy007, l aeroplanino


Photo via yosefrn, roseriell

1-b) Magic is in the air with butterflies and a waterfall – Kingdom of Butterflies

British researcher Alfred Russel Wallace called Bantimurung the Kingdom Of Butterflies when he recorded over 285 species of butterflies (including rare ones!) during his first trip there.


Photo by tama trvl, thatsofarah

The main attraction however, is the Bantimurung waterfall where you can enjoy the rushing roar and marvelous views of free-falling fresh water.


Photo via stefannyct


Photo via tinorenato, sunshinekelly2988

1-c) Up for a light trek? – Mount Bulusaraung

Even if you’re not into hardcore trekking, be sure to get some light climbing in at Mount Bulusaraung at the National Park.


Photo via jaurirakasiwi

As you reach a certain height, you’ll be able to gaze upon the expansive rows of limestone mountains and the valleys of Pangkep-Maros and their unique summits. You might even be greeted by one cheeky monkey or two too!


Photo via khalil gbrn

Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park

Address: Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Coordinates here
Contact: (0411) 3880252
Price/ Entrance Fee: Rp.25,000 / USD $2 (per person)
Getting there: Located only 20KM from Hasanuddin Airport, the national park can be reached from the airport by pete-pete (public transport mini bus) for about 30 minutes. If you travel from Makassar, you can catch a public bus from the Makassar Mall in the direction of Maros for about 1 hour.


2. Take in the panoramic seaview – Apparalang Cliff at Bulukumba (4h 30min from Makassar)

The exotic seaside of Apparalang Cliff at Bulukumba is a must-go when you’re in Makassar. It’s gorgeous ocean views aside, the unique rock formations jutting out of the ocean waters are quite the sight, especially when water blows form.


Photo via muslimin mg


Photo via anita yunus, nieljandri

To make the most of your time here, there’s even a wooden deck on the rocks right by the ocean which is perfect for picnics! If you fancy a dip, snorkeling is great here too. (The local kids also jump from the cliffs for sport! But please do not attempt!)


Photo by bugismakassartrip

This hidden paradise is still relatively new and untouched – just more reasons to be one of the first few visitors to Bulukumba!


Photo via misstikuss, anggraha

Apparalang Cliff at Bulukumba (4h 30min from Makassar)

Getting there: About 200km from Makassar, it’s a 20-minute drive to Tanjung Bira beach and is about an hour from Bulukumba regency. Some public transport will take you there for around Rp.50,000 / USD $3.50 (per person), but do try to hire a car if you’d like a more pleasant journey.Coordinate here

3. Meet one of Mother Nature’s best masterpieces – Celebes Canyon (2h from Makassar)

A raw gem in Barru regency, Celebes Canyon is named after the Grand Canyon because it bears a unique similarity. Honestly, just look at the photos, doesn’t it look like a masterpiece, albeit one where mother nature was the artist?


Photo by afdaldhikri

Celebes Canyon is most praised for its unrivalled beauty and it’s ever-flowing water, even during dry season. This makes it the best place for a natural soak in the crystal clear, unpolluted, and cool water.


Photo by ubhaykun25

This spot used to be frequented by nature lovers or nature communities, but is slowly gaining traffic from tourists of all kinds.


Photo via husainhs

As you arrive at the place, you’ll be greeted with an expanse of green paddy fields stretching as far as the eyes can see. You’ll definitely enjoy a little walk around the area before you meet with the true star of the show – the canyon itself.


Photo via nurulithaa

Celebes Canyon (2h from Makassar)

Address: Libureng, Tanete Riaja, Libureng, Tanete Riaja, Kabupaten Barru, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia
Getting there: Coordinates  here

4. 2 hidden waterfalls around Makassar! – Lengang, Batulappa Barru Waterfall

We’ve found not just one, but three of the best hidden waterfalls around Makassar that will feed your eyes with a visual feast enough to last a lifetime – or at least until your next trip!

4-a) The 2-tiered natural infinity pool you’ve been waiting for – Lengang Waterfall, Laiya Village, Maros Regency (2.5h from Makassar)

How would you like to have a swim in a natural infinity pool? It’s a natural infinity pool, waterfall pool, and it’s a natural 2-tiered pool too!


Photo by pallunk

At Lengang Waterfall in Laiya Village Molino, your nature-made infinity pool boasts clean rocks at the bottom and fresh water flowing down to the second tier of the waterfall pool just below.


