If you like finding remote travel spots and finding non-tourist places, then this secret spot, Selayar Island, in South Sulawesi will meet, delight and inspire.
Culture abounds in Selayar. The small seaside town Kayu Panda is home to sea gypsies. If you’re lucky, and the season is good, you get the chance to meet. The Bajo They only live in the village for five months of the year and head out to sea on their small, colorful traditional wooden fishing boats roam the seas, as they have done for centuries over.
Another interesting village is located just twenty minutes from Benteng (the main town). Bitombang Old Village is perched high in the hills where the houses are hung on high poles, dangerous sandwiched between huge boulders. The average age of the villagers is said to be 90. According to local folklore, the houses are built to increase. High in life expectancy I certainly saw evidence of this and can attest to the elderly population of Bitombang.
Selayar not only has a rich culture, but it is also a paradise for divers. The famous Taka Bone Rate National Sea Park is the third largest coral atoll in the world, after the Marshall Islands and the Maldives. With this big drawing card would you expect tourism developed, several dive resorts and five-star to find hotels but this is not the case. Selayar is like a secret. It is a place where time has stood still.
Accommodatios are usually families with some very average three-star hotels and only two dive resorts.
Selayar Dive Resort is very well run and the other is barely functioning. Your third choice is a very remote national park run dive facility, six hours from the mainland, with homestay accommodation.
The best place for diving and snorkeling is Selayar Dive Resort. A jovial, German character by the name of Jaochim works charming eight-water bungalow dive resort. With twenty five years experience as a divemaster, you are very safe, experienced hands and in fact, Selayar Dive Resort is the perfect place to learn to dive.
The resort is conveniently located on the edge of a protected marine park, so you’re in for a visual treat underwater, in the vicinity of your bungalow. What you discover, with either a tank or just flippers and a mask, is a dramatic 70 meter deep reef wall, beautiful rich colored coral, sleepy turtles and a unique marine environment on a pristine island photogenic. Getting to the resort is easy as the resort will arrange your transport from Makassar to Bira the air-conditioned car and then you are transferred by speedboat to the island.
When exploring the island, that Selayar has three beautiful white sandy beaches. Day trips are easily arranged with a local fishing boat captain in the port and harbor near Benteng, the main town. Armed with a picnic and a sense of adventure, you are guaranteed to see. No other tourists.