Samalona Island, Indonesia

Coral Reef at Samalona Island


Not far from the capital city of South Sulawesi, Makassar, there lies a beautiful tiny island named Samalona Island. With white sandy beach, beautiful underwater, and reachable location,  Samalona Island now become one of the most favourite place to go in South Sulawesi. You can easily see Clown fish (Nemo), anemones, and colourful reefs near to the beach. Sometimes, there are dolphins appearing in the morning time.


This island can be reached by traditional boat for about 30 minutes or 7 Km  from Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Just go walk to the street in front of Fort Rotterdam, then you’ll find traditional pier to pick you up to the Island with those traditional boat as well.

How To Get There

Routes: Sultan Hasanuddin Airport – Makassar Downtown – Samalona Island

Makassar Map
How to reach Makassar City


1. From Jakarta/Surabaya/Jogja/Bali/Balikpapan

Almost all domestic flights are available from Jakarta (CGK) and other big cities to Sultan Hasanuddin Airport, Makassar/Ujung Pandang (UPG). Then look at number 3&4 below.

2. From Kuala Lumpur/Singapore

There are several international flight to Makassar.  Airasia has opened flight from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Sultan Hasanuddin Airport, Makassar/Ujung Pandang (UPG). International flight from Singapore to Makassar is operated by Garuda Indonesia. Then look at number 3&4 below.

3. From Sultan Hasanuddin Airport, Makassar/Ujung Pandang (UPG) to Fort Rotterdam

– By Taxi: it is fast (45 minutes) but little bit expensive (Rp80.000-100.000)

– By Public Transportation: you need about 2 hours by using public transport, but it is much cheaper. First, take motorcycle rent or called “ojek” from Airport (A) to the main street (Rp10.000). Second, take some blue public transport car called “pete-pete” to Terminal Daya (B) (Rp5.000). Third, take some “pete-pete” again to Karebosi (C) (Rp4.000).  Fourth, use pedicab or called “becak” to reach Fort Rotterdam (D) (Rp15.000).

Samalona Island Map
Notes: A = Sultan Hasanuddin Airport, B = “Daya” Bus Terminal, C = Karebosi, E = Fort Rotterdam (click to enlarge)

4. Fort Rotterdam to Samalona Island

Usually, the boat rental owner will call us once we walk in front of Fort Rotterdam. The boat rental cost is between Rp270.000 – Rp400.000 a day. Just bid it.


There are some guesthouses in the island cost from 150.000 to 250.000 a night. Alternatively, you can stay at Makassar, there are so many budget hotels/guesthouses/hostels ranged from Rp75.000 to the highest rate you want. I suggested you to stay in hostels along Jampea street, it is little bit cheaper and near from the pier.


– The Beach

tropical beach
Samalona Beach with Makassar Skyline view beackground

– The Coral

Samalona Island Indonesia Coral Reef
Samalona Island underwater view

– The Clownfish a.k.a Nemo

Clown Fish at Samalona Island Makassar Indonesia
Red Clown Fish at Samalona Island

All Samalona Island Gallery