Photo by herrakusumaningrum


Photo via arzal ashari

Lengang Waterfall, Laiya Village, Maros Regency (2.5h from Makassar)

Getting there: Coordinate here

4-b) Visit the uniquely layered waterfall – Batulappa Barru Waterfall, Tompo Village (2h 30m from Makassar)

The last waterfall is a super unique one that nature has designed in such a way that it resembles a many-layered cake! On some of the layers, people can even stand within the waterfall and take cool photos.


Photo by ichal.pj

It’s 2-3 hours away from Makassar and isl pretty much hidden and far from the bustling crowd, so much so it’ll feel like you have the waterfall all to yourself!


Photo via riaariyani rheey

Batulappa Barru Waterfall, Tompo Village (2h 30m from Makassar)

Getting there: Coordinate here

5. Take the stairs right into the ocean at this ocean resort – Amatoa Resort (5h from Makassar)

Tanjung Bira is on the other end of Makassar, but it is situated at one of the most beautiful areas of the island. Apart from its famous Tanjung Bira Beach, we love one particular thing about this ocean resort – the stairway down into mermaidia.


Photo via niindy, tid c

Oozing peace and island calm, Amatoa Resort is a truly unexpected find in Makassar. Who would’ve known Makassar would have such a great resort!


Photo via antoniadina, ganzalfi

While Tanjung Bira can be packed with its admirers, this resort keeps it simple with only 9 bungalows with different features, such as direct access to the swimming pool, marble-beds, or ocean-front rooms.


Photo by tid c, ikraodhie

So forget about having to push and shove to get your view of Tanjung Bira beach, because Amatoa Resort provides exclusive seats just for its guests.


Photo by tid c

As the resort is built into a cliff on the southernmost tip of South Sulawesi, you get the full view of tropical paradise. The sea, the beach, the sky, and the sea creatures are just the right essentials to the resort’s theme of traditional bamboo and wooden structures.


Photo by ristianaeteng

You’ll also be happy to know that there’s an incredible coral reef right infront of the resort that’s great for snorkeling!


Photo via nadiyah.shahab, mardiaaaniii

PS: There’s a restaurant onsite serving Indonesian and European cuisine that’s ready to fill your starving bellies!

Amatoa Resort (5h from Makassar)

Address: Jl. Pasir Putih 6 , Bulukumba Bira – South Sulawesi
Contact: (+62) 0812 4296 5500
Price: From Rp.1,500,000 / USD $100


6. Marvel at Makassar’s miniature Grand Canyon – Kampili Dam, Gowa Regency

The Kampili Dam is located at the village of Kampili in Gowa Regency, and is often used as a location for pre-wedding photoshoots.


Photo via detyosjourney

At a glance, the dam might seem like your typical one – but as you descend into the bottom, you’ll get to see what all the fuss is about.


Photo via caturpalinggi

The lower part of the dam is similar to the Grand Canyon, only smaller. There are endless unique rock formations that surround the water in the most wonderfully curvy and natural shapes. And as a result, you’ll see a lot of small ponds with turquoise water that creates a sense of almost unparalleled beauty.


Photo via akrms

Kampili Dam, Gowa Regency

Price/ Entrance Fee: Free (only a small sum of money for parking fee)
Getting there: Head to the West of Makassar passing through the Twin Bridge. Once you’ve passed the bridge, take the first road to the left until you head to Kampili Village and come across a sign that says “Bendungan Kampili”. The total travelling time will be around 1 hour by car. Coordinates here

7. Take a road trip to this ‘hard to be conquered’ lake – Lake Tanralili (2h from Makassar)

When you’re in Makassar, it pays to go the distance especially when it means taking a road trip!

Just a 2-hour drive from Makassar lies Lake Tanralili at the Lengkese village, a tranquil and awe-inspiring lake at the foot of Mount Bawakaraeng.


Photo via rijalandii

The lake and surrounding Loe Valley was formed as a result of a landslide and despite its panoramic looks, don’t underestimate the trek around the lake that can be quite demanding and adrenaline-pumping.


Photo by mmusbir

The word Tanralili itself means “hard to be conquered”. The name may refer to the tedious journey to the lake, or the unconquerable beauty – but by the looks of it, we’re pretty sure it means the latter. Witness it for yourselves and you’ll see why!

