We loved Samalona Island…
It’s a tiny speck of an island off of the coast of the bigger island of Sulawesi, in central Indonesia. If you find yourself in Makassar, it’s well worth a few days of your time, or even a few hours if that’s all you’ve got, to retreat to this little isle and put the brakes on the wheels of life for a bit. If you’re searching the web for links to lodging or transportation to the island you won’t find much. The families on the island support themselves, in part, by hosting travelers, but no one has thought to create a website yet!
You will love Samalona if…
Samalona might NOT be for you if
Even if you don’t want to stay overnight, you can visit Samalona Island for the day, enjoy the beach, take a snorkel and be back to “civilization” by evening.
Presumably you’ll be staying in a hotel in Makassar. Hop a little blue bus to “Fort Rotterdam” and then cross the street. I’ll be shocked if the boatmen don’t find you before your feet touch the sidewalk, but if they don’t, walk back onto the little “beach” behind the line of street food vendors and you’ll find several little wooden boats that make the trip back and forth.
Lodging on Samalona Island is in the home of one of the families that lives there. There did appear to be two purpose built “rooms” for guests, but those were not open when we were there (and we were the only ones there.) The families all talked about the folks who had stayed in their homes over the years, and this seems to be the standard arrangement.
Because there are six of us, we were given an entire three bedroom house. We did not have access to the kitchen, but we didn’t need it as three ample meals plus coffee and fruit were provided. We were not hungry!
Some things to know about life on Samalona Island:
We heartily recommend Samalona Island
It was three of the best days we spent in Indonesia. The island is a respite from the insanity of the cities and we found it a “recharge” for our souls.