Adventures in Sulawesi: 20 days from £3795
By: Bamboo Travel
Comments Robin: "The country has a surprisingly well-established tourist infrastructure in Toraja and the north, whilst only a handful of tourists venture to Central Sulawesi.
"The fact that it is the second most popular destination in Indonesia for Dutch travellers (after Java) indicates its all-round appeal to the archipelago's former colonial rulers. It is a fascinating part of Asia which offers much for the intrepid traveller."
The new itinerary traces Robin's overland route from Toraja to the Togean Islands and commences in Makassar, the port capital of Southern Sulawesi, which has one of the largest fish markets in Southeast Asia, and where cultures and traders convene from the remote eastern half of the archipelago. It is also home to some outstanding (and ridiculously cheap!) seafood restaurants.
A short flight then takes you to Toraja for an extended stay in this intoxicatingly beautiful highland region, to discover the strong cultural identity of the Toraja people, famous for their ancient funeral rituals and boat-shaped Tongkonan houses. Here you will take a trek to a remote Torajan village for an overnight stay in a traditional house, then raft through wilderness areas down the Maiting river.
A long, but rewarding, overland journey, then takes you to the calm azure waters of Lake Poso in the heart of the island, a tranquil oasis surrounded by jungle clad hills, and on to the remote Bada Valley for ancient megaliths and bird watching in the Lore Lindu National Park.
Another scenic drive takes you to Ampana, the jumping off point for the Togean Islands, a truly magnificent marine environment that is blissfully cut off from mainstream tourism.
With a few long drives and some basic accommodation this trip is not for everyone, but if you're looking for a unique off the beaten track adventure, this might be for you!
The holiday costs from £3,795 per person (two sharing) which includes international and regional flights, 17 nights' B&B (plus nine lunches and eight dinners) all land transportation, activities/sightseeing as per the itinerary, and guides.
Bamboo Travel (020 7720 9285, www.bambootravel.co.uk.
Mick Thompson, Travel Dog PR