Lake Tanralili (2h from Makassar)

Address: Danau Tanralili, Manimbahoi, Parigi, Gowa, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia
Getting there: From Makassar, take the route to Malino for about 2 hours heading to Lengkese gillage. You’ll pass a waterfall which means you’re just a kilometre away from the lake. Coordinates here
Price/ Entrance Fee: Rp.2,000 / USD $0.10 (per person)

8. Challenge yourself to a journey to the Mouth of God – Bawakaraeng Mountain, Malino (2.5h from Makassar)

Mount Bawakaraeng can be loosely translated to the Mouth of God, which is a fitting description judging by the excellent panoramic views around.


Photo by aldhy akmad

Challenge yourself and get atop the mountain to see the glistening views of the sea and Makassar city – especially since it dramatically combines the beauty of both natural serenity and modern landscape.


Photo via erafana

Whether you’re up here during day or night, you’ll definitely be treated to incredible views you’re bound to remember for life. As you make your way up, remember to enjoy the sights of wild plants and flowers along with the mysterious allure that this majestic mountain holds .

This attraction can be quite crowded from flocks of tourists and mountain climbing communities, but it will be well worth your while.

PS: If you intend to visit Lake Tanralili, we suggest visiting Bawakaraeng Mountain at the same time since these attractions are located near each other!

Mount Bawakaraeng

Getting there : Similar to Lake Tanralili

9. Love to go island-hopping? – Spermonde Archipelago (Samalona Island, Laelae Island)

From the North, South and West coast of Makassar, there’s a sprawl of more than 115 islands that form the Spermonde Archipelago.

They are mostly uninhabited with several popular ones that are packed with travellers who are looking to snorkel, dive or just indulge in some soul-soothing beach activities. Out of the over 115 islands available, check out our favourite two!

9-a) Visit a shrinking island with the best snorkeling sights – Samalona Island

Probably the best known island in Spermonde Archipelago, this tiny slice of white sandy beach is a postcard paradise for a trip to the seaside.


Photo via barrykusuma


Photo via naomi champbel al, hennilubis

It is also the home to coral reefs teeming with life, the ones at its northern side is most praised for the best snorkeling expeditions! You’ll need to hurry off and visit it as the island is shrinking rapidly and estimated to vanish underwater by 2020.


Photo via wdaslindanovelapalaka, anggapalinggi, risna26

9-b) Explore these Japanese war ruins – Lae- lae Island

A gorgeous island teeming with Japanese war ruins? It surely can’t get better than that.


Photo via lebondapid

Used by the Japanese soldiers as a defense area during WWI, you’ll witness the epic remnants of architectural structures and interesting rock formations.


Photo via wulandarigasong, riobass, alifyamentari

Do some snorkeling or feed the fish – the sunset is of course, breathtaking as well.

Spermonde Archipelago

Getting there: The islands can be reached by boat from Makassar. Just walk to the street in front of Fort Rotterdam, and chances are the boatmen will approach you. Otherwise, walk to the little beach area and look out for the wooden boats that will bring you there.
Price: Rp.300,000 / USD $23 (for a one-day return trip), and IDR 400.000 / USD $30 (for a overnight return trip)

10. Be a royal Gowanese for a day – Museum Balla Lompoa

Kings of Gowa ruled during the 13th century and was one of the most successful monarchies in South Sulawesi. Their history is now preserved in Museum Balla Lompoa, which is a former royal palace of the King of Gowa.


Photo via queenkhaulanie, irmharis

Balla Lompoa means a gigantic house and it was built on stilts with plank walls and floors. The architecture features all the complete indigenous Buginese style which is as remarkable as it is characteristic.


Photo by ariefsyahbudi, riffiamalsyah, ag3ness

During your visit, you can learn more about the Gowa kingdom, or channel your inner royalty by dressing up in Gowanese costumes for some fun photo keepsakes. The best part is, there is no entrance fee required!


Photo via tioriasinaga

Museum Balla Lompoa

Address: Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 48, Kelurahan Sungguminasa, Kecamatan Somba opu, Kabupaten Gowa, Sulawesi Selatan.
Contact: (0411) 867775
Entrance fee : Free

11. Party to beach views in Makassar! – The Level

There’s no shortage of hip and happening nightlife in the metropolitan city of Makassar. We’ve noticed some of you asking for the best places to party, so head on to one of the most exciting venues in Makassar for clubbing!


