6 Beautiful Natural Lakes on Sulawesi Island, Indonesia
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6 Beautiful Natural Lakes on Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

6 Beautiful Natural Lakes on Sulawesi Island Indonesia

Sulawesi Island is part of Indonesia archipelago. It is located to the south of the Philippines and to the north of Lesser Sunda Islands. With a total area of more than 170 thousand square kilometers, Sulawesi is the fifth largest island in Indonesia. The island was created through centuries of volcanic and tectonic activities.  Besides its rich marine and land biota, Sulawesi has distinctive natural beauty including a number of scenic lakes.

Lake Towuti

Lake Towuti is located in large mountainous area of South Sulawesi Province. The Lake is one of five tectonic lakes of Malili Lake system, a group of lakes connected by rivers. Covering an area of more than fifty thousand hectares, Towuti is the largest lake on the island and the second largest in Indonesia after Lake Toba.  In the middle of the lake lies Loeha Island. The lake has several good diving spots. Under the water, divers can easily meet colorful freshwater shrimps which are endemic to this lake. Besides the marine biota, the region is also natural habitat of various species of mammals; including the endangered species of babyrousa.  

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The lake has a long geological history, although its exact age is unknown. Recently, a group of scientist had initiated a study on the thick sedimentary layers hidden at the base of the lake to obtain information of climatic, ecological and biological changes that had occurred for thousands of years in the area. The lake also serves as water reservoir to generate electricity and for other uses.

Lake Tempe

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Also located in South Sulawesi Province, Lake Tempe is the second largest lake on Sulawesi Island. The shape of the lake resembles a giant bowl. The lake holds an abundant of freshwater fish, particularly a species of small fish called the “doyok”.  With a total area of 13 thousand hectares, the lake is dubbed as a “giant fish bowl”. The lake is recognized as one of the largest producers of freshwater fish on the planet. Local people called the Bugis make their living mainly as fishermen.  They build their floating bamboo houses along the edge or on the middle of the lake. The middle-of-the-lake houses are very colorful and one house may be inhabited by thirty households or more. Occasionally, they allow visitors to spend the night at their houses and to go on a canoe-fishing trip with them. Besides the fish, the lake is also famous for its birds.  Some species of birds found in the region are endangered. Floating vegetations cover several parts of the lake. They form a green-blue image like an aquatic garden. Every year a cultural festival is held in the region.

Lake Poso

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Lake Poso is situated in Central Sulawesi Province. The lake is a solitary ancient lake of tectonic origin. It covers an area of 300 square kilometers and its depth reaches 450 meters below the surface making it one of the deepest lakes in Indonesia. Excess water flows into Poso River and ultimately to Molucca Sea. From October to April, the edge of the water is covered with white sand, giving it the impression of seashore.  Silver and yellow eels are species endemic to the lake. The region is surrounded by forests, the home of various endangered species of mammals such as babyrousa and anoa. Near the forest there is a famous orchid garden where many species of wild orchids are cultivated.  A cultural event, the Lake Poso Festival is held annually.

Lake Matano

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Located in South Sulawesi Province, Lake Matano is recorded as one of the deepest lakes in the world. Its deepest point stands 590 meters below the surface. The name “matano” in local language means “wellspring”. Legend has it that Lake Matano water comes from a spring that never dries out. The lake and its surrounding hills provide perfect spots to observe sunrise and sunset. Together with Lake Towuti, Lake Matano is one of five lakes of the Malili lake system. The lake is a tectonic lake formed around one to four million years ago. The lake holds highly diversified marine biota from freshwater fishes to crabs and shrimps. The fish is harvested for daily consumption. The popular fish dish in the area is fried mujahir (a kind of tilapia fish). Three villages inhabited by different ethnic groups can be found around the lake. A largest nickel mining company in the world carries out strip mining activity in nearby forest causing some environmentalist to raise their concern. Tourist activities include swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, snorkeling and diving.

Lake Tondano

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Located in North Sulawesi Province, Lake Tondano is the largest lake in the province with a total area of more than four thousand hectares. Standing 600 meters above sea level, the lake is only 30 kilometers away from Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi Province. This easy access makes the lake a popular tourist destination. The lake is surrounded by a number of active volcanoes. Beyond the surrounding hills, one can see as far as the Molucca Sea. There are many species of freshwater fishes found living in the lake. The fish is harvested and traded by local people. Many restaurants around the lake serve various kinds of dishes from fish and other seafood. Usually visitors come for a day trip to sit back and relax while enjoying lunch by the beautiful lake.

Lake Limboto

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Lake Limboto is located in Gorontalo Regency in the northern part of Sulawesi Island and covers an area of three thousand hectares. The lake is an estuary of five big rivers: the Bone Bolango, Alo, Daenaa, Bionga and Molalahu.  In seventieth century, two kings who ruled Gorontalo region at that time agreed to end the war by throwing a ring inside the lake. The lake is the home to many species of freshwater fishes, birds and aquatic plants such as the water lily, water hyacinth and many others. In flower season, the surface of the lake will be covered with blooming water lilies. Popular activities include fishing, boating and swimming. There are many good restaurants in the area that serve grilled fish. Over decades the lake had shallowed as sediments built up.

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Comments (9)

wonderful article and great pics

Magnificent share....these are some beautiful pictures. Thanks for posting...voted.

Gorgeous photos, voted. : )

Excellent, well written and illustrated work. thanks

Makes me want to go there!

Thank you Yovita. Promoted this nice article, sorry I am out of votes. Thanks for the good info here. Please consider me.

A very good article feels like a good tour of your land and lakes.

Thank you Yovita for your vote. Please add me as your friend. Hope to avail your friendship and support.

The lakes sound lovely. Great article.