In a recent trip to Indonesia with Indonesia Tourism, I discovered some of the most beautiful and unknown little pockets of heaven I have ever seen. One of them was idyllic paradise Tanjung Karang Beach which is on the tip of Palu Bay. Located on the island of Sulawesi, Palu Bay is about 1 hour from Palu city. Palu is actually the capital of Sulawesi with only 335,000 people living there. I say that with surprise as it doesn’t really feel like a city compared to most Asian capitals I have been to.
This place is totally worth driving for an hour to see. Away from the mass tourism that you see in Bali, the water is clean, the locals are friendly and most importantly it’s quiet. You can access the beach through the Prince John Dive Resort where you can also stay if you want to spend some time here – plus you can also hire the dive gear to explore underwater life. Did I mention having a Bintang whilst sunbathing on one of their sun loungers looking out onto a white sand beach? Did I just convince you? The dive resort is the only dive centre located within the area of 300km. They have 15 bungalows that will suit every type of person that comes to stay (deluxe, comfort and relax) and the prices range from €70 – €220 (family suite). So as you can see, it’s reasonably priced for a magical island getaway. The equator is only a few km from this place so do expect it to be stinking hot. You will definitely need a swimming costume though!
Make sure you take a wander through the little village beside the resort too. The buildings are colourfully painted and have some real character to them. Even the toilet blocks are beautiful! This place has a real island feel to it.
If you follow the beach right to the tip you will find an older man hiring out dive gear BUT he also sells the best knickknacks I have seen in years. Coconut heads! He carves the coconuts into a face shape and draws eyes and a mouth, and uses glasses and earrings to make them look more realistic.
How can I get to this idyllic paradise?
There are 2 daily flights from Jakarta to Palu that you can take, then you will have to arrange transport to Tanjung Karang Beach. It is a 2 and a half hour flight to get to Sulawesi from Jakarta. If you are staying at the resort then they can organise transfers to and from the airport for you (€80), otherwise hire a scooter and explore this part of the island by bike! Hiring a scooter is a brilliant way to further see and experience a bit more of the local villages firsthand – plus you can stop whenever you like and see some spots tourists wouldn’t normally see. You can easily buy petrol on the side of the road from local stores. It is usually kept in Coke and alcohol bottles so don’t freak out when they start pouring it into your scooter! The ride to the beach may take you by surprise: you will go past one of the largest ports in Indonesia, so be prepared as you will see a lot of rubbish and poverty around this area. I was worried on the way there that we would be taken to a beach filled with rubbish and pollution but it was totally the opposite once we actually arrived as you can see.
Typical prices in Palu
Accommodation for the Prince John Dive Resort (based on 2 people):
|Relax Bungalow||70,00 €|
|Comfort Bungalow||95,00 €|
|Deluxe Bungalow||110,00 €|
|Family Bungalow (Maximum 4 people)||220,00 €|
The best thing is the prices above include breakfast, afternoon tea and cake, unlimited water and dinner! If you’re a single person you will get a discount of 25% on the accommodation prices too.
Diving costs if you’re hiring from the resort:
From the beach, you can catch a boat to some of the most speciose diving sites in the world.
|Mask & snorkel||€3|
|Complete diving equipment||€12|
|Snorkelling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins)||€5|
|Underwater light (for one night dive)||€5|
|1 dive including bottle and weights||€29|
|Half day tour boat trip (1 dive)||+ €7.50|
|One day tour boat trip (2 dives)||+ €15|
|Package 6 dives||€171|
|Package 10 dives||€274|
Don’t you agree with me that this place is a piece of idyllic paradise? Bali is one of my favourite places in Indonesia, but after coming here I think it might be my second favourite Indonesian island now (sorry, Bali). Make sure you discover this place before everybody else does! Need accommodation in the Indonesia? I highly suggest you take a look at Agoda or Hotels.com. I highly recommend them!
Love this post? Then share it with your friends on Pinterest!