Southeast Sulawesi is some of the least visited parts of the island, and indeed, its remoteness does not make it an easy destination. The region comprises of the peninsular mainland and numerous large and small offshore islands, including Buton, Muna, Kabaena and Wawonii. The nearby Sombori and Labengki Islands are some of the highlights!

Pulau Sombori Marine Park

Pulau Labengki is said to be the ‘Raja Ampat of Sulawesi’, and it enjoys some of the most stunning beaches in Indonesia. The isle is not exactly easily accessible, yet the effort is well-worth. The gateway to the tropical hideaway is the city of Kendari.

Toli Toli, Southeast Sulawesi


The capital city of Southeast Sulawesi is Kendari, and it is the starting point to most of the region`s attractions. Although the city itself is not really a place to linger there are nice beaches, waterfalls and traditional stilt villages to visit.

Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park, a traditional stilt village


  • Moramo Waterfall – swim in the cascading falls amidst lush jungle
  • Pulau Bungkutoko – take a boat tour to the coastal mangroves near Kendari
  • Toronipa, Taipa and Nambo Beaches – take a stroll down one of these beaches, known for their white stretches, coconut palms, exotic birds, spectacular vistas, magnificent sunsets
  • Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park –  arrange a trip to the important wetland area with the largest Aopa peat swamp in Sulawesi (abundant wildlife, indigenous tribes, eco-tourism)
  • Bokori Island – visit the latest development in the province (Bajau sea gypsy villages, eco-tourism)
  • Hari Islands – swim with sea turtles (snorkelling & scuba diving)

Boroki Island


Pulau Labengke (Labengki Island) truly is a natural wonder and a beach paradise for those who don`t mind secluded bays, secret coves, forested rocky islets surrounded by coral reefs and brilliant lagoons.

Labengki is a collection of barely touched isles and islets with a population as many as 500. The five largest islands are Labengki Besar, Labengki Kecil, Alnamira Island, Tukoh Kulay Island and Mauang Island.

Kimaboe Lagoon, Pulau Labengki (2015, before the Nirwana Resort, was built)

Often called “Sulawesi`s Raja Ampat”, this is a fantastic ‘castaway’ destination. Diving, snorkelling, sea kayaking, canoeing or simply just enjoying the ultimate peace – that`s all you want to do! The honeymooners and couples will definitely want to discover the ‘Lover`s Cove’, Long Sand Beach and the splendid Kimaboe Lagoon – the major point of interest.

Long Sand Beach, Labengki


Labengki was first popularised by Toli Toli – a conservation area for Giant Clam opened in 2012. While a few years ago the visitors had only one option available to visit this pristine coral paradise – a day trip from Kendari.

In 2016, the Nirwana Eco-Resort was built on the marvellous Kimaboe Lagoon, and since then much has changed for the island. Today, the visitors can enjoy the unspoilt environment in full comfort; the eco-friendly resort offers traditional wooden bungalows that are scattered over a crystal-clear lagoon. Meals are provided as well as snorkelling, scuba diving equipment and kayaks. The resort offers various tours and holiday packages.

Nirwana Eco-Resort was built in 2016, rates start at 150 USD a night


  • Kimaboe Lagoon & Nirwana Eco-Resort – book a couple of nights at the Nirwana Resort and enjoy the virgin environs at the Kimaboe Lagoon (hiking, photography, snorkelling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, swimming, relaxing on the beach)
  • Toli Toli Conservation Area – visit the marine park that has been operating  to protect the Giant Clam since 2012
  • Red Sand Beach – a stunning stretch of powdery-soft sand
  • Lover`s Cove (“Love Bay Lake”) – take the romantic “Labengki Lovers Walk” through a wooden boardwalk around a heart-shaped lagoon
  • Mauang & Alnamira Isles – fantastic snorkelling at Dolipo and Pasir Panjang Beach
  • Labengki Kecil – arrange an eco-tour to meet the indigenous Bajo people (sea gipsy villages)
  • Sombori Island – take a trip to the spectacular marine reserve at Pulau Sombori (azure sea, white beaches, hidden caves, limestone cliffs)

Pulau Sombori


The best time to visit the Labengki Island is in the dry season (May-Oct) when winds are at their mildest and underwater visibility at its best. The Nirwana Resort is only open during this time.

The Lovers Cove Walk, Labengki Island


Fly to Jakarta/Java or Denpasar/Bali. Catch a domestic flight to Kendari via Makassar/Sulawesi (1 hr flight).

The starting point to the Labengki Island is the Toli Toli Village (about 1-hour drive from Kendari) where the visitors will need to take a speedboat to the islands (2 hr trip). NOTE The only accommodation option is the Nirwana Resort in Kimaboe Lagoon.

For all domestic flights check out Wings Air, Lion Air and Merpati

For all international flights go to or

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Eva Bodova

Sunday 12 August 2018

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