Sulawesi is one of Indonesian gems that is filled with natural beauty, and the home of the most beautiful beaches. We followed Catia Hasan (@catiahasan), an entrepreneur on her adventure to the Island of Labengki and Sombori at South East Sulawesi.
Text and Photographs by Catia Hasan
Hi Catia, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Catia, an entrepreneur dealing with flowers and decors (@madebykaia) and I also take pictures for weddings. One of my dream destination would be sailing through the Indonesian archipelago!
Why did you choose Labengki and Sombori as your destination?
Mostly because I have a big curiosity of caves especially sea caves, and Sulawesi has lots of them. And, one of my bucket list is to visit Papua, so for me Labengki is one step towards Raja Ampat.
How did you get there?
I took a flight from Jakarta to Kendari, and then a car ride to the port 1.5 hours, and took a boat ride for approx. 2 – 4 hours (depends on what kind of boat you took).
Tell us about the places you visited there?
The Labengki Island (Labengki Besar) is the main island where most of the main tourist attractions and cottages stood, and Labengki Kecil is the smaller island near it, where all the locals resided. My friends and I stayed in Labengki Beach Hut on a tiny land between the two islands, aside from the resort’s staff, we were the only ones on the tiny land! For people not afraid of heights, the flying fox that goes from Labengki Besar to the small island nearby is really something that you should try out. We also went uphill to Teluk Cinta, named after the shape of
the bay from above.
The 2nd day was spent at Sombori, 2-hour away via boat ride from my cottage. The attraction there is Puncak Khayangan, often cited as the miniature of Raja Ampat. The trail was very rocky, so be ready to hike and climb pointy rocks, but the view and the caves are really worth it! We also visited Crystal Cave and Alo Cave. The last day was my favorite! We went to see Blue Lagoon and had a swim there. It was special because we were the only ones there. Similar to Sombori, the trails were rocky.
The favorite moment from your destination?
One night at the cottage, the staffs said there’s something we must see on the island. But, we have to wait for about 15 minutes with no light and electricity. Then they cut off the power, and made it absolutely pitch black. Suddenly the island is full of fireflies. It is something that I’ve never experienced before. The sky was full of stars, there were hundreds of fireflies, and the sand was shimmering blue. Could not get a better view. I also love swimming at the Blue Lagoon. The water was so clear and the scenery is so beautiful you don’t need any filters for your photos
What kind of person should go to Labengki and Sombori on their next trip?
Someone who loves real adventure (love climbing rocks, swimming in natural pool, and exploring caves) and someone who really needs to get away from their busy life. It is also good for social media detox since you can’t get any phone signal there. You have to take a boat ride to Labengki Kecil and hike for around 20 minutes to get a signal.
Roughly how much does the whole trip costs?
The whole trip costs me around IDR 5 million including flights, meals, accommodation (3 days 2 nights), local guide, car & boat transportations. Most of the budget would most likely be for plane tickets. Once you are at Labengki, you won’t spend that much money.
Any tips for fellow travellers out there?
After you arrived at Kendari, buy snacks to bring to the island! It is important to bring more cash and snack since there’s no ATM and food stalls or market on the island. And get things done (work stuffs) before you go to there, don’t bother to check your phone, just have fun and enjoy the moment!
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