The Saluopa Waterfall is a gigantic cataract buried in the jungle near Lake Poso. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007)
The Saluopa Waterfall is a gigantic cataract buried in the jungle near Lake Poso. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007)

Saluopa, the waterfall in the jungle

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

The huge island of Sulawesi (Indonesia) amazed me. I take you to cool off at the Saluopa waterfall buried in the jungle, near Tentena and Lake Poso.

Air Terjun Saluopa

Today is Sunday, July 15, 2007. I completely forget that, the day before, it was the national holiday in France... I'm so far away! On the program, that day, after a delicious morning swim in the translucent waters of the spectacular Lake Poso: the Saluopa waterfall, or Air Terjun Saluopa in Indonesian.

Yes, you read correctly. The waterfall where our guide-driver Ynus leads us this afternoon has the evocative name (for French speakers) of ... Saluopa. It is 8km-20 minutes by car from the cute beach of Siuri Cottages, on the west bank of Lake Poso, where we spent the night.

Good. Waterfalls, I'm starting to see a lot, in these countries. But this one is a delight.


It does not seem like anything, like that, at first, when you arrive under the trees. It is at the beginning only a beautiful and wide stream which goes slowly, of rock in rock, on several levels. And then, the deeper we go into the jungle, the more the water rumbling.

We start by going up the river, walking along an easy and clear path.

No leeches, phew! No mosquitoes either, that's the other good surprise. I was a little worried about getting eaten, but no. I didn't even need to brush myself with repellent to scare away those damn nyamuk (pronounce "niamouk", one of the first words I learned in Indonesian, that is to say).

The fake brook then takes on volume and height, with trickling rocks more and more imposing. First big cataract.

The stairs in the rock are overflowed by the waves. It must be missed. Ronja, Jelle and Silke, the children of my Dutch friends with whom I make this crossing of Sulawesi, are happy to go through the stairs. They come out laughing and soaked.

The more you climb in the jungle, the narrower the trail. There are some delicate passages, where you have to be a little attentive, stall your foot on a stone, stand at one root, lean on another. But nothing difficult. Even the little Silke, the youngest, who's in the 7-8 years, gets there

Another spectacular stop a little higher. The waterfall has become huge. Water flows everywhere on large rocks.

The Saluopa Waterfall is a gigantic cataract buried in the jungle near Lake Poso. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007)
The Saluopa Waterfall is a gigantic cataract buried in the jungle near Lake Poso. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007)

You can swim there, or cross over the rock at the water's edge. It's a bit of a joke, we're sprayed with spray. Ynus takes off his clothes and goes for a dip. Johan and his eldest, Ronja, not very reassured, imitate him.

After, we continue the climb. Half by the jungle, half feet in the water, in the bed of the river, which widens and becomes calm again, between two plateaus of rock and elephantine tree trunks.

I did well to come in flip flops. The sandals where you are barefoot are the most practical for this forest ride and refreshing.

Walking in flip flops in the water, I love it!
Walking in flip-flops in the water, I love it!

But the waterfall starts from very high. We will not go all the way.

Little Jelle is tired, we must redo all the way downhill, rougher than the climb, as always. And then everyone wants to enjoy a little more beach before dark.

Visitors to Pantai Siuri

Siuri Beach (Pantai Siuri(in Indonesian) is a popular place to walk. At the end of the morning, "our" beach saw a group of noisy and somewhat invasive teenagers.

Sprawled in my hammock, on the terrace of my bungalow, I could hear, vaguely, in the distance, people singing in chorus, clapping their hands, all punctuated by cries and bursts of laughter. But the torpor was stronger than curiosity. Instead of going to see what was going on there, I fell asleep. And I wake up with a start, soon after, surrounded by a whole group of teens, leaning on my balustrade.

They laugh at each other and watch me curiously. Boys right in the famous stupid age ... I first answer nicely to the inevitable "Dari mana?", not a little proud to flaunt my skinny Bahasa : « Saya orang perancis. Nama saida Corinne... " (I'm French, my name is Corinne ...) Then I exchange a few words with those who speak English best. They want me to take pictures, as usual, and are all excited to be able to admire on the digital screen.

But I quickly make big eyes, annoyed to see that two clever guys take advantage of this to try to steal the odds and ends that are lying on the table: biscuits, packet of cigarettes, lighter. I immediately take my bag from the terrace, close the door and come back to tell them what I think of their bad manners.

Suddenly, the brat go away without asking for their rest, with trophy an empty pack of cigarettes forgotten on the table.

The girls, who watched us a little apart, chuckling, then dare to approach. They take my defense of course, decree that the boys are very stupid, but hasten to ask me, too, photos ...

OK, girls! Cheeeeeeeeeeeese!

The schoolgirls met at Siuri Beach asked me for a photo ... Hello natural!
The schoolgirls I met at Siuri Beach asked me for a photo... Hello, natural!

With them, it's easier to talk a little bit. All these young men and women finish their holidays and enter the first year of high school the next day. This Sunday is their last day of freedom before back to school.

A teacher who accompanies them comes to greet me afterwards, apologizing for the inconvenience... Bah! Don't worry, mister!

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2007

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Hey Corinne,
    Really refreshing this post ... For cigarettes no regrets, on the contrary 🙄 ...
    I liked the passage where you speak "the rumble of the water amplifies" J'adooorrreee ... I really feel to be there ... the impression to hear the earth live 8) Thank you.

  2. Yes, the land is really "alive" there ... We are really aware, between waterfalls, exuberant vegetation and volcanoes.

    In my next articles on Sulawesi, you will see that we have more than a simple impression to hear the land live. Because it happens regularly to him to quiver and to tremble ...


  3. A comment about your photo I think, feet in the water of the river gives some desire to bathe and awakens some old memories of Corsica ...

  4. Hello !

    "Saya orange perancis, nama saya Thib" ... very useful in Indo, actually !!!

    Thank you for this nice article.


  5. @Thib:

    Yes, I have made a lot of progress in Bahasa during my stay in Indonesia ... I now understand all the basic questions that I am asked, and I know how to say my name, where I come from, where I am going, how long have I been in the country and the length of my stay, my age, if I like / do not like, etc. In general, your hallucinatory interlocutor that you answer him in his language and he begins to charge at full speed new phrases that you do not understand at all, so I balance my famous "saya tidak mengerti" stating that I speak only a little bit (setikit) Indonesian ... But no matter, the exchange goes on bases more fun than if I had done everything in English.


    Sulawesi is far from Corsica, but the pleasures of swimming remain valid on all the planet ... I am soon attached to other narrations of bathes, but salty and underwater, which, I hope, you will also like .

  6. I'm at the airport in New York and I escaped by browsing your site and among other things your last update.Thank you for this moment !!! Kisses!