Versi Bahasa Indonesia: https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/id/sulawesi/tempat-wisata-di-makassar-sulsel/
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
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
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.
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.
The main attraction however, is the Bantimurung waterfall where you can enjoy the rushing roar and marvelous views of free-falling fresh water.
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.
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!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.
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!)
This hidden paradise is still relatively new and untouched – just more reasons to be one of the first few visitors to Bulukumba!
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?
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.
This spot used to be frequented by nature lovers or nature communities, but is slowly gaining traffic from tourists of all kinds.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
You’ll also be happy to know that there’s an incredible coral reef right infront of the resort that’s great for snorkeling!
PS: There’s a restaurant onsite serving Indonesian and European cuisine that’s ready to fill your starving bellies!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Used by the Japanese soldiers as a defense area during WWI, you’ll witness the epic remnants of architectural structures and interesting rock formations.
Do some snorkeling or feed the fish – the sunset is of course, breathtaking as well.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.