Located at the most southern end of South Sulawesi, this quiet and now isolated island of Selayar, with its swathes of pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear tropical waters used to have an illustrious past. Due to the geographical shape and location of Selayar, standing vertical on the Makassar-Moluccas trade route; when Ternate and Tidore, Ambon, Banda were the main producers of spices and Makassar was the center of trade. The island of Selayar became an undisputable important territory that could either contribute to or hinder the spice trade.
The 80 km long island of Selayar is in fact gateway to the spectacular Taka Bonerate National Park that teems with colorful coral reefs, giant sponges, a wealth of fish species including dugong and tuna, gliding past turtles and manta rays. Comprising 21 islands and atolls, Taka Bonerate is the third biggest atoll in the world after the Marshall Islands and the Maldives. Although still predominantly covered by rainforests, Selayar boasts many pristine white sand beaches.
To get to Selayar you can travel overland from Makassar to the town of Tanjung Bira, and take the ferry to Selayar from here. The sea journey takes two hours. But when the seas are choppy, ferries do not sail. There are air conditioned buses from Makassar travelling via Bira, where the ferry carries passengers and bus to Salayar.
Alternatively, you can try the SMAC charter flights from Makassar to Selayar that flies here. The flight takes 40 minutes.