Bira: The Quiet Paradise
Bira (or Tanjung Bira)may not sound as the popular tourist destination in Indonesia. Even not all Indonesians know where this amazing village is located. Bira is a village in South Sulawesi, around 190 km from the province’s capital, Makassar. This village in Bulukumba Regency is well known for its long history of maritime heritage. Besides its boat-building tradition, this place attracts visitors with its fascinating white-sand beach (Bira Beach). However, Bira is completely different as it is quiet, not as crowded as Bali. No wonder Bira is one of the best hideouts for those who prefer tranquility.
Unfortunately, there is no airport in Bira, so the only way to get there is by car from Makassar. To get to Makassar, there are lots of carriers that serve flights to Makassar, either from Jakarta,Surabaya,Denpasar or from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. It takes four-hour drive from Makassar to Bira. Alternatively, you can go there from Labuan Bajo (Flores) by boat, but it takes a full day. The boat departs once a week.
Maybe not all of us know that this wonderful place has lots to offer to visitors, especially for diving geeks. Next to the beach, you will find the diving center in Bira which really feed your hunger on diving.
Bira Divers is one of the best diving centers in Bira. It is recommended on the top travel site, tripadvisor.com. Most visitors who had diving experience in Bira Divers said they recommend this center to their friends or family members. Bira Divers offers day trips to 15 mapped fascinating dive sites as well as new dive sites. Make sure you visit the dive sites around Bira village as you will be impressed by eye-catchy fish and nice sloping reef.
Another dive spot you cannot miss while in Bira is Kambing Island, with sheer vertical walls with good visibility, as well as Liukang Island that attracts you with its beautiful undersea creatures and coral heads. This island is also the best spot for snorkelers. If you want another different place, Bira Divers can arrange your trips to Selayar Island (about one hour boat journey).
This center offers the best service for all divers, from beginners to experts. For beginners, they can take Discover Scuba Diving for Rp. 590.000,-, .There are also other courses offered, ranging from Open Water Course for Rp. 3.500.000,- to Divemaster Course for Rp. 7.350.000,-. The instructors are professional, friendly and of course, certified.
Another diving center in Bira is Amatoa Resort. You get a private access to the sea, overlooking the stunning coral reef. In addition, the resort also has well-organized dive packages, ranging from 35 Euro per dive (for one day) and 25 Euro per dive for 10 (or more) days. There is also open water course for 7 days for 350 Euro (including certificate). The price for equipment rental is 5 Euro per diver.
There are lots to do here, not only diving and snorkelling. You can explore the rich history of well-known Phinisi boat and various Sulawesi tour packages that include Bira and Tana Toraja are available for you to choose. Hope this information help you arrange your Sulawesi trip.