Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park

Come and pour out your sorrows in Bantimurung

The sight of a different kind of mountain formation in the distance got me excited as the bus we rode sped into Maros and into Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, one of Sulawesi’s interesting natural tourist spots. The said mountain is more of a vertical outcrop, rising from the surrounding paddy fields but never high enough to achieve lofty heights. These are the famous Rammang-rammang karst area, considered the second largest in the world, and is heavily forested, has a popular waterfall and caves as well as regarded as a butterfly kingdom where majority of stock is sourced out from legal butterfly farms. It’s also a great place to witness Sulawesi’s wildlife.

It was a rather hectic Saturday. Majority of us bloggers from the Philippines arrived in Jakarta on a delayed flight from Manila, arriving at around 2 AM. From there we had a few hours sleep at a hotel near the airport and have to wake up in about 3 hours for our onward flight to Makassar in Sulawesi, around 2 hours away by plane. But I wasn’t complaining, in fact, I was still giddy with my first trip to Indonesia and excited with the wonders that we are about to experience.

READ MORE: Breathtaking, Wonderful Indonesia

Bantimurung is thought to derive from two Bugis words: benti merrung meaning roaring waters while others point out that it might be banting murung, smashing one’s gloom. Regardless, these two words rightly describe the place of roaring waters, Bantimurung Waterfall and pouring one’s sadness, refreshing through nature.

Weekends can get crowded with locals, and I’m quite happy that this is the case unlike here in the Philippines that people just go to the mall. Other than water tubing from the base of the waterfall, families and groups have picnics at the river bank or at the many cottages around the area. At the side of the waterfall is a flight of stairs that lead you above and into a cement path all the way going to Gua Batu, Stone Cave and along the way observing wildlife.

What is really interesting about Bantimurung and Sulawesi in general, from the standpoint of wildlife is that it is directly east of Wallace’s Line, an imaginary demarcation put forward by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859 that stretches between Bali and Lombok up between Borneo and Sulawesi and south of Mindanao after keenly observing that from this island to the east, there is a general difference to majority of the wildlife west of the line. So when I really saw the framed butterflies outside of the park, I was quite amazed that there were species identified with Australasia.

I did enjoy our brief stop in Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park. Humid, yes. Invigorating, much more. I miss the days of trekking forested areas in the home country. But what I love about the place is that one can experience spelunking, waterfalling, trekking and observing wildlife even within less than a kilometer from the park entrance. And the best part, its a great place to come out refreshed.

View of Bantimurung Waterfall and river. The banks are popular picnic areas for visitors

View of Bantimurung Waterfall and river. The banks are popular picnic areas for visitors

High karst mountains define Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park and is considered the second biggest karst area in the world.

High karst mountains define Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park and is considered the second biggest karst area in the world.

Gua Batu (Stone Cave) is one of two caves that can be explored in the national park and is just around 20 minutes walk from Bantimurung Waterfalls, passing a lake and forest area.

Gua Batu (Stone Cave) is one of two caves that can be explored in the national park and is just around 20 minutes walk from Bantimurung Waterfalls, passing a lake and forest area.

I just love the greenery while trekking at the forest to Gua Batu. It's not really difficult as there is a well paved, cement path.

I just love the greenery while trekking at the forest to Gua Batu. It’s not really difficult as there is a well paved, cement path.

Just a few of the reptiles, arachnids, butterflies and a huge tree found in the national park

Just a few of the reptiles, arachnids, butterflies and a huge tree found in the national park

A fun way to enjoy Bantimurung Waterfalls is riding the water through this inflated tire tube

A fun way to enjoy Bantimurung Waterfalls is riding the water through this inflated tire tube

Weekends can get crowded with locals and a few foreigners enjoying the national park

Weekends can get crowded with locals and a few foreigners enjoying the national park

Some of the views of Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park including the multilevel waterfall as seen from the side

Some of the views of Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park including the multilevel waterfall as seen from the side

Bantimurung Waterfall is a popular area in the National Park with several visitors bathing and riding the rapids via an inflated tire tube. The cascade is multilevel.

Bantimurung Waterfall is a popular area in the National Park with several visitors bathing and riding the rapids via an inflated tire tube. The cascade is multilevel.

A Sulawesi moor macaque (Macaca maura) is one of the wildlife in the national park and is considered an endangered species

A Sulawesi moor macaque (Macaca maura) is one of the wildlife in the national park and is considered an endangered species

GETTING THERE Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park is located 20 KM from Hasanuddin Airport, the national park can be reached from the airport by local public transportation called pete-pete for about 30 minutes. From Makassar, you can catch a public bus or DAMRI, from the Makassar Mall in the direction of Maros for about one hour. From Maros, take the same pete-pete that also goes to the airport.

This trip made possible through the Wonderful Indonesia program of the Ministry of Tourism. Check out the official website, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But don’t forget to Like my Langyaw Media Facebook page for updates.

For stories during my WONDERFUL INDONESIA trip, click on the TRIP OF WONDERS tag.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

4 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    August 21, 2016 @ 10:34

    Waterfall, cave, hiking trail, wildlife, check. #sulawesi #tripofwonders #wonderfulindonesia
    https://t.co/ftyMlgLPlw https://t.co/GDaeGCJgNs

  2. Adrenaline Romance
    August 22, 2016 @ 19:24

    Wohoo! Beautiful waterfalls! It seems to be too commercialized for our taste though. But that’s okay, there are always places like these for locals and tourists alike. 🙂

  3. estan
    August 22, 2016 @ 20:58

    ok ra nga commercialized at least locals are patronizing the park bai. unlike sa ato nga mall na lang pirmi

  4. Bantimurung National Park | AllIndonesiaDestinations.Com
    January 11, 2017 @ 21:40

    […] credit image: Langyaw […]

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