An unforgettable experience in Samalona Island

Posted on (Indonesian Backpackers) – Based on the data I found from a variety of sources, Samalona Island is part of Makassar City, Ujung Pandang Subdistrict, South Sulawesi. Access to the island is quite easy, as only 20-30 minutes of sea crossing. Renting the fishermen’s boat is a common way to cross the island of Samalona. Boats are easily found in Kayu Bangkoa Pier.

But I was going to Samalona from an unknown dock opposite Fort Rotterdam. Because it turns out that there are also some boats available in front of Fort Rotterdam fort. The rental price for a boat is IDR 300,000 for the round trip in one day, and IDR 400,000 if we want to stay and be picked up the next morning (maybe the price may go down again as I couldn’t make a so good offer).

Accommodation is widely available in Samalona Island, although the price is a bit high for the services offered. On the island of Samalona, ​​I rent a guest house model accommodation at the price of IDR 500,000 for one night, including dinner and breakfast in the morning. It was through hard bargaining with the owner, so I get free dinner and breakfast for that price. Another cheaper alternative, you can bring a tent and camp on the island. Some parts of the island are available to set up your own tent, which is spacious and safe. I originally wanted to do the camping on my own but for some reason I canceled that and rented a guest house.

The main attraction of this island is actually diving and snorkeling. On the dives we were able to see some remains of a WWII wreck which was turned into a reef and now used as a home to hundreds of marine life. Unfortunately I haven’t tried diving, as I don’t have my license yet. Then I chose to snorkel instead.

Unfortunately I must be disappointed because snorkelling in Samalon island is not very interesting. The snorkel rental equipment is not in good condition, even while snorkelling I didn’t see anything of interest, just some rocks that the locals called “coral”. But in my opinion just an ordinary rock worked to resist some abrasion on some side of the island from the ocean waves. In fact, there is very little information on where I should snorkel around the island.

Watching the sunset and sunrise is one of the main attractions of this island. Again I have no luck, because I visited during the rainy season, and at the end I just have a sunset with thick clouds, even the black cloud that could rage all the time, and drop a heavy rain :(. But in the end , I still have some luck, I was treated to a magnificent night view of the city of Makassar in the distance. The night view of Makassar from Samalona island is quite fantastic, from there I could see thousands of twinkling lights of the city of Makassar.

In common with all the shortcomings and advantages, Samalona Island is still good to be used as a holiday destination. Perhaps the Cast Away holiday concept can be a good idea to attract more tourists to the island. Samalona Island is perfect for the Cast Away holiday concept, because the location is close enough to Makassar, yet offers a peaceful atmosphere. Perfect for those who want to be alone for a while.

Here are some tips for visiting the island of Samalona

  • Prices for accommodation on the island of Samalona are between 300,000 and 500,000 IDR per night, depending on the services provided. If you are good at haggling, the price may go down more.
  • The rental price for a set of snorkel gear is around IDR 30,000 – 50,000 per set. But it’s better to bring your own set, because some snorkel sets are not in good condition.
  • If you want to see the sunrise and sunset, go to Samalona Island during the day and return to Makassar the next morning. AVOID visiting the island during the rainy season. Thick clouds tend to form and the chance of getting the perfect sunset and sunrise will be small.
  • There is no fresh water on the island of Samalona, ​​unless you buy it dearly. So be prepared not to swim, unless it rains :D. Bring enough fresh water (mineral water) to drink.
  • Bring mosquito repellent, because even in the middle of the ocean, the local mosquito is cruel enough to suck your blood little by little.

Location of the island of Samalona

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Happy adventure, traveller!!
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