Dive sites in central Sulawesi

(Sulawesi Tengah)

Attention - information about the Togian and Banggai islands has moved to a new page!

Dive Information: dive operators, liveaboards, dive safety, dive conditions
Photos: look at underwater photos taken in Central- und South-Sulawesi
Print version of this page (mostly dive sites)
Indonesian dive terms

Central Sulawesi is not very well known, but a very interesting place for diving. At the very center, where the several arms of the island join together lies the driest place in Indonesia - Palu - and a small but beautiful dive area in Donggala. To the east is the Bay of Tomini with a large group of islands - the Togian islands (separate page) - an isolated area with an interesting endemic marine species. Travelling further to the east yet are the Banggai islands (separate page), best reached by liveaboard.

Donggala near Palu

Palu lies in central Sulawesi on the western shore at a narrow and very deep inlet. Donggala is a small village, about an hour drive from Palu's airport, the dive resort is located at Tanjung Karang, a small beach in the north of Donggala.This is supposed to be one of the driest places in Indonesia (weather map Indonesia). We didn't have a single day of rain in 2 weeks, though the sky was overcast during 2 days . From Palu you can reach the beautiful Lore-Lindu National park, about 60 km inland from Palu. Plan enough time to do some trekking.

Dive sites around Donggala

Map of Donggalas reefs

Dive sites around Donggala (Central Sulawesi) - print version

  • 1. Batu Suya
  • 2. Runeh Bupoti
  • 3. Enu I
  • 4. Enu II
  • 5. House reef and Alex Point
  • 6. Green wall
  • 7. Natural
  • 8. Anchor
  • 9. Pasi pome
  • 10. Pasi utara
  • 11. Pasi Kawe
  • 12. Pasi Ujung
  • 13. Atoll Besar (South Atoll)

House reef: This is actually my favorite reef (but avoid the weekends, when people from Palu come to beach) around Donggala. You just grab a tank and walk in from the entrance of the resort. Then you decide whether you go to the right towards Alex Point or left to the Green Wall. Ask in the dive shop and they will also bring you by boat to some spot on the reef, so you can swim with the current back to the exit. Depths range up to 36m, but most dives are around 15 to 20m.
This reef is teaming with life during the day - large groups of sweetlips, fusiliers and snappers congregate around the coral blocks. Take a closer look and you will find many nudibranchs, anemones and flatworms. There are always some anemonefish, specially the spinecheek anemonefish (Premas biaculeatus). I also found leaffish, pegasus, hawk fish and several ghost pipefishes. I even saw an eagle ray, but only for a very short time.

I made a night dive nearly every night because there are plenty of really interesting animals there: twin spot lionfish, Spanish dancer, stonefish (lying beneath a coral block just at the entrance to the resort), many cuttlefish and small nearly transparent octopuses, lobster and decorator crabs and much more!

Anchor Reef and Natural reef: These reefs lie south of Donggala about 10 min by boat. Depths range from 25m to 6m. Coral blocks on sand with hidden animals like moray eels, leaffish sometimes ghost pipe fish. On the deeper sandy area there are nearly always large rays. Sometimes really large groups of bumphead parrotfish and blacktip reef sharks visit this area.

Pasi Kawe, Pasi Utara, Pasi Ujung and South Atoll: These reefs also lie south of Donggala, but about 30 to 40 min by boat, near Towale. Depths range from over 30m to about 8m. At these places we always saw blacktip and whitetip reef sharks from very close. One actually swam right through our group and directly towards me and turned to the side only half a meter away! Great! These reefs are nicely covered with corals, lots of acropora and whip corals. I specially liked Pasi Kawe where I found many nudibranchs, saw a cuttlefish laying eggs and where Igede, the dive guide even found a yellow frogfish (probably Antennarius pictus)!! That made my day.

Batu Suya and Enu I and II: These reefs lie north of Donggala on the other side of the inlet, about 30 to 40 min by boat. The dive sites are all vertical walls covered with beautiful gorgonian fans and soft corals. Depths range from ca. 5m to probably 70m! There are small caves and overhangs. On one dive we had a lot of current - at one corner there was a huge group of mackerel but we had to turn back because the current was going to sweep us away. On another dive we saw bumphead parrot fishes and 3 napoleon wrasse. In the gorgonian fans there are always longnose hawkfishes (Oxycirrhites typus), these are beautiful but very shy.

accomodation Prince Johns Resort, Donggala, Sulawesi

You can find detailed information about dive operators, liveaboard operators, dive safety (recompression chambers), dive conditions, climate, hotels and how to get to Donggala in Central Sulawesi on a separate page ready to print.

