Central Sulawesi is still much off the beaten track, about 60% of its land swathed n rainforest. This region has some of the lowest densities of people in all of Indonesia, vast majority are distributed along the coasts and the hinterlands are sparsely populated. Many inland villages are only by horse trails or walking tracks. Therefore, the community and cultural live of central Sulawesi is amazingly diverse; groups may speak different languages and follow different customs. There are dozens of quite secluded ethnic groups still practising shamanic religions.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Palu is set on the inmost point of a deep bay surrounded by high, grassy hills, and interweaved by small trails. The city has a enjoyable, calm atmosphere. Although Palu was a minor town during the colonial era, it is now a fast growing provincial capital, and the starting point for an study of the Kaili area. Situated at the foot of Palu Bay, the city is divided by the Palu River, with downtown and main trading areas on the west bank and the main government offices and airport to the east.
Poso is a small port town on the shores of Tomini Bay, and the gateway to the rarely visited eastern regions of Central Sulawesi.
Tentena is a little Christian town set on the north-eastern edge of Lake Poso, with white sand beaches and high, wooded mountains. The two halves of the town are linked by a covered bridge. The town is the headquarters of the Central Sulawesi Christian Church. The weather here is cool - the lake is at 515 m - and coffee, cloves and vegetable grows on the nearby hills. The Pamona people who live around Lake Poso are vaguely related to the Bare'e or eastern Toraja, but the old Central Sulawesi culture is now extinct.
Lore Lindu National Park
Covering more that 231,000 hectares, the park straddles the boundaries between Donggala and Poso districts. This huge and rough area includes Mount Nokilalaki and Mount Tokasa, the whole Lindu Plain with its large lake, the Besoa Valley, and the western part of the Bada and Napu Valleys. In this three valleys are found stone strange statues and cisterns of a long-vanished culture whose traces continue to intrigue archaeologists. Lore Lindu National Park is one of Sulawesi's important natural reserves which contain wide variety of Sulawesi's flora and fauna. Park consists of lowland and highland mountain forests, thick wood forests, flat fertile valleys, rivers, lakes and hot springs. There are anoas ( a dwarf forest buffalo ), babirusa ( a hairless wild boar with tusks ), the spectral tarsiers ( a tiny nocturnal primate ), varieties of tailed macaques, and others.
Lake Poso is 37 kilometres long and 13 kilometres at its widest point, covers about 32,000 hectares ( this is third largest lake in Indonesia ), it lies 657 metres above sea level, it is bounded by sharply sloping mountains to the west and moderate hills to the east. The Poso area has many special and unique places to be discovered.
Megaliths in valleys of Bada, Besoa and Napu
You can see the principal megaliths of the Bada Valley in one tough day of hiking or two leisurely ones. The origin and age of the works of stone that dot valleys of Bada, Besoa and Napu remain a mystery, recent excavations of some of stone cisterns or vats indicate that they probably date back to the first millennium AD ( they could be of a later date, but are not likely to be much older, as some have speculated ). In many areas where they are found, large upright stones ( menhirs ) are often associated with human sacrifice and with worship of the ancestors. A Swiss explorer named Kaudern, who visited the region in 1918 - 1919, inquired into 2-metre menhir outside the house temple at Kantewu, southeast of Gimpu. The major megaliths are: Palindo near Sepe, Mesinga and Metumpapa southwest of Sepe, Maturu northeast of Lengkeka, Oba northeast of Lengkeka, Mpeime northeast of Lengkeka, Tarai Roe near Gintu, Maturu between Gintu and Runde, Dual Boe at Badangkai, Torumpana nouth of Bakekau, Tinoe near Kakekau, Oboka in Bulili, Ari Impohi in Bewa, Loga in Bada, Langke Bulawa in Bomba. Vast stone cisterns, called kalamba, which may have been used as baths or as burial chambers for aristocrats, are found scattered throughout the region. Fascinatingly and strangely all of the objects in the area are made from a type of grey stone of which there are no deposits in the surrounding area.