Makassar is the largest city in east Indonesia and the capital city of South Sulawesi province. Makassar enjoys a central location in the Indonesian archipelago and is the Indonesia’s busy air hub, connecting Sumatra, Java, Bali and Kalimantan in the west with Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Papua in the east. Ever since the 14th century and located on the busy trading route along the deep Straits of Makassar, the city of Makassar is a bustling cosmopolitan town with settlement of many races and ethnic groups, of Chinese, Europeans, Javanese, Balinese, Ambon and others. Makassar is the Gateway to East Indonesia, as well as the entry point to an adventurous tour to the Tana Toraja highlands, where awesome mountain scenery and the unique rituals of the Toraja people await.
The island of Makassar are also known to have some of the best spots for diving. Just a mere 50 km from the city, Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park awaits with its stunning waterfall and hordes of enchanting butterflies, or visit Bulukumba's fascinating traditional ship building dockyards and pristine beach at Bira. Freshly caught seafood served in a variety of ways, Chinese or local, is the highlight of any visit to Makassar.
As a large cosmopolitan city, Makassar has a good number of taxis available at hotels and shopping centers. Else take a bemo, or for slower sightseeing, take a becak, better known here as 'roda tiga'.
As an important airline hub, Makassar is served by many Indonesian airlines flying from busy cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali, using Makassar both as final destination or transit airport. Most airlines continue to Manado, the Moluccas or onward to Papua to the airports of Biak, Jayapura, Manokwari, Sorong and Merauke. Airlines serving Makassar include Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia, Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air. Other small airlines like Express Air serve flights between Makassar and Ternate, and to Jayapura.