Photo via JoulS, mhmmdfaahrii, juniprwanto

The Level often hosts cool DJs or artists for some serious entertainment. This classy place is parked just beside Losari Beach, and the DJ booth faces out to the amazing beach!


Photo via irvandwijayalalantu, ardhiza, Masra Suyuti Dhede

There’s also a restaurant on the 1st floor which makes it the perfect place to dine in style, while the Classic Club on the 2nd floor is where you’ll get to meet all the partygoers on the dancefloor.


Photo via Utic Ar Gustiranda, alim.fajar, Nhya

The Level

Address: Jalan Somba Opu No. 277C, Pantai Losari, Makassar, South Sulawesi – 90122
Contact: (0411) 831400
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Price/ Entrance Fee: From Rp.100,000-300,000 (USD $7-20)


12. Take in local culture with a museum and art gallery in a fort from 1545! – Fort Rotterdam

The fort of Makassar harbour, also known as Fort Rotterdam dates back to 1545. Today, it is considered one of the best preserved examples of Dutch architecture in Indonesia. This is due to the constant restoration and rebuilding to maintain its structural integrity.


Photos by Imron Ramadhan, ditanovsa, febr1kusuma

First, head to Museum Negeri La Galigo where an assortment of exhibits, including sailing boats, artefacts from Tana Toraja, ancient musical instruments, and ethnic costumes are displayed. Then, check out the art gallery where you’ll see the clay-painting work of Daeng Zainal Beta up close in person, and even chat with the master artist himself.

Fort Rotterdam may very well be the highlight of your trip where you’ll get to learn all about the rich history of Makassar in one intimate and profound experience.

Fort Rotterdam

Address: Jl. Ujung Pandang, Bulogading, Kota Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan 90171
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm
Price/ Entrance Fee: Fort Rotterdam – Free, but small donations encouraged; Museum and Art Gallery – Rp.5,000 (locals), Rp.10,000 / USD $0.70 (foreigners)

13. Enjoy the Disneyland version of Makassar – Trans Studio Makassar

Trans Studio Makassar is the second biggest indoor theme park in Indonesia after the one in Bandung. This mega entertainment complex consists of over 20 rides and 4 different themes – some adapted from Universal Studios and Disneyland!


Photo by feliciaoei, diyanahfarok

Your adventure in this wonderland will begin at Studio Central where you’ll find all the glitz and glam of Hollywood as it was in the 60s’. Catch broadway-style musicals at Trans City Theatre, then have fun learning about green screen effects at the Studio Tour.


Photo by ellasimen

Next, explore the incredible safari track at Lost City or immerse yourselves in Cartoon City where the fun cartoon world is shiny, colourful, and larger than life.


Photo by khurysr, annaladai

Finally, end your journey in Magic Corner with sensational magic tricks and illusions. It’s quite the experience for all ages from adults to kids!


Photo via anjhykebbonkk

Trans Studio Makassar

Address:Jl. Metro Tj. Bunga No.28, Maccini Sombala, Tamalate, Makassar, South Sulawesi -90224
Contact: (0411) 8117000
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm
Price/ Entrance Fee: From Rp.100,000-150,000 ( USD $6-10)


14. The best black-sand beach for sunset-watching – Akkarena Beach

Some beaches truly boast spectacular sunset viewing, and Akkarena Beach is just the perfect example of that. Located at the coastal side of Makassar, Akkarena is a stunning black-sand beach that is merely 10 minutes away from the city center.


Photo by e3w

Make your way across the stretch of wooden deck and find yourself at a relaxing dock with the stunning view of the horizon where the ocean meets the sky. It’s the perfect place to settle in as you watch the sun set.


Photo via photoby ndyups

Once night falls, you might want to head to the facilities near by such as a kid’s playground, warung for snacks and drinks, and restaurants with live music entertainment to keep your night going!

Akkarena Beach

Price/ Entrance Fee: Rp.10,000/ person ( less than USD 1)
Getting there: Akkarena Beach is right in front of Makassar Mall GTC at Tanjung Bunga area. Coordinates here.

With the promise of fun, natural exploration, cultural charm and so much more – do you see why Makassar is a must-visit holiday destination?

From the first moment you set foot in Makassar until the end of your trip, it will undoubtedly blow you away.

PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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