Map of Sulawesi: click on dive sites

Map of Sulawesi with links to dive areas

Diving around Manado
Bunaken, Siladen, Manado Tua, Montehage, Nain islands
Manado area
island and Pulisan

Diving in Lembeh Strait
Lembeh strait near Bitung - auf Deutsch

Siau and Sangihe
Siau, Sangihe and Talaud island

Diving in Central Sulawesi
island Group
islands and Bualemo Peninsula
Donggala close to Palu

Diving in Southern Sulawesi
Ujung Pandang (Makassar)
Pulau Selayar and Bira

Diving in Southeast Sulawesi
Tukangbesi islands
Pasarwajo and Muna island

More information about diving in Southeast Asia

Description of dive sites

Asia: Burma / Thailand
Indonesia: Bali (east, north, south) / Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Alor) / Sulawesi (Bunaken, Manado, Bangka, Tukangbesi islands, Makassar and Selayar, Lembeh strait, Siau and Sangihe islands, Palu, Togian and Banggai islands / Gorontalo) / Kalimantan / Moluccas (Ambon, Banda, Halmahera)
Malaysia: East coast (Perhentians, Redang) / Overview Borneo / Sabah and Sarawak / Lankayan / Mabul and Sipadan
Philippines: Visayas (Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Siquijor) / Sangat and Palawan (Tubbataha Reef)

Special topics

Wallacea - Dive safety in South East Asia - judge the currents
Coral reefs - The ocean - Major endangered reef regions (biodiversity hotspots) - Conservation of our marine ecosystems - Indonesian dive terms

Bali - Bohol - Borneo - Burma and Thailand - Cebu - Lembeh - Leyte - Malaysia (east coast) - Manado and Siau islands - Leyte - Negros - Nusa Tenggara (Komodo, Flores) - Sangat - Sulawesi (Central- and South-Sulawesi) - Tubbataha
Fact sheets

Bali - Borneo and Kalimantan - Burma and Thailand - Malaysia (east coast) - Manado, Lembeh and Siau islands - Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores, Alor) - Moluccas (Ambon, Banda, Halmahera) - Palawan (Sangat, Tubbataha) - Sulawesi - Sulawesi central - Visayas (Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Siquijor)

Print version reports
Print version maps

Alor - Ambon - Apo - Bali - Bohol - Borneo - Burma - Gorontalo - Kalimantan - Komodo - Lankayan - Lembeh - Leyte - Lombok - Malaysia (east coast) - Manado - Palawan (Tubbataha) - Sangat - Siau - Sipadan-Mabul - Siquijor - Sulawesi south - Togians
Map of Wallace Line and Indonesian Throughflow - Indonesia climate (rainy season, dry season)

The Daymaniyat Islands (Oman)


Dive sites around the Daymaniyat Islands, Kharabah, Fahal in Oman (maps, descriptions) - print version


The Galapagos islands (Ecuador)


Galapagos islands: center Galapagos, north Galapagos, southeast Galapagos, west Galapagos
Fact sheet of the Galapagos Archipelago
Galapagos photos
Map of dive areas in the Galapagos islands (also in color)
Marine animals of the Galápagos / Endemic fishes in the Galapagos


German - Deutsch


Indonesien allgemein - Bali - Bali Nord - Bali Ost - Bali Süd - Bunaken - Bangka - Manado- Lembeh


Bali - Bunaken, Manado, Lembeh, Siau

Druckversion Karten

Indonesien (Strömungen und Wallace Linie) - Klima-Karte Indonesien - Bali Tauchplätze - Lembeh Tauchplätze - Bunaken und Manado Tauchplätze - Karte der Tauchplätze in den Galapagos - Druckversion

Druckversion Texte

Indonesien allgemein - Bali Nord - Bali Ost - Bali Süd - Bunaken - Bangka - Manado - Lembeh

Spezielle Themen Grundsätze zur Berichterstattung über Tauchgebiete

. Copyright Teresa Zubi (write to me)