Selayar - a remote diving paradise in Sulawesi

The Jetty at Selayar Dive Resort, Sulawesi, IndonesiaI'm back home for almost one week and still haven't gotten used to the lack of light in Luxembourg during the winter time. One way to remember my trip to Selayar, Indonesida is to work on the photos from the trip and write a report for those of you longing for the sun like me and of course for all the others The beach at Selayar, Sulawesi, Indonesiaas well.

Selayar is a hidden paradise and as most of these places it is a long journey all the way from Luxembourg and almost impossible to get to, but more than worth the trip. Selayar is located off the South end of Sulawesi, Indonesia. A 4 to 5 hour ride by car brings you from Makassar to Bira, a small port south east where a ferry boat leaves daily to Selayar island, 80 km long, thin, covered in thick forest.

Most of the people live on the west coast which offers unbelievable sunsets. Benteng, the main town, lies as well on the sunset side. The Selayar Dive Resort, on the other hand lies on the east coast at the southern tip of the island amidst a lush forest on a beautiful 1 km white sandy beach. No roads bring you there. The fast resort speedboat awaits the guests in Bira and rushes along the hillside eastern coast down to the resort within 2 hours.

A Saron shrimp with characteristic orange spots at Selayar, Sulawesi, IndonesiaTwo tiny Pygmy Seahorsea at Selayar, Sulawesi, Indonesia

The eight bungalows are well hidden under the trees on the beach so that you can barely see them upon arrival. On the jetty Jochen, the German owner, welcomes you. The staff deals with your heavy luggage while Ifa in the restaurant is serving a fresh welcome drink.

The traditional Indonesian style bungalows are designed by divers for divers. A concrete basin to wash off the sand from your feet features at every bungalow. Lots of electric plugs for your lamps, computers, photo gear,....but the real luxury in the room are the three large tinted windows filling almost the whole front wall of the bungalow. Through the trees you can enjoy the sunrise over the ocean, even from your bed.


The beach at Selayar, Sulawesi, IndonesiaMost dive sites lie within 10 min by speedboat from the resort. The house reef is simply breathtaking. A healthy wall falls down to the endless blue and on the wall you can find anything from pygmy seahorses to colourful nudibranchs, surrounded by all sorts of reef fish, huge lobsters and crabs at night, bat fish around the jetty.

Don't forget to have a look in the open blue as the occasional reef shark or eagle ray may pass...
Jochen takes his guests out with the speedboat two times a day. An old fishing net forming a new habit for new growth at Selayar, Sulawesi, IndonesiaDive times are scheduled by the sun and the moon, the tides bring strong currents at full moon periods and with them big fish.

Depths down to 55m are on daily menu for the deep blue fans to get an even bigger chance to meet hammerheads, grey reef sharks, mantas, eagle rays,tunas, trevallies....Sharkpoint and Carl's corner are the top spots for the big stuff, as are Opera and Steps. Netz (Net) is a nice wall dive where you can look for cool critters in an old fishing net hanging on the wall.

The reef top at all dive sites lies in between 9 and 3 m and is the ideal place for your decompression/safety stop. Nudis, morays, turtles, endless reef fish play in the current.

An old fishing net forming a new habit for new growth at Selayar, Sulawesi, IndonesiaDo you want to experience a "real" night dive at 11pm or an early morning dive, I mean really early before sunrise at 4 am. Just gear up. Walk down the jetty and jump! The house reef is open 24 hours (unguided).

After a couple of days, we realized that there were no "electric" sounds : no TV, no mobile phones, no music. The only rhythm comes from the sound of the waves, interrupted by the geckos.The buzzing sound of the mosquitoes reminded us that after all it can't be paradise, but can we get any closer?

Beautiful wall with healthy growth at Selayar, Sulawesi, Indonesia Beautiful wall with healthy growth at Selayar, Sulawesi, Indonesia Have a look at this small, but gorgeous Pygmy Seahorse at Selayar, Sulawesi, Indonesia