Journey to Takabonerate Islands – Tips to Visit The Paradise!

Takabonerate Archipelago lays in the southern peninsula of Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. In 2002, Takabonerate was entitled as a national park. What makes it so special is the size of atoll reefs in Takabonerate with the area of 220,000 ha which makes it become the third largest atoll in the word after Kwajifein atoll in Marshall Islands, and Maldives atoll in Suvadiva.

In total, there are 21 islands in Takabonerate National Park.

Some islands are inhabitant, some are still virgin islands. Takabonerate is administratively a part of Selayar Regency in South Sulawesi Province.

Surely, the level of marine biodiversity is high, a paradise for divers. Species such as turtles, jackfish, humphead wrasse can be found here.

Tinabo, as the island to manage everything especially in controlling all activities in national park.

Snorkeling takabonerate island
Small fishes near Tinabo Peer

Journey to Takabonerate Island

I always think twice to go Takabonerate because the access is not easy plus the trip to Takabonerate is expensive, but God helped me.

After joining Takabonerate Island Expedition from the ministry of tourism, they actually conducted an extra trip to Takabonerate. But this trip was not really published so not many people know about this trip.

Only 2 other guys and me going to Takabonerate.

We gathered in Takabonerate National Park Office in Benteng, Selayar at 5 a.m. then riding car to Patumbukan Harbor, around 1 hour from Benteng.

It was raining at that time, we still need to take 4 hours boat to Tinabo Island. I was concerned about the wave. Out trip leader, Hendra divided us to two boats.

The group of placemen and important people in a bigger boat, and my group with a bunch of teens in smaller boat. The machine was so loud yet the wave hit our boat, shaking the boat about 45 degrees. To prevent seasick, I just went to sleep.

Finally, we reached Tinabo Island. First thing I did was definitely jumping to the sea. Corals were not that good but the fish, oh my god. It’s just too awesome!

It’s like kingdom of fishes. School of small fishes until big fishes swimming rolling in the sea.

This jaw-dropping scene was just unbelievable.

I spotted 4-5 baby blacktip sharks swimming in the shallow area, other 5 giant clams stayed quiet, totally amazing.

Read also: How to visit Wakatobi Islands, Indonesia

corals in takabonerate island
Corals in front of Tinabo Peer
snorkeling in takabonerate
Saw a black-tip shark while snorkeling


The next day we went to a small island named Tarupa Kecil and did snorkeling. There are hundreds of diving spots in Takabonerate.

Some favorite spots are Latondu, Jinato, Tinanja, and around Tinabo Island. In Tarupa Kecil, the sea bed was full of corals.

Fishes were not as big as in front of Tinabo peer but the corals were like huge garden inside the sea.

Lucky us, a sperm whale appeared to the surface, my first time seeing a whale.

Read also: Travel guide to Raja Ampat, Indonesia

corals tarupa island
Colourful corals in Tarupa Island

nemo in tarupa

What I appreciate from Takabonerate National Park, they really protect the marine life.

Although some spots were destroyed by bombing, the national park encouraged the people to protect Takabonerate.

They conducted annual competition for the village such as the cleanest village, the most well-cared corals, programs to educate the people inside the national park, together protecting the richness of the sea.

Read also: Travel guide to Derawan Islands, Indonesia

How to visit Takabonerate Island

  • Best month to visit Takabonerate is around April-May and August-November. Avoid going in June-July.
  • The gate to Takabonerate National Park is from Selayar. Click this for transportation to Selayar
  • Going in group around 8-10 people is better. The boat can fit up to 15 people with price around Rp 4,000,000 for 3 days from Patumbukan Harbor, Selayar back and forth, also hopping island. Contact Person for boat: Acca (+6282188884788)
  • It is allowed to use tent in Takabonerate. Many huts can be used to sleep. Just bring you sleeping bag. Rooms in Tinabo Island cost Rp 170,000 (fan, shared bathroom, breakfast), meals cost Rp 20,000/meal. If you want to rent the tent it costs Rp 70,000/night. Retribution fee to the national park is Rp 2,500 for local, Rp 25,000 for foreigner. Contact Person to book the room: Hendra (+6281241948948)
  • Bear in mind not to harm the corals with your fin. If you’re not really good in swimming, better to swim with your life vest in the deeper area so you won’t kick the corals.
  • Join Takabonerate Island Expedition, annually held in November so you can go to Takabonerate with small amount of money. I joined in 30 Nov-1 Dec 2013 and paid only Rp 350,000 all in from Selayar.


snorkeling tarupa island
Stone fish in Tarupa


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12 responses to “Journey to Takabonerate Islands – Tips to Visit The Paradise!”

  1. caderabdul Avatar

    wahhh keren-keren ya keindahan bawah lautnya…

  2. caderabdul Avatar

    wahhh keren-keren ya keindahan bawah lautnya…

  3. Andreas Andryanto Avatar

    Very nice blog with beautiful pictures

  4. Avatar

    Foto2 nya cakep banget, eh ketemu ikan pari ngak ?????

  5. Velysia Zhang Avatar

    Thanks all…Ketemu pari kecil doank. hehe

  6. leschena Avatar

    Btw, nice article.. jd inget ikut TIE IV. Paket divingnya justru cm 700 rban u/ 6x dive di Takabonerate, lbh murah drpd ikut paket snorkeling.

  7. AJenk Avatar

    cara join Takabonerate Island Expedition gimana mba?ada grup nya kah?

  8. Velysia Zhang Avatar

    Leschena: Thanks, yep kalo ikut TIE murmer banget dah haha

    Ajenk: Setahun biasa acara sekali bisa. Untuk lebih jelasnya bsa langsung ke websitenya

  9. dodik Avatar

    Itu, takabonarete island expedition nya terbuka untuk umum?
    Buat Dive disana rate nya berapa ya?


  10. Avatar

    Boodmarked….persiapan tahun depan..

  11. Bobby Ertanto Avatar

    edan, ketemu hiu gitu ya.. Mesti masuk list ini mah.

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