For those of you who get the chance to visit South Sulawesi there is a beautiful little gem of an island with crystal clear water and white sandy beaches called Kondingareng Keke just 30 minutes by boat from the capital city of Makassar. The island is 8.37 miles or 13.48 kilometers from the coast of Makassar.
How to get there:
Makassar is approximately 2 hours 25 minutes flight from Jakarta.
From Makassar, you need to rent a boat from the ports of Makassar to take you to Kodingareng Keke. The return boat trip from Makassar to the island cost approximately IDR 600,000 (USD 60) for a 4 hours trip. Shorter or longer trips are possible.
We boarded the boat around 9 AM. We traveled via Samalona Island which took around 10 minutes or so to pick up our hired snorkeling gear. We then continued to Kodingareng Keke Island.
Kodingareng Keke is a small island with no building or infrastructure. But it has several big pine trees in one corner for shade which is the only shade on the island. It’s a beautiful unspoiled island. The water and the white sand is truly breathtaking.
Kodingareng Keke Island is one of 11 islands making up the spermonde archipelago (spermonde shelf) in Makassar. This island extends from east to west. The total area of the island is one hectare. You can easily walk around the whole island in a few minutes.
This is the first island trip for my son and he was so excited. The last time he was on a beach was when we were in Florida 5 years ago. As soon as we got in the water, we spotted a starfish. He was amazed when we spotted this beautiful creature.
“Mommy, the starfish has scratches on its back…is it sick?”
We then saw some small fish swimming around our legs in the beautiful clear water. That was cute. Again, my boy was truly in awe. Once he relaxed, he wanted to stay in the water all day with the snorkel and look at the many colorful fish swimming around in the shallow parts of the water.
My 11 months old niece really enjoyed playing in the sand too. We all had so much fun and wish we could have stayed longer. On the day we were there the island was quiet, it was lovely.
If you want to make the most of the island experience, here are some tips:
- Get there early. The earlier the better, as that means you will have lots of time to enjoy the island, it is less windy and less people would be there so chances are you will have the island to yourself like we did.
- Bargain. Like most places in Indonesia, you need to bargain for the boat rental price. Ask for life vest because they are often times not offered to you.
- Sunscreen and hats/shades. As in anywhere in Indonesia, it gets pretty hot out there also there is a limited shade in the Island, so don’t forget to lather yourself and your children with sunscreen. Hats and a sun umbrella can come in handy.
- Rent/bring snorkeling gear. The underwater view is absolutely beautiful on the island. To better enjoy the water, bring your snorkeling gear. Or you can rent snorkeling gear in Samalona Island for IDR 50,000 (USD 5). Just ask the boat owner.
- Bring your own drinks/food/snacks. There is no shop/store on the Island so you will have to bring your own. As always, please don’t liter and take all your garbage back with you to Makassar where you can dispose it.
Have you been to Kodingareng Keke before? If you have share your experience in the comment box.