Travel Asia: The Untapped Beauty of Lake Matano
Anyone will love Lake Matano in a first glance. Viewing the lake from the top of a hill nearby, we can see a vast surface of sparkling blue water. The surrounding green hills added the feel of serenity and tranquility of the place, making it the perfect spot to rest and relax.
Lake Matano is located in the vicinity of Sorowako City, about 600 kilometers southwest of Makassar (the capital of South Sulawesi). In Dongi language, native language in Sorowako, Matano means wellspring. The name supposedly derives from the name of the Matano Village which located at the west end of the lake. Legend has it that the village’s spring is the source of the water of Lake Matano.
The lake is a part of the Malili lake system that also comprises of Mahalona Lake, Towuti Lake, Lontoa Lake and Masapi Lake. Matano is the largest and deepest basin of the Malili lake system; consist of 164 square kilometers area and 590 meters in depth. It’s the deepest lake in Southeast Asia and ranked eight deepest in the world. The lake estimated to have formed 1 to 4 million years ago and exhibit a high endemic biodiversity.
Botini is typical fish in this lake. There are also other types such as mujair, mas, cork and catfish. Besides fish, there are also snails, oysters, crabs and shrimps, each one has a distinctive shape and taste. Due to the abundance fish in the lake, local people fishing in traditional way are common in the area.
There is a lot of fun activities to do in Lake Matano. One of the obvious is taking a swim in the calm clear blue water. It’s free to do this in the lake. To explore the lake better, visitor can rent a raft from the locals for around $10. In addition to swimming and rafting, the tranquil lake is also the ideal location for various types of water sports such as sailing, water skiing, canoeing, snorkeling and diving.
For photography hobbyist, perpetuating the endless scenery and wonderful moment in the lake would definitely be a great experience. This is especially during the sunrise and sunset, where the moments can be captured wonderfully from the hills because of the clear view of the area.
In addition to the natural beauty of Lake Matano, the locals’ friendliness is also one of the attractions that will make it convenient to travel to this area. People already accustomed to mingle with all ethnicities from anywhere, even foreigner from other countries.
How to reach Lake Matano
Visitor can use land or air transportation to reach Sorowako. For air travel, take a flight from the Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar. The price for one ticket is around 1.2 million rupiahs or $130. For less expensive trip, use the land transportation from Makassar that only cost 150 thousand rupiahs or about $16. From Sorowako, visitor can rent a car to reach